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Choosing a LAC

uhhscreennameuhhscreenname Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
edited October 2017 in College Search & Selection
Hi everyone,
I am currently hung up between applying to Williams or Pomona ED. I loved both schools when I went, but I can't choose. Obviously there's no guarantee that I'd get into either, but I'm going to try.
ACT: 36
GPA (w/uw): 4.0 and 5.1
Lots of extracurriculars etc.
I am also a serious baseball player who is looking to play in college and I reasonably believe that I could play at either. In terms of after college, I want to work in either Tech or Finance. Pomona has better Comp Sci, but Williams has much better connections to NYC and the finance world.
Do you think either of these schools would be restrictive on my career? If I go to Williams will it bedifficult togo into tech? If I go to Pomona will it be difficult to go into Finance?

I'm just looking for any input. PS I have 1 day left to make this decision
Post edited by skieurope on

Replies to: Choosing a LAC

  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 2,731 Senior Member
    They're both fine schools. Do you have a letter of support from the baseball coach at each?
  • circuitridercircuitrider Registered User Posts: 2,530 Senior Member
    If, by "tech", you mean, a career in programming and software design - there was an extensive discussion about LACs and careers in computer science a little while back and my impression was that Pomona was no more likely to place jobs at Google than any other eastern LAC, including Williams. Harvey Mudd was a different story, but, that should come as no surprise considering how many more students are pointed in that direction in the first place. I agree with @AroundHere , there are no bad choices here.
  • mommyrocksmommyrocks Registered User Posts: 1,217 Senior Member
    Tech companies recruit from all over the US (and world). My daughter attends college in the Midwest and has had tech recruiters after her in the past, even though her major isn't even computer science. If your impression is that finance companies do not recruit nationally, and are more likely to recruit from Williams due to location in the Northeast and other ties, then choose Williams. That way you keep your options open for finance. With Williams being ranked #1 LAC, you should have plenty of choices to go into whichever career direction you want. Keep in mind that not all tech employers are in Silicon Valley -- they're across the country, with concentrations in several cities.
  • nostalgicwisdomnostalgicwisdom Registered User Posts: 1,251 Senior Member
    Williams. You can get a top tech job from any top LAC if you have the experiences to get a technical interview and the skill-set to ace those interviews. You can't get a finance job readily unless you go to a target school. Williams is unquestionably a feeder school into finance, business, banking, and consulting. Pomona will be at most a regional target for LA and SF offices.

    You may want to take out Pomona altogether and look into Claremont McKenna, whose grads excel in landing both tech and finance jobs.
  • HootieAHootieA Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    edited October 2017
    The above post is pure hyperbole insofar as Williams is concerned. LinkedIn shows about 7% of Williams grads in finance, including those with graduate degrees and those prior experience. This is nearly identical to Trinity College which is the least selective in NESCAC.

    So to call any school a "feeder" to finance from the undergraduate level is silly. Hundreds of thousands of great starting jobs are filled every year across the country, so to say companies focus on one school is absurd. They may focus on a broad bracket of peer schools but I sincerely doubt that a Williams grad has much of an advantage over a peer school, which Trinity most certainly is in the real world. Moreover, the quality of internships and personality/interviewing skills trump school every time.

    We can't function on 500 or so graduates each year from Williams of which maybe a dozen have an interest in Wall Street. If you believe every company in finance just has to have a Williams graduate, I have some swamp land for sale you need to look at.
  • lr4550lr4550 Registered User Posts: 926 Member
    What state are you from? Does an isolated, mountainous location in a cold winter climate appeal to you or do you like sunny So Cal and the larger 5C consortium?
  • preppedparentpreppedparent Registered User Posts: 2,471 Senior Member
    Definitely Pomona. You have the 5C consortium, and good weather. Williamstown is very isolated and very tiny.
  • CallieMomCallieMom Registered User Posts: 117 Junior Member
    @uhhscreenname, I concur with most of the feedback you have received.

    In my opinion.. if you want Finance, aim for Williams. If you want CS, aim for Pomona. Williams does have an extraordinary alumni network. My sister got a great job in Finance in NYC upon her graduation from WC.

    A couple of other nuances.... Williams tends to be very sports oriented, Pomona not so much. If you want to have baseball be pivotal in your college experience, (presuming you have spoken to the coach and you have a spot on the team), I think Williams would be a great fit. Williams takes athletics very seriously.

    If you end up landing on CS as a career path, one cool thing about Pomona is that they have a fantastic Internship Program. You can get an internship in LA and begin gaining some powerful real world experience during your Freshman year. There is a train right outside the school that can take you into LA. The fares are subsidized. It is an extraordinary opportunity. Also, you can take CS classes at Harvey Mudd to fulfill your requirements.

    Two superb schools. You can't go wrong, really. Let us know what you choose!
  • uhhscreennameuhhscreenname Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    Thank you everyone for the input. I have been pretty set on Williams as of late with the only major downside being the vibe at the school. I am from the Midwestern city and am used to lots of snow: I'm not a huge fan. That being said, I don't think that it would kill me to go to a schools with bad weather. I like Pomona more for the vibe, the weather, and the 5C size. I like Williams more for the actual school, the opportunities, and the athletics. Can anyone speak from experience about how weather and atmosphere should play a role in my decision???
  • nostalgicwisdomnostalgicwisdom Registered User Posts: 1,251 Senior Member
    Didn't the ED1 deadline already pass for Pomona? If you genuinely prefer Williams to Pomona, that's pretty telling- the "actual school" factor should be the #1 factor. if Williams ED doesn't work out, you could do ED2 to Pomona later.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 30,865 Senior Member
    edited November 2017
    My Minnesotan didn't pick a 5C for the weather, but she loved it once she got there. She is back in the Midwest in grad school now and unhappy that it has already snowed.
  • bogeyorparbogeyorpar Registered User Posts: 343 Member
    Why the focus on LAC? You have the stats to go for top universities. If you want the D3 baseball option open, MIT, UChicago, NYU, WashU are all strong in both Finance and CS.
  • ChembiodadChembiodad Registered User Posts: 2,199 Senior Member
    @bogeyorpar, that comment is a a head scratcher as top universities and top LAC’s have the same student profile, albeit different student focuses.
  • bogeyorparbogeyorpar Registered User Posts: 343 Member
    @Chembiodad , exactly! OP mentioned that he wants to study CS or Finance in a top college, get good jobs either in silicon valley or wall street, and have a chance to play D3 baseball. Based on these criteria, his choice shouldn't be only between Pomona and Williams. Pomona and Williams are great schools, but they are not known for CS or Finance.
  • ChembiodadChembiodad Registered User Posts: 2,199 Senior Member
    edited November 2017
    No need for a Finance degree or even an LAC Econ degree to land on Wall Street as a Math major will achieve that goal as well, likely better! Regarding a CS degree, plenty of Silicon Valley careers came from LAC CS degrees.
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