I went to two alumni events tonight.
1. UC Berkeley lecture on What will it take to be elected in 2008?
2. Chicago MBA lecture on Thaler’s new book Nudge.
I don’t think I could have attended two dorkier schools…with the exception of MIT and Cal Tech. Those people can barely carry on a conversation. I know. I have friends who went there.
But back to me. I’m not that smart. The only reason I got accepted to Cal or Chicago was because I studied hard, worked hard, did everything I could to get there. So I’m not your typical nerd. But I am nerdy in that I like to read a lot, I’m inherently introverted, and I truly enjoy my alone time. I’ve had to develop my social skills. I had to push myself to work up the courage to say hello and network with others. I hate networking! But eventually (I wouldn’t say I’m good at it), I got the hang of it. It’s a basic MBA skill!
So I start out at the Chicago MBA event and no one is really talking to each other. Even the people I do talk to…end up being quite awkward. It’s painful carrying on a conversation with these people.
I head on over to the Cal event just in time for the lecture and I sit next to some guy who has Tourette’s! He can’t stop rocking back and forth, and clearing his mouth every 10 seconds. It was extremely aggravating. Now, I know these people can’t help it. Maybe I’m being insensitive, but I really had to focus and concentrate on what the speakers were saying.
I’m proud to be an alum of these schools, nonetheless—even if we are a bunch of socially-awkward dorky geeks. So here are the facts, just the facts (and not my jaded impressions) on my beloved alma maters.
#1 public university
Founded in 1868 as the oldest of the ten University of California campuses
20 Nobel laureates over the years
31% of freshman come from families in which neither parent has a college degree
1/3 of all undergrads are eligible for Pell Grants, meaning their family incomes are less than $45,000/year
Berkeley serves more economically disadvantaged students than all of the Ivy Leagues combined
4.26 average high school GPA for freshman
99% of whom are in the top 10% of their graduating class
64% of freshman have at least one immigrant parent
75% of all undergrads receive some form of financial aid
University of Chicago Graduate School of Business
#1 business school
Founded in 1898
Second oldest b-school in the world
1,100 in the full-time program
I’m sure there are more fun facts, but I am done with staring at the computer for the day. Off to read Love in the Time of Cholera before beddy.