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Reflections on Admitted Student Day at CIPA and Maxwell


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I know that many people wanted to but were unable to attend these open houses. In an attempt to provide more information to those people, here is a brief wrap-up of how it went. Sorry if it's fragmented, I’m just freestyling this and putting down my thoughts as they come. If anyone has specific questions, feel free to ask. I will inevitably leave a lot out.

MAXWELL.

I arrived the day before the event and spent time walking around campus and exploring the town. While the campus is big and relatively beautiful, the surrounding town leaves a lot to be desired. It is small and unappealing. Furthermore, the town seemed to be overrun with undergraduates, which is to be expected. I had a hard time picturing myself living in this place for two years, especially since my concentration is in int’l development and my mind tends to wander.

The next day many of my concerns were alleviated during the Admitted Student function. The Maxwell School is a community unto itself, and a diverse community at that. The day was relatively unorganized and lackluster, but the strengths of the school did shine through. It is a school that struck me as being very collaborative and team oriented. Students seemed to look out for one another’s best interests and all of the professors were accessible.

The effectiveness of their career services and the ‘Maxwell Mafia’ was emphasized. They gave me good reason to believe that they are good at placing their graduates across many different sectors and there is a dedicated team that works with students on professional development. Furthermore, Maxwell does bring in recruiters and other notable names in public affairs to talk to students.

I did notice that the average age of the students seemed to be a bit young, especially on the IR side. Several of the other admitted students on the MPA side had very little experience as well, but seemed intelligent.

Overall, I was impressed with Maxwell. The school was big and had a lot of resources available to it. The professor’s seemed engaged and dedicated. If you don’t mind living in Syracuse, I can see why Maxwell could be a good choice.

CIPA

This program won me over during the admitted student day. Cornell is an extraordinary campus with virtually limitless resources. Surrounding Ithaca is a liberal town with two other colleges. A lot of students. Ithaca I much preferred over Syracuse because of the feel and aesthetics of the place. The area surrounding Ithaca is beautiful and there are tons of outdoor activities available.

The admitted student day itself was much more formal than at Maxwell. It was well run and thorough. Professors and students alike presented on various aspects of the program including SMART, Capstone and abroad opportunities. I was very impressed with the students, much more so than at Maxwell. They were professional, articulate and engaged. The staff made it clear that they would work with students to make the experience unique for them and allow them to pursue their interests.

I was able to meet with one of the Professor’s and it was clear that she was world-class. The professor’s there have connections that run deep, greatly enhancing the chances that fellows will find employment upon graduation. We also took a full tour of the campus and at that point the magnitude of Cornell began to sink in.

After the tour we went to the Little Red Barn, which is for graduate students exclusively. There they sell $1 beers and it is a great place to meet other graduate students from other programs. A good informal networking opportunity too. Here I was able to talk to many current and prospective students. They were all interesting, intelligent and down to earth. I felt the students at CIPA were of a higher caliber than at Maxwell, but the sample size was admittedly small so do take that into account.

All in all, CIPA made us feel extremely welcome during the visit and the staff was 100% on top of their game. This program felt VERY strong. Of course the flexibility it offers is unique and not for everyone. If you want a cookie cutter program CIPA is not for you, and I can see how it would be easy to get lost if you don’t know what you want. Having said that, if you do know what you want, you will have all of the resources of one of the best universities in the world at your fingertips.

Please, if you have specific questions go ahead and ask. I know a lot about each program but don't have time to type up everything. Good luck!

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Thanks for this! It did discourage me a little bit but hey.

ha! Didn't mean to discourage you. Maxwell, again, is a wonderful school. They've also given you a nice scholarship and it's always a good sign when a program shows real interest in you. Maxwell, Korbel or Elliott...you really can't go wrong. Also, I should add that a good amount of students at Maxwell are also able to secure additional funding after enrolling. Is Elliott off the table for you since they didn't offer any money?

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ha! Didn't mean to discourage you. Maxwell, again, is a wonderful school. They've also given you a nice scholarship and it's always a good sign when a program shows real interest in you. Maxwell, Korbel or Elliott...you really can't go wrong. Also, I should add that a good amount of students at Maxwell are also able to secure additional funding after enrolling. Is Elliott off the table for you since they didn't offer any money?

Do they, now? Well, that's a whole different story. What kind of options are available?

My financial situation is a bit desperate, to be perfectly honest. I have absolutely ZERO when it comes to my own money and I have no option of taking out a loan (my home country doesn't offer any student loans seeing as higher educations is basically free here, and I'm not eligible for one in the US - no cosigner). I will be waiting on the Fulbright decision until mid-June, more or less, but I was just informed by Maxwell that they will cut half of my award if I get one from Fulbright. I'm going back and forth between furious and completely heartbroken. Every time I manage to find a solution to one of my problems, another one pops up. Argh.

Answering your question: yes, Elliott is pretty much off the table for me. Pity, though.

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