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Thread: OT - Convincing friend to attend Berkeley

  1. #1

    OT - Convincing friend to attend Berkeley

    Hello. I have a good friend who got into Cal, UCLA, and Columbia for grad school, first for a masters degree and then maybe PhD. The program is East Asian Studies. I don't know too much about this program, but she obviously knows the programs/professors well at each school and is leaning towards UCLA because of a slightly better fit with the professors or some such crap.

    I am trying to convince her to come to Cal by collecting a list of impressive Cal accomplishments, rankings, videos, articles, anything cool or inspirational stuff about Cal.

    Please help me with this list, provide links/proof/source, and most importantly, add to the list!!

    1) You See Berkeley video (source: Youtube) How can you not want to come to Cal after watching this???

    2) The Times global universities reputation ranking with Cal 4th or 5th (source: The Times website)

    3) World Universities Ranking by Shanghai Jiaotung University with Cal 2nd (source: I can find the website easily)

    4) Berkeley has more programs in the top 10 than Harvard (what's the source of this?? Can someone help me find this)

    5) Berkeley educates more low income students than all of the Ivy League combined (what's the source of this?)

    6) There's something about Phd programs...like Berkeley produces more Phd's than any other school...or was it Berkeley undergrads go on to obtain more Phd's than any other undergrads.....I can't really remember. Any details on this?

    7) Berkeley as catalyst for Free Speech Movement, Civil Rights Movement, etc.

    8) JFK speech about Berkeley contributing as much to America as Harvard

    9) Most Peace Corps volunteers out of any university (not sure if this is relevant though)

    10) Nobel prizes. (although Columbia has more, so probably won't mention this)

    11) Washington Monthly ranking on contribution to society (although UCLA ranks higher, so probably won't mention this).



    Anything else?? Please add to this list!

    Thanks.
    Last edited by aceman; 03-30-2012 at 10:50 AM.

  2. #2
    True Blue Golden Bear NYCGOBEARS's Avatar
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    An enviable problem to have and a tough choice as all three are incredible schools. I would use quality of life in the Bay Area versus LA or NYC as leverage.

  3. #3
    Real Bear AunBear89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYCGOBEARS View Post
    <snip>
    I would use quality of life in the Bay Area versus LA or NYC as leverage.
    I think this is the issue. All things being educationally equal, she needs to decide where she wants to spend the next 4-6 years. Bay Area, NYC or Lala Land - not a bad choice to have. Something for everyone.

    Poor kid... tough choice.

  4. #4
    Socaltownies #1 (and #2, 3, and 4) rule to graduate school choices.

    First I am going to assume your friend wants to go into academics. If not, the rules likely do not apply

    YOU CHOOSE A SCHOOL BASED UPON THE INDIVIDUAL PROFESSOR(S) YOU WISH TO WORK WITH AND THEIR WILLINGNESS AND ABILITY TO ADVANCE YOUR EARLY CAREER.

    I CAN NOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH

    the town does not matter. The football team doesn't matter. At the level she is considering the SCHOOL doesn't matter. _ALL_ that matters in a low demand/high supply field like East Asian Studies is a faculty members willingness to work with you, the fact that they share a mutual interest in what YOU are passionate about, and that they have a proven track record suggesting that they work to promote their student's early careers.

    In the HYPER competitive world of tenure track positions in the social sciences and humanities YOU MUST build a publication record before graduating. You MUST give multiple papers. It helps tremendously that your "patron" has ties to other departments around the country and has shown, based upon past placements, a willingness to use them. Your dissertation MUST be written with a focus on getting it into your first book by year 3 and your second book (at a minimum in draft) by the time you come up for tenure review. To do this and teach a full load at likely the second tier school you will first be at is made TREMENDOUSLY easier by a mentor who wants to see you succeed.

    There is a lot of research to be done on making this choice and figuring it out. You have to apply a discount factor on the probability said "star" will move onto another school. Indeed, if your friend thinks she wants to work with someone at UCLA she should get on the horn NOW with that faculty member and flat out ask "What happens if you move? Will you remain my adviser?"

    Again, I can not stress this enough. PROGRAM doesn't matter (at this level) . Competition for Tenure positions is just ridiculous at this point in time. SO you HAVE to be a star and that is going to be a function (in almost all cases) of your patron's willingness and interest in advancing your career.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by aceman View Post
    Hello. I have a good friend who got into Cal, UCLA, and Columbia for grad school, first for a masters degree and then maybe PhD. The program is East Asian Studies. I don't know too much about this program, but she obviously knows the programs/professors well at each school and is leaning towards UCLA because of a slightly better fit with the professors or some such crap.

    I am trying to convince her to come to Cal by collecting a list of impressive Cal accomplishments, rankings, videos, articles, anything cool or inspirational stuff about Cal.

    Please help me with this list, provide links/proof/source, and most importantly, add to the list!!

    1) You See Berkeley video (source: Youtube) How can you not want to come to Cal after watching this???

    2) The Times global universities reputation ranking with Cal 4th or 5th (source: The Times website)

    3) World Universities Ranking by Shanghai Jiaotung University with Cal 2nd (source: I can find the website easily)

    4) Berkeley has more programs in the top 10 than Harvard (what's the source of this?? Can someone help me find this)

    5) Berkeley educates more low income students than all of the Ivy League combined (what's the source of this?)

    6) There's something about Phd programs...like Berkeley produces more Phd's than any other school...or was it Berkeley undergrads go on to obtain more Phd's than any other undergrads.....I can't really remember. Any details on this?

    7) Berkeley as catalyst for Free Speech Movement, Civil Rights Movement, etc.

    8) JFK speech about Berkeley contributing as much to America as Harvard

    9) Most Peace Corps volunteers out of any university (not sure if this is relevant though)

    10) Nobel prizes. (although Columbia has more, so probably won't mention this)

    11) Washington Monthly ranking on contribution to society (although UCLA ranks higher, so probably won't mention this).



    Anything else?? Please add to this list!

    Thanks.
    Don't forget the new East Asian Library which is state of the art and is linked in with China.
    So much so that when a high ranking dignitary from China recently visited SF, he came to the EAL to use its technology to connect with the Chinese officials back home.

    BTW Cal is thought of very highly in Asia (much more so than ucla). In a recent report that I heard of, China is attempting to dramatically upgrade its high education institutions and Chinese academic officials have been visiting and studying Cal and how Cal has succeeded in maintaining its high academic standards (especially as a public institution).

  6. #6
    "There is a lot of research to be done on making this choice and figuring it out. You have to apply a discount factor on the probability said "star" will move onto another school. Indeed, if your friend thinks she wants to work with someone at UCLA she should get on the horn NOW with that faculty member and flat out ask "What happens if you move? Will you remain my adviser?"

    I laughed at this paragraph. Reminiscent of Shaq and Tosh?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by socaltownie View Post
    Socaltownies #1 (and #2, 3, and 4) rule to graduate school choices.

    First I am going to assume your friend wants to go into academics. If not, the rules likely do not apply

    YOU CHOOSE A SCHOOL BASED UPON THE INDIVIDUAL PROFESSOR(S) YOU WISH TO WORK WITH AND THEIR WILLINGNESS AND ABILITY TO ADVANCE YOUR EARLY CAREER.

    I CAN NOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH
    That should probably be tempered by the fact 'wanting to' and actually 'going into' academics are two different things entirely. Given the low numbers that do continue in academics after a PhD (I believe less than 10%), prospective students should be well aware of contingency plans - and the name on the degree might matter more then, and the overall strength of the program which provides stronger alternative choices once enrolled.

    That said, choosing Cal over UCLA would not make much sense if aceman's friend would rather work for a professor at UCLA, provided that is lined up before starting school there.

  8. #8
    In an ironic twist, I've been tag-teaming with a friend (who is also a Cal grad) to convince his younger sibling NOT to come to Cal.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by aceman View Post
    Hello. I have a good friend who got into Cal, UCLA, and Columbia for grad school, first for a masters degree and then maybe PhD. The program is East Asian Studies....

    Thanks.
    Honestly, I don't think Starbucks is going to care...

    (just kidding)

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by aceman View Post
    Hello. I have a good friend who got into Cal, UCLA, and Columbia for grad school, first for a masters degree and then maybe PhD. The program is East Asian Studies. I don't know too much about this program, but she obviously knows the programs/professors well at each school and is leaning towards UCLA because of a slightly better fit with the professors or some such crap.

    I am trying to convince her to come to Cal by collecting a list of impressive Cal accomplishments, rankings, videos, articles, anything cool or inspirational stuff about Cal.

    Please help me with this list, provide links/proof/source, and most importantly, add to the list!!

    1) You See Berkeley video (source: Youtube) How can you not want to come to Cal after watching this???

    2) The Times global universities reputation ranking with Cal 4th or 5th (source: The Times website)

    3) World Universities Ranking by Shanghai Jiaotung University with Cal 2nd (source: I can find the website easily)

    4) Berkeley has more programs in the top 10 than Harvard (what's the source of this?? Can someone help me find this)

    5) Berkeley educates more low income students than all of the Ivy League combined (what's the source of this?)

    6) There's something about Phd programs...like Berkeley produces more Phd's than any other school...or was it Berkeley undergrads go on to obtain more Phd's than any other undergrads.....I can't really remember. Any details on this?

    7) Berkeley as catalyst for Free Speech Movement, Civil Rights Movement, etc.

    8) JFK speech about Berkeley contributing as much to America as Harvard

    9) Most Peace Corps volunteers out of any university (not sure if this is relevant though)

    10) Nobel prizes. (although Columbia has more, so probably won't mention this)

    11) Washington Monthly ranking on contribution to society (although UCLA ranks higher, so probably won't mention this).



    Anything else?? Please add to this list!

    Thanks.
    Does UCLA even have a Department? It looks like an "Interdepartmental Degree."

    One thing I would check as a grad student is whether they also have an undergraduate program, how big it is and the opportunities to T.A. and help pay for the degree (and get experience teaching).

  11. #11

    Berkeley/Cal is not for everyone

    I would tell you r friend to visit and see if he or she likes the area. Its an urban, trendy environment. Also, for the most part, its an intense school, and not always big on nurturing. If you want a pastoral environment w/o much pressure and hold holding, there always is Furd. There are real choices for good students that can get admitted to Cal, and Cal is not a fit for everyone, but may be a great fit for your friend.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by pingpong2 View Post
    In an ironic twist, I've been tag-teaming with a friend (who is also a Cal grad) to convince his younger sibling NOT to come to Cal.
    Totally pathetic.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Cal88 View Post
    Totally pathetic.
    I don't get why anyone who really went to Cal and really feels that way would hang out on a Cal board.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by calumnus View Post
    I don't get why anyone who really went to Cal and really feels that way would hang out on a Cal board.
    The reason it's not a good idea for that particular person to come to Cal is because 1) they're not a self motivator which you need to be because nobody is going to hold your hand here, and 2) they plan on going to med school, which means a strong GPA is often more important than which school you went to. We may know that other schools grade inflates and Cal grade deflates to a degree, but in talking to former AdCom members they don't really accept that.

    Excuse me for prioritizing someone's professional success over the feel-good nature of going to my alma mater. Unless of course you don't believe that Cal is ultra-competitive and does not baby you?

  15. #15
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pingpong2
    In an ironic twist, I've been tag-teaming with a friend (who is also a Cal grad) to convince his younger sibling NOT to come to Cal
    .


    Quote Originally Posted by Cal88 View Post
    Totally pathetic.
    Agree. Cal is not for everyone. Neither is ucla -- way too plastic glitzy (phony) for my tastes.

    If that younger sibling is attracted to Cal and can get into Cal, it seems a shame to try to disuade that sibling from coming to Cal. It may be the absolutely best place for that person. Likewise the student who is looking to ucla.
    Ucla might be the right fit for her personality if she starts off with a preference for ucla.

    Just make sure that they have all the pertinent information in front of them. Make sure they have the relevant information regarding the benefits of Cal vs. whatever other school they are considering.
    After that let them make their own decisions.

    But an actual in person visit to both campuses is very important.

    I knew one student who did not want to attend Cal because he thought that all of Berkeley and the Cal campus was like that 4 block stretch of Telegraph Avenue.
    Last edited by GivemTheAxe; 03-30-2012 at 08:36 PM.

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