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Brown, Cornell, MIT are second tier - study by professor

Before anyone quickly jump in, remember it's the conclusion draw on an enlightening/depressing study about the ridiculously narrow-minded people who make hiring decisions at the elite investment banks, consulting firms, law firm. The author of this study—Lauren Rivera, an assistant professor of management and organizations at Northwestern University—gained inside access to the hiring process at one such (unnamed) business, and picked the brains of recruiters at other firms.

Some choice quotes
If you want to get a job at the very best law firm, investment bank, or consultancy, here’s what you do:

1. Go to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, or (maybe) Stanford. If you’re a business student, attending the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania will work, too, but don’t show up with a diploma from Dartmouth or MIT. No one cares about those places.

2. Don’t work your rear off for a 4.0. Better to graduate with 3.7 and a bunch of really awesome extracurriculars. And by “really awesome” I mean literally climbing Everest or winning an Olympic medal. Playing intramurals doesn’t cut it.

Here’s a manager from a top investment bank describing what happens to the resume of someone who went to, say, Rutgers: “I’m just being really honest, it pretty much goes into a black hole.”

Here’s what a top consultant had to say about M.I.T
You will find it when you go to like career fairs or something and you know someone will show up and say, you know, “Hey, I didn’t go to HBS [Harvard Business School] but, you know, I am an engineer at M.I.T. and I heard about this fair and I wanted to come meet you in New York.” God bless him for the effort but, you know, it’s just not going to work.

There are exceptions, but only if the candidate has some personal connection with the firm. And the list of super-elite schools varies somewhat depending on the field. For instance, Columbia might be considered elite by some investment banks, but others describe it as ”second-tier” or “just okay.”

Source: Brown and Cornell are Second Tier - Percolator - The Chronicle of Higher Education
Memo To Brown, Cornell And MIT Grads: You're Not Good Enough
(Here’s the abstract for the paper. It was published in the journal Research in Social Stratification and Mobility.)
This is saddening to hear.

Pretty much shows that the places got filled up with Harvard and Yale grads who only want to hire more Harvard and Yale grads.

Ken Abbott

Managing Director
This article is inaccurate if it implies that all entry-level banking jobs go to Ivy grads. While many IB analyst jobs go to Ivy leaguers, many technical jobs do NOT because those students often tend not to have the applied skills necessary. I've had much more luck with Ivy grads in the secondary market, i.e. after they've been out of school for a while. In those intervening years, they often pick up required skills and lose their attitudes.

Recently, my firm has hired MFEs from Rutgers, Baruch, Fordham, and NYU. These students do just as well. Before I joined my current firm, I worked at another big bank that rarely recruited at the Ivies for trading-type jobs.

BTW: In my extensive experience in undergrad hiring, I've had the best luck with students from Wharton and CMU.
While I agree that some places are extremely snobby (GS), many places can be cracked with some effective networking. Having HSW is an obvious advantage, but there are many ways to break in. You just need to find the back door.
Lol Of course you can break into these places. I do have to agree about GS though.

My undergrad is from a school not even on top 500 of north america. Okay, maybe between 400-500 in a complete non-finance undergrad. I work at a hedge fund right now part time and have offers from two banks and a boutique. All through patience and intense networking.

Definitely do not want people to think you cant get in without an ivy degree. There are some jobs you definitely cannot get into without an ivy degree. Investment banker and top law firms are definitely in that category. Quant finance definitely does not require bar ivy.

Yike Lu

Finder of biased coins.
I wonder what the long term effect of this type of hiring practice would be. For every HYPSer a firm hires, there's a hundred other guys who are just as smart and much hungrier. To use a sports analogy, a lot of teams didn't rate Jerry Rice highly in the draft because he ran a 4.59s 40. But as Rice showed during his Hall of Fame career, he was the greatest wide receiver ever. The #2 contender doesn't even come close.

Certainly there are other factors at play: HYPSers (or anybody from a top 10, 20 etc) come pre-screened. Interviewing these people carries with it a higher expected value so it's only logical to value them higher and to spend more time interviewing them. But as we should all know, expected value isn't the end all be all. That level of prestige bears with it the management headache of entitlement, disillusionment, etc especially for a role like IBD analyst.

If I were a hiring manager, my approach would be to favor the Ivy etc profile in the first round of hiring, but basically put these people through the crucible during the interview to take care of some of that excess variance. I don't mean brainteasers necessarily, but more along the lines of shit tests -- prove to me you want this job. That would reduce the candidate pool dramatically and free up some space to be filled by hungrier prospects from lower ranked schools.
This is so stupid. That's probably why we have so many bankers doing crack and prostitution and everything. It's just a bunch of meat-heads hiring other meat-heads
I recently met a Managing Director at a large investment bank. He had a MBA from one of the online universities.

It's all about finding your in, whether it be through networking or getting in through operations or technology positions in back office and proving yourself to get into front office roles in Ibanking or Trading. If you're good, and you can network and find the right people, your school name stops mattering.