Tuesday, November 14, 2006

NYU visit

I was really toying with the idea of just skipping this visit altogether. I know NYU is excellent for Finance but I just couldn't get excited about the place and my visit certainly did not change that for me.

First mark against NYU - you only get to attend one class per visit. What's with that? How is it that all these other top schools let you attend all you want? Either NYU is way more popular than I would have guessed or the classrooms are shockingly small. Hmmm. Or else they're just really bad at marketing themselves, not realizing that letting Prospectives attend classes freely is a really great way to show themselves off.

When I showed up for the class I was told that it had been switched around because they were doing a special case study for the Mets (my only afternoon class option was a Marketing course) and that the info session and tour would happen beforehand. Fine, no problem. The student who led the tour would not stop chatting with other students passing through in the hallways, either explicitly stopping the tour or making a point of saying hello to everyone. That got really, really old. Tour was cursory - they're never all that valuable but certainly don't hurt. Classes take place in one building. (Two at Columbia.) We then sat in an empty classroom to hold the info session. Memorable points were that they don't want a "cookie cutter" applicant and that creativity in the application is encouraged. I thought that was a little ironic given how cookie cutter our tour guide seemed as well as all the students we saw. Well, I guess it's the inside that counts there, maybe there was way more originality than I gave credit for beneath the chinos and button downs. I also was not particularly fond of the 8 or so Prospectives on the tour with me. Enough with the dumb app questions, kids. I was just bitter and tired at this point, sorry.

After an annoying hour long break we regrouped in an auditorium for the Marketing class. It was a panel with two Mets employees and two Marketing professors. I endured about an hour of very boring baseball discussion and the beginning of student Q&A which mainly focussed on more boring partisan sport talk before I left in utter exhaustion.

Bottom line - NYU doesn't really give Prospectives much opportunity to evaluate the school which says a lot about them I think. My experience was boring and annoying but it wasn't really a full picture of things (or maybe it was). I have some concerns about whether there is sufficient capacity for students. On the other hand, I thought the admissions office people were very nice. Umm. One point there? (The Columbia admissions people weren't particularly helpful. I spent a semester at Barnard and didn't find the experience particularly heartwarming - maybe the GSB would be different, or not ...)

Overall, I think the expense of living in New York outweighs the educational opportunities. Columbia and NYU are now both off the list. On the other hand, if my husband's employment opportunities are best in New York, maybe I should keep Columbia on. At any rate, neither boots Chicago from the top spot. I think I'd rather just go to New York to make money, not go into debt.

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