Top Investment Banking Target Schools List: Can you Make It Big from a Non-Target School?  

To make a robust investment banking career, the candidates must attend a target school to create an edge. Target schools offer more opportunities and better placements to the students. Top investment banks visit these schools and recruit many successful candidates to work in their firms. 

You must select the target school for investment banking based on several factors. The main ones include the quality of the program, its past record of producing successful graduates, the school’s brand image and reputation, networking opportunities, and more.  

What are Target School, Semi-Target School, and Non-Target School? 

Target schools are those that provide a huge number of successful students to the investment banking industry each year. They have a big alumni network, and top banks recruit employees from these schools. Banks visit these target schools, organize events and training sessions, and even conduct the first round of interviews on the target school campus.  

Semi-target schools send a few students into investment banking each year. They have less coverage compared to the target schools. Non-target schools do not facilitate on-campus recruitment, and their candidates are mostly not hired by the top banks. However, exceptional candidates with the right skills from a non-target school can still land a prestigious job in a top bank.  

Investment Banking Target Schools by Region and Level 

Here is the list of some of the best schools for investment banking by region and level: 

United States  

The best Investment Banking Target Schools in the US for different levels include: 

Under Graduation Target Schools 

  • Brown University 
  • Columbia University 
  • Harvard University 
  • Dartmouth College 
  • Princeton University 
  • Yale University New York University 
  • University of Michigan  
  • University of Berkeley  
  • University of Texas at Austin 
  • The University of Pennsylvania 
  • Cornell University 

Undergraduate candidates are mostly selected from these Ivy League schools as these bright students perform excellently and are skilled enough due to the diverse programs at these schools.  

Other schools like the University of Chicago, New York University, California University, Stanford University, MIT, etc., also get their students selected. New York University is one of the target schools, and they often get selected by the top Wall Street firms.  

MBA Target Schools 

  • The Booth School of Business 
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business 
  • Harvard Business School 
  • Columbia Business School 
  • Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University 
  • Haas School of Business 
  • Stephen M. Ross School of Business 
  • Yale School of Management 
  • McCombs School of Business 
  • Goizueta Business School 

Candidates with some work experience can get into these top MBA programs. These target schools for investment banking provide in-depth knowledge to the students and a streamlined recruiting system. The Ivy League business schools produce most professionals absorbed in the leading investment banking firms.  

Europe including London 

The best Investment Banking Target Schools in London for different levels include: 

Under Graduation Target Schools  

  • Oxford 
  • Cambridge 
  • University of London (UCL) 
  • Imperial College London (ICL) 
  • LSE (London School of Economics and Political Science) 
  • Warwick University 
  • ESSEC Business School 
  • ESADE 
  • HEC Paris 
  • Bocconi School of Management 

If you choose to study in Europe or the UK, then you also have a huge list of investment banking target schools to select from. Being closer to the London Financial hub will work in your favor.  

MBA Target schools 

  • LBS (London Business School) 
  • INSTEAD 
  • Oxford 
  • Cambridge 
  • Imperial College London 
  • ESADE Business School 
  • IESE 
  • Bocconi School of Management 

An MBA in finance from these target schools will get you your dream job. These MBA programs are highly regarded.  

Asia Target Schools 

The best Investment Banking Target Schools in Asia for different levels include: 

Under Graduation and MBA 

  • HKU (Hong Kong University) 
  • CUHK 
  • Peking University 
  • Tsinghua University 
  • HKUST 
  • Fudan University 
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University 
  • Zhejiang University 

Asia also provides candidates from these top schools to the investment banking industry. These universities have the best business and accounting programs in Asia.  

Read More: University Affiliation Program

Getting into Investment Banking from a Non-Target School 

A degree from the top or target school will certainly open wide doors, but it is not the only thing needed for success. Those from a non-target school can also dream of getting into investment banking. A student from any school can successfully transition into investment banking. Those who have passion and are determined to enter investment banking are unstoppable. Here are a few tips for you: 

  • Perform excellently in your academics. Investment banks look for candidates who are ambitious and have high scores in their exams.  
  • Participate in industry events, training sessions, seminars, etc.  
  • Participate in team-building activities where you can demonstrate your leadership and analytical skills.  
  • Build networking aggressively.  
  • March ahead with confidence, motivation, and hard.  
  • Earn additional investment banking certifications and qualifications. 
  • Prepare well for your interviews 
  • Taking these steps will help you acquire and tap the opportunities.  

Wrapping up 

Being in a target school can get you a faster and better investment banking job. However, candidates with good communication, analytical, financial, and leadership abilities can hone these skills at any school and land a good investment banking job. 

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