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Thread: Graduate real estate development programs

  1. #201
    Quote Originally posted by phear_me View post
    After having interacted with many of the students at MIT already I'd have to say that there isn't a single person that isn't impressive, most across multiple dimensions. In fact, thus far, I'm more impressed with the average quality of person at MIT than I was with my USC MBA and I bleed Trojan cardinal and gold so that's saying something.

    Here is a link to the class of 2008 student descriptions: http://web.mit.edu/cre/students/over...tstudents.html
    MIT is admitting people named Bozho? That's it, I'm definitely going to NYU!

    I have a question that is admittedly self-serving though ensuing discussion should be beneficial to all. I have a slightly different resume and strengths/weaknesses and was wondering on people's thoughts relative to different programs, from Phear Me and company.

    My background: I am currently in NYC consulting for a hedge fund investing in distressed commercial mortgages after seeing the small investor/developer, where I spent a year underwriting acquisitions, go belly-up for reasons related to the credit crunch. Prior, I worked as an acquisitions analyst for a value added real estate fund manager that is a household name for a few years. I have an undergraduate degree in business from Haas at UC Berkeley and am 27.

    I have always been the one of the stronger quantitative guys in the room but am looking for a career developing or repositioning real estate assets that incorporates a higher degree of creativity and vision. So, assuming I would get in here are my thoughts so far:

    MIT attracts me due to it's strength internationally (who wouldn't want to end up living in a Manhattan penthouse and be traveling to Dubai or Latin America to oversee your latest project?)

    Columbia is local, the emphasis on less quantitative aspects is appealing. It seems to make sense that as I am already very strong in analysis, this emphasis would supplement my skill set nicely.

    Cornell is attractive because it has a very strong hotel school to provide unique electives (an interest), and overall good program.

    USC is attractive because it has a great west coast network and there is a 50% chance I will be on the west coast long term.

    NYU is attractive because its courswork looks worthwhile, and offers great networking capabilities.

    (I ordered them in descenting order of my perception of their "brand" quality)

    My concerns: MIT may be too quantitative and adding that would only reinforce an area that is already strong and be repetitive to my skill set, Columbia has lackluster placement and sounds entrepreneurial almost to a fault (unless you already have investors lined up), USC is for those only willing to live on the west coast, the brand of NYU and the length and isolation of Cornell.

    In sum, I want to be involved in all aspects of the development process working on architecturally significant developments, possibly internationally. There's also a high likelihood that I will end up in CA long term, my homeland.

    My questions are thus:
    1. How well-founded are my concerns over Columbia's placement, it's not-as-exemplary preparation for international projects, and the thought that it might be entrepreneurial to a fault?

    2. Are the actual differences slight and just covered in extreme detail in this thread?

    3. How much of a disadvantage do other top MSREDs have to USC's in competing for a job in California?

    Guru Phear Me and anyone else who thinks they know the cure for my spinning thoughts... your recommendations?
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 22 Aug 2008 at 2:06 PM. Reason: double reply

  2. #202
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    Well.....

    Quote Originally posted by MetaphysicalBrian View post
    I have a question that is admittedly self-serving though ensuing discussion should be beneficial to all. I have a slightly different resume and strengths/weaknesses and was wondering on people's thoughts relative to different programs, from Phear Me and company.

    My background: I am currently in NYC consulting for a hedge fund investing in distressed commercial mortgages after seeing the small investor/developer, where I spent a year underwriting acquisitions, go belly-up for reasons related to the credit crunch. Prior, I worked as an acquisitions analyst for a value added real estate fund manager that is a household name for a few years. I have an undergraduate degree in business from Haas at UC Berkeley and am 27.

    I have always been the one of the stronger quantitative guys in the room but am looking for a career developing or repositioning real estate assets that incorporates a higher degree of creativity and vision. So, assuming I would get in here are my thoughts so far:

    MIT attracts me due to it's strength internationally (who wouldn't want to end up living in a Manhattan penthouse and be traveling to Dubai or Latin America to oversee your latest project?)

    Columbia is local, the emphasis on less quantitative aspects is appealing. It seems to make sense that as I am already very strong in analysis, this emphasis would supplement my skill set nicely.

    Cornell is attractive because it has a very strong hotel school to provide unique electives (an interest), and overall good program.

    USC is attractive because it has a great west coast network and there is a 50% chance I will be on the west coast long term.

    NYU is attractive because its courswork looks worthwhile, and offers great networking capabilities.

    (I ordered them in descenting order of my perception of their "brand" quality)

    My concerns: MIT may be too quantitative and adding that would only reinforce an area that is already strong and be repetitive to my skill set, Columbia has lackluster placement and sounds entrepreneurial almost to a fault (unless you already have investors lined up), USC is for those only willing to live on the west coast, the brand of NYU and the length and isolation of Cornell.

    In sum, I want to be involved in all aspects of the development process working on architecturally significant developments, possibly internationally. There's also a high likelihood that I will end up in CA long term, my homeland.

    My questions are thus:
    1. How well-founded are my concerns over Columbia's placement, it's not-as-exemplary preparation for international projects, and the thought that it might be entrepreneurial to a fault?

    2. Are the actual differences slight and just covered in extreme detail in this thread?

    3. How much of a disadvantage do other top MSREDs have to USC's in competing for a job in California?

    Guru Phear Me and anyone else who thinks they know the cure for my spinning thoughts... your recommendations?
    As described in a previous thread of a similar subject (University of Denver) check out:

    http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/mba/aca...lum/majors.cfm

    At only $80,000 a year, you know it has to be great
    “The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    - See more at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-ph....r7W02j3S.dpuf

  3. #203
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    Quote Originally posted by AJW View post
    Phear-

    I am very interested in applying to Cornell's MBA/MPS-Real Estate degree which is a three year program. Assuming I get in I think it will give me the most flexibility as far as career choices go. I wanted to know if you had any insight on who to talk to or how to best position myself to be accepted to both programs. What should I be doing right now? I will apply next year to attend in 2010. Any information will help. Thanks for all the past posts they were helpful. Below is some basic information.

    GPA: 3.99 (E-con)
    GMAT:610
    Work Experience: 4 years
    Intl Experience: 2 years (Brasil-Fluent in Portuguese)
    Title:Associate Developer (Residential) Watts Enterprises (Boutique Development Firm in the State of Utah)

    I will split my comments into MPSRE and MBA


    MPSRE:

    The first person you should speak with at Cornell is Susan Tosto. In my experience Susan is one of the most helpful and kind people working at any of the programs and will steer you in the right direction if she's not capable of addressing all of your concerns.

    In looking at your stats the obvious weakness is your GMAT score. With such a stellar GPA you can get away with a lower than average GMAT but I'd really like to see you at 640 or higher.

    Are you by chance an under represented minority? That could ease some of the score pressure. Also: where did you do your undergrad and in what course of study?


    MBA


    Your GMAT score is far too low for a high chance of admission into the Johnson school. I would say that 650 is the minimum target given your GPA. It will also be important for you to demonstrate management experience to the Johnson school as professional leadership experience is much more important to MBA programs than it is to Real Estate programs.

    As far as what you can be doing I would suggest getting a head start on your essays, coaching your recommenders and most importantly trying to gain a few more points in each section of the GMAT.

    I hope that helps.

    - phear

    Quote Originally posted by ved_theone View post
    Hi all,

    I am thankfull for all the people who have posted their views and reviews of colleges in this posted thread.............. It is definately gonna help everyone for making their decisions

    Well, about me

    I am Civil Engineer from B grade college in India.
    Had done my 6 months project in IIT-Mumbai researching for GRAM++, a GIS software
    Had an average result with 65% marks.............. dont knw what that converts into GPA.
    Later on I did my master in Geoinformatics from one of the reputed college in India.
    Got placed in Reliance Infrastructure company, one the biggest company in India. in Jan'2008
    Working as Assistant Manager, for managing Utility and Infrastructure products of it
    In Utility sector i mean to say Electrical Distribution and Infrastructure, I mean to say Roads, Power Plant Setup, Transportation Management, GPS and RFID technologies.

    This all things are done using help of Geomatics
    1. Maintaining the Electrical Distribution Network
    2. Creating pavements and designing road using AutoCAD Civil 3D
    3. Designing Storm Water and modelling using ArcGIS and ILWIS
    4. Google Earth for Geo-referencing for images etc
    5. Programming in AutoCAD and AutoCAD Civil 3D, ArcGIS
    6. Currently working on Routing Alogrithms for Transportation of vehicles


    But I was always interested in Real Estate Program ie Valuation and Management
    I know, my knowledge of Civil Engineering and Geomatics can be manipulated in Real Estate Planning and Development
    Because this technology has been implemented succesfuly yet their implementation is slow nd very little people know hot to implement them
    So, started to study for it............. later found that Masters in Real Estate Management Requires GMAT........... because i dont have a exp atleast what top Ivy colleges are looking for

    Can anyone please tell me how is my current job profile would either hamper/increase my chances in getting into nice colleges as discussed in the thread.

    I am planning to give GMAT in December.

    Please suggest me................. Thanks and Advance
    My first reaction is that your EXPERIENCE lends itself better to planning than to development. However, many people with planning backgrounds are accepted into development programs. I think you can make a strong argument for your candidacy for a real estate program based on what you've shared.

    However, as an Indian applicant it is important that you realize you are in a competitive category. It is important for you to do very well on the GMAT if you intend to apply to schools that require it. Also, your English is solid, but needs just a little bit of brushing up.

    I hope that helps.

    Quote Originally posted by MetaphysicalBrian View post

    I have always been the one of the stronger quantitative guys in the room but am looking for a career developing or repositioning real estate assets that incorporates a higher degree of creativity and vision. So, assuming I would get in here are my thoughts so far:

    MIT attracts me due to it's strength internationally (who wouldn't want to end up living in a Manhattan penthouse and be traveling to Dubai or Latin America to oversee your latest project?)

    Columbia is local, the emphasis on less quantitative aspects is appealing. It seems to make sense that as I am already very strong in analysis, this emphasis would supplement my skill set nicely.

    Cornell is attractive because it has a very strong hotel school to provide unique electives (an interest), and overall good program.

    USC is attractive because it has a great west coast network and there is a 50% chance I will be on the west coast long term.

    NYU is attractive because its courswork looks worthwhile, and offers great networking capabilities.

    (I ordered them in descenting order of my perception of their "brand" quality)

    My concerns: MIT may be too quantitative and adding that would only reinforce an area that is already strong and be repetitive to my skill set, Columbia has lackluster placement and sounds entrepreneurial almost to a fault (unless you already have investors lined up), USC is for those only willing to live on the west coast, the brand of NYU and the length and isolation of Cornell.

    In sum, I want to be involved in all aspects of the development process working on architecturally significant developments, possibly internationally. There's also a high likelihood that I will end up in CA long term, my homeland.

    My questions are thus:
    1. How well-founded are my concerns over Columbia's placement, it's not-as-exemplary preparation for international projects, and the thought that it might be entrepreneurial to a fault?

    2. Are the actual differences slight and just covered in extreme detail in this thread?

    3. How much of a disadvantage do other top MSREDs have to USC's in competing for a job in California?

    Guru Phear Me and anyone else who thinks they know the cure for my spinning thoughts... your recommendations?
    Q1. Your concerns over Columbia, if you expect to move vertically or change career tracks are very well founded. Whether or not Columbia is entrepreneurial to a fault depends on your perspective. For a person that plans on being an entrepreneur then I would say it fills an ideal niche for that person. For someone that doesn't wish to become an entrepreneur immediately post graduation then the Columbia program may indeed come across as having too strong an entrepreneurial focus. It is also important to decide your view on the issue with an eye on your access to personal or invested funds. Development doesn't happen without deep pocket books.

    Q2. It is, in my humble opinion, extremely important to understand for someone who wishes to play the role of "developer" that in practice there exists no real distinction between the project and planning elements and the quantitative and financial aspects of the business of doing development. Development begins with macro economic analysis and then funnels down to microeconomic analysis so that one can accurately project an IRR and not just immediately but for 5, 10, 20 years out. Developers address the pain in the market and build appropriately. This is why the best programs have a healthy balance between quantitative analysis and project management type courses. Isolating either aspect in the core courses would be to offer an incomplete education. For me, the key was looking for a program that offered a strong and unapologetic balance between these various elements that allowed for specialization in the elective courses.

    Q3 I would say MIT and USC are tied on the west coast. MIT's preeminence in the industry (#1 MSRED, #2 Architecture, #1 Planning) precedes it. I would give the nod to a Trojan MRED on the west coast in edge over Columbia and Cornell and NYU with the edge increasing slightly from least to most in that order (Col1, Cor2, NYU3). The next closest major program to the West Coast after USC can't be found until New York! USC owns the west coast, but all of the top programs will offer strong placement anywhere in the country.

    I hope that helps.
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 22 Aug 2008 at 2:06 PM. Reason: triple reply

  4. #204
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    GMAT

    Phear,

    It seems that no matter what the school or degree that is sought, a solid GMAT score is important. What is the best way to prepare for it? I bought a practice book that has some commentary. Have you had any luck with these? Or should I go for professional tutoring? I still have a while until i graduate so im not in a rush and can explore all options.

  5. #205
    Slighly off topic, but maybe of interest to some of the NY area people interested in Real Estate.

    I came across this site looking through the NYPlanning.org site.

    https://zicklin.baruch.cuny.edu/newm...onal/courses-1

    It is a straight professional development certificate program, not academic. The interesting thing about the program is that the courses are taught by people in the industry in NYC. Others may know more about the listed faculty, but the majority of the companies are known.

    The reason I bring it up is the price. The entire program is $5k, whereas NYU's program costs over $60k. Now I know you will not have access to the same network as you would at NYU or any of the other discussed MSRE/MSRED programs as well as it isn't as significant on the resume either, but you will still gain exposure to working professionals and take courses similar to those in the previously discussed programs.

    I really don't know much about programs like this and what they can do for someone professionally. If anyone can shed some light on this program or similar types of programs it would be greatly appreciated.
    Ricky Slade: Listen to me, I intentionally make this gun look that way because I am smart.

    MADE

  6. #206
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    Quote Originally posted by motogp46 View post
    Phear,

    It seems that no matter what the school or degree that is sought, a solid GMAT score is important. What is the best way to prepare for it? I bought a practice book that has some commentary. Have you had any luck with these? Or should I go for professional tutoring? I still have a while until i graduate so im not in a rush and can explore all options.
    Actually, the way the universities approach the GMAT is interesting.

    1. NYU does not require a GMAT score for applicants who are two years or more out of college and Columbia no longer requires the GMAT at all.

    2. Cornell, MIT, and USC all have relatively high GMAT scores so obviously it is important to do well on the GMAT. However, GMAT scores are an AVERAGE which means people with both lower and higher scores are admitted. I can tell you from experience that the GMAT is not the end all and be all of admissions. The GMAT is one element of a holistic process. While it is important to do well, compensating factors can overcome a weaker GMAT score.

  7. #207
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    Another Article on the Topic

    Not a lot of new information in this article in Real Estate Forum, but worth a read for anyone considering the questions posed in this discussion. Specifically covers Wharton (MBA), Wisconsin (MBA), NYU (MSRE), USC (MSRED) and MIT (MSRED).

    http://www.reforum-digital.com/refor.../?u1=texterity

  8. #208
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    Quote Originally posted by phear_me View post
    My first reaction is that your EXPERIENCE lends itself better to planning than to development. However, many people with planning backgrounds are accepted into development programs. I think you can make a strong argument for your candidacy for a real estate program based on what you've shared.

    However, as an Indian applicant it is important that you realize you are in a competitive category. It is important for you to do very well on the GMAT if you intend to apply to schools that require it. Also, your English is solid, but needs just a little bit of brushing up.

    I hope that helps.
    Thanks phear_me.

    But I would like u too, shooot my negative points which may be of matter of stability in this area of profession

    Any one with more suggestions............ over me

    Wuld be greatly respected...

  9. #209
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    Quote Originally posted by phear_me View post
    I will split my comments into MPSRE and MBA


    MPSRE:

    The first person you should speak with at Cornell is Susan Tosto. In my experience Susan is one of the most helpful and kind people working at any of the programs and will steer you in the right direction if she's not capable of addressing all of your concerns.

    In looking at your stats the obvious weakness is your GMAT score. With such a stellar GPA you can get away with a lower than average GMAT but I'd really like to see you at 640 or higher.

    Are you by chance an under represented minority? That could ease some of the score pressure. Also: where did you do your undergrad and in what course of study?


    MBA


    Your GMAT score is far too low for a high chance of admission into the Johnson school. I would say that 650 is the minimum target given your GPA. It will also be important for you to demonstrate management experience to the Johnson school as professional leadership experience is much more important to MBA programs than it is to Real Estate programs.

    As far as what you can be doing I would suggest getting a head start on your essays, coaching your recommenders and most importantly trying to gain a few more points in each section of the GMAT.

    I hope that helps.

    - phear



    Phear,

    Thanks for the input. I am in the course of studying the GMAT more intensely to raise my score. I studied Economics at the University of Utah and I am not an under represented minority. I have e-mailed Susan off and on a couple of times and she seems to always get back to me a.s.a.p.

    One other question that I had that I am always wondering is will I in fact be able to get a job once I graduate from one of these schools with an MRED? I spoke to three guys at USC's program which had just graduated (which I think is amazing by the way) and because of the market situation in SoCal and elsewhere none of them had job offers so they were just going to start their own thing. That kind of worries me, you spend 60k-90k for schooling and living expenses to further your opportunities but you are not really sure that you are going to land a job after you graduate. It almost seems in talking to students at these top 4 programs that you are kind of on your own to find a job, yes the network may help but there really are no companies that come and interview and recruit students that are pursuing an MRED.

    So to sum it up Phear I wanted to get your thoughts on the opportunities coming out of school. The majority of this thread has been about getting into school which obviously is the first step but the end goal for all of us, I am assuming,is to find our niche, work really hard, and make tons of greenbacks which starts with landing a solid, well paying job. Give me your thoughts on this as you are currently attending MIT and probably thinking about where you are going to work after graduation.

    Thanks again Phear for the help and input.

  10. #210
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    Quote Originally posted by AJW View post
    Phear,

    Thanks for the input. I am in the course of studying the GMAT more intensely to raise my score. I studied Economics at the University of Utah and I am not an under represented minority. I have e-mailed Susan off and on a couple of times and she seems to always get back to me a.s.a.p.

    One other question that I had that I am always wondering is will I in fact be able to get a job once I graduate from one of these schools with an MRED? I spoke to three guys at USC's program which had just graduated (which I think is amazing by the way) and because of the market situation in SoCal and elsewhere none of them had job offers so they were just going to start their own thing. That kind of worries me, you spend 60k-90k for schooling and living expenses to further your opportunities but you are not really sure that you are going to land a job after you graduate. It almost seems in talking to students at these top 4 programs that you are kind of on your own to find a job, yes the network may help but there really are no companies that come and interview and recruit students that are pursuing an MRED.

    So to sum it up Phear I wanted to get your thoughts on the opportunities coming out of school. The majority of this thread has been about getting into school which obviously is the first step but the end goal for all of us, I am assuming,is to find our niche, work really hard, and make tons of greenbacks which starts with landing a solid, well paying job. Give me your thoughts on this as you are currently attending MIT and probably thinking about where you are going to work after graduation.

    Thanks again Phear for the help and input.
    Just to be clear and to add a disclaimer I am incoming student, who begins orientation Monday, the 18th, so I have yet to really experience the MIT program. That being said I'm happy to offer my thoughts on MIT recruiting, and remember, you asked for them.

    First, it's important to understand that top schools have a sort of self fulfilling prophecy effect. They matriculate the top students with the top level of work experience who have, one way or another, put together the top packages. Thus, the recruiting is easier for top programs because, generally speaking, they are working with easier material. Consequently any given student's career placement options will be largely determined by where they've been and where they are trying to go. However, the brand one adds to their resume can and will have a substantial effect on the opportunities available both through the power of a given network as well as employer/client brand perception. With that in mind, here are my thoughts:

    In a normative environment the opportunities available at MIT are unbelievable. In fact, the deciding factor for me amongst the top programs was MIT's placement. When I was first admitted to the program the one person I wanted to speak with was Marion Cunningham, managing director and the head of career services. When asked what career services does to aid MIT graduates gain top placement, I kid you not, she went rapid fire for a good 20 minutes non stop and every single second of it was riveting.

    Top professionals are invited weekly. There are professional development courses to aid with resume writing and interviewing skills. Various careers are highlighted and real world exposure to a given industry is as easy as asking for it. There are typically numerous opportunities to write a thesis for a company, which has been highly effective in gaining placement with said firm. Many students also report that the CRE alumni network played a decisive role in their placement. Furthermore, the MIT CRE resume book is distributed to over 500 firms. I honestly can't remember it all because Marion just went off. To make a long story short, I was extremely impressed with the very long list of things MIT does to ensure placement.

    CRE Career Services Philosophy: http://web.mit.edu/cre/careers/careerservices.html
    Professional Development Program: http://web.mit.edu/cre/careers/pdf/s...d-schedule.pdf
    Real Deal Speaker Series: http://web.mit.edu/cre/realdeals/
    Recent Employers: http://web.mit.edu/cre/careers/recentemployers.html

    Another gauge of the quality of career placement services is look at the quality of its leadership: Marion Cunningham holds a Bachelor's degree from Cornell, an MBA from U Penn (Wharton) and a Master of City Planning from MIT. Additionally, she has 15 years of diverse and impressive real estate experience with firms like The Bank of New York and the Rouse Company. It is so invaluable to have someone with those kinds of credentials to work with because she intimately understands the needs and desires of top real estate professionals. In my interactions with her I have been thoroughly impressed.

    Another mark of the power of MIT's recruiting is the way that career services goes about doing its job. About a month ago career services sent out a survey asking us who we would like to have come to campus and recruit and which guest speakers we would like to have come talk to us. The general sense I got from the survey was that, basically, MIT is basically able to successfully recruit a large number of the top firms and speakers specifically requested by the students at will. Maybe I am mistaken in that perception, but a survey approach certainly doesn't send signals that MIT lacks the ability to pick and choose. This year, some of the firms that recruited on campus included AIG Global Investment Group, Simon Property Group, JBG, Hines, and M3 Capital Partners. Being situated next to the 4th ranked MBA program in the country (MIT, Sloan) and 1.3 miles from HBS only adds to the willingness of firms to travel out to Boston, though the CRE is definitely the first stop for many firms wishing to engage informal recruiting.

    Here are some excerpts from the class of 2007 commencement speech given by Blake Eagle, a former director of the CRE, that may prove illuminating:

    Eagle noted that since 1985 the Center has delivered 35–40 superbly educated real estate professionals to the marketplace every year, with the total number of graduates now exceeding 750. "The Center is judged by the performance of its graduates," he said, "and over 92% of MIT/CRE grads are still in industry — a remarkable number in a business that is so competitive, entrepreneurial, and fragmented even today.


    Underlining networking as an essential element in the real estate profession, Eagle exhorted the graduates to stay connected. "I've got some advice for you. Contact the alums in your field, and get active in the alumni association. It's an incredible global network of real estate intelligence and contacts," he said.


    "We have grads on the ground in every real estate market. You are now a member of a professional real estate club like no other. Over 90% of our alums are still in the business worldwide. Members of this club are loyal to each other and to the Center."


    "We have Center graduates in 44 states and 30 countries – 40% in development, 20% in investment management and banking, 15% in real estate finance, 15% in consulting research, 10% in government, nonprofit, and real estate services sectors. About 20% have their own businesses. Over 300 graduates are in senior level positions with 150 of the world's largest and most recognized firms," Eagle said.



    Finally, I spoke briefly with Marion Cunningham regarding placement for the Class of 2008 about 3 weeks ago and I asked her if there was any drop off due to current economic conditions. Her response was brief, but that there was no noticeable drop off in placement to this point.

    I can't speak for the other programs, all of which I am sure do a great job at placement, but hopefully this helps you see some of the things going on at MIT and provides you with some useful information.
    Last edited by phear_me; 14 Aug 2008 at 9:45 PM.

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    JHU/Cornell

    Quote Originally posted by phear_me View post
    Just to be clear and to add a disclaimer I am incoming student, who begins orientation Monday, the 18th, so I have yet to really experience the MIT program. That being said I'm happy to offer my thoughts on MIT recruiting, and remember, you asked for them.

    First, it's important to understand that top schools have a sort of self fulfilling prophecy effect. They matriculate the top students with the top level of work experience who have, one way or another, put together the top packages. Thus, the recruiting is easier for top programs because, generally speaking, they are working with easier material. Consequently any given student's career placement options will be largely determined by where they've been and where they are trying to go. However, the brand one adds to their resume can and will have a substantial effect on the opportunities available both through the power of a given network as well as employer/client brand perception. With that in mind, here are my thoughts:

    In a normative environment the opportunities available at MIT are unbelievable. In fact, the deciding factor for me amongst the top programs was MIT's placement. When I was first admitted to the program the one person I wanted to speak with was Marion Cunningham, managing director and the head of career services. When asked what career services does to aid MIT graduates gain top placement, I kid you not, she went rapid fire for a good 20 minutes non stop and every single second of it was riveting.

    Top professionals are invited weekly. There are professional development courses to aid with resume writing and interviewing skills. Various careers are highlighted and real world exposure to a given industry is as easy as asking for it. There are typically numerous opportunities to write a thesis for a company, which has been highly effective in gaining placement with said firm. Many students also report that the CRE alumni network played a decisive role in their placement. Furthermore, the MIT CRE resume book is distributed to over 500 firms. I honestly can't remember it all because Marion just went off. To make a long story short, I was extremely impressed with the very long list of things MIT does to ensure placement.

    CRE Career Services Philosophy: http://web.mit.edu/cre/careers/careerservices.html
    Professional Development Program: http://web.mit.edu/cre/careers/pdf/s...d-schedule.pdf
    Real Deal Speaker Series: http://web.mit.edu/cre/realdeals/
    Recent Employers: http://web.mit.edu/cre/careers/recentemployers.html

    Another gauge of the quality of career placement services is look at the quality of its leadership: Marion Cunningham holds a Bachelor's degree from Cornell, an MBA from U Penn (Wharton) and a Master of City Planning from MIT. Additionally, she has 15 years of diverse and impressive real estate experience with firms like The Bank of New York and the Rouse Company. It is so invaluable to have someone with those kinds of credentials to work with because she intimately understands the needs and desires of top real estate professionals. In my interactions with her I have been thoroughly impressed.

    Another mark of the power of MIT's recruiting is the way that career services goes about doing its job. About a month ago career services sent out a survey asking us who we would like to have come to campus and recruit and which guest speakers we would like to have come talk to us. The general sense I got from the survey was that, basically, MIT is basically able to successfully recruit a large number of the top firms and speakers specifically requested by the students at will. Maybe I am mistaken in that perception, but a survey approach certainly doesn't send signals that MIT lacks the ability to pick and choose. This year, some of the firms that recruited on campus included AIG Global Investment Group, Simon Property Group, JBG, Hines, and M3 Capital Partners. Being situated next to the 4th ranked MBA program in the country (MIT, Sloan) and 1.3 miles from HBS only adds to the willingness of firms to travel out to Boston, though the CRE is definitely the first stop for many firms wishing to engage informal recruiting.

    Here are some excerpts from the class of 2007 commencement speech given by Blake Eagle, a former director of the CRE, that may prove illuminating:

    Eagle noted that since 1985 the Center has delivered 35–40 superbly educated real estate professionals to the marketplace every year, with the total number of graduates now exceeding 750. "The Center is judged by the performance of its graduates," he said, "and over 92% of MIT/CRE grads are still in industry — a remarkable number in a business that is so competitive, entrepreneurial, and fragmented even today.


    Underlining networking as an essential element in the real estate profession, Eagle exhorted the graduates to stay connected. "I've got some advice for you. Contact the alums in your field, and get active in the alumni association. It's an incredible global network of real estate intelligence and contacts," he said.


    "We have grads on the ground in every real estate market. You are now a member of a professional real estate club like no other. Over 90% of our alums are still in the business worldwide. Members of this club are loyal to each other and to the Center."


    "We have Center graduates in 44 states and 30 countries – 40% in development, 20% in investment management and banking, 15% in real estate finance, 15% in consulting research, 10% in government, nonprofit, and real estate services sectors. About 20% have their own businesses. Over 300 graduates are in senior level positions with 150 of the world's largest and most recognized firms," Eagle said.



    Finally, I spoke briefly with Marion Cunningham regarding placement for the Class of 2008 about 3 weeks ago and I asked her if there was any drop off due to current economic conditions. Her response was brief, but that there was no noticeable drop off in placement to this point.

    I can't speak for the other programs, all of which I am sure do a great job at placement, but hopefully this helps you see some of the things going on at MIT and provides you with some useful information.
    Can anyone (phear?) provide information on JHU's program such as admission stats, general reputation, career placement? it seems to have a solid curriculum and good location.

    I'm also interested in Cornell, which has rolling admissions starting in Oct. Is there a significant advantage for applicants who apply early?

  12. #212
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    Quote Originally posted by phear_me View post
    Actually, the way the universities approach the GMAT is interesting.

    1. NYU does not require a GMAT score for applicants who are two years or more out of college and Columbia no longer requires the GMAT at all.

    2. Cornell, MIT, and USC all have relatively high GMAT scores so obviously it is important to do well on the GMAT. However, GMAT scores are an AVERAGE which means people with both lower and higher scores are admitted. I can tell you from experience that the GMAT is not the end all and be all of admissions. The GMAT is one element of a holistic process. While it is important to do well, compensating factors can overcome a weaker GMAT score.
    Phear,

    None of this answers the original question. ???

    Can anyone out there tell me how best to prepare for the all important GMAT?

    Also, does anyone out there think that it helps coming in with a Masters degree? For instance, I will graduate with a B.S. in Construction Management and, if deemed beneficial for acceptance to a top program, will pursue a M.S. in Construction Management. WIll this help my chances at getting in at MIT or Columbia?
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 22 Aug 2008 at 2:07 PM. Reason: triple reply

  13. #213
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    For new NYU MSRE students...

    Once again;

    For those of you who are entering the NYU MSRE this year, and would like to network, please send me an email. I will be starting in the fall, and look forward to meeting all of you.

    Fall orientation is on the 28th, and we were planning to meet that week.

    -Dan

    dbotelho@gmail.com

  14. #214
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    Quote Originally posted by motogp46 View post
    Phear,

    None of this answers the original question. ???
    Since AJW asked for my thoughts specifically I presumed the best way to answer the original question was to offer exposure to both what my own program does to help with placement as well offer some examples of MIT's success. Different programs are having different reactions to the current trends and my focus, though once on comparing and contrasting all of the programs, is now very dialed in to one particular program since I have now matriculated and chosen my school. For instance, the OP has offered first hand experience that USC is having difficulty with placement - that is not something that I would have expected but I don't have first hand knowledge of the class of 2008 in terms of placement so I can't comment on whether or not the downturn is effecting placement at USC or even whether or not the OP's observations are the exception or the rule for this year. I will answer the question from a general perspective but I think most of this information will be rather repetitive as it's all been said within this thread before.

    In general, an MSRED from a top school (Columbia, MIT, USC, Cornell) will provide you with a first year income of about $92,000 and a first year bonus of about $22,000. Some schools are above that average (MIT) and some schools are presumably below (Columbia, due to a recurring reputation of poor placement). This is also extremely contingent on your prior experience, what field of real estate you wish to enter, and whether or not you are switching fields.

    Placement across the board is generally impressive. USC, for obvious reasons, has very strong west coast placement. The same can be said for Cornell on the East Coast. MIT and Columbia have stronger international placement than the others do at this point, but Cornell is making a strong push in this area. It is, in my opinion, a little too early to gauge their success in international placement but I suspect they will do well. Columbia, as mentioned ad nauseum, has the worst reputation for placement but is well known as having what is probably the best program for entrepreneurs - so that, at least superficially, makes sense. As mentioned in my first post on this topic way back at the beginning of this thread MIT is tops, by a noticeable margin, in placement (a huge reason why I personally chose MIT), but all of the programs will provide you with great opportunities.

    Note: The Harvard MDesS program, which is similar to the MSRED/MRED/MPSRE but not quite the same thing, has presented anecdotal evidence that their compensation, all in, is usually in the $130,000 range which would make average income just over USC/Cornell and just under MIT. By anecdotal I mean that I know 2 trustworthy people in the program and those are the numbers that were shared with them. However, because the relevant arm of the MDesS program is so small (generally 10 - 12 people) I suspect this number is susceptible to statistically significant fluctuations due to such a small sample size. Judge those numbers as you will.

    All of the programs have a wide range of job functions. Most graduates of the top programs will go into development but others will go into finance, banking, consulting, planning, non profit or start their own firms. Engineers and Architects may also go back into their respective fields, but they will likely assume more of a managerial role after receiving the MSRED. Investment banking is also a viable option, but so far MIT is the only school I've seen with consistent placement into IB. I think that Cornell will see improvement in this area given the fact that they have an Investment Banking Concentration. Note that both USC and Cornell offer a wide array of specializations whereas MIT and Columbia offer an elective style approach rather than a concentration.

    The MIT website provides some examples of before and after career progressions of students prior to matriculation and after commencement, but I feel confident in stating that these paths are relatively representative of students at all of the top programs, with perhaps the Finance/IB opportunities being more limited to MIT and maybe Cornell.

    "The diversity of professional backgrounds that distinguishes classes at the Center continues as graduates re-enter the industry. While some choose to continue their previous work at a more advanced level, others change direction substantially. Recent examples of such changes include:

    * from broker to securitization specialist
    * from architect to acquisition analyst
    * from planner to project manager
    * from appraiser to asset manager
    * from accountant to housing developer
    * from project manager to consultant


    I hope that information isn't too repetitive. It would probably be very helpful to others if those from other programs took the time to speak as to the work of career services as well as the career opportunities available in normative times as well as during the current negative cycle.

  15. #215
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    phear - the question that motogp46 was referring to ("none of this answers the original question") was his inquiry regarding preparing for the GMAT.

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    Quote Originally posted by bdh View post
    phear - the question that motogp46 was referring to ("none of this answers the original question") was his inquiry regarding preparing for the GMAT.
    BDH, thanks for clarifying. I've got so much going on at the moment that it's easy for me to get my wires crossed.

    motogp46, my original response was to the presupposition regarding the importance of the GMAT. As far as preparing for it, both Kaplan and Powerscore offer great services. Google them and see which one most impresses you.

    Typically, the easiest score to improve on is the quantitative section and for both MBA's and MSRED's common wisdom is that the quantitative portion carries slightly more weight than does the verbal. The AWA score is said to make almost no difference to your admissions chances and, again, common wisdom is that the AWA score is used as a gauge for whether or not you really wrote your own essays. Most people I know who scored well on the rest of the test got a 5.5 on the AWA with a few scoring 5.0. Just make sure to get a 4.0 or higher. No one I know who got into top business programs had a perfect score on the AWA (although obviously many do) so it seems as though common lore regarding the AWA section is true.

    I will say this though - I scored a 6 on the AWA and I had average scores on the quant so that rare 6 may have slightly compensated for my quant in the minds of the adcoms, who knows? However, generally speaking most people need to spend the majority of your time on the quant since it is slightly more important and easier to improve on, a little less on verbal, and just a cursory overview for basic rules and strategies pertaining to the AWA. For many people who don't speak English as their native language the opposite is often true in that the verbal requires the most effort due to the language barrier as well as the fact that foreign b-school applicants are often quant jocks by nature.

    You might want to search the business week forums for info on GMAT prep as it is a much more common topic there.

    I hope that was more on target.

    - phear

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    Thanks Phear

  18. #218
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    Phear,

    have you heard of Brauch college? Stan Ross of the USC Lusk center refers to Brauch as the top school for an undergraduate degree in real estate. It turns out that they just started a Masters program too. Any thoughts?

  19. #219
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    Quote Originally posted by motogp46 View post
    Phear,

    have you heard of Brauch college? Stan Ross of the USC Lusk center refers to Brauch as the top school for an undergraduate degree in real estate. It turns out that they just started a Masters program too. Any thoughts?
    As far as I know the top schools for undergraduate degree in real estate (assuming a business degree with emphasis in real estate here) would be U Penn, University of Wisconsin Madison, Georgia, and USC but that's just what I hear and, not surprisingly, happens to line up with US News undergrad real estate rankings. Maybe Stan Ross knows something I don't. I have absolutely no familiarity with Brauch and am in no place to comment on it.

    I would stick to the top 4 schools for the masters degree alongside the Harvard MDesS if you have a strong background in planning or architecture.

    I'm sorry that I can't offer anything of substance, perhaps others may have a more informed perspective about the school. When I was choosing MSRED programs I tried to judge them by the quality of their faculty, the length of the time the program has been established, the quality of incoming students, the reputation of the university, the reputation of the program, and the quality of career placement for graduates and alumni. Perhaps you could apply those metrics to the program and see if it can offer you what you require. Of course, each person should use whatever criteria best helps them to identify and judge the salient factors most important to their needs from a graduate real estate program.

    p.s. Did you mean Brauch or CUNY Baruch?

  20. #220
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    Hi all, I actually just joined this forum so that I can jump in this conversation.

    I am out in Colorado and we have a MSRECM program as well as a real estate track within the MBA. I do not know much about it, other than its real estate development program claims to be one of, if not the oldest in the nation.


    How important is having a specific educational background for potential young developers (especially considering the number of successful developers with no formal education)?

    I feel as though I am between a rock and a hard place. I have a B.A. and M.M., both in music, 4.0 for the masters. I have been accepted to DU's MRECM; however, would it be better for me to see if I can get experience working for a developer (even if that means working for free) and either working my way up until I am able to start my own ventures, or using the experience as a resume builder for a top school in the field?

    I am sorry for the poorly constructe4d sentences everyone. I truly am. It is late (or should I say- early here) and though I am having trouble focusing on the monitor as my lids keep closing, I really wanted to get this on the forum so I don't stay up all night with anxiety.

    I am a hard worker and a perfectionist. I have always been told-"go to school and study what you are passionate about." That is what I have done, I still love music, but the truth of the matter is I am passionate about creating things, bringing constructs to fruition. We all had that one dream job when we were very young. Most of us dreamed of being firefighters, or police. I dreamed of being an architect. I learned fairly early that the developer has the creative license, not to mention-the greatest potential for reward.

    I do not want to be stuck because of my previous education. More than anything I want to be a prominent developer, perhaps focusing on urban re-development. I would love to rejuvenate inner cities, helping to transform them into hip, green friendly sprawls.

    I have said too much.
    In closing, please look kindly on this tired, lost soul.
    Any help is more than greatly appreciated- life-changing.
    aml

  21. #221
    Baruch College (CUNY) has started a MS RE program. I believe the first semester was Fall of 07. The school has a long standing undergrad degree in Real Estate in its business school (Zicklin), which is what is discussed in the Stan Ross book Careers In Real Estate (ULI).

    The link below is to the program's website. It seems to be molded after the NYU program as it is a MS in Real Estate, not Real Estate Development. The requirements are different (GMAT required no matter what at Baruch) and the faculty is full-time (as far as I know, but there could be some adjunct professors involved).

    Baruch is $500/credit as compared to NYU's $1,400/credit. 30 credits total (36 if you are required to take Accounting & Business Statistics).

    The question I have, and I'm sure other do as well is what types of networking and connections can be gained at the Baruch program?

    It is very tempting to consider the Baruch program when it costs only $15k when the NYU program costs over $60k, but in the end if you are not gaining access to the NYC RE / Development network, the extra $45k might be worth it.

    If anyone has any experience with the program or the faculty it would be greatly appreciated.

    The bottom line with Real Estate more than many other professions it is who you know more than what you know, unfortunately that is the type of thing that makes some hesitant to take the cheaper route with Baruch instead of NYU.

    http://zicklin.baruch.cuny.edu/progr...in-real-estate
    Ricky Slade: Listen to me, I intentionally make this gun look that way because I am smart.

    MADE

  22. #222
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    Quote Originally posted by aml View post
    Hi all, I actually just joined this forum so that I can jump in this conversation.

    I am out in Colorado and we have a MSRECM program as well as a real estate track within the MBA. I do not know much about it, other than its real estate development program claims to be one of, if not the oldest in the nation.


    How important is having a specific educational background for potential young developers (especially considering the number of successful developers with no formal education)?

    I feel as though I am between a rock and a hard place. I have a B.A. and M.M., both in music, 4.0 for the masters. I have been accepted to DU's MRECM; however, would it be better for me to see if I can get experience working for a developer (even if that means working for free) and either working my way up until I am able to start my own ventures, or using the experience as a resume builder for a top school in the field?

    I am sorry for the poorly constructe4d sentences everyone. I truly am. It is late (or should I say- early here) and though I am having trouble focusing on the monitor as my lids keep closing, I really wanted to get this on the forum so I don't stay up all night with anxiety.

    I am a hard worker and a perfectionist. I have always been told-"go to school and study what you are passionate about." That is what I have done, I still love music, but the truth of the matter is I am passionate about creating things, bringing constructs to fruition. We all had that one dream job when we were very young. Most of us dreamed of being firefighters, or police. I dreamed of being an architect. I learned fairly early that the developer has the creative license, not to mention-the greatest potential for reward.

    I do not want to be stuck because of my previous education. More than anything I want to be a prominent developer, perhaps focusing on urban re-development. I would love to rejuvenate inner cities, helping to transform them into hip, green friendly sprawls.

    I have said too much.
    In closing, please look kindly on this tired, lost soul.
    Any help is more than greatly appreciated- life-changing.
    aml
    How old are you? Do you want to create cities or do you want to do development? The latter is more suited to Urban Planning, the former more suited to development-specific programs.

    Please clarify how much, if any, real estate experience you have.

  23. #223
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    MSRED Interviews?

    I've been following this thread for about six months and finally decided to become a member today. In my opinion, this thread has become one of the best resources to find MSRED-related information, hear about first-hand experiences, and get a wide array of (sometimes controversial, but always entertaining) opinions on the web. Thanks to all of you for taking the time to post.

    I plan to apply to some of the MSRED programs listed on this thread (Columbia, Cornell, MIT) next year, and would like to learn more about how and when the interviews take place at each respective school. Adcoms place so much emphasis on the in-person, on-campus interview being a crucial part of the MBA admissions process that I would be surprised to learn that it isn't an important part of the MSRED process. After all, in real estate, it definitely helps to be a "people person" who can communicate effectively in meetings and work rooms in social situations.

    Has anyone out there interviewed at any of these schools? If so, any and all information you might be able to provide me with would be much appreciated (i.e. when and where they took place, faculty or alumni that interviewed you, questions you were asked, etc.).

    I look forward to learning more from all of you, especially those of you who are entering MSRED programs this Fall, in the weeks and months to come. Please continue to keep us posted.

    Best of luck to everyone,

    TwoOneTwo

  24. #224
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    I am aware that Columbia MsRED does NOT, although i am not sure about the other programs.

    good question. i am interested to hear the responses as well. personally, i think interviews are an advantage to any non-international students. i say this because international students make up to 30-40% of enrollment in numerous programs.

    (sorry, no disrespect to international applicants. and i am assuming you are an american from NYC "2-1-2")

  25. #225
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    All of these are subject to change with new admissions policies.

    Columbia does not interview and has the shortest amount of space to tell your story (approx 500 words)

    MIT does not interview but has the most amount of essay space (unlimited) to tell your story.

    USC has about 750 words of essay space and the top 50% under consideration are interviewed. The interview lasts about 45 minutes and is usually with an alumnus. In some cases people were interviewed twice. I was one of those cases so I will try to share the details with you.

    The first interview was with an alumnus. We met locally at a nice restaurant in a hotel. He had coffee and I had water. The overall tone was a mixture of formal and relaxed and he didn't really let his guard down at all. After a very brief amount of small talk we dove right in. He asked me about my past experience and we went over my resume for a good 15 - 20 minutes. He asked me what I thought of the future of real estate going forward. He asked me why I wanted to pursue the program. He asked me to describe a weakness and to describe a strength. He asked me to give him some words that I could use to describe myself and he wrote down those exact words. He stressed the importance of experience for the program and then asked me if I had any questions. I asked a few and the interview was concluded. This is obviously a very rough overview. I was unable to gauge my interviewers reaction to me, which is extremely rare for me. I felt like I did a very good (although not excellent) job but that my interviewer just didn't mesh well with me.

    After this first interview I was invited to meet with Raphael Bostic and Sonia Souvelian. The interview took place at the (beautiful) Lusk Center for Real Estate in the conference room. Raphael Bostic did the majority of the questioning and he seemed to be probing my knowledge. He asked me what I thought of the real estate market. As I gave my response he probed me several times. "What is a cap rate?" "What is typical debt service coverage?" He asked me what I would invest in if I had $10mil. At that point (March 2008) I said I would short financials and stay the hell our of real estate (which I did, and I made a killing, thank you very much). He asked me to take my best guess at it. I told him, "Self Storage in declining markets and/or industrial in San Diego/Los Angeles in conjunction with the hopes that the move China is making to establish a port in Baja California will be approved." I mentioned that the indicators in the market were all negative and he asked me what the indicators would be that predicted a turn around. I thought about that and saw several traps I could fall into and so I was honest and said, "If I knew the answer to that I wouldn't be here. Tons of intelligence from the top Portfolio and IB firms are contradicting each other and if you know who does know please tell me so I can hunt him down and claw, beg, scratch and steal for the answer to that question." Raphael said he had some ideas of his own and I asked him if he had a pen and paper so I could write them down. I got two good rounds of laughter out of that exchange - it's all in the delivery I guess. Next he asked me what my day to day employment was like. Afterwards, Sonia asked me to talk about one piece of property I had found really interesting. This was a harder question for me since I have a finance background and the most interesting properties to us are usually the ones with the biggest fees, but I mentioned a state of the art track at my alma mater that was elevated and built on top of a parking garage and what a unique use of space that was for a campus with serious infill problems. We also talked about my MBA background at USC and some interesting issues with my transcripts (i.e. a disastrous grade in a core level econ class and a stellar grade in an advanced finance course). I said that I enjoyed the challenge of finance and that I already excelled at the analytical and strategy based classes but that quant was a challenge I welcomed. She commented that the MRED was relatively light on quant compared to the MBA and how would I feel about not getting the chance to improve on my weakness. I said I'd feel good about it because I'd just be the top student in all of the non quant classes and raise the bar for my peers. They also asked me if there was anything I thought they should know. I mentioned that my achievements were best viewed in the context of coming from an underprivileged background and that I was most certainly not from a wealthy real estate family as is typical of young developers. I also remarked on my drive and my passion, which they both laughed and said was blatantly obvious. At some point I mentioned that, "I won't stop working until it's the "Phear_Me Center for Real Estate" which got another good laugh. They asked if I had any questions and I point blank asked why I got two interviews. Raphael said that they didn't want to be capricious with their decision and that people were dying to get into the program and, in some cases, they were certain unclear items that needed to be addressed and that they wanted to see some people for themselves. In contrast to my previous interview I felt like I had impressed them both and I felt positive about my chances for admission.

    Cornell has 2 pages of essay, an optional diversity essay, and an interview. Cornell waitlisted me and offered me an invite but I declined. Some of my peers who were admitted have shared with me that the interview was a formality and they were told that they had been admitted during or immediately after the interview. This is only the case for 2 people so it may not hold true across the board.

    I did not apply anywhere else so I cannot comment on their policies.

    - phear

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