Williams vs. Stanford vs. Swarthmore

<p>At this point I have not been able to sleep because this decision is agonizing me. I need to choose a college that can offer unprecedented academics, solid job availability, and an overall good experience which all these schools can do, but basically I am interested in Non-profit organizations or PR/Director @ a major corporation. I am a fun, happy go lucky, hard worker. I go to one of the top boarding schools in the US now and it has given me a solid foundation for a hard work load that Swat or Williams would offer, however, I am sick and tired of the suffocating social bubble and it has created a lot of tension for me.</p>

<p>I am an expert talker and socializer and i really want to have a job where I can help others or a job managing the image of a company like TOMS or Apple. I understand my career goals are hefty, but I am just not knowledgeable enough to make a decision and would love some anecdotal experiences or opinions. </p>

<p>My profile: Hispanic, male, I love to go out, try new things, food, traveling, etc. I am basically a stereotypical guy that likes new things constantly and I hardly ever sit idle.</p>

<p>Money is not an issue and I have already ruled out Bowdoin, Middlebury, UChicago, and Columbia.</p>

<p>If you want a career in corporate PR, you'll need to select a school with a strong PR program and internship opportunities. You might want to look at Syracuse University's program.</p>

<p>Academically, Williams and Swarthmore undergraduate are unrivaled, and grads are ahead of the game in applying to graduate or professional programs or going directly into the workforce; Swat perhaps with a higher percentage going into the NPO's. Swat is less geographically isolated than Williams, being a short train ride from NYC and an even shorter train ride from Philly. Williams has more athletes, Swat more "intellectuals", but the students at both schools are amazing. The OP's concern re. a "social bubble" might incline more toward attending a large university, and Stanford is near or at the top of the national universities. That said, most Williams and Swat grads consider their undergraduate experience to have been some of the best times in their lives, and the alumni are very loyal. Sounds like a visit/overnight at the three campuses would be in order.</p>

<p>I had the opposite reaction; I thought by bubble the OP meant the small boarding school atmosphere which, of course, would seem to implicate Swat and Williams more than Stanford.</p>

<p>^ that's what I meant: less of a risk of a "bubble" at a huge place than a small place.</p>

<p>My son faces the same three schools as part of his choice this year. He is doing a Stanford visit yesterday and today. Based on my phone conversations with him, it sounds like you could be a great fit for there (although it is increasingly clear that it would not be for him.)</p>

<p>Stanford is big, energetic, diverse, not "bubbled," very entrepreneurial--I think you would really fit with their vibe.</p>

<p>Considering his aspirations, I would go to Stanford (and I'm a big fan of LACs).</p>

<p>given everything you just typed, stanford hands down</p>

<p>plus california is gorgeous</p>

<p>I don't think of any of those schools as good in PR, though I'm sure you can craft together good PR credentials at any of them. UNC and Syracuse have great PR programs and I am sure there are more that I don't know of. Also, considering everything you wrote, I would consider a gap year, especially as money is not and issue.</p>

<p>What I meant is that I am afraid of my experience at Williams and Swat being a repeat of my boarding school. And after reading multiple Williams threads it sounds just like my school. So I think I may put Williams at the back. Unfortunately, it is too late to apply anywhere else for programs so this is where I have to decide from. I could easily see myself at both school (Swat and Stanford), but I teeter totter daily. Does anyone know about the class sizes at Stanford? The only thing that turns of off of Stanford is that it might become an impersonal manufactured education. I feel that at Swat I wouldnt receive that.</p>

<p>To clarify a little more about what I meant about the bubble cause I can see my post is not concise enough. </p>

<p>I know social hierarchy, status, etc will always be apart of my life as an adult, but I am looking for something a bit more refreshing. With a student body that is not as segregated and I could easily flow in and out of different groups with out negative stigmas. </p>

<p>My interest in non-profit organizations, which I have already started one, seems better suited at Swat since they will be more willing to work with me with funding and publicity than Stanford. </p>

<p>I am visiting all three campuses, visiting brown too, and I am afraid Stanford's resort style campus will bias my opinion over Swat. I am actually going to Swat next wednesday.</p>

<p>You are so lucky-honestly, wherever you go it will work out...Go with your heart.</p>

<p>Yes, visit all campuses and figure out where you fit best. I would not rely on internet postings. I have often found the one's on this board misleading.</p>

<p>Three incredible schools, congratulations.</p>

<p>This is sounding more and more llike a Stanford choice, however.</p>

<p>
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Academically, Williams and Swarthmore undergraduate are unrivaled, and grads are ahead of the game in applying to graduate or professional programs or going directly into the workforce

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Dad2, when you say "unrivaled" academically, I would imagine that you are comparing W and S to other LAC's and certainly not to Stanford, which is the OP's 3rd choice here. Am I correct?</p>

<p>hey polka
I am a parent on this board, trying to help my daughter make decisions about college. Every post you make put Williams in a bad light and you look foolish. Why cant you just admit that its a great school, as are all of the other schools discussed here? I realize that you need to defend your Bowdoin education, but putting Williams down in every post shows that truly know nothing about Williams so you should just stop posting. thanks.</p>

<p>I am parent of a Williams graduating senior who has had a wonderful experience, but I think it would take incredible chutzpah to recommend it over Swat or Standard. These are all wonderful institutions.</p>

<p>That being said, for the OP Stanford appears the clear choice. It is more business oriented and less of a bubble. </p>

<p>However, I must be missing something or this would be the clear choice for the OP.</p>

<p>For my kid, Williams was the clear choice, and some of it for reasons that others consider drawbacks. As a suburban kid from near NYC he felt suburbs and city were known quantities. He thought college was a perfect time to live in a rural environment and immerse himself in nature. It worked for him, but it wouldn't be everyone's choice at all.</p>

<p>Feeder school etc meant nothing to him. We are a bit ivory tower intellectuals in this family. S is a Classics Major.</p>

<p>Daydreaming, I think your decision is first do you want a medium sized “full service” university or do you want a small liberal arts college? The attraction of the Stanford brand and image is enormous, but before you get caught up in its gravitational pull you need to put name recognition aside and think about what’s best for you.</p>

<p>I work in international business (in Asia) and interact frequently with heads of NGOs and managers of CSR and PR for major multinationals. What it takes to get across a positive and convincing message for a corporation or organization is unbounded articulateness, confidence and poise – often in the face of distressingly negative situations. People who hold these jobs are in general very well educated – undergraduate experience varies; what really counts are the graduate degrees – and very well spoken, both orally and in writing.</p>

<p>Even though your high school accomplishments are commendable, as a 17/18 year old you’re pretty much raw material to be molded, both intellectually and socially. So you have to think about where you would get the best support and direction both for your mind and the greater YOU. You will do your best in the environment in which you feel most comfortable.</p>

<p>From my son’s experience (Williams 07) this is what Williams really excels at: taking ambitious, accomplished, bright teenagers and nurturing them for success in whatever field they choose. Williams does this through unceasingly accessible professors, a strong academic support system (if they admit you, they’ll do everything they can to make sure you graduate), a strong social support system that kicks in from day one (the orientation and entry system) and bountiful role models and strong alumni/ae networks. </p>

<p>My son and his friends, who four years post-graduation represent a good cross section -- public and private endeavors, NGOs and for-profits, academic and professional graduate programs -- all did very well in summer grants and internships, first jobs and graduate school admissions. They were helped in no small degree by the Williams network both formally in the career counseling, graduate program advice and academic recommendations and informally in alumni/ae connections.</p>

<p>Could you get this at Stanford? No question that it’s available, but you may have to seek it more aggressively. Being an “expert talker and socializer” won’t necessarily land you at the lead of a very competitive pack.</p>

<p>I think you should also think about how far you want to get out of your ethnic comfort zone – Williams tries very hard to attract diversity, but the Berkshires are not a particularly multi-cultural area and the Eastcoast establishment can be daunting for a person who hasn’t grown up with it. </p>

<p>So, first, make up your mind whether you want small or big. After that you can decide between Williams and Swarthmore. I wouldn’t draw the conclusion that Williams is less active than Swarthmore in supporting and funding social-good careers. The major difference between the two schools is environment and culture. </p>

<p>Good luck and let us know what you choose.</p>

<p>^ momrath, why are you writing as if williams/swarthmore are better than stanford?</p>

<p>stanford is just as good if not better at everything you just said. as an employer stanford is a much stronger brand than williams</p>

<p>Curious to know why you crossed off Chicago?
It seems like to me that Chicago could be a better option than Swarthmore, as it won't have the "cliquishness" that the small LACs have.
With all that said, after reading your post, Stanford seemed like the school that fits most of your needs.</p>