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Do you have to be a Genius to

  1. Nov 28, 2008 #1
    Do you have to be a "Genius"to...

    get an admission in Harvard University? It seems to me that only exceptional people get in there...What's your view?

    By the way, do we have members attending Harvard?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 28, 2008 #2

    Kurdt

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    Re: Do you have to be a "Genius"to...

    Depends on how you define genius.
     
  4. Nov 28, 2008 #3

    Evo

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    Re: Do you have to be a "Genius"to...

    I wouldn't say genius, but you have to be very motivated and very strong academically, then it's also who you, or rather your parents know in some cases. There are exceptions. My last boyfriend graduated from Yale and got his PhD from Harvard. He both came from a very rich old money family and was very motivated and very intelligent. The father of a friend graduated from Havard and got his PhD from Cambridge, again very rich, old money family.

    I believe we have Harvard grads here.
     
  5. Nov 28, 2008 #4
    Re: Do you have to be a "Genius"to...

    It seems as though a significant data point, for our standards of "genius" or even "very motivated and very strong academically", is that George W. Bush received a graduate degree from Harvard.
     
  6. Nov 28, 2008 #5
    Re: Do you have to be a "Genius"to...

    Can you elaborate more on this: "...but you have to be very motivated and very strong academically" (Evo)?
     
  7. Nov 28, 2008 #6

    Evo

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    Re: Do you have to be a "Genius"to...

    You can easily find out what the posted criteria for admission to Harvard is. My ex-husband was pre-med at Yale and graduated from Dartmouth. As an alumni, it was understood that our children would get preferential consideration to be accepted. If there was someone similarly eligible, my kids would be the ones to get in. That's just the way it is. My ex didn't get into Yale because he qualified academically, his dad pulled some strings. If your parent knows the right people and/or is a large contributor, your kid can most likely get in, even if their grades are marginal. That's just a sad fact of life. That doesn't guarantee they will make it. My ex graduated near the bottom of his class. But on his resume, no one looks at how he did, just where he got his degree.
     
  8. Nov 28, 2008 #7
    Re: Do you have to be a "Genius"to...

    I worked with a lot of people from MIT, arguably even better than Harvard in terms of physics. Were they geniuses? Nope. Normal people like me, except maybe more hardworking. ;)

    They talked like normal people, worked like normal people, and they made mistakes like normal people.

    If you work hard, do some good research, get good GRE scores, and have a whole lotta luck, you can get in.

    Why luck? Because it's not really up to you if you end up in a group that will publish a paper with your help. I worked for a year for my professor and I never got anything published. Just how it goes. My friend on the other hand worked less than that and already has his name on a paper. Also, how well you do on your GRE's depends on how well others do on theirs. So there's more luck right there.
     
  9. Nov 28, 2008 #8

    Evo

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    Re: Do you have to be a "Genius"to...

    Yeah, I have a friend that graduated from MIT.

    Don't forget they also have a female "quota" and a very limited number of slots to fill.
     
  10. Nov 28, 2008 #9
    Re: Do you have to be a "Genius"to...

    this is silly. a genius is clearly someone who is mentally superior to the vast majority of other people. you can measure this with intelligence tests.

    you don't need to be a genius, but you do need to be very intelligent. they are very selective and only let very bright students in.

    of course if you are wealthy, they can easily make accomodations for you. having connections with the faculty can also work wonders. usually people who are connected and are wealthy usually are intelligent as well though, or are broomed that way with privledged education.

    this and the fact that harvard is so famous that it attracts the best students, yeah, its safe to say the average harvard student is a lot smarter than most other schools. but this does not mean other schools lack talent entirely, they just have less of it. a real genius is extremely rare, and i dont think there are enough of them to fill the ranks of any school.


    and Bush was president TWICE. sounds like a genius to me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2008
  11. Nov 28, 2008 #10
    Re: Do you have to be a "Genius"to...

    A lot of the prestige behind these schools is the name though so don't let it turn you off from other options...
     
  12. Nov 28, 2008 #11
    Re: Do you have to be a "Genius"to...

    Yeah, the name is a lot of the reason, but you can safely say that MIT will have physics and engineering classes where the expectations are high, and if you graduate, you know your stuff. Whereas if you examine Podunk University in Alabama, there's no telling. You'd have to actually do an in-depth study of the department, and nobody wants to deal with that.
     
  13. Nov 28, 2008 #12
    Re: Do you have to be a "Genius"to...

    ideally yes, but in the real world the name really counts for something. the good companies will only go to the good schools, and the lesser known schools will generally get paid less.

    exactly, its just like brand names. and brand names have better quality control. though you may miss out on non-brand goods.
     
  14. Nov 29, 2008 #13
    Re: Do you have to be a "Genius"to...

    :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:
     
  15. Nov 29, 2008 #14
    Re: Do you have to be a "Genius"to...

    So, what would you recommend to a 10th grader to increase his chances? I've been recommended by my teachers to join the IB program next year...though this won't really mean a lot to them.

    I'm not dying to get into Harvard, I mean universities like MIT,Yale,Cambridge etc would be as good as Harvard :).
     
  16. Nov 29, 2008 #15

    Kurdt

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    Re: Do you have to be a "Genius"to...

    Work hard.
     
  17. Nov 29, 2008 #16
    Re: Do you have to be a "Genius"to...

    Elaborate, please :P.
     
  18. Nov 29, 2008 #17

    Kurdt

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    Re: Do you have to be a "Genius"to...

    No secret. Work hard at your studies and you can go anywhere you want.
     
  19. Nov 29, 2008 #18
    Re: Do you have to be a "Genius"to...

    Like keep your GPA as high as possible as well as doing extra curricular activities...Its pretty simple, in theory.
     
  20. Nov 29, 2008 #19
  21. Nov 29, 2008 #20
    Re: Do you have to be a "Genius"to...

    Why can't we come to the realization that being a leader/the president has nothing to do with being intelligent. Leadership /=/ intelligence.
     
  22. Nov 29, 2008 #21
    Re: Do you have to be a "Genius"to...

    You can mask your stupidity by working hard :redface:
     
  23. Nov 29, 2008 #22
    Re: Do you have to be a "Genius"to...

    Man..screw Harvard - there are way too many smart-*** people who apply there and get rejected! I'll just try my luck at Tokyo University - they have a brilliant physics/astronomy program and ranked in the top 10 or 15 worldwide. It'll be fun learning Japanese!
     
  24. Nov 30, 2008 #23
    Re: Do you have to be a "Genius"to...

    really.. why is it so important to get into a prestigious university?

    -for a higher salary compared to graduates from other universities?
    There are successful people who havent even completed tertiary education and are making a lot now. Just a few weeks ago, this guy won the best entrepeneur of the year in my country. He was only about 28 years old, didnt complete pre university education and his company is having a turnover of US$20+ million a year.

    and even if you are the next Einstein, you don't have to enter Harvard to prove anything.

    I think it is foolish to judge how much a person has accomplished by his place of graduation.
     
  25. Nov 30, 2008 #24
    Re: Do you have to be a "Genius"to...

    When someone graduates from a prestigious university, you know they are good. If you look at someone who hadn't gone to school and they tell you they are really good at X, why should you believe them? Sure, they can prove themselves. But who's going to give them the chance?

    The entrepeneur you are talking about had an easier time (relatively) because he was his own boss. He didn't have to prove anything to anybody, which means he could have worked to his full potential, and did.

    But do you think he hires people that haven't completed school to high positions?
     
  26. Nov 30, 2008 #25
    Re: Do you have to be a "Genius"to...

    Everyone has a chance you know. I read about this Briton who was killed in the Mumbai terror attacks, forgotten his name, he was a tycoon and has a yatching business. He started out as an assistant in a bakery.

    Even Einstein was a nobody until he proved himself with his theory of S.R. That was when he was in a patent office, working. Not at a university as a postgrad. His chance came in the form of being able to publish his ideas in a journal, which fortunately do not have any rules governing that you need to be in Harvard in order to publish assuming that only Harvard students are capable of publishing something that is noteworthy and any authors not from Harvard are only capable of trash. You get the idea..

    And as others have mentioned, there are people who get to go to Harvard just because they pull some strings, but does that mean they are good? I think it is hard to say.

    Furthermore, I think a Harvard degree wouldn't mean that the HR of a company would single you out for a fast track of promotion. I think it takes a lot of hard work and talent to be able to climb up the ranks.

    What I think a Harvard degree is only useful for, is to help the HR in deciding who to employ and also the pay for the potential employee. But just because someone with a Harvard degree might get off in a better position than someone else with a normal degree, that doesn't mean that it would stay that way forever.

    After all, what you are really trying to compare are (school grades, place of graduation etc.) and (work performace, leadership skills, whatever that is good for you in a working environment). It's just like comparing apples and oranges. It is irrelevant imo.
     
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