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!Questions for CMCers

illuminescentilluminescent Registered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
edited August 2012 in Claremont McKenna College
I’m basically going to ED CMC. I’ve done thorough research about CMC and I’ve read from the catalog to Dan Evan’s "The Great Lie of Claremont McKenna College." These are some questions or concerns I have generated:

1. The Ath is one of the most important reasons why I like CMC. This is an opportunity and resource unparallelled at any other institute. The admissions officer at the information session also highly emphasized on this special “toy” of CMCers. However, I tend to find that when asked about their favorite thing about CMC, few, if any, bring up the Ath. Why do you think is this? Normally, how frequently do you go to the Ath?
2. How intense is the party scene? I’m fine partying but I do not enjoy getting wasted two days a week. Is it hard to find a lot of friends, have a social life, or not be left out if I don’t attend these parties regularly?
3. I’ve heard a lot of CMCers with economics majors go into investment banking, finance, consulting, or accounting. Are there a lot who went into management? I’m well aware financial analysis is crucial but I don’t want to purely go into those professions.
4. How does CMC develop leadership except for academic programs like the leadership sequence and positions in the research institutes?
5. I’ve found a lot of “life at CMC isn’t what I expected” type of comments. I know this might be minority and it happens at every college but are there any “insider tips” sort of advice to give to potential CMCers? Things to avoid, things you would have done if you were a freshman again, what to expect, etc.

I’ve heard of some CMCers being described as shallow, drunk, *******s, and dumb jocks while others I found to be aspiring, socially aware, and capable of initiating intelligent debates. Given the fact that the professors and opportunities are top notch, (I’ve heard no opposition anywhere) I guess it all depends on how to spend my four years here and how to use the resources wisely.

Any advice, opinions, or comments would be highly appreciated. Thank you!
Post edited by illuminescent on

Replies to: !Questions for CMCers

  • artemis95artemis95 Registered User Posts: 122 Junior Member
    These are great questions and I'd love to hear the answers from current students or alums! I'm hoping to attend CMC's on campus day program next month.
  • friendlystagfriendlystag Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    1. It's probably because there are so many amazing things at CMC! I would say that a decent amount of CMCers use/go to the Ath... whether it be for tea or awesome talks. If you have checked out this fall's Ath schedule, Chris Hughes, the co-founder of Facebook, (and a bunch of other awesome people) is coming to talk to us. There is no question that the Ath is a gem in the CMC community.

    2. It is definitely not hard to do so! There is so much to do around here without partying. Think about it, there are 5C events that one can use/go to (improv classes, etc.), club athletics, or just hanging out with similar minded people. You will definitely not run out of things to do here.

    3. Sure, a lot of CMCers end up in management. But the reason a lot of people go into strategy consulting is because it gives them experience working for management. Generally, it is fairly easy to move from consulting to a management position at, say, Google because of headhunting and the extensive strategic knowledge you will gain as a consultant. If you look at many successful managers, a great deal started their careers at consulting firms like Bain or BCG.

    4. Leadership pervades everything that we do here. The professors teach with leadership in mind, and the administration expects students to be leaders in their communities.

    5. Go on WOA, keep an open mind, and have fun!


  • cathytangcathytang Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
    I read from the Fiske Guide that CMC has dorm maids? Is that true? What actually do they do?

    Also, can anyone explain what's Ath to me?
  • illuminescentilluminescent Registered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
    Thanks so much friendlystag! Those are great answers and i can say i definietely am confident about my choice of applying ED to CMC. Hopefully you'll see me next year!
  • illuminescentilluminescent Registered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
    I'm not a student, but from what i know, CMC has dorm miads to clean up the North Quad dorms, which are sort of the "party dorms." They are suite style and open to the outside.
    The Ath is basically a small (Holds about 70 ppl i think) auditorium that allows special guests (Up to Bill Clinton, Rice, and Anderson Cooper and down to local entrepreneurs) to not only give a speech to students, but eat with them personally as well. This is a chance you won't get at any other institution in the country.
    This is their website:
  • CMCstudent206CMCstudent206 Registered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
    In all due respect, illuminescent, you are misinformed.

    CMC has building attendants assigned to each dorm on campus. These wonderful people come through everyday and clean common areas (lounges, bathrooms, hallways, etc), and every two weeks (on a schedule posted at the beginning of the semester) they come through individual rooms to vacuum/clean up, assuming the floor in the room is picked up and the room is neat. We often develop really close relationships with our building attendants and the dorm presidents will generally collect money from residents each semester to buy a gift for the attendants. One year, my building attendant made my bed every time she cleaned my room and another year my attendant left candy on all of our desks on Valentine's Day.

    The Athenaeum is essentially a speaker series; every Monday-Thursday during the semester, CMC brings a different speaker to campus. Every semester a schedule is posted (Fall 2012 is http://cmc.edu/mmca/cur_fall_12.php) and students can sign up for events every two weeks. When you register for an event, you are also registering for a meal - you input your meal card number and your dinner is counted as if you were eating in a dining hall, so there's no extra charge. Chef Dave and his crew make fantastic gourmet meals (salmon is a personal favorite) and he never fails to impress. The schedule for each evening goes as follows: 5:30-6 is a wine/cheese reception (obviously wine is only for attendees over 21); 6-6:45 is the dinner; and 6:45-approximately 8 is the speaker's time. One of the coolest things about the Ath is that the speaker sits at the head table, the center table in the front of the room, with seven CMC students. This means that when high-profile speakers come to campus, CMC students get an opportunity to sit with them for dinner. The head table is assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis at the beginning of every two week 'session' of registrations. After the speaker is done talking, a Q&A is held with preference given to students (professors and other CMC employees sometimes attend Ath talks).
    There is nothing like the Athenaeum in the country - all colleges bring speakers to campus, but no other college/university does this in such a consistent, intimate, or available manner. The Athenaeum generally holds around 140 people per event, and overflow seating is always set up in the back if registration fills up. If the overflow seating is full, students can go to nearby McKenna Auditorium to watch a live-feed of the talk.
  • illuminescentilluminescent Registered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
    Thank you so much CMC206 for the detailed correction!!!
    Oh that's really unique too. Do they clean up all three quads?
    The Ath is the biggest reason why i'm deciding to apply ED to CMC, i feel like there's no other school that can provide such an eyeopening experience. Um what do you mean by students can sign up for events every two weeks? Does that mean one can only go to the Ath once in two weeks?? Also, do you mind if you share the best Ath speaker experience you've had?
    Again, thanks for the response!
  • cathytangcathytang Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
    Thanks for your answer! Can you tell me if CMC provides languages such as Korean or Arabic
    cuz i really want to learn one of them! Also, what attracted you to apply CMC when you were a senior?
  • cathytangcathytang Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
    Also, was your supplement containing fill-in questions? What's the length required about that?
  • CMCstudent206CMCstudent206 Registered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
    illuminescent: Yes, there is a building attendant for each dorm, regardless of quad. There definitely isn't anything like the Ath at any other school. You can attend the Ath as often as you'd like to, registration is just split into two week 'sessions.' At midnight on the Saturday before the two week 'session,' registration opens online and you can sign up for as many events as you'd like. This is just done to make the registration process easier on the office at the Ath. The best Ath experience I've had was probably in the fall of 2010 with Hisham Melhem, the Washington bureau chief for al-Arabiya TV and the first journalist granted an interview with President Obama post-inauguration. He spoke about the War on Terror from an Arab media perspective and as there were only about thirty students at the talk, it was really easy to approach him after the event was over and speak with him one-on-one. I've also had fantastic experiences with some of our bigger names - Condoleezza Rice came last fall and when a student asked her about her famously awkward visit with Muammar Gaddafi, Ms. Rice was a great sport and obliged to tell the story.

    cathytang: The 5C's language departments are spread out throughout the five schools, and while some languages are offered on every campus (ie Spanish), other languages are housed at one of the five schools with classes for all five campuses. CMC actually happens to house both Arabic and Korean for the 5C's, and the Arabic program is considered one of the best in the country.
    I can't really put my finger on what specifically attracted me to CMC. I visited about 35-40 campuses throughout my junior year and my trip to California was my last round of visits - I visited a few days before my first day of senior year and just wanted to get this last trip over with. When I stepped on CMC's campus, I immediately felt at home. My info session and tour were both phenomenal, and I could tell I had stumbled upon a unique place. I came very close to applying ED but decided to apply regular decision to all 14 schools on my list. I'm really happy I did this, because while I got into every school I applied to and ultimately chose CMC over the other 13, the process forced me to truly understand how the school functions and what opportunities were available on campus. This is obviously not to say ED is a bad idea; if you are completely sure that a school is the right place for you, absolutely go for it.
    Sorry, not really answering your question. I think the emphasis on leadership was a big part of my decision, because while a lot of schools use the buzzword "leadership" in their admission materials, CMC was definitely the only school to really value leadership in a tangible way. The student body was also a huge factor; because the school is pretty small, the student body acts as a true "community." Here's another buzzword - every small school I visited bragged about how their campus is a community and everyone supports each other, but this is actually TRUE at CMC. This is not a cutthroat school where everyone is competing with everyone else for grades or test scores - this is a school where everyone understands the value of competing with themselves to achieve what they are individually capable of achieving. I came from a very competitive prep school and I wanted a fantastic education without the negative atmosphere that came with everyone wanting to know everyone's grades, and I felt that CMC was the only school of its caliber that provided that atmosphere.
    The best way to get a feel for a school is to visit. You can always come to campus and register for an overnight visit with a current student during the fall of your senior year, and I highly encourage it - my overnight in September of my senior year is what really sold me on the school.
    There's no "required" length for the fill-in-the-blanks, but you'll find that the answer boxes don't allow for long answers.
  • cathytangcathytang Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
    Thanks for the long answer! However, why do you say CMC values leadership in a tangible way? Any examples?
This discussion has been closed.