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| I graduated over 25 years ago and I still look back fondly to my time at Cooper. I still remember my dad's encouraging words: "This is free; you're applying." In retrospect, I have no idea why I even dreamed about applying to MIT or Georgia Tech, since I couldn't have paid for them if I did apply and got accepted. Glad I didn't, so I can pretend that I might have been accepted. :-)|
Sure, there was a pretty-serious workload, but it didn't feel like Cooper was unique. Friends at other universities at the time spoke of similar experiences. Frankly, if you learn to handle deadlines in college, you'll be a lot more useful in your work life, both to yourself and those who pay you.
Yeah, the social life was bring-your-own. Fortunately, I had a tight circle of friends outside school, so I never lacked for activities. There was a fair share of clubs, but being a 100% commuter school when I went, the last thing you wanted to do was stay even later after class and then take the NYC subway home. If you're considering Cooper and want to be on the pep squad, you're looking at the wrong school. We Electrical Engineers thought about having a EE-PROM, but it never panned out. Yes, that was the type of people there. Some love it; some don't. You decide.
What makes Cooper stand out in my mind against most other universities is the preparation it gave me for the real world. We had adjunct professors from industry (mostly Bell Labs, which was still in it's hey-day then) who told us what was worth remembering in the lessons and what wasn't. Also, I got a job at the Computer Center, which brought in a few bucks, but also taught me how things run in a (pseudo-)production environment. It was less intense than a corporate data center, but the systems (we had two; it was the early 80s) had to stay up, especially when student projects were due. I value this as much as most of my classes.
I've seen some postings in recent years bashing Cooper's reputation as a "computer science" school, because it has no CS degree. This came after someone at Cooper spoke up about one of the early-2000s virus outbreaks. First of all, when I went EE's made more money than CS's, so I made the financial decision to go EE. That balance shifted literally while I was at school (sigh...), but Cooper provided (and provides, since I'm still in contact with the computer folks there) a state-o-the-art CS education, minus the degree. Most importantly, it teaches you real-world CS, with less focus on the O(N^2), numerical methods, etc., stuff that prepares you in no way for real software development.Would I do it all again? Absolutely. What would I change? I guess I would study more (but probably not; heck, you're only young once and it's NYC for goodness sake!), since I only graduated with 3.0, which hurt a bit the first 3 years or so of my career. Before you label me as not as bright as I think I am, I attended Manhattan College for grad school six months after graduating Cooper and pulled a 4.0 for my MEE. So, I guess you could say Cooper was harder, but you have to factor in the differences in work ethic of an 18 year old living at home vs. a 23 year old on his own.
| Starting Job: Member of Technical Staff, Preparedness: B, Reputation: C- |
|Mar 01 2010|| Alumnus Male --
Class 2000 |
| Wow, so much to say and so little time. Hands down, Cooper is (or at least was back in 1986-88) an amazing school. Most of the teachers were fabulous. A few of them were fair. I learned a great deal and if I had the opportunity to do it all again, I would get far more out of the experience than I did as a "kid". As an artist I loved the location and ventured into the jungles of the lower west and east side as much as possible. Food was everywhere, from Dojo on St. Mark's Place to some of the best Indian food you'll ever find (ouside of India: ) on 5th street, what I called Little India. I made the most of the lack of structured social life. But in Manhattan, who needs a pep rally to have a great time. They have dorms now, so I'd say the social life is probably different, possibly worse cause when you are 18 and commuting on the LL train from Brooklyn, life is never dull! Go to Cooper -- only if you are a serious student. They just about beat you to death with assignments in your freshman year. But if you love what you do and are a serious student, go to Cooper. |
|Dec 04 2009|| 4th Year Female --
Class 1988 |