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To those who attended 'mediocre' universities...

wj4

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...Do you ever feel intimidated by others who hold degrees from more prestigious schools? Does not having a degree from a top tier school ever hold you back from getting that job or whatever goal you set out for?

I'm a first generation American, actually not even sure if that is a proper description. I immigrated to the U.S. right before middle school. I got my BS and MS from a state university. I'm also currently pursuing another master's from a regular school. I would love to attend a nationally recognized university, but my SAT score was not the highest, and my parents were not affluent. My goal was to obtain the least amount of debt.

I only have a couple of years of professional experience and so far so good. Just want to hear opinions and stories of those with more experience under their belts. Thanks in advance!
 

Joffrey

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How does a State university differ from a "regular school"? Many state universities in the U.S. are nationally recognized. I went to a small state school in Maryland that is unknown outside of Maryland but I've never felt intimidated by people who went to ivies or better known schools. I don't care and most people (as far as I know) could care less too. It sounds like you did things right, attended schools in line with your grades, what your parents could afford and what you were willing to be burdened with upon graduation

In my case, I had pretty mediocre grades in high school, decent SATs, little financial help from parents. So went to 2nd tier state school far from home but in state tuition. Fortunately majored in what I found interesting, interned, studied abroad and was able to find good work when I graduated. No regrets at all.
 

munchausen

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There are a handful of professions and social circles where an elite private education is necessary (or at least a huge leg up). There are also some where a degree from an Ivy League school is a disadvantage. For the most part, it's something cool to have on your resume but people are more interested in your abilities.
 

wj4

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Too many insecure people.

Hi, if you are just posting for the sake of posting, please go elsewhere.

I'm not really insecure, but I just want opinions from others. I post in this sub-forum every now and then and it seems like quite a few people attended very nice schools.

I did applied for a marketing job that stated they want the candidates to hold a bachelor's from a top tier school. I applied anyway and was not surprised when I did not get a call back. That was the only incident I experienced of having degrees from a no name university.

I'm in CA and yes, state universities vary significantly. I didn't go to UCLA or a UC at all. I went to its cheaper counterpart, a Cal State.

I only have two friends who went to better schools, one attended USC and majored in History. The other attended UCLA and majored in a field I can't recall at the moment. It has to do with child learning/developing. Both are working in non-correlating jobs that pay about $10-12/hour, but they don't worry much because their families are pretty darn well off.
 

CYstyle

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It's nice to have a degree from an ivy league, it opens up many doors and there's a great alumni network. There's some companies that pretty much recruit from the top tier schools, but there are thousands more who really don't care what school you went to.once you get a few years of job experience under your belt where your degree came from or what your gpa was means nothing
 

Philip

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Usually I find the people who care most and are most elitist are the ones who are unsuccessful in advancing their careers after graduating.
 

wj4

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It's nice to have a degree from an ivy league, it opens up many doors and there's a great alumni network. There's some companies that pretty much recruit from the top tier schools, but there are thousands more who really don't care what school you went to.once you get a few years of job experience under your belt where your degree came from or what your gpa was means nothing

I can relate somewhat to the latter part. My former major has a strong network. I try to give back to the department by hiring or at least give first dibs to the newly graduates.

I was in charge of hiring at my last job. I interviewed several candidates that would graduate in the upcoming months. Boy, they sure acted like divas. With no experience and expecting a BS in a month or so, they wanted to work less than x miles from home, and make x dollars per hour.

Even going to a normal state university, I was left to sink or swim once I started my undergraduate program. My high school didn't prepare me for it at all, in terms of studying and doing homework. If you even attended the classes, you would at least get a C so you can get your HS diploma. I believe they did this so no students would be held back and bottleneck with the incoming freshmen.

Thanks for the inputs, fellas!
 

Nereis

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The main thing that separates the big tertiary education providers from smaller players is the size and depth of the network. I was a bit luckier in that I graduated from a high school that funneled people into good universities who then went on to professions or academia, meaning I got to double dip a bit.
 

951socal

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I went to a state school (CSU) but i didn't have alot of money

a couple of my friends were legacys of some higher end schools (not ivy league ofcourse, just UCLA or USD and chapman)
they had some debt.

i had orignally thought that i had out performed them, no debt at all (car outright, no home etc)

but the student loans they had taken had improved their credit score. along with the new cars they had financed (i bought used and worked on it myself) and the name of the institution on their degree had gotten them into positions out of college quickly. (yes, in THIS economy).

it's not the only factor, but it is a factor.

if i were to do it over again, i'd ignore the advice i had recived telling me to avoid any debt at all cost.
and i would have not enrolled in a community college to save oney on general ed.

i would have went straight in, financed a new car, got a few student loans (from government), and lived on campus

moral of the story: the degree is not important, most of the population in the US (affluent areas) have a bachelor's degree. its worthless paper.

its the people who you interact with, if you're getting drunk with a bunch of stoners and drop outs they'll "hook you up" with free taco bell in a few years.

if you go to a higher ranked school, they may get you in touch with a few startups, or a position in a fortune 500.
 
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Joffrey

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Yeah, college debt isn't necessarily a bad thing. I didn't take it on because I wanted to build my credit history - I think that's silly. I took it on because it was necessary to go to school. However, you've got to be very careful how much you take on. $20-30k isn't much compared to others who went to private school or out of state but it's still a pain in the ass.
 

Blackhood

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I dropped out of Cambridge (ranked between 2nd and 4th in the world depending on the author) and went to a decidedly mediocre University a couple of years later. My experience has been that the university experience is worth exactly what you put in to it; by working hard and using the facilities I got a better education by going to a second rate school. I'm not intimidated by others who went to great universities because while they were desperately trying to concoct cogent arguments about why historical models collapsed in the 80's I was sitting in the library reading the textbooks and actually learning shit instead of coughing it up and spewing it into essays without proper thought. If you ever want a better illustration of this, watch Matt Deamon in Good Will Hunting. Edit: Found it:
 
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Douglas

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Haha, I laugh at this thread.
 

gladhands

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...Do you ever feel intimidated by others who hold degrees from more prestigious schools? Does not having a degree from a top tier school ever hold you back from getting that job or whatever goal you set out for?
I'm a first generation American, actually not even sure if that is a proper description. I immigrated to the U.S. right before middle school. I got my BS and MS from a state university. I'm also currently pursuing another master's from a regular school. I would love to attend a nationally recognized university, but my SAT score was not the highest, and my parents were not affluent. My goal was to obtain the least amount of debt.
I only have a couple of years of professional experience and so far so good. Just want to hear opinions and stories of those with more experience under their belts. Thanks in advance!

Yes, having the name degree will help open doors. there's no getting around that. Once you get out into the professional world., you will be far less impressed by where people went to school. Once you're in your 30s, your alma mater should be one of the least important items on your CV, and if it isn't you probably haven't accomplished much in life.
 

newinny

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There's no end to this line of thinking.

If you went to the best undergraduate school then there are people who went to better graduate schools. If you went to the best graduate school then there are people who are smarter, richer, or better looking than you.

I was talking to an MIT PhD student recently who was in awe of the intelligence of the PhD students from the econ department. I was amazed that this person (who could arguably be one of the top 5% most intelligent grad students in the world) was jealous of students in the 1% category.
 
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