Yale/UCLA/Chicago/Duke - Could you rank these for my goals?

All- I’m thinking about going back to school this upcoming fall, with the specific goal of eventually joining a principal investment desk as a trader. Would you mind giving me a little feedback on which program you think would be best for the above, and why? I’ve already perused the employment reports, but they lack the kind of specificity I’m looking for. I feel like UCLA would offer the longest odds of getting back into an NYC trading position, but would love to get your thoughts on it. I fell in love with the campus during my interview visit and am seriously considering going there. Thanks a lot

Chicago > Yale > Duke > UCLA

if you are set on going back on the east coast, UCLA is obviously an odd choice. the school has solid reputation and some of the top finance faculty in the country (Longstaff, Geske come to mind). but the alumni network factor is going to be the weakest if you’ll be looking for east coast opportunities after, and that should not be underestimated. westwood is nice, but the campus is not THAT spectacular. you did not fall in love with the campus, you fell in love with the weather, the palm trees and the beach 5 miles away. it’s pretty sweet, cant deny it

chicago duke Yale UCLA

pupdawg is right. Chicago > Duke > Yale > UCLA

Depending on your background, you may want to consider a masters in financial engineering or masters in finance program as well. Longstaff is one of the founders of the UCLA financial engineering program and Chicago’s Financial Mathematics program is highly regarded as well, though leans more towards being a quant rather than a trader. There are other good MFE/MF programs out there, but just discussing alternatives based on the schools you listed.

these “rankings” are not absolute in any way. for west coast opportunities, Chicago>UCLA>(Duke or Yale) in my opinion. the consensus is, if you have the opportunity to go to Chicago, go there. otherwise it’s facts and circumstances

Yale > Duke based on promixity to NYC. That is a big deal. Also on general strength of brand.

Thanks for the input, guys. I’m in at UCLA/Duke/Yale, and am waitlisted at Booth (hoping to hear back in May). I am definitively going back this fall, and won’t be reapplying anywhere for Fall 2011. As for the other three, I’m incredibly torn. UCLA is my favorite campus (building, maybe not. but the campus is easily the nicest), but it seems to hold the least weight back on the east coast. Yale is a terrific name with a highly underrated Finance faculty (and an outside chance of seeing Ina Garten), but I worry about their ability to draw recruiters. Duke has a great program, and gives me a chance to get out of the cold for a few years. Its finance recruiting is top among its peers, the facilities are amazing, and, of course, the Blue Devils–who just won me a handsome cash prize, not an hour ago. However, I heard getting a good trading job requires a bit more hustle (and some lost fall weekends), due to location. Basically, I’ve been changing my mind every few hours for the past couple of weeks.

Chicago/UCLA/Duke/Yale - from a career perspective

I personally think these schools are similar enough in caliber with the exception of Chicago, which I think is better than the rest. Yale is arguably underrated and is moving up in the rankings, but I personally think that debating between Yale, UCLA and Duke are probably splitting hairs. If I were you, I’d think about geographical considerations, and also go to the school where I felt I could be happiest at and had the greatest likelihood of doing well. The cream always rises to the top and when you’re talking about schools that are pretty close in rankings with fairly equal likelihood of placing you in the job that you want, I suggest going to the school where you feel most comfortable and most happy. There are great alumni from every good school in every industry, and your likelihood of meeting them will be most enhanced if you’re at a school that constantly challenges you and helps you maximize your potential.

You’re going to be spending two years of your life at this place, so you might as well enjoy it. I’d go to UCLA without a second thought. You can study on the beach while ogling pretty girls in swimsuits… or you can be stuck in New Haven in January. And your goals might change too, you know. Maybe you fall in love with California and a pretty girl from California and you think you were stupid for wanting to be a trader in New York? Who knows the paths where life will take you… And I agree with numi that the cream always rises to the top. If you do well at a good school, you’ll be fine. And my guess is that there are a number of Californians working on Wall Street, and having UCLA on your resume might get you into more doors than you think.

mb389 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Yale > Duke based on promixity to NYC. That is a > big deal. Also on general strength of brand. This is not how HR sees for internship/full-time offers. Duke has upper hand to Yale in MBA at least.

TripARated Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > pupdawg is right. > > Chicago > Butler > Duke > Yale > UCLA i fixed your post

In SoCal UCLA MBA is very highly regarded

Moreso than Duke or Yale? I’d definitely be open to working in CA, if we’re talking IB or Trading. There are certainly opportunities out west. Thanks, again, for the feedback.

I got into Chicago, so I guess it’s a wrap. Do any Chi AFers want to opine on where to live and how to survive the cold?

Congrats!!! Chicago is on my shortlist so i’m pretty jealous right now. There’s a thread going in the back office about the town so maybe you can get some questions answered there.

Congrats!! Any advice for CFAers applying to Yale & Booth?

If you are going to booth, live in the area called New Eastside or Streeterville/navy pier area. About 5 minute walk to booth building. Quite quiet there. More lively scene would be gold coast or river north for the professional type. Lincoln park, lakeview for early 20s.