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Will choosing a more populated and highly recognized school over one that is less unheard of matter for careers?

I was always so skeptic about where I wanted to go to school throughout high school. I didn't know whether to apply to a D1 school or a D3 school. Therefore, I made the decision to apply to both. Fortunately, I did get accepted to every school I applied to but just couldn't make up my mind as to where I wanted to go. I figured that if I went to the more talked about schools over the others that I was for sure making the smarter choice and benefit of the doubt. I got accepted to both Florida State University and Kean University. It took a great deal of thought but in the end I chose Kean over FSU only because it was way closer to home. What makes me so curious is that will the degree matter just as much if I made that choice to go to FSU instead? #college #career #university #degrees

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Subject: Career question for you

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Paul A’s Answer

Hi Mitchell! From my experience choosing a small school offered me a chance to make a larger variety of friends, gain leadership roles that would have been highly unlikely in a bigger school. My extracurricular activities increased my leadership skills, my courage, confidence, communication skills and boldness. All of which gave me the self awareness, clarity and courage to recognize that I make a lousy employee. Self employment has been the best thing I ever did except for the woman I married who I met after college. To me a small college can offer personal growth opportunities a large college can't. I was picked as one of 4 Sigma Chi national assistant executive secretaries after graduation so going to a small college didn't limit my being picked for that. I have worked with big companies and small companies throughout Canada and the U.S. as a an independent contractor. Never did anyone ask me where I went to college. I guess you can tell I'm a fan of small colleges and the reputation is really not as important as your belief in you and your abilities. Obviously MIT and other big reputation schools will impress some. Not every graduate of Florida State or any big name school is going to land their dream job. Most will wind up with sucky boring jobs they hate because they bought the hype. Focus on the skill sets, self awareness, personal preferences and desires that fit you and the career and life you want. Where "I went to school is over rated." The question is are you taking advantage of the growth opportunities available to you right now? You are obviously very smart. Learn to grow where you are presently planted and quit digging up old plants you thought about planting. It is a waste of your time and energy. Take advantages of opportunities where you are right now. See all of this as a great adventure! The best! Paul :-)

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Jane’s Answer

Hi Mitchell,
You may find that some companies target specific universities more than others based on the type of study that is done there and the reputation and achievement of the university. However that doesn't mean that you should be concerned about it impacting your future career, as that is in your own hands and you can ensure that you are targeting companies of interest for internships and graduate roles and not just waiting for them to come to you!

I believe that choosing a school should not just be about the schools reputation but should also be about doing what feels right for you - that will make you comfortable and more likely to be successful.
All the best.
Jane.

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