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Duke Fuqua vs Yale SOM

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Fuqua or Yale SOM for Investment Banking in NYC

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Duke Fuqua vs Yale SOM [#permalink] New post 25 Dec 2013, 15:42
Hello GMATClubbers,

First of all, you guys have been a great help over the past two years. I could not have gotten into 2 top schools without yalls help.

While I thought that getting into a top school will make my life easier, it has actually made it a lot tougher, as I cannot decide which school to attend. Below is my background.

- BBA in Accounting and Economics from a state school
- 4 years in Transaction Services at FTI Consulting.
- GMAT: 680
- Post MBA Goals: Investment Banking in NYC (preferably M&A product group). While my goal is to land an internship at BB, I will be perfectly happy with a top MM like Lazard/RBC or even a Boutique such as Perella or Greenhill or Evercore.

Now, I have to decide between Yale and Duke. I didn't get $$ from any and really feel that I can fit in at both schools. Below are the pros and cons I have in my mind.

Yale:
Pros:
- proximity to NYC, so can go anytime for interviews/networking
- New Building which looks pretty awesome.
- Overall, Yale has a very strong name brand (not sure how SOM is perceived on the wall street)
- Perella - one of the M&A groups I really like - recruit at Yale only.

Cons:
- Alumni network is weaker in banking (based on linkedin searches)
- Don't think integrated curriculum is a good fit for someone who wants to specialize in finance.
- BBs like DB and BAML don't recruit on campus. A current student told me that GS didn't hire a single summer associate this past summer.

Duke:
Pros:
- Strong network in banking and all BB recruits on campus.
- I am very much into sports and would enjoy the sports culture
- Better prestige in the MBA circles, Duke name is also very strong nationally.
- Quarter system and an opportunity to load up finance electives during first year.

Cons:
- Far from NYC, so will have to spend more money flying for interviews.
- MM/Boutique recruiting is weak. Evercore, Perella, Greenhill and Lazard NYC don't hire on campus.
- Grade Disclosure, so pressure to keep GPA up for banking recruiting.

If anyone on this thread from SOM or Fuqua can shed some light, I would really appreciate. I feel extremely blessed to have gotten into both schools and know that I will be fine anywhere - just need to make a decision now

Thanks

DECISION: Duke Fuqua!

-

Last edited by rocket1741 on 12 Feb 2014, 11:54, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Duke Fuqua vs Yale SOM [#permalink] New post 26 Dec 2013, 09:02
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My impression is that Yale SOM is better for banking and Fuqua is better for consulting based on employment outcomes, proximity to NYC, and students' interests. That said, I'm curious to hear others' thoughts.
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Re: Duke Fuqua vs Yale SOM [#permalink] New post 26 Dec 2013, 09:42
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rocket1741 wrote:
Cons:
- Alumni network is weaker in banking (based on linkedin searches)
- Don't think integrated curriculum is a good fit for someone who wants to specialize in finance.
- BBs like DB and BAML don't recruit on campus. A current student told me that GS didn't hire a single summer associate this past summer.


Wanted to chime in on the alumni and academic stuff at Yale. First of all - I highly recommend reaching out to the finance clubs on campus. They will definitely be able to talk you through the options at Yale and the likelihood of you being able to achieve what you want. Although on average the alumni network is smaller at Yale, it's fiercely loyal. On top of that, I've been amazed at how receptive and enthusiastic Yale college alums are about helping us out. There's an overall Yale University pride that you will easily be able to tap into. Consider that you have access to that network as well.

On the academic side - I completely disagree with your assessment of the integrated curriculum. Three main reasons:
1) You start taking electives in your second semester of your first year and the entire second year is wide open.
2) The point of the integrated curriculum is to prepare us for leadership positions in organizations. This means we get exposure to the broad range of management issues so that we can be executives who oversee entire divisions. If you think about school as preparing you only for your short-term career goals, you may miss out on the usefulness of diverse management skills.
3) Integrated means that our classes touch on a variety of business issues - our marketing class deals with financing new ventures just as our operations class deals with taking advantage of our financing success to successfully complete a project.

I'm mostly outlining this stuff to help you make an informed decision, but at the end of the day, these are indeed peer schools and you'll probably be able to succeed at either.
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Re: Duke Fuqua vs Yale SOM [#permalink] New post 26 Dec 2013, 17:16
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rocket1741 wrote:
Yale:
Pros:
- proximity to NYC, so can go anytime for interviews/networking


This is a HUGE pro. The IB recruiting process is a grind. I see it in my classmates when they go down to NYC every Thursday night and come back looking burnt out on Friday night. It's a 4-hour drive from Johnson. I couldn't imagine making the trip from Duke. The fact at SOM you can hop on a train to go to NYC will save you time and be much better for your physical health.

(I'm not recruiting for IB)
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Re: Duke Fuqua vs Yale SOM [#permalink] New post 27 Dec 2013, 08:33
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Chiming in based on your pro/con list, since I also looked at both schools, though I'm not IB.

Yale:
Pros:
+ Proximity to NYC is HUGE, as everyone else has said. The students recruiting for IB haven't just been down to NYC on Fridays (since we don't have classes that day), they also go down if there's a morning or afternoon where we have no class. A lot of people I know were down there Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays in some hectic weeks with multiple coffee chats, informationals, and interviews. All that networking has paid off big time and they're all getting ready for Super Week of interviews in January.
+ Yes, the new building is awesome.
+ Yale brand name is strong as a university. Some will say SOM isn't as strong, but per the first point, all the BBs still come to campus! Recruitment and interviews this fall came from the following (that I remember): GS, MS, JPM, CS, PWP (the one you like!), HL, Wells, Lazard, UBS, Citi... basically everybody. And if they don't recruit directly on-campus, there are surely alums there willing to give you an informational.

Cons:
- Alumni network is weaker in banking (based on linkedin searches) --- I wouldn't read into this at all. It's a smaller alumni network but it's VERY willing to help
- Don't think integrated curriculum is a good fit for someone who wants to specialize in finance. --- see machichi's post above
- BBs like DB and BAML don't recruit on campus. A current student told me that GS didn't hire a single summer associate this past summer. --- Not sure about the GS stat, but there are people with interviews this year so that may change. Also, don't know specifics about DB. I will say from a non-IB perspective on BAML is that a majority of their internships & full-time MBA feeder programs are all based in North Carolina (may convert more Duke MBAs here based on proximity to the school), though they did just post their investment management position so it looks like inroads are being made as the student interest is there.

Some other points you brought up:

+ I am very much into sports and would enjoy the sports culture [at Duke] -- Go Blue Devils! I'm right there with you, actually, but Yale is REALLY into ice hockey so the sports fix is there. It is likely less time intensive than tenting, but if you wanted to tent, I don't think anyone would stop you!
+/- Duke is on the quarter system and an opportunity to load up finance electives during first year. -- Keep in mind here, that Duke has Wednesdays off from class. Not sure how you'll get to and from NYC on a Wednesday since most of the dinners & networking events seem to happen on Thursdays and Fridays from what I've seen, though being further away, expectations of what you have to do to get facetime may be different (someone in finance will be better able to assess this). From a level of course workload though, I'd love to have Wednesdays off to have a break mid-week..ymmv


I'll PM you other specifics on my own decision, but do reach out to the finance clubs to get some perspective there!
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Re: Duke Fuqua vs Yale SOM [#permalink] New post 27 Dec 2013, 19:20
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Congrats on your acceptance to two great programs. I'll throwing a Fuqua perspective.
machichi wrote:
Wanted to chime in on the alumni and academic stuff at Yale. First of all - I highly recommend reaching out to the finance clubs on campus. They will definitely be able to talk you through the options at Yale and the likelihood of you being able to achieve what you want. Although on average the alumni network is smaller at Yale, it's fiercely loyal. On top of that, I've been amazed at how receptive and enthusiastic Yale college alums are about helping us out. There's an overall Yale University pride that you will easily be able to tap into. Consider that you have access to that network as well.
Yale is known to have a very strong community. Same can be said of Fuqua, with our strong Team Fuqua focus.
CobraKai wrote:
This is a HUGE pro. The IB recruiting process is a grind. I see it in my classmates when they go down to NYC every Thursday night and come back looking burnt out on Friday night. It's a 4-hour drive from Johnson. I couldn't imagine making the trip from Duke. The fact at SOM you can hop on a train to go to NYC will save you time and be much better for your physical health.
The networking expectation for Fuqua is a bit different than those schools in close proximity to NYC. It is expected that you network heavily; however, phone calls and showing up for all company networking events substitute for coffee chats.
rocket1741 wrote:
Pros:
- Strong network in banking and all BB recruits on campus.

Cons:
- Far from NYC, so will have to spend more money flying for interviews.
- MM/Boutique recruiting is weak. Evercore, Perella, Greenhill and Lazard NYC don't hire on campus.
- Grade Disclosure, so pressure to keep GPA up for banking recruiting.
You are right on as far as on campus recruiting. We are strong for the larger banks, but weak for the boutique shops in NYC. That said, if you have a strong interest for a certain company, you can always pursue off campus recruiting.
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Re: Duke Fuqua vs Yale SOM [#permalink] New post 29 Dec 2013, 15:38
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Agree with comments above.

Couple things I would like to add: First, for the most part, the informational interviews and coffee chats are done mostly with the alums of your school and they are aware of the logistical issues you might face in getting to NYC. At Fuqua, first years go to NYC on a Wall-street Trek and most of the Fuqua alums in banking are at our disposal that week and we can schedule interviews with them, even during after hours.

Secondly, banking recruiting is ONLY 2-3 months long, mainly in October and November. Once the resume drop deadlines pass, you do not interact with bankers and wait for the close lists interviews. The first round interviews happen on campus and the super days are in NYC (banks cover all your expenses for super days)

As far as recruiting, Fuqua attracts all bulge brackets and most of the middle markets. The boutique recruiting will be challenging from either, especially for elite ones like Evercore, Greenhill, Blackstone who only recruit at Top5. PWP recruits at Yale, but we do have a MD who works there. We do get some boutiques such as McColl Partners, Scotia Bank etc, obviously not elite boutiques, but boutique nonetheless. Also, keep in mind that Duke undergrad alums are pretty much at every single boutique - people you can reach out too.

As far as which school to pick between Yale and Duke, I don't think you can go wrong either way. I think it should come down to which school you will be most proud of attending. I was wait listed at Duke and Yale last year and got into Duke this year in EA. The reason I applied in EA is because I felt that the fit was better. Also, I am a sports fanatic so really liked the sports culture at Duke. Lastly, I grew up in Texas and am scared of cold in North East - hopefully when I get into banking in NYC, I work all the time and don't have time to be outside ;)
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Re: Duke Fuqua vs Yale SOM [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2014, 20:48
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I'm chiming in pretty late into this discussion (I've been neck deep in banking recruiting since late September). First of all, congratulations - this is clearly a great problem to have.

Few things I'll note/supplement to what was said above.
1. I found the Yale curriculum very helpful. Certain Fall-2 classes were specific to creating DCF models and were a perfect supplement to the technicals I was studying for banking interviews. Finance club also brought in Training the Street for an all day modeling session to help with recruiting.
2. Not sure what happened last year, but this summer we're going to have approximately 10 people working at GS/MS/JPM (investment banking only, i'm not even counting PWM or other roles). I find that to be an incredible stat considering all the offers people get from other BBs like citi/cs/barc/wfs/baml + other banks, and the fact that only around 30-35 people are seriously pursuing banking.
3. I know we struggle with sending people to DB, but with BAML: Yale sends 1 or 2 there every year. We have Yale college and SOM alumni there and have a selection process to get people in there.
4. I can't say enough how important proximity is to NYC. Many of us were going down every single Friday for informationals, and some people were going down during the early part of the week as well. It's tough to do that at Duke, and their alumni respect that. However, I've encountered a number of Fuqua guys who have flown to NYC on Fridays solely to take on informationals on their own. You should realize that Stern and CBS guys are in suits every day and are constantly on call for informationals. Any face time you can get with bankers is appreciated and will help you in the process (assuming you're personable).

I can give you more info if you need. PM me.
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Re: Duke Fuqua vs Yale SOM [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2014, 22:14
Wow.. This is probably the best "Which School To Attend" thread I've seen... Inputs from current students from both schools that are causing the dilemma... Plus two neutral views from the North East.. Hopefully someone from Kellogg, Darden, Booth or Ross can comment and round this out..
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Re: Duke Fuqua vs Yale SOM [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2014, 23:56
I wonder if the the post starter has made any decision yet.....if so, please chime in, I hope to have the same issue very soon
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Re: Duke Fuqua vs Yale SOM [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2014, 11:41
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Thank you so much everyone for your comments. Both Yale and Duke current students proved that they have a strong school spirit and will go out of their way to help others out. Making the decision was extremely hard and something I really struggled with. But, after two months of endless thinking, and talking to dozens of friends, family, investment bankers, and, of course, current students and alums, I have decided to pay my deposit at Duke and withdraw my application from Yale SOM. I will share few reasons why I picked Duke:

- SPORTS CULTURE: As mentioned above, I am a sports fanatic person and grew up cheering for bluedevils in every NCAA tourney. The thought that now I can put on the Duke jersey brought butterflies in my stomach.

- RECRUITING: While, Yale is strong in finance too and do send lots of people to banking, based on my research, it's easier to get into banking from Fuqua, mainly because lack of competition and strong relationships all bulge brackets have with school (some BBs don't recruiting at SOM). This was not a deal maker for me, but something I kept in mind. Yes, Yale's location was more suitable but the 50 min flight from Durham to NYC is not bad - and I expect to visit the city 2-3 times only for recruiting. Furthermore, Fuqua had a very strong ibanking recruiting season this year as you will see in the employment report.

- LOCATION: Along with Basketball, this was the second biggest factor. I grew up in FL/LA, and want to spend at least two more years in the nice warm weather - before I move to New York, post MBA.

.... and the biggest factor was:

- FIT. While I won't get a chance to attend Winter Welcome (friend's wedding), I went to BDW last week, and was blown away by the people I met. Fuquans were the nicest bunch of people I met during the whole application process and the hospitality they showed during BDW made the decision for me. I could totally see myself hanging out with these kids, attending station 9 parties and going to bball/football games. I did attend Yale SOM diversity weekend and visited campus three times. While, I really enjoyed meeting SOMers and found them to be very warm and genuine, there was sense of elitism in them which scared me a bit. I felt that majority of the kids grew up in wealthy families or went to top under graduate institutions. I grew up in a middle class household and went to a Tier 3 state school. While, everyone at SOM was extremely nice, I just did see myself fully clicking and/or opening up in front of them (I am an introvert).

In the end, I am extremely satisfied with my decision and have already put on a Duke decal on my car. I am also going to a local Duke viewing party tonight to cheer on BlueDevils.

Lastly, GMAT Club was the biggest source of inspiration for me during the past 2 years. For someone who struggled with GMAT and was waitlisted at three schools in year 1, I am humbled by the support I got from this whole community. If anyone has any specific questions about the application process, I would love to help!

Go Bluedevils!
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Re: Duke Fuqua vs Yale SOM [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2014, 18:17
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rocket1741 wrote:

In the end, I am extremely satisfied with my decision and have already put on a Duke decal on my car. I am also going to a local Duke viewing party tonight to cheer on BlueDevils.



Sorry the weather didn't cooperate! :P

But if anyone was wondering what the level of intensity involved in Duke/UNC, look no further: http://extramustard.si.com/2014/02/12/duke-unc-team-manager-fight/
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Re: Duke Fuqua vs Yale SOM   [#permalink] 12 Feb 2014, 18:17
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