Response to M: the last word on the whole harvard debate

March 2, 2007 at 12:39 am 2 comments

Posted by Aaron

M wrote on the post titled, “Harvard, Harvard, Harvard” the following:

“It’s true that the name Harvard will help you get a great job after college. However, after the first month of a job, you are evaluated on your performance, not the school you attended. In regards to coasting through life after graduating from Harvard, that is false. The only Harvard graduates who do that are ones with enough connections/money. Additionally, other Ivies, such as U Penn’s Wharton school, lead their students to the fast track in the business world. Non ivies such as MIT and Cal Tech have much better engineering programmes than Yale. Hence, if you are not sure what you are interested in, then Harvard is arguably the best school to attend. Yet, if you have an idea which field you are interested in, Harvard is not necessarily the best choice.”

With any college, the way I see it, you are learning as well as making future connections. For example, here in Los Angeles, going to USC is very helpful since the graduates already have a connection to all the USC alum in California since they have a “we help our own” mentality. This happens with all schools – it’s just something people find common ground with.

The way I see going to a top tier school as an advantage, compared to other schools, is that when applying for a job if you went to, say, Harvard, you almost have to prove you are dumb, whereas, if you go to a less prestigious school, you have to prove that you’re smart. That’s not to say that people that went to Harvard are inherently smarter or better equipped for the job, but that Harvard has reputation for stellar graduates.

If you know what you want to pursue, then that is definitely helpful in the college process. I mean the Ivies that I visited last year each made a point to say that the Ivy League is a sports division that has a reputation for very strong academics.  If you are interested in Engineering or Computer Science, you look to Caltech, MIT, or Stanford and maybe overlook Harvard or Yale. Then research those programs since the schools all provide you with different perspectives on the same subject. But if you choose to pursue a something that the school doesn’t necessarily specialize in, you’ll still find some other way to capitalize on the connections or prestige alone, and be successful. So I do agree with you that if you are interested in a field, there are other top tier schools beyond the Ivy League, but I also think that the list of good schools can be extended beyond Harvard and the Ivies even if you are unsure of what you want to end up doing, that depends on your personality and the type of environment that you want to be in.

I don’t feel that the type of people that are accepted to top tier schools can float by, but instead are successful because they know how to capitalize on what they are provided with (and have since high school). By attending a top school, they are able to take advantage of almost limitless resources in the form of connections, prestige, experience, opportunities (such as internships), and a sort of polish if you will.


Entry filed under: Academics, College trends, Colleges/Universities, Computer science, Engineering, Environment, Harvard, Internship, Ivy league.

And… the 2007 AP schedule Ranking run-ins

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. johnathan santaliz 12 years old  |  March 3, 2007 at 1:20 am

    i will like to take a test to go to your school when i am 18 years old. is there any chance of me taking a test right now.

  • 2. Aaron  |  March 4, 2007 at 3:04 am

    which test and which school? a little confused by your comment.


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