Undergraduates at the University of Waterloo
The University of Waterloo, in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, (around 100 kilometers west of Toronto) is one of the highest-ranking universities in Canada and is one of the most important schools for Canada’s technology industry. Waterloo is very well known as a school which focuses on quantitative disciplines, and is the only Canadian school with a Faculty of Mathematics.
Unlike the other universities that place students in investment banking and capital markets, Waterloo does not have a dedicated undergraduate business school and instead offers finance and accounting as a specialization under either the Faculty of Mathematics or Arts.
It is also notable that despite Waterloo’s strong placements in Canadian capital markets jobs, the large engineering community also places very well across top technology firms such as Facebook, Google, and Palantir.
University of Waterloo finance students have a strong alumni network in Toronto at Big 5 banks, but have less representation outside of Canada.
Job Placements for the University of Waterloo
Waterloo places very well in capital markets positions – with over 50 students per year ending up in front and mid-office positions across, investment banks, asset managers, pension funds and trading firms. For front office capital markets positions in investment banks (including sales and trading), Waterloo places about 15 students a year, usually entirely at Big 5 Canadian banks but one student landing at a bulge bracket or elite boutique.
The split between sales & trading and investment banking is a 70-30 split, reflecting Waterloo’s reputation as a very technical and quantitative school. Waterloo students have excelled on Bay Street in Sales as well as Trading across a variety of asset classes. Waterloo investment bankers are disproportionately in more technical groups such as mergers & acquisitions and groups that assume market knowledge (mining).
Investment banks will generally interview any Waterloo students with averages above 80%. A large portion of Waterloo investment bankers and traders have previously contributed to the school fund (Student Investment Fund) where they are introduced to portfolio management and join the network of that group.
It should be noted that Waterloo pushes co-op education which intertwines the academic program at school with work terms. Most Waterloo students undergo multiple work terms across strong capital markets firms and are well positioned for full-time recruiting.
University of Waterloo Rankings
Times Higher Education 2017: 173th, 7th in Canada
QS 2017: 152th, 7th in Canada
Waterloo Admissions and Student Life
Finance in Waterloo Arts requires high 80’s in high school. Finance in Waterloo Mathematics requires high 80’s to high 90’s. Admissions are not purely academic, as Waterloo requires an Admission Information Form that speaks to leadership – however grades are still the main factor, in-line with the school’s quantitative reputation.
For IB students, a 37 is a good score for getting into Waterloo, although as low as 33 may still be feasible.
Tuition at Waterloo is ~C$10,000 for Canadian students, including books and supplies. For international students, tuition is around C$28,000 including books and supplies. Living in Waterloo will be another ~C$9,000.