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Cornell University

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Date: Nov 18 2004
Major: Communications (This Major's Salary over time)
You can bet on getting an outstanding education at Cornell. At the time I was there, Carl Sagan was my astronomy professor. Allison Lurie taught Creative Writing. This is the caliber of the teaching faculty pretty much across the board. There were only a few professors that I would say were substandard. I also had lots of opportunities to learn outside the classroom - if you were motivated to find them, there were internships both on and off campus, study abroad, semester in Washington, DC, etc. etc. The campus is huge (be prepared to walk A LOT - I graduated in the best shape of my life) and beautiful, and the food is pretty good for cafeteria fare.

On the negative side…in my opinion, the social life at Cornell sucked. It's a big school, and highly competitive, so it can be difficult to make true friends. It's a cut-throat environment and sometimes people aren't very friendly. It's really easy to get swept up in the

anything for a good grade
mindset. There's a work-hard, play-hard mentality, which means the weekend starts on Thursday and pretty much revolves around drinking. The place is also well-populated with rich, spoiled kids who've never lifted a finger. This is not my background at all, and I just couldn't relate. Yes, there are great people there - but you have to do some serious looking around for them. Cornell is also cold and fairly remote. It all adds up to being a rather lonely place sometimes.

I will say that I believe Cornell contributed to my success after college. When I tell people where I went to school, I usually get a

wow, you must be smart
look. I got my first job out of school during a severe recession, and I think just the school's name on my resume made me stand out. HOWEVER, the name can only take you so far…I also worked a bunch of internships in my field, graduated with honors, and got good recommendations from professors. It's also about what you make of the experience, and taking advantage of the opportunities Cornell offers.

My advice to anyone considering Cornell is to have your wits about you before you set foot on campus. You are not going to get your hand held while you are there. Be yourself, and look for people who are genuine. Seek out the classes with the great professors. And buy a pair of really warm boots.

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