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Duke or Cornell?

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Cornell or Duke for Wallstreet

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Duke or Cornell? [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2014, 07:35
Hello Gentlemen,

I have been a silent observer of this forum for the past 6 months as I went through the b-school application process. While I got dinged by all three of my top choices (Wharton, Stern and Columbia), I have managed to gain admissions to Duke and Cornell University. I am an international student of Indian decent and currently based in Dubai. I was born in US, and hence has US Citizenship, but only lived there for two years. Now, I need help in deciding which school to pick. Here are there three things I truly care about.

1) Reputation in NYC and Asia (Middle East/South Asia) between both MBAs and general public.
2) Investment Banking Recruiting.
3) Strength of International Alumni.

Honestly speaking, when I applied to these schools, I did minimal research as I expected them to be my safety schools. I was humbled when I didn't get into my top choices. Now, I have been speaking to graduates of both schools and found all to be very nice and genuine - but very biased to their school, as expected. If anyone, particularly int'l student, has decided b/w these two programs, I would highly appreciate if you can please share your thought process. Also, since my mid-term goal (after 3 years in Banking) is to move to Dubai, I would also appreciate if anyone can tell me the general reputation of these schools there. Is Cornell's ivy league brand more powerful than Duke's overall higher reputation?

Thank you
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Re: Duke or Cornell? [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2014, 08:03
helpmesolveit wrote:

1) Reputation in NYC and Asia (Middle East/South Asia) between both MBAs and general public.
2) Investment Banking Recruiting.
3) Strength of International Alumni.



Honestly, I think both schools are neck-and-neck in these three categories. Cornell is obviously closer to NYC and there are some convenient things like the bus that goes from Sage hall to the Cornell club in NYC and has wifi.

Really it might come down to where you'd like to spend two years living. Ithaca is snowed in right now, whereas I imagine Durham has much milder weather. I visited Duke and I didn't apply because I wasn't a big fan of Durham, though Chapel is is close by and pretty awesome.

Speaking of Dubai, about 30 Johnson students are headed there on a Spring Break trek, so I guess that's when I'll find out what people in Dubai think of us. :)
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Re: Duke or Cornell? [#permalink] New post 07 Jan 2014, 12:25
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Salutations -

I just wanted to chime in to see what decision you ultimately decided to make. I actually ended up in a very similar position to you (admitted to Cornell and Duke, despite having researched both schools the least). Although I am not an international applicant, my career aspirations are international in nature, and the global brand of the school mattered to me. I also have been leaning more toward consulting and away from banking, which weighed heavily on my decision.

Ultimately, I opted for Duke because of the greater variety of companies that seem to recruit there. Given that I may be open to exploring different careers, the breadth of companies that recruit on campus appealed to me. Had I a strong interest in banking, the decision would have been much tougher. It seems like the Johnson alums who reached out to me both had backgrounds in finance, and banking seems to be one of their strengths. If you're set regionally on NYC, I know that's also a strong suit for Cornell. Domestically, it seems like Duke has a slightly stronger brand, so if you're planning on staying in the US for a couple of years, Duke may have the advantage there.

One useful tool I've found, for doing research on alumni is linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/college/alumni ... 22&pt.psf=[%22job-function%22%2C%22current-company%22%2C%22location%22]&pt.pss=0&

Might help you get a better idea of where alumni end up, which may aid your decision.

One last point (and one I also grappled with over the past couple of weeks): Although they may not have been your top choices, they are both pretty solid schools. There are very few doors that the topmost programs will open, that you cannot get through if you are a top performer at either of these schools - it just takes a little bit more work. I like to think that it's better to be a top-performer and stand out at one school, than to be merely average at another. It may turn out to be an opportunity yet, that keeps you hungry. Either way, you end up with a pretty good starting point regardless of which direction you go.

Good luck with your decision!
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Re: Duke or Cornell? [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2014, 09:27
Helpme,

I think you are in a good spot either way. I thought I had my decision made for me until a few weeks ago. I think Duke has a slight advantage in prestige domesticaly and and bigger one internationaly. Rankings in every category and and every rating system have duke ahead, pretty unanimous. Duke as a university also has a better reputation that Cornell. Again slightly but it is definitely there.

Recruiting for wall street. Pretty even from what I understand. Go in put your head down at either school and work hard and you should be able to land somewhere. If you definitely want N.Y. ib cornell may have a slight edge if any. southern ib duke has the edge.

Weather...... way better in durham, unless you like freezing temps and snow.

oppurtunities outside of banking duke definitley wins. Not by leaps and bounds but duke wins. look if you get in to an internship in ib and figure out hey i dont like working 80-90 hours a week having that back up in consulting or somehting else would be a nice fall back. Duke definitely has that. Not saying cornell doesnt but duke has the edge.

So, if you like the cold and snow, you want to definitely working in ny and its nothing or ib. Cornell maybe the place.

If you dont like the cold, you want banking and you may switch Duke trumps Cornell. Prestige internationlly duke trumps cornell. again we are splitting hairs but if we split this hair the slightly larger portion would be the duke blue peice.

helpmesolveit wrote:
Hello Gentlemen,

I have been a silent observer of this forum for the past 6 months as I went through the b-school application process. While I got dinged by all three of my top choices (Wharton, Stern and Columbia), I have managed to gain admissions to Duke and Cornell University. I am an international student of Indian decent and currently based in Dubai. I was born in US, and hence has US Citizenship, but only lived there for two years. Now, I need help in deciding which school to pick. Here are there three things I truly care about.

1) Reputation in NYC and Asia (Middle East/South Asia) between both MBAs and general public.
2) Investment Banking Recruiting.
3) Strength of International Alumni.

Honestly speaking, when I applied to these schools, I did minimal research as I expected them to be my safety schools. I was humbled when I didn't get into my top choices. Now, I have been speaking to graduates of both schools and found all to be very nice and genuine - but very biased to their school, as expected. If anyone, particularly int'l student, has decided b/w these two programs, I would highly appreciate if you can please share your thought process. Also, since my mid-term goal (after 3 years in Banking) is to move to Dubai, I would also appreciate if anyone can tell me the general reputation of these schools there. Is Cornell's ivy league brand more powerful than Duke's overall higher reputation?

Thank you
Re: Duke or Cornell?   [#permalink] 25 Mar 2014, 09:27
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