Finding a job when graduating from LACs

<p>Hey guys, I'm from Hong Kong, and I plan on working in HK after graduation. </p>

<p>Until recently, I have been mostly toying with the idea of applying to medium-sized universities, although I am not sure of my major yet. However, I have been advised by my counselor that your major doesn't really matter (unless it's something like Ballet Studies) as long as you graduate from a top 20 university.</p>

<p>However, I'm curious if employers (especially employers in foreign countries) recognise top LACs as much as they do universities. ie. If I graduate from Swarthmore or Amherst, will I be looked down for having a so-called 'liberal arts' educations, with employers instead preferring a more 'practical' degree, although they are the best LACs in the US?</p>

<p>Thank you.</p>

<p>It depends. In the United States, you'll usually be fine: top employers are very familiar with top LACs and will realize their prestige.</p>

<p>However, if you are planning to work internationally (in HK) this can be much riskier, as they will most likely not recognize the name of most LACs. However, a feasible route for you (which I would recommend) could be to go to a good LAC for undergrad and then a top university to grad school. I know a couple people who did this from HK and it turned out quite well for them. LACs are great in terms of grad school admissions.</p>

<p>Ah, this seems a little tricky then. I'm not even sure if I want to go to grad school - spending six years of my life not working seems a little wasteful to me (not to mention to my parent's finances, although I won't be needing financial aid).</p>

<p>Edit: I'll only be applying to Williams, Swarthmore, Amherst, maybe Claremont McKenna...do you still think that the lack of recognition will be a problem? Gimme the brutal truth bro, I'm an Asian at heart, I want that money ;)</p>

<p>If you don't plan to go to grad school and want to work internationally, then I'd recommend going to a top university (not a LAC).</p>

<p>Bump. More opinions for how much harder it is it find jobs internationally when graduating from LACs?</p>

<p>It's changing but only slowly. Because LACs don't have grad schools (esp. no engineering or science grad schools), they have low name recognition internationally. Case in pt.: Friend's daughter (India) got full scholarship to Amherst and did a year abroad at London School of Economics. Her boss in India persists in introducing her as a LSE grad despite her initial corrections - she's now given up and figures that eventually the rest of the world will catch up. Note that she did not have trouble finding employment in a prestigious company in India, but that was because her first job after graduating was at a well-known company in the US. The Indian company was purchasing her US work credentials - and the LSE connection.</p>

<p>cool cool cool</p>

<p>
[quote]
If you don't plan to go to grad school and want to work internationally, then I'd recommend going to a top university (not a LAC).

[/quote]

I agree with this. Size (of a college) might need a bit of an adjustment if you're aiming for a job right after college.</p>

<p>I would disagree in that if you go to one the listed schools, you will have plenty of opportunities to do research, internships, and publications. Probably more so than any bigger school, depending on what university you're thinking about. You will not get a job in HK because of your undergrad school, you will get it because of what you've done. The LSE story is pretty standard in that you will have access to do recognizable achievements. People I've known from Pomona haven't had any more trouble getting international jobs than people I know that go to Ivies with similar credentials. </p>

<p>Do you mind me asking what field you're interested in? I'm guessing economics. Your major doesn't matter getting a job for the major alone, just as (in my view) your school doesn't matter getting a job for the school alone, with the exception of alumni connections. But if you major in the field you're interested in and then do research and a thesis in that field, that would help you. And you might not want to go to grad school right now, but a lot of jobs look for the masters or MBA. You will also get a better education at an LAC, which is what will really matter.</p>

<p>santeria, what you say is appropriate for graduate school admissions, to be sure. However, in corporate hiring, the exact nature of the work done as an undergraduate is only relevant if the hiring employer 1) interviews at the school, or 2) will take an interview based on the school's reputation. If you can't get in the door for the interview in the first place, the quality of the undergraduate work becomes a moot point.</p>

<p>Now, here in the U.S., Amherst, Pomona, Bowdoin, etc. are generally known quantities in corporate recruiting. I am going to make an educated guess that the same is not true in Hong Kong, or Paris, or Moscow, or Buenos Aires.</p>

<p>Everything above applies only to a first job out of college. Beyond that, work done in the workplace, and introductions earned there, are primarily what leads to the next opportunity.</p>

<p>Have you tried top regional universities? Some also have grad schools. Take Chapman University for example, it is a liberal arts university. They have a law school, and they're planning a medical school in the future. They already have a satellite campus in Singapore for their film programs in addition to their powerhouse film school at the main campus location in California. I believe Chapman is planning on a satellite campus in China in the future as well. Chapman has degree programs at "25 satellite campuses in California and Washington that have provided working adults who are returning to school or are beginning college study with convenient and affordable education programs." This group of campuses is named Brandman University. So the Chapman name is well-regarded.</p>

<p>how about the reputation of the Claremont Colleges in terms of finding jobs? Are they well regarded (not just Pomona and CMC)? Also, do you guys think a degree from the 5Cs or any respected LAC in America fares well in finding a job in South America? Thanks.</p>

<p>Ah. Seems like I will be taking a huge risk of I go to an LAC then (although I love the environment there)</p>

<p>Perhaps the most obvious step is to do some research on your own. CC is useful but highly unreliable, particularly when it comes to such a specific question. I sincerely doubt many in this thread have had experience applying for jobs overseas as LAC graduates.</p>

<p>Most LACs have career centers. For example, here is Swarthmore's:</p>

<p>Swarthmore</a> College :: Career Services :: Welcome from Career Services</p>

<p>Try contacting them and asking about their international placement. I would also look for alumni groups overseas (e.g. Claremont McKenna has one in Japan) that you can contact for more detailed information.</p>

<p>For what anecdotal information is worth, the only person I know who works in Hong Kong graduated from a LAC in the Northeast. Admittedly, he did get a MA from HKU.</p>

<p>I'm repeating the answer that I posted to a similar (same?) question on another board:</p>

<p>I have lived in Asia, including Hong Kong, for 20 years. Because my son is a graduate of Williams, I am always interested in noting the educational credentials of people I meet, both in the public and private sectors. I can tell you they are all over the board and my conclusion is that the undergraduate degree is not a significant factor in success in an international setting.</p>

<p>What is significant is what you do while you're in college -- the connections you make, how you use your summers and holidays, the internships, the travel experiences, the language skills. This is where you meet the people who will offer you that job on graduation. This is where you build that appealing resume. </p>

<p>The LACs you are looking at have phenomenally strong alumni networks, excellent career counseling, recruitment and placement and a very high level of acceptance at graduate and professional schools.</p>

<p>My son's highschool peers who studied in America attended a wide range of colleges and universities -- big state U's, medium sized privates, small LACs. Many of them are now back in Asia (or will be when they finish their graduate degrees). Those that went to small LACs appear to be as well placed as those that went to schools with more universal name recognition.</p>

<p>One caveat: the average person on the street in Asia, even those with good international educations, may not have heard of Amherst, Williams, Swarthmore, Pomona. Generally these are not the same people who have hiring power, but still, you have to endure a lot of blank looks.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Friend's daughter (India) got full scholarship to Amherst and did a year abroad at London School of Economics. Her boss in India persists in introducing her as a LSE grad despite her initial corrections - she's now given up and figures that eventually the rest of the world will catch up.

[/quote]
The general point is true, but I'd take that particular example with a grain of salt. LSE is a very highly esteemed institution in India, more so than Oxbridge. Many of India's great statesmen and economists have been to LSE at some point in their lives resulting in this incongruent esteem.</p>

<p>
[quote]
One caveat: the average person on the street in Asia, even those with good international educations, may not have heard of Amherst, Williams, Swarthmore, Pomona. Generally these are not the same people who have hiring power, but still, you have to endure a lot of blank looks.

[/quote]
I'd reckon that the average person in the States, except in New England perhaps, will be as clueless about Top LACs as would his counterpart in Asia.</p>

<p>
[quote]
I'd reckon that the average person in the States, except in New England perhaps, will be as clueless about Top LACs as would his counterpart in Asia.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>That's true. If universal brandname recognition is important to you, then don't choose an LAC.</p>