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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

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    Party school rep may affect post-grad job

    Every year since 1992, college students hope that it will be the year their college receives bragging rights as the nation’s top party school. This so called ‘honor’ is dependent upon surveys conducted around the nation and compiled by Princeton Review.

    Whether it comes as a shock to you or not, Stony Brook University did not make the list.

    On Aug. 21, Princeton Review released the 2013 edition of “The Best 377 Colleges.” This book includes 62 lists that rank colleges in categories that include “Happiest Students,” “Most Beautiful Campus” and “Best Classroom Experience.”

    According to Princeton Review, these rankings are based on surveys taken last school year by 122,000 students. These students answered questions about academics, administration, campus life, the student body and themselves.

    Every year, the most talked about list is the top 20 party schools. West Virginia University took the number one spot on the list for the third time in the 21 years the list has been published.

    Some students may be disappointed that SBU did not make the cut, but SBU graduates may have an advantage over graduates from schools that did get nominated as a “party school.”

    Once the rankings are published, the colleges on the list quickly gain the reputation of being a “party school.” Future employers reviewing this particular list may see these colleges in a negative light.

    These rankings may or may not hurt the job chance of a grad from one of these ‘party schools,’ especially when going up against another candidate who attended a ‘non-party school.’

    Marianna Savoca, director of the Stony Brook Career Center, explained in a phone interview the factors that bring recruiters to SBU. Your chances of getting the job are dependent on what factors an employer looks at when considering a job candidate.

    Savoca said that she believes an employer is interested in the reputation of the school, but more importantly makes sure that the curriculum is compatible to the skill sets that it is looking for in an employee.

    “There are some colleges with excellent academic reputations on the list and I am sure there are many

    are many students at those schools who are or will be very successful. It’s more a matter of making good choices at whatever institution you attend,” Dean of Students Jerrold Stein said in an email.

    According to the website College Prowler, 86 percent of grads from West Virginia University were able to find a job within six months of graduation. This number increased after one year to 90 percent.

    A survey given by the SBU Career Center to the Class of 2011 revealed that out of the graduates who received a bachelor’s degree, 35 percent decided to continue with their education while 50 percent were employed. Overall, 82 percent of SBU grads that are working received a job in the field linked to their long-term goals, according to the survey.

    “If you look at the schools on this list, they are mostly large, public universities with strong academic and research profiles, as well as highly successful athletic programs,” Becky Lofstead, a spokeswoman for West Virginia University, told the Associated Press. “But in the big picture, clearly this list has no real credibility.”

    Along with being number one on the party school list, West Virginia University also placed third in the category “Students Study the Least.”

    Rick Gatteau, director for academic advising, said students spend more time studying at SBU, a university not recognized for its party atmosphere.

    “Stony Brook faculty set high expectations related to study time required outside of class in order to be successful,” Gatteau said.

    When asked about the correlation between getting a job and going to a ‘party school,’ Gatteau said, “I don’t know if there’s any correlation on an individual student basis, but if a college or university has a reputation as being a party school, it’s possible that a potential employer may choose not to recruit at that school. I don’t think it’s fair to categorize schools the way some of these publications do – they are simply too generalized.”

    When the opportunity comes to interact with others or interview for a graduate school or job, Dean Stein explained that being well-rounded, developing strong interpersonal skills and leadership experience all come into play.

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