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Undergrad education and "prestige"

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Connemara, Dec 8, 2007.

  1. Baron

    Baron Well-Known Member

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    I parlayed my Stanford English degree in 1990 to jobs driving Super Shuttles in San Francisco and selling Kirby vacuum cleaners door to door. I later worked as a room service waiter. That was during the previous Bush recession.

    At least I was fluent.
     
  2. Virginia Dandy

    Virginia Dandy Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    Reminds me that after doing reasonably well as an undergraduate English major, I failed in my attempt to land a bartending job the following summer . . .


    I was the worst waiter EVER the summer after pocketing my English degree from an Ivy League university. It was, however, a very pleasant change of pace from working in banks and law firms. Fortunately, I had already been admitted to law school. It probably would not have been so pleasant, otherwise.
     
  3. Virginia Dandy

    Virginia Dandy Well-Known Member

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    Well, isn't "Creeping" technically an adjective?

    Conne,

    I think your parents might be owed a refund by the prestigious university you are attending.
     
  4. Connemara

    Connemara Well-Known Member

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    Conne, I think your parents might be owed a refund by the prestigious university you are attending.
    creep·ing play_w("C0737600") (kr[​IMG][​IMG]p[​IMG]ng) adj. Developing gradually over a period of time: "a creeping sense of cultural dread" Andrew Sullivan. I'm also aware "Creepy" is an adjective.
     
  5. Bradford

    Bradford Well-Known Member

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    My undergraduate degree from Hillsdale gives me tremendous street cred in the world of right-wing politics [​IMG] I'm hopeful that my soon-to-be-completed MBA from Arizona State will actually make me some money... maybe not Wharton type money, but still something respectable. And yes, I agree that the reputation of your school means something - but it only carries you to your first few jobs. After that, you have to perform like everyone else.
     
  6. hopkins_student

    hopkins_student Well-Known Member

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    Here are my anecdotes that are relevant to this subject:

    I graduated from Johns Hopkins and applied to medical school. For the record, I had average grades and a decent, but not phenominal, MCAT score. In addition to a slew of big schools I applied to my two state schools. I didn't submit the state school applications until last because I wasn't terribly excited about attending either one of them. I received invites to interview late in the interview season. At the first school I had a standard interview and then a "recruiting" interview with the former Dean of the school. I did pretty poorly on the interview (the first guy asked me if I'd taken time to read anything about the school, and I matter-of-factly told him "no."). A week later I got a call from the former Dean telling me the class was full but they had created a spot for me in the class.

    At my other state school I went to the interview and they started by telling us, as a group, that the class was full and that they were currently not accepting anymore students and that the best anyone could hope to get was a waiting list spot. So, I interviewed, and a week later had an acceptance.

    You can debate whether or not Johns Hopkins is a school that deserves to be ranked with or near the Ivy Leage schools, but as far as I'm concerned it was the only "above average" factor in my application and it helped out with my state school applications.
     
  7. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    Well, I went to Brown and majored in philosophy; I can say the following: (1) I think I got an excellent education, and (2) being able to write 'Brown' on resumes and applications seems to have given me an advantage in certain situations.

    It certainly made it much easier for me to get a paying gig as a summer associate after 1L year of law school (without any law school grades to look at, firms heavily consider your undergraduate school and record). I go to a top-ranked non-Ivy law school, but it seems like people I meet, including lawyers, are more impressed with my undergrad school.

    There are plenty of great schools, Ivy and non-Ivy, but all-in-all, the Ivy League represents some of the best colleges in the country. I don't think that's a particularly controversial claim. They are extremely hard to get into, so it makes sense that they would have academically more successful students. Are academics everything in life? Not nearly. But pretending that getting into a top undergrad means nothing is ridiculous.

    Another thing to consider: for better or worse, the Ivies are strongly insulated from shifts in rankings. It's nice to have that kind of value retention behind your degree.
     
  8. RJman

    RJman Well-Known Member

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    Well, I went to Brown and majored in philosophy; I can say the following: (1) I think I got an excellent education, and (2) being able to write 'Brown' on resumes and applications seems to have given me an advantage in certain situations.

    It certainly made it much easier for me to get a paying gig as a summer associate after 1L year of law school (without any law school grades to look at, firms heavily consider your undergraduate school and record). I go to a top-ranked non-Ivy law school, but it seems like people I meet, including lawyers, are more impressed with my undergrad school.

    There are plenty of great schools, Ivy and non-Ivy, but all-in-all, the Ivy League represents some of the best colleges in the country. I don't think that's a particularly controversial claim. They are extremely hard to get into, so it makes sense that they would have academically more successful students. Are academics everything in life? Not nearly. But pretending that getting into a top undergrad means nothing is ridiculous.

    Another thing to consider: for better or worse, the Ivies are strongly insulated from shifts in rankings. It's nice to have that kind of value retention behind your degree.

    "Didn't you go to Brown, Otto?"
    "Sure did! Almost got tenure too!"
     
  9. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    "Didn't you go to Brown, Otto?"
    "Sure did! Almost got tenure too!"


    I've always preferred Brian on Family Guy as a fictional cartoon example of a Brown alum. I mean, he's a dog.
     
  10. philosophe

    philosophe Well-Known Member

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    What do you mean "more and more". Higher education at one time was ONLY for rich people. There's more people going to college than ever before. If anything, it's far more accessible, and has been made with the common denominator in mind more than it has ever been.

    First, Pell grants have not kept pace with costs in higher education. Second, funding for state institutions is less generous than, say, 10-15 years ago. Third, the loan ceiling for undergraduates has risen dramatically. All of these make it significantly harder for students from less affluent backgrounds. While Harvard and some other institutions are expanding aid to poorer students, only a small fraction of undergraduates attend such elite institutions.
     
  11. Dedalus

    Dedalus Well-Known Member

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    Well, I went to Brown and majored in philosophy.

    Holy crap, did you have an opportunity to study under Jaegon Kim?

    To tie it into the thread, opportunities to learn from big shots like Kim is something that prestige of Ivy League can offer.
     
  12. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    Holy crap, did you have an opportunity to study under Jaegon Kim?

    To tie it into the thread, opportunities to learn from big shots like Kim is something that prestige of Ivy League can offer.


    Actually, I did. I took his course 'Philosophy of Mind'. One of the nicest professors I ever had. I think he retired after my senior year though.
     

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