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West Coast (California) Recruiting - Wharton vs. Columbia

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West Coast (California) Recruiting - Wharton vs. Columbia [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2013, 12:39
Hi Guys,

First time poster here. I am very much a lurker, been enjoying the many insightful tips provided by the members here and here I am thanking you all and I am now in a very fortunate position where I have a decision to make b/w Wharton and Columbia. I've spoken to many people, and tried to do my Google research and school website digging to find answers I am looking for, but wanted to get your opinions on my dilemma.

I am coming from a banking/pe background, have family/friends in California and am looking to go back to California upon graduation. My intended field to get into is investment management, working for mutual funds like Fidelity, Franklin Templeton, etc. In trying to achieve this "simple" goal (putting aside EVERYTHING else such as geography, school facilities, etc.), which school, in your opinion, would afford me the best possible chance at breaking out into this on the West Coast? I have heard Wharton has stronger brand recognition and will get nods more than CBS, as Haas, UCLA, and USC take up the CBS space that it would normally occupy in the West Coast with Wharton still carved out as a differing pedigree. But again, this is all hearsay and would love to get your thoughts on this.

Thank you all in advance for your insightful comments!
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Re: West Coast (California) Recruiting - Wharton vs. Columbia [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2013, 13:17
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simplequestions wrote:
Hi Guys,

First time poster here. I am very much a lurker, been enjoying the many insightful tips provided by the members here and here I am thanking you all and I am now in a very fortunate position where I have a decision to make b/w Wharton and Columbia. I've spoken to many people, and tried to do my Google research and school website digging to find answers I am looking for, but wanted to get your opinions on my dilemma.

I am coming from a banking/pe background, have family/friends in California and am looking to go back to California upon graduation. My intended field to get into is investment management, working for mutual funds like Fidelity, Franklin Templeton, etc. In trying to achieve this "simple" goal (putting aside EVERYTHING else such as geography, school facilities, etc.), which school, in your opinion, would afford me the best possible chance at breaking out into this on the West Coast? I have heard Wharton has stronger brand recognition and will get nods more than CBS, as Haas, UCLA, and USC take up the CBS space that it would normally occupy in the West Coast with Wharton still carved out as a differing pedigree. But again, this is all hearsay and would love to get your thoughts on this.

Thank you all in advance for your insightful comments!


I'd say what you've heard is spot on. You're going to have to do some leg work to get back to the west coast from an east coast school regardless, but that legwork will be easier coming from Wharton over CBS.

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Re: West Coast (California) Recruiting - Wharton vs. Columbia [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2013, 13:28
MIXEDin86 wrote:
simplequestions wrote:
Hi Guys,

First time poster here. I am very much a lurker, been enjoying the many insightful tips provided by the members here and here I am thanking you all and I am now in a very fortunate position where I have a decision to make b/w Wharton and Columbia. I've spoken to many people, and tried to do my Google research and school website digging to find answers I am looking for, but wanted to get your opinions on my dilemma.

I am coming from a banking/pe background, have family/friends in California and am looking to go back to California upon graduation. My intended field to get into is investment management, working for mutual funds like Fidelity, Franklin Templeton, etc. In trying to achieve this "simple" goal (putting aside EVERYTHING else such as geography, school facilities, etc.), which school, in your opinion, would afford me the best possible chance at breaking out into this on the West Coast? I have heard Wharton has stronger brand recognition and will get nods more than CBS, as Haas, UCLA, and USC take up the CBS space that it would normally occupy in the West Coast with Wharton still carved out as a differing pedigree. But again, this is all hearsay and would love to get your thoughts on this.

Thank you all in advance for your insightful comments!


I'd say what you've heard is spot on. You're going to have to do some leg work to get back to the west coast from an east coast school regardless, but that legwork will be easier coming from Wharton over CBS.



Thanks MIXEDin. Definitely helps to hear a third party's opinion. Anyone else support his/her views or have thoughts on an opposing view? I really am trying to hear cases from both sides if possible.
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Re: West Coast (California) Recruiting - Wharton vs. Columbia [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2013, 15:12
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simplequestions wrote:

Thanks MIXEDin. Definitely helps to hear a third party's opinion. Anyone else support his/her views or have thoughts on an opposing view? I really am trying to hear cases from both sides if possible.


I'd side w/ Wharton. There are quite a few bschool grads at my work and it seems that Wharton has a stronger alumni presence in the west coast (spec. bay area) than CBS does. Granted, Wharton has an EMBA campus in SF as well.
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Re: West Coast (California) Recruiting - Wharton vs. Columbia [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2013, 18:09
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As an East-coaster I probably can't add much to this, but while both schools have very strong finance brands I'd think Wharton would have the edge on the west coast.

Wharton is also piloting a "study abroad" program in San Francisco for full-time students where you can spend one semester taking classes full time in SF/Silicon Valley. Maybe not your focus in terms of academics (its obviously an entrepreneurship/startup focus), but it could be worth looking into if you're worried about getting stuck out East: http://www.thedp.com/article/2012/09/wharton-mba-students-to-study-in-san-francisco

If you're really concerned, try to get ahold of a corporate recruiter for a west-coast office of one of your target firms and see what they think. Recruiters love making connections, and I'm sure they'd be glad to share their opinion and get on the good side of a future Wharton or Columbia MBA.
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Re: West Coast (California) Recruiting - Wharton vs. Columbia [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2013, 18:55
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Wharton has a much stronger west coast infrastructure than Columbia with their Wharton West campus and the new San Francisco semester option. Further, Wharton recruiting is a bit more national than Columbia -- as Columbia is very New York City centric. Also, the Wharton alumni associations are a bit more organized and the clubs throughout California are very active and well organized. How do I know this -- my first job after graduating from Wharton was in Los Angeles.


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Re: West Coast (California) Recruiting - Wharton vs. Columbia [#permalink] New post 07 Jan 2013, 09:35
Thanks everyone for the helpful responses. It seems Wharton as a general rule of thumb is given greater nods and recognition in the West Coast vs. Columbia.

Does anyone have any thoughts on investment management in particular? I know Columbia's Value Investing Program has a strong recognition (with prominent graduates like Warren Buffet and Henry Kravis) but how is that viewed in the IM world vs. a degree from Wharton?
Re: West Coast (California) Recruiting - Wharton vs. Columbia   [#permalink] 07 Jan 2013, 09:35
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