19 answers

Alma Mater

I have a friend who attended the same university I did, but for a one-year night school graduate program. She refers to the school as her "alma mater." I know this seems petty, but I think this implies that she went to this (somewhat prestigious) school for four years, when in fact she went to a school that's relatively non-competitive. I realize a graduate degree is impressive, and of course I've never said anything to her. So am I just being petty?

What can I do next?

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Yes, this is incredibly petty. She has an MBA from a highly competetive university... this carries extreme weight and shouldn't be minimized b/c she accommplished this goal over an extended period of time. She didn't walk through the doors without effort and must have worked her tail off as an undergrad to get in.

Shame on you- very petty, small-minded and elitist. I claim alum status from The College of William & Mary which is also very difficult to get into, especially out-of-state b/c I have two graduate degrees from there... did I work less than the undergrad? I promise you... we both studied and worked to have essentially the SAME piece of paper framed on the wall.

11 moms found this helpful

Don't feel bad for asking-- that's what these forums are for! That said, I agree with the others. Could it even be possible that she's trying not to 'trump' you by saying "I got my MBA there," knowing that you have a bachelor's? I have a doctorate degree, while my partner here at work has her Master's. Unless asked directly by someone, I don't make the distinction. I just say, "We both went to XXX University."

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Yes, you sound very petty, insecure, and also not very nice. I'm curious why you believe that your Bachelor's degree carried more weight than her Master's from the same school...? First time I've ever heard that one.

18 moms found this helpful

OK you really think that a bachelor's degree from your "esteemed" alma mater is more prestigious than an MBA? On what planet? No one cares where you went for undergrad. She is probably worried that saying "oh that's where I got my MBA" sounds pretentious, so she doesn't bother to specify that she has an advanced degree. Please get over yourself.

18 moms found this helpful

I believe you both have something to be proud of, for different reasons. You were a young college student and achieved your goal of getting a degree. Congratulations! Your friend went to school at night over many years and achieved her goal of getting her advanced degree. Congratulations to her!

For you to denigrate a student going back to school at a later age (and quite possibly she had a family to care for, or a daytime job to manage as well) is more than petty. It doesn't diminish her accomplishments, it diminishes you.

She has a more advanced degree than you do, and from the same school, after all. Of course it's her alma mater! I think that for her to be accepted as a master's degree candidate shows that she is held in high esteem by the college. You both got accepted. You got accepted for a general bachelor's degree. She got accepted for a specialized master's degree.

The problem lies within yourself. Your attitude shows a real weakness on your part, in my opinion. Why be threatened by her? Why would you assume that broad studies are "more impressive" than a dedicated master's degree? You said it yourself. Insecure. I think that this has nothing to do with who got a degree from where. There's a lot more to your jealousy of her.

16 moms found this helpful

She stuck with over four years of night school, probably while holding down a job and/or tending a family or at least coping with what folks in their 40s cope with -- bills, obligations, things pulling them a lot of different ways.

You attended full-time during bachelor's degree years -- I'm assuming, 18 to about 22. Were you also holding down a full-time job and/or tending a family during those years? Were you distracted by career-based work or by kids or by running a household?

She is more impressive to me. She could easily have given up and not gotten that MBA at all. She could have gone to someplace that was not "a highly competitive/esteemed university" and had an easier time getting that degree.

She's as much an alumna as you are. She earned a degree there; so she is an alumna. And she did it at a time in her life when she likely had many more conflicts with her class schedule, and many more responsibilities than full-time undergraduates have, unless those undergrads also happen to be fully responsible for their own entire tuition, 100 percent of all other expenses, and a family and job as well.

Please show her the respect she deserves.

16 moms found this helpful

Hi S.-

I am sure that your friend had to take the GRE...GMAT...or some other entrance test to get 'matriculated' into their grad program...

In my opinion...a masters degree generally 'trumps' a bachelors degree no matter how it was achieved (ie...part time...at night).

I say relax...let it go...

Or go get your masters...

Just my thinking...
Michele/cat

13 moms found this helpful

Sounds a bit petty to me.

Even people who go for MBA at a well respected school (or any school for that matter) has to be accepted.

My hubby is a prime example.... he got an undergrad at Penn State, played golf for them on scholarship 4 yrs, well respected athlete and has been honored at the school.

He got his MBA at least 10+ yrs later when the timing was right at Duke. Duke does not let anyone who feels like it join the program... you earn your right to go there.

Both schools are excellent and yes. BOTH are his alma mater because he worked his a$$ off at both schools to excel.

Your friend also had to work hard to excel in the program she was in at your prestigious school and deserves recognition as well.

12 moms found this helpful

yes it seems petty.

She was accepted and attend the same school, not to mention MBA trumps BA anyways. I can't imagine not being proud of a friend for getting her MBA and accepting her as Alumna.....in the scheme of things does this really matter?

**Added: i find it interesting that you removed your question. This is a forum for any kind of question. You asked for opinions on a matter and you got them. In reading it seems that most everyone was reasonable about it and not bashing you per se.

12 moms found this helpful

Yes, this is VERY petty. How is it "more impressive" that you got your bachelors degree there beginning at age 18 and doing 4 years of studies than going to night school over 4-5 years (what dedication!) while in her 40's? Unless you've been in her shoes, you have no idea how difficult it was for her. Being a young wife and mother, I attended an online bachelor's degree program. I worked for 3 years to obtain my Bachelor's in Accounting. It was so much harder than my time spent at a college when I was younger because I didn't have dedicated time allotted for studies. I had to make time, lose sleep, have different priorities, and work around my job and children to get my degree.
I don't mean to sound harsh, and maybe this is a little too personal to me. But it also sounds like you believe that if you don't do "traditional" route when obtaining a degree then it isn't "impressive." She is alum to this school. She paid tuition, she studied, she received grades, and she received a degree from the institution same as you. She probably worked harder, was much more appreciative of the education she was receiving, than if she was a "traditional" graduate.

12 moms found this helpful

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