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Cornell vs Cambridge vs SMU

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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 28-03-2011, 04:37 PM
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So I presume that you are a student who is dreaming of getting into Cornell and possibly Cambridge. If your results are that good and your family can't afford it, why not try for a scholarship? If you don't want to be bonded, Cornell offers financial aid for families earning < USD200,000 pa.
Doesnt really matter does it? This thread has developed into a debate involving foreign vs local Us and advocates on both sides would continue pushing their opinions without reference to the op's state of issues.

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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 28-03-2011, 05:41 PM
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it is true that cornell's regular offer will only be out later this week, but the early decision was out in dec.

As someone who has had the privilege to attend nus, cambridge and stanford, my advise is to go cambridge. Cornell is ivy league, but one of the lower tiered ones. Cambridge will give you more leverage. dump SMU if u can afford Cambridge.

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  #43 (permalink)  
Old 28-03-2011, 06:59 PM
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So did any of u actually attend Cambridge or is it just that u are in awe of top schools ??
More likely the former but discovered that the world doesn't seem to work out according to dreams and so now taking it out on SMU.

Anyone who has been around in the working world for some time will know that the battle field is littered with Ivy and Oxbridge graduates. Just pay a visit to our stat boards and ask some of those walking around in a daze where they have graduated from, if they wish to speak to you, that is.

This disillusionment arises from the distortion of a truth "that most senior corporate positions are occupied by graduates from top universities" into an untruth "that most graduates from top universities are able to land senior corporate positions".

There is a reason why SMU is so irritating to a lot of people. It will become even more irritating a decade from now when its law graduates reach partnership position and buy cars that cost more than twice the homes of some of these people walking around in a daze, even though they have only half the IQ of these people.

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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 28-03-2011, 07:31 PM
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Of course, this is every local farmer's ultimate pipe dream, the dreams of the have-nots. Because local grads by and large possess half the IQ of overseas graduates, they delude themselves into thinking that being able to get into a fancy overseas university is somehow a handicap. They think they are less booksmart and therefore more streetsmart - when the truth is the vast majority is relatively handicapped in both departments. That is why they had to settle for SMU. So many clamour for exchange programs every year wanting a taste of being an overseas graduate, knowing that spending 4 years in the Singaporean well is not going to prepare them for this century.

I can practically sense so many SMU applicants eyes' lighting up when they read about top SMU grads making $13k a month, when in fact most of them will be confined to the same mediocrity as their NTU and NUS counterparts. Somehow they cannot see that the world is swamped with even more local grad failures than Ivy League failures - the stench of sour grapes hangs heavily in the air as they desperately search for the few Oxbridge failures in order to obtain some rare self-validation.

For all of SMU's boast about being a world-class management university modelled after Wharton, its undergrads don't seem to understand the laws of demand and supply. Nobody knows that when they were just babies, local law intake was less than a third of today's size and is the only thing causing high lawyer salaries today. But you can't fault its law students (NUS Law rejects by and large) for not seeing how the government has opened the floodgates of the legal fraternity to all and sundry. They, themselves, are part of the all and sundry, and they don't seem to own mirrors.

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More likely the former but discovered that the world doesn't seem to work out according to dreams and so now taking it out on SMU.

Anyone who has been around in the working world for some time will know that the battle field is littered with Ivy and Oxbridge graduates. Just pay a visit to our stat boards and ask some of those walking around in a daze where they have graduated from, if they wish to speak to you, that is.

This disillusionment arises from the distortion of a truth "that most senior corporate positions are occupied by graduates from top universities" into an untruth "that most graduates from top universities are able to land senior corporate positions".

There is a reason why SMU is so irritating to a lot of people. It will become even more irritating a decade from now when its law graduates reach partnership position and buy cars that cost more than twice the homes of some of these people walking around in a daze, even though they have only half the IQ of these people.
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 28-03-2011, 10:12 PM
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First of all, I doubt what your admission claims because Cornell doesn't release its 2011 decision until this Thursday (March 30th) and doesn't early write for international students. Second, if you are bright enough to get into Cornell, you would know that it costs $297K for 4 years (incl housing) unless you want to pitch a tent and sleep in it for 4 years.
I deferred my michaelmas 2010 entry for 2011 due to personal reasons. As you can see, I only included tuition fee as a comparison without living costs as those can be quite different depending on whether you are living in the states vs UK.

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If you are smart enough to get into Cornell, your A-Level results would be AAA/A with a UAS close to 90 and SAT of 2200+, so you would be an idiot to apply to SMU Econs when you could get into law. SMU doesn't release its decision for another month anyway.
Not everyone likes law. I personally have no interest in the subject. So I didn't apply. My brother works in accounting and he hates his job. He comes home everyday late and complaints about not getting paid enough.

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So I presume that you are a student who is dreaming of getting into Cornell and possibly Cambridge. If your results are that good and your family can't afford it, why not try for a scholarship? If you don't want to be bonded, Cornell offers financial aid for families earning < USD200,000 pa.
I am not dreaming. I have the offer, but there is no need for me to prove it over the internet. I am merely just asking for advice in terms of career prospects.

Thanks everyone who has given advice. It looks like i'm leaning towards cambridge then. I have applied for cambridge trusts scholarships and still waiting. So we will see what happens.
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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 28-03-2011, 11:27 PM
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As a Singaporean that grew up in the US, attended a top university there, and am now working locally, I'd like to give some advice to the OP:

You as a person have more of an effect on your future earnings/potential/etc than your school will. That is to say, going to a 'branded' university will not guarantee success, nor will going to an 'average' university limit you to mediocrity. I believe this is the prevalent opinion of many of the posters in this thread, but you'll always see people trying to argue otherwise (e.g. 'My average friend from Cambridge got some awesome job while my genius SMU buddy couldn't get interviews at good banks'). Your school will help, no doubt, but what you do there will make much more of a difference than simply just saying you attended XYZ university. Regardless of the school you go into, get good grades, network, get some job/internship experience, and you'll be fine no matter what.

With that said, if you are a top performer, your school can (potentially) make quite a difference. I think most will agree that Ivy grads may not be smarter on average than local grads; however, think about it from the point of view of a top-tier bank. Consider two hiring managers, one hires local grads while the other hires ivy grads. Both groups of graduates perform less than stellar and ultimately get fired. The person who hired locals would probably get blamed for hiring sub-par graduates, while the other who hired from the ivies is more likely to get branded 'unlucky'. Ultimately, there's a good chance that, all things equal, a person from a reputable school will get chosen over one that is not. It's not fair, I don't necessarily agree with it, but such is the world we live in and we must be realistic.

My advice to you: if you are confident in excelling at either Cambridge or Cornell, go for it. Get as much exposure and experience as possible. It's not just about getting the name on your resume, it's about learning a global perspective and being able to experience a completely different culture and environment, not to mention living independently -- not everyone gets this opportunity and I encourage you to try it if it's there for the taking. Once you're finishing up with school, try to land a job around your university and work there a few months, even if you are planning to return to Singapore. The rationale behind this is when you return, your last-dawn will be much higher and you will be in a great position to negotiate a salary much higher than if you had no / local experience only.

Again, I'd like to reiterate that you as a person have a much greater effect on your future than any brand name college on your resume does. But if you really want to split hairs and compare, getting a top-tier overseas education does have it's distinct advantages which go beyond getting a higher starting salary.

Best of luck in your decision and all your future endeavors!
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 29-03-2011, 02:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
As a Singaporean that grew up in the US, attended a top university there, and am now working locally, I'd like to give some advice to the OP:

You as a person have more of an effect on your future earnings/potential/etc than your school will. That is to say, going to a 'branded' university will not guarantee success, nor will going to an 'average' university limit you to mediocrity. I believe this is the prevalent opinion of many of the posters in this thread, but you'll always see people trying to argue otherwise (e.g. 'My average friend from Cambridge got some awesome job while my genius SMU buddy couldn't get interviews at good banks'). Your school will help, no doubt, but what you do there will make much more of a difference than simply just saying you attended XYZ university. Regardless of the school you go into, get good grades, network, get some job/internship experience, and you'll be fine no matter what.

With that said, if you are a top performer, your school can (potentially) make quite a difference. I think most will agree that Ivy grads may not be smarter on average than local grads; however, think about it from the point of view of a top-tier bank. Consider two hiring managers, one hires local grads while the other hires ivy grads. Both groups of graduates perform less than stellar and ultimately get fired. The person who hired locals would probably get blamed for hiring sub-par graduates, while the other who hired from the ivies is more likely to get branded 'unlucky'. Ultimately, there's a good chance that, all things equal, a person from a reputable school will get chosen over one that is not. It's not fair, I don't necessarily agree with it, but such is the world we live in and we must be realistic.

My advice to you: if you are confident in excelling at either Cambridge or Cornell, go for it. Get as much exposure and experience as possible. It's not just about getting the name on your resume, it's about learning a global perspective and being able to experience a completely different culture and environment, not to mention living independently -- not everyone gets this opportunity and I encourage you to try it if it's there for the taking. Once you're finishing up with school, try to land a job around your university and work there a few months, even if you are planning to return to Singapore. The rationale behind this is when you return, your last-dawn will be much higher and you will be in a great position to negotiate a salary much higher than if you had no / local experience only.

Again, I'd like to reiterate that you as a person have a much greater effect on your future than any brand name college on your resume does. But if you really want to split hairs and compare, getting a top-tier overseas education does have it's distinct advantages which go beyond getting a higher starting salary.

Best of luck in your decision and all your future endeavors!
Hey, thank you for your advice. You mentioned that you grew up in the US and now working locally. You mean locally as in Singapore or U.S.

If you meant Singapore, may I ask why did you not stay on in the US after graduation. Isn't the US a much better place? Also, is it difficult for asians to survive, find work etc after graduation? I have recently been told that the government has barred all international students from working in the UK after graduation from 2012 onwards.
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  #48 (permalink)  
Old 29-03-2011, 08:46 AM
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The UK govt has not barred students from working. It has dissallowed students to stay for upto 2years to search for a proper job where they can take menial jobs. If you have a proper offer, u can stay and work.

The last post from the SG guy in US is reasonable. It depends more on u and less on the univ. Unless u perform well, the univ cannot help you much. So, I hope that if you take a foreign univ, try ur best to do well. Default success by univ name just be doing an undergrad is not sure.

Dont for once believe these supporters that a brand name will ensure big things. Only you can ensure that.

Good luck
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old 29-03-2011, 09:37 AM
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The UK govt has not barred students from working. It has dissallowed students to stay for upto 2years to search for a proper job where they can take menial jobs. If you have a proper offer, u can stay and work.

The last post from the SG guy in US is reasonable. It depends more on u and less on the univ. Unless u perform well, the univ cannot help you much. So, I hope that if you take a foreign univ, try ur best to do well. Default success by univ name just be doing an undergrad is not sure.

Dont for once believe these supporters that a brand name will ensure big things. Only you can ensure that.

Good luck
All things equal, a brand name top university definitely helps 100%, so do good looks.

Life's unfair.
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  #50 (permalink)  
Old 29-03-2011, 09:40 AM
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All things equal, a brand name top university definitely helps 100%, so do good looks.

Life's unfair.
Let me add:

Is it worth the 85k for Cambridge? Most definitely.

205k for Cornell? Maybe not.

I'm a Cornellian btw.
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