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University of Michigan Ross or Cornell Johnson?

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Which school is the best for me (see details below)?

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University of Michigan Ross or Cornell Johnson? [#permalink] New post 15 Jan 2012, 16:29
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I am interested in investment management and have been accepted to Cornell Johnson and University of Michigan Ross. I need to make a final decision on one of the schools in the next few days. Please let me what you feel is the better fit for me.

My Goals
[*]Gain experience in asset management / PE / VC (buy-side research, hedge fund, portfolio management, private equity, equity research)
[*]Eventually want to work in the Midwest (Chicago) after several years of experience.
[*]May consider working in a corporate development type role or starting my own hedge fund long-term

Cornell Johnson
[*]Ivy league brand
[*]From 2002 to 2011, the Financial Times, US News and BusinessWeek ranked Cornell on average at #14 while UofM was ranked #11.
[*]Recent US News Finance ranks Cornell #12, while UofM is #11.
[*]Strong alumni connections (undergrad and graduate) in finance, asset management. Total alumni are almost half of the total alumni at UofM.
[*]Out of 50 hedge funds that I specifically looked at, Cornell ranked higher than Ross for # of alumni and # of funds with alumni.
[*]As a hedge fund feeder school, Cornell ranks #2 for undergrad, which provides great alumni connections. Ross is not in the Top 5 (http://hfobserver.com/news/top-u-s-hedg ... r-schools/).
[*]For private equity, Cornell is ranked slightly below Michigan (#12 v. #13 http://www.wpen.org/article.html?aid=397)
[*]Opportunity to help manage the Cayuga Fund, one of the largest student-run funds
[*]Close proximity to NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, etc. Lower placements in the Midwest.
[*]Immersion program seems strong and helps prepare students for internship and full-time opportunites, strong interest in Capital Markets and Asset Management immersion.
[*]Smaller MBA class of 278 side may build stronger relationships with others
[*]Tuition is approx. $103,000 for 2 years (more expensive than UofM).
[*]Starting salary at Cornell exceeds UofM for Finance.
[*]From BusinessWeek, total career pay at Cornell exceeds UofM ($2.8 million v. $2.5 million)
[*]Cost of living is cheaper than Ann Arbor.
[*]Ithaca is similar to Ann Arbor, but doesn’t have as much to offer, is smaller, and there isn’t much else around.
[*]Johnson school of business not as state-of-the-art as Ross, but seems to have a great facility.
[*]Parker Center, Boas Trading Room
[*]Stock pitch competitions for top schools are sponsored and held at Johnson

Michigan Ross
[*]Not ivy league brand, but is absolutely an elite school.
[*]From 2002 to 2011, the Financial Times, US News and BusinessWeek ranked Cornell on average at #14 while UofM was ranked #11.
[*]Recent US News Finance ranks Cornell #12, while UofM is #11.
[*]Largest alumni network in the world, strong in finance. Total alumni are almost double that of Cornell.
[*]Out of 50 hedge funds that I specifically looked at, Ross ranked below Cornell in # of alumni and # of funds with alumni
[*]Opportunity to manage several venture funds there. None as large or reputable as the Cayuga fund at Cornell.
[*]Close proximity to Chicago, which is not comparable to opportunities in NYC, Boston, Philly, etc.
[*]Close to home, family and friends. Easier to move to and find housing at, etc.
[*]Action-based learning and multi-disciplinary program (MAP) seem effective and prepare students.
[*]Larger class size (~500) may make it more difficult to make stronger bonds with students.
[*]Tuition is approx. $96,000 for 2 years (cheaper than Cornell).
[*]Starting salary is lower at UofM v. Cornell.
[*]From BusinessWeek, total career pay is less than at Cornell
[*]Cost of living is more expensive than Ithaca.
[*]Ross school is state-of-the-art and brand new, compared to Johnson.
[*]Great sports program, provides great way to network with others
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Re: University of Michigan Ross or Cornell Johnson? [#permalink] New post 15 Jan 2012, 17:40
Wow I'm in the exact same boat as you are. January 31st is not a lot of time. I would like to get into investment banking so I'm leaning more towards Cornell. If I was going into consulting or management I feel pretty confident that Ross would be the better choice. I keep reading that you can't go wrong with either one (so that's both unhelpful and great news!) Good luck with your choice.
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Re: University of Michigan Ross or Cornell Johnson? [#permalink] New post 15 Jan 2012, 17:48
Ps another similarity is that we don't seem to put much stock in student life (which I think might be slightly better at Ross). I think this is because of the competitive field we're entering, where two years at a place that doesn't have as good of a quality of life is still preferable if it gives us an advantage entering wall street. I don't know! I keep flipping back and forth! But in the end I think Cornell will end up being my ultimate choice (ahem, unless I get into tuck in feb and miss out on $1500)
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Re: University of Michigan Ross or Cornell Johnson? [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2012, 08:31
Drejetm wrote:
Ps another similarity is that we don't seem to put much stock in student life (which I think might be slightly better at Ross). I think this is because of the competitive field we're entering, where two years at a place that doesn't have as good of a quality of life is still preferable if it gives us an advantage entering wall street. I don't know! I keep flipping back and forth! But in the end I think Cornell will end up being my ultimate choice (ahem, unless I get into tuck in feb and miss out on $1500)


I agree. Everything that I've read, it seems that the quality of both schools are very similar. The fund research and closeness to the northeast seems to give Cornell the edge in my opinion.

Although the social life will be a factor for the two years I am there, I think the social life will still be good at Cornell (although not the same as UM because of the sports programs, Ann Arbor, etc.). The culture at Johnson was great from what I saw while I was there. Although I would like to weigh social life as a higher factor, I think the prospects of getting a dream job for the rest of my life outweigh this. Let me know what you think.
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Re: University of Michigan Ross or Cornell Johnson? [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2012, 09:39
Have you visited both schools? Try to visit them before you decide! :)

With your career interest, I would go for Cornell though.
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Re: University of Michigan Ross or Cornell Johnson? [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2012, 10:23
gablaze23 wrote:
Have you visited both schools? Try to visit them before you decide! :)

With your career interest, I would go for Cornell though.

Yes, I have visited both schools. I was impressed with both. Obviously the facility was nicer at Ross because of how new it is, but Cornell's facility can certainly do the job, especially with the Boas Trading Room. The culture at Cornell felt more tight knit, which was probably due to the smaller class size. I met a lot of really nice people at both schools as well.
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Re: University of Michigan Ross or Cornell Johnson? [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2012, 07:48
Anything thing else that I may be missing? Is there anyone on here with investment management experience that graduated from either of these programs?
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Re: University of Michigan Ross or Cornell Johnson? [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2012, 22:15
I would factor in where you ultimately want to end up. Northeast/East Coast? Cornell without a question.

Midwest/West? I think Ross would be fine, but I would still lean (and when I say lean I mean ever-so-slightly lean) towards Cornell.

I work in the finance community and I think Cornell generally has a better pure finance rep than Ross.
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Re: University of Michigan Ross or Cornell Johnson? [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2012, 20:10
Thanks for the advice everyone. I have ultimately decided on Cornell Johnson. It was a tough decision but I feel like Cornell has a slightly stronger brand and will give me a better shot at investment management when I graduate.
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Re: University of Michigan Ross or Cornell Johnson? [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2012, 10:22
Great to hear you make your choice!
You have a well-thought list of parameters that was useful for me. Just a couple of IMHO:
- Average salary comparison between same-tier schools makes no sense. Someone went to Ford, someone to JPMorgan, so two sets of students won't be the same.
- don't know why 500 class scares you (think about Harvard's mill then :) I think no matter 20, 200, or 2000 class, you'll probably end up knowing 100 mas-o-menos good and having up to 10 close-tie friends. But that is not a decisive parameter, just a matter of personal preferences.
Goodluck!
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Re: University of Michigan Ross or Cornell Johnson? [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2012, 10:44
Congrats on making your decision. Couldn't have gone wrong with either.
Re: University of Michigan Ross or Cornell Johnson?   [#permalink] 24 Jan 2012, 10:44
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