Just some background: 750 GMAT , 3.7 GPA from UCLA undergrad, currently work at a family office running a hedge fund in LA. Post-MBA i want to continue working as a buy-side analyst but for a leading investment management shop in Los Angeles.
I'm applying/applied to H/S/W/Columbia/Booth though I consider all of them reaches (some more than others).
I have a lot racing through my mind and was looking for some feedback:
1) If I wanted to work in the west coast post-MBA, is it pointless to apply to Stern despite it's strong finance program? Is it really that hard to get a job as a buy-side analyst in the west coast with a degree from Stern? I figured the placement in west coast jobs from Stern might be low just because it's rare for someone to prefer LA over NYC on the buy-side.
When you say West Coast do you mean LA or San Francisco? Big difference in terms of finance options between the two and if you are looking for LA, I would say you need to do a search on linked in/websites of potential employers to see if they have Stern alums (search Stern+Target company name in Linked in) that will give you an idea about current placements. This will take some time but nothing hard for a person with your stats
My understanding is that LA is mostly a concentration of smaller IM shops and you may have a higher chance with UCLA than Stern, just due to geography and since someone may have gone to UCLA undergrad/MBA/etc - you have a much stronger probability but I could be off - this is based on a guesstimate and not intimate knowledge of the IM practices in Los Ageless.
If you are looking for San Francisco as the location, then you need to apply to Haas and/or Stanford (which you have Stanford already)
2) How strong is Anderson's presence in recruiting in the investment management field? I never regarded UCLA as a strong program for IM, but maybe I'm wrong and the degree does hold value in that regard. I'm looking at the employment stats and they placed 2.6% in Investment Management in 2012.
I can't really speak about this a whole lot but for LA, UCLA is probably as good as it gets since the city is split between USC and UCLA; it is again going to be a bit of search to figure out. I have no other thoughts/comments.
3) This is probably the most subjective part, but do you think it's worth it to just not apply to UCLA/Stern and if I get denied at the top five. To try to apply to them again next year (give myself two shots at it), and then apply to UCLA/Stern as a safety next year?
As somebody said on GMAT Club last year - don't apply to any school you would not attend.
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