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Williams College

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Date: Sep 06 2007
Major: Cultures/Civilization (This Major's Salary over time)
Follow the herd, they have collective knowledge about majors, degrees, graduate schools and employment paths. You will have to somehow put that all together yourself - you may get the occasional sentence or two of good advice, but this is not enough. You will have to intuit what you will need and how to go about getting it starting from before you arrive. This is especially true of summer and post- graduation employment, but the planning should start from before day one. I got a great deal of random advice ("Take Art History!" "Take Drawing!" "Take English 101 and don't do AP because Williams is better!" "Take Economics! (not bad, but when unaccompanied by "Take advanced calculus in high school!" results in early termination at the -200 level or the dreaded non-quantitative economist label) which didn't help me transition into a career or meaningful employment. If it weren't for substantial help from other people I would have starved to death a decade ago.

Major in political science or economics or better yet, political economy instead, and pay lip service to languages, but avoid them like the plague, and you'll be better positioned for employment to actually use the languages you never studied.

Geography is very important in finding post-college work or pursuing higher education. I'd suggest that if you're not on the coast, you're toast, meaning that for the most part, if you're not in a few New England or mid-Atlantic states, or on the West Coast, you're just SOL. You can quote me on that. No one in my metrosprawlopia has ever heard of Williams. Most of the local alums where I live have really struggled with their careers, in spite of (or more likely because of) the fact that local levels of intelligence and education tend to be pretty laughable.

Thanks to Williams, I did well against a recently published editorial in the WSJ listing what liberal arts degrees should require. It's a shame that businesses and graduate schools are not looking for these skills (in fact, it's even arguable whether they want to hire or recruit Americans at all).

What Williams did provide was a fair assessment environment for standardized tests (this could be valuable for you, if you can go to the places that these matter). Also, although I dealt with some unfair crap, it was NOTHING as bad as the Asia-biased -plagiarism -lying-cheating -rule-flauting- faculty-admin -misbehavior -anti-American -shitstorm I later encountered in grad school.

commentFour years later and I've come to the conclusion that these people (faculty, administration, alums)really don't care whether I live or die.
I am sorry that I ever thought that Williams was a place that I should pursue my education.
questionFour years on, any updates? Did the Williams connection ever come through for you?
responseNo… to be fair, I believe this is at least partly a function of both geography and the way our wonderful nation works.

Also, I think I exaggerated with my first comment. However, the fact remains that I'm going to have to develop any career and network I can still have through different channels.

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