why your college doesn’t matter. AT ALL

What college you attend is almost Not important at all.

Instead, you should be the type of person who could attend a prestigious college.

In fact, it was two professors, one from Princeton, who actually released a paper in 2002 that detailed why attending super-selective colleges had no impact on future career salaries (economic benefits)

How did the study work?

Well, it tracked students who 1) went to prestigious colleges

And then for the control group, 2) students who were admitted but did not attend top prestigious colleges (either due to $$$ or personal reasons, which is not apparently important in this study).

After extensive research, there showed absolutely no difference in the economic long-term benefits of attending a top college.

The salary boost was “generally indistinguishable from zero”

Top universities are not so good at developing students’ potential as they are at spotting future potential and offering spots to these bright students.

That’s not to say that prestigious colleges don’t offer much better resources and networking. They do and will surely add a kickstart to your career. But in the long-run, it doesn’t matter so much as where you went as a student as much as what type of hard-working student you are.

Also, I need to note that salary is definitively not the best measure of future success; however, when you ask most college students these days why they are attending college, the most common response you’ll receive is “for a job/money.” So, I am sure this answer should offer a lot of solace to students who are still worried about not attending Harvard.

Good Luck.


Source: Estimating the Payoff to Attending a More Selective College: An Application of Selection on Observables and Unobservables

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Different circumstances

Today I went to Milton Herschel School and man this school is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen

It must be over 4 times as big as Vilanova’s 250 acre campus

Children lived in mansions which houses up to 14 kids

The school where they took classes looked more like a tiny college

And there was just so much free land and greenery

But the students at MHS all come from underprivileged communities

Which is good and bad

Good because it allows kids without the right circumstances to flourish through support and education

Bad because some times the circumstances of a child isn’t where they go to school or how much money you throw at them

The graduating classes of MHS often have huge disparity in terms of where the children end up

My friend who goes to Villanova has friends at Princeton, UPenn, Georgetown and other esteemed universities

But out of his 200 graduating class, he notes several who have dropped out of college after one or few semesters and maybe 15 have ended up starting families already before they’ve turned 20, which also forces them to leave school

It’s an interesting case study of whether or not it’s possible to “help” people through institutions like MHS

How can we truly help people besides simply financially and educationally? I think personal life and EQ skills are just as important to teach besides a good education and scholarships for school

Not everyone is fit for school

But everyone is fit for life. And I think life skills is something we need to better teach future generations

finite desires

The first thing we learn in any introductory economics class is the definition of economics, which is widely accepted to be how we, as rational humans, with infinite desires, should act in a world with finitely scarce resources.

There are two important notes here:

  1. Humans are rational
  2. We have infinite desires

Both of these concepts, when looked at carefully, actually seem very contradicting if you’ve lived past your teenage years.

Because, well, 1) humans are the exact opposite of rational, and 2) if we had infinite desires, why do people give away their goods to other people?

Economists rarely address the legitimacy of the rational choice model, unless you study the field of behavioral economics which blends psychology with microeconomics.

Most people understand though that we really aren’t rational.

The second note is humans having infinite desires, which also seems a bit off.

If I had infinite desires, why would I ever choose to share what I have with other people?

Rather, in life, my decisions aren’t actually to obtain as many goods as possible. Don’t get me wrong: material goods are great. But there is a limit.

The richest people often end up starting philanthropic work because there is indefinitely a point in our lives when we realize that earning income, although is necessary for modern day survival, does, in fact, feel rewarding, what is more fulfilling is actually giving.

To flip the terms:

Humans are irrational and we have finite desires.

With this framework, we shall see how humanity should better reflect choices.

This will be a future topic I will address once I’ve learned more about this framework. If you are interested in this framework, I learned it in my humanities professor’s amazing book that brings economics into conversation with Thomas Aquinas.

You can find it here: Aquinas and the Market: Toward a Humane Economy

 

Accepted to Cambridge

I am so happy to announce that today I was accepted to Cambridge Pembroke College to study Economics and Philosophy for the Spring 2020 Semester.

I am immensely excited to work with professionals in their fields in a tutoring system where I will get to be intellectually and academically challenged in a unique system that only Oxbridge offers in the world.

And the reason I am writing this on my blog is that I feel like I want to share this happiness with my readers, my family, my friends.

Thank you for anyone who has stayed with me on this journey, either actively or passively.

I appreciate every one of you.

Career

I really have no idea what I want to pursue for my career

Originally I thought it would be clear that I’d follow a career in finance

But the more broadly I learn, the more broadly my interests become

Below I will want to just list a few of the things I’ve considered pursuing just so I can also have a better framework of my passions

  • Finance
    • Investment banking
    • Wealth Management
    • Investments
    • Hedge Funds
    • Private Equity / Venture Capital
  • Academia
    • Economics Research
    • Economics PhD
    • Philosophy
    • Professorship either in Economics, Finance, or Philosophy
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Writer
    • The Economist
    • Personal blogging (Travel blog?)
    • Write economics/humanities books?
  • Places I’d love to work:
    • Vancouver
    • Toronto
    • New York
    • Los Angeles
    • Singapore
    • Shanghai
    • London

At the end of the day, I suppose having broader interests is better than having none. But I understand that specialization is important and one of the major keys to success as we are taught in economics. It’s more efficient to specialize in a few skills.

 

Asking the wrong questions

I’ve recently pondered the potential of being a philosopher

But my economic and business brain nevertheless reared its head and started questioning this decision: how can I make a living (particularly a wealthy living) while calling myself a philosopher?

I was pleasantly slapped with the realization that a true philosopher is not so much worried about creating a living, as he is worried about learning how to live.

Oftentimes we ask the wrong questions and we get results we don’t like.

I’ll continue looking to build bridges between economics and humanities.

But at the same stretch, I need to understand that if I want to be an economist as well as a philosopher, I need to ask the right questions if I want to truly solve anything.

Stop being negative

Jeff Bezos donated $2 billion to charity last year.

And somehow the keyboard warriors of the internet love to point out the bad.

“It’s for tax purposes…”

Even if it were for tax purposes, does it really matter? Either way he is parting away with money. Those same people saying that Bezos only donates money to avoid taxes are the same people who want a tax deduction. Inherently no one wants to pay taxes… so dumb

“$2 billion is such a small % of his $136 billion. It’s the relative % that matters, not nominal”

Albeit they didn’t use the words relative % and nominal, because most keyboard warriors are seemingly illiterate, it’s this arguement that is so dumb to me. Yes, someone who gives 50% of what they have is considered more generous. That’s a fact. It’s relative. But in the REAL WORLD, no one cares. $2 billion is always going to be better than 50% of $200. You can’t bash Bezos for donating a smaller % of his wealth when the nominal donation FAR exceeds anyone else’s contribution. And Bezos isn’t done… who’s to say he won’t leave most of it to charity when he retires or in his will???

“He didn’t give as much as Bill Gates”

That’s true. But Bezos is trying to grow his company, innovate, and create economic growth for all of America and internationally, while Gates has been doing meaningful philanthropic work internationally and in America for 20 years. Comparing them is apples to oranges. And why are we comparing? So what, Gates donates more than Bezos, do we can discredit Bezos’s $2 BILLION DOLLARS??? Do people not realize that that is freaking 9 zeroes???????

Seriously. I know it’s ironic that I am posting on social media complaining about other people complaining on social media

But in a world of so much fucking turmoil with Trump calling a national emergency to build a wall while North Korea and Iran are international threats and China-US trade war is looming, can we not just pause, and reflect, and APPRECIATE those people who are doing GENUINE good for the world? I don’t think starving kids in Africa care where the money is coming from when their lives are dependent on sanitation and healthy nutrition.

It’s not always black and white.

But seriously, let’s bring more gratitude in our lives.

Let’s go do some good.

Anyone who knows me knows that my ultimate ultimate life goal is to cure poverty and discrimination. I think that’s how I can create more world peace.

Anyways… go out there and donate $2 to a charity

Even if $2 is all you have, or if you’re a multi-millionaire.

Because for those who need charity, $2 is $2, and in a lot of places, $2 can save a life.

Side note: here’s a tip on how to be less stressed. DON’T READ INTERNET COMMENTS. You’ll lose brain cells.