WHERE GRADS OF TOP FEEDER SCHOOLS GO TO WORK
NYU was the top investment banking feeder school every year between 2012 and 2020, according to WSO annual reports. Harvard University overtook it in the last two years, but NYU finished in a close second.
In the 2022 report, NYU is particularly strong at Goldman Sachs (31 graduates) and Citigroup (13). Harvard also had its highest number of graduates at Goldman (30), but also had strong showings at Morgan Stanley (14) and JP Morgan (17).
In fact, Goldman had the highest number overall of hires than any of the other banks with 497, with 28 graduates from UPenn, 16 from Colombia and 12 from Cornell.
“What’s interesting is that you can go bank by bank and see which schools they really like to recruit from and see where there is an alumni pull,” Curtis says.
TOP FEEDERS AT MID-LEVEL BANKS
WSO’s report also measures the top feeder schools at other notable banks such as Houlihan Lokey, Evercore, Jefferies and RBS.
In this category, University of Pennsylvania comes out on top with 69 graduates across 25 mid-level banks. NYU is close behind with 68, followed by University of Michigan (54), The University of Texas at Austin (45) and Duke University (44). Harvard drops to 10th on this list with 32 graduates.
Diving deeper into the data, you can see which firms target different schools. Houlihan Lokey seems to favor graduates from New York University and the University of Southern California, with 12 grads each in this year’s report. Evercore’s recruiting suggests strong connections to University of Pennsylvania (12), NYU (11), University of Western Ontario (10), and the University of Michigan (10). And Jefferies has 17 grads from Duke University.
ADVICE FOR STUDENTS NOT AT A TOP FEEDER SCHOOL
If your heart is set on a career in investment banking, knowing which schools banks like to target for the bulk of their recruiting and hiring is valuable information. But what about for students already enrolled in a school not on those top feeder lists?
“What I always say is it’s hard to get one of these jobs even at a target school. At a non-target school, it’s a little bit like swimming upstream, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get there,” Curtis says.
“Keep your GPA high, and if you are at a liberal arts college, try to make your background a little stronger in financing with some online courses. More importantly, you just have to make genuine connections with people who work in the industry, even if it’s just a few alumni. Reach out to them, have a phone conversation, follow up with them.”