BackgroundInterview Date:April 2019
Gender Identity: Female
Sexual Orientation: Straight
Graduation Year: 2021
High School Experience: Public school in a small town in Connecticut with a graduating class of about 300 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Extracurricular Activities: I’m part of the Club Sailing team, I’m in Greek life, and I’m in the Bentley Investment Group.
Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your experience?
Greek life and the Bentley Investment Group have had the most impact. The investment group helped me get into finance and know that that was what I want to do. Greek life, especially as a girl at Bentley because there are more men than women, has let me meet a lot of nice girls.
Can you describe the weekly coursework for your major?
I’m in my first major course this semester and we have homework and readings for every class, but, at least for my professor, they aren’t required for you to do but is considered helpful for you to do it. We also have quizzes, exams, and projects.
Is there anything you feel Bentley has done particularly well or poorly so far academically?
They give a lot of resources to the students that are helpful if you don’t understand your work. There are a lot of tutor labs. I personally found the Eco-Fi lab pretty helpful, it teaches economics, finance, and statistics.
How accessible are your professors?
They have office hours weekly, but I’ve never had a problem meeting with them outside of those. If I have class during their office hours, I just email them asking to set up another time to meet, and I’ve never had an issue meeting them.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I think we have a really good learning environment here. The classes are fairly small and the professors know everyone’s name. Combined with the tutor labs, Bentley really makes sure that you can get individual attention if you need to. It’s collaborative in that in my classes people will make a group chat and we will meet up to study. I think it’s competitive in that we all push each other. With internships and jobs, there are a lot of people that have really good ones, so that makes you want to get a better job too and be more successful. It’s healthy because the student body pushes you to be your best self.
What’s been your favorite class you’ve taken so far?
My finance class has been my favorite because I’m finally doing something I’m interested in and am able to apply the skills I want to do what I’m working on and learn about them. It’s called Principles of Accounting and Finance.
Why did you pick your major? Are you happy with your choice?
I’m happy with my choice. I think having the two intro classes in the general business courses in accounting and finance really helped me figure out that it is something I’m good at and like doing. I was deciding between Accounting and Finance and decided I like Finance more, so the Finance class I’m taking now has confirmed what I felt last year. I’m really happy with my choice.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Slade Hall with one roommate
Sophomore: Fenway Hall in a suite where I have one direct roommate and then we have another room with two roommates
How was transitioning from your hometown in Connecticut to Waltham, MA in terms of location?
As a first-year student, I was a little taken aback by not having a car. I was kind of stuck on campus a lot last year because I didn’t have a car and I didn’t want to Uber. We do have the shuttle, but I didn’t use it as much as I should have. Originally, it was a bit of a weird transition to be stuck on campus all the time. In terms of making friends, I put that on the backburner my first-year and focused a lot on my academics, so this year I’ve been able to make a lot more friends through Greek life and different classes that I have with people.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I’ve never felt unsafe here. There are lights all over. I have no problem walking back alone and a lot of my guy friends would offer to walk back with me anyway, so I find that the people here are really nice. The police officers here are genuinely some of the nicest people I’ve met, they’re friends with the students and they’re always available to talk. I have one of their numbers because I had to get a prescription and one of them offered to drive me, which was super nice. Overall, the safety here is great.
Pros and Cons of being in Waltham, MA?
Pros: (1) You’re close to Boston.
(2) There’s also a downtown area so you don’t have to go into Boston to get food or go shopping.
(3) You’re close to a lot of businesses and there are a lot of opportunities that I wouldn’t be able to get at home.
Cons: (1) Sometimes the weather can be a con.
(2) There’s traffic that comes with being close to a city.
What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in at Bentley?
I’m in a sorority and we have socials usually once a weekend. We’ll pair with a frat and have something between us. I have a good amount of homework and I like to save my going out for the weekends, so I’ll just go out Friday and Saturday and occasionally I’ll go for dinner or something on Thursday night.
What’s an alternative to going to a party or a bar that you like for a night out?
As far as other activities, I’ve gone into Boston for dinner with my friends and have gone to the movies. There’s a lot of really cool things you can do in Boston. You can do a lot around here. We also like to go to the Burlington Mall.
What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
I think it really helps if you’re a guy or a girl because it gives you lots of connections with people who are the people who have the parties. If you’re in a sorority or a frat, there are parties for your group so you always have a connection. [About 17% of undergraduates are involved in Greek life.]
Is there any sort of exclusivity involved with Greek life?
No, I don’t think so. Last year when I wasn’t in a sorority I didn’t feel any exclusivity. Maybe for a guy there would be just because there are more guys than girls here, so sometimes they want guys to come with girls. Also, once you have a group of friends, people will have dorm parties so you don’t have to go off-campus for that.
How happy are you with the weekend activities at Bentley? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’m happy with it. I’m not the type of person that is super crazy and into partying anyway, so I think this is a nice mix.
How did you meet your closest friends?
My best friend lived on the same floor as me last year. We got really close that way. My other closest friends are from Greek life.
How would you describe the overall social scene?
It’s not a crazy party school, it’s definitely a weekend party school. If you want to go out every night, Boston’s right there so you could. Most of the parties are welcoming but there is a majority of guys here so sometimes guys have to show up to parties with girls. Most people find their friends through freshman dorms, but as you get older the clubs are a great way to find friends because we will get food together after or have a class together.
To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I have friends of different races and friends of different sexual orientations, but I don’t really know how prevalent that is here. I don’t know if I can comment on it because I just don’t know that many people.
To what extent do people in Greek life and not in Greek life mix socially?
All the time. I have a lot of friends who are both in Greek life and not in Greek life and when I wasn’t in Greek life it was the same situation.
How do you like the size of Bentley in terms of undergraduate enrollment? [Bentley has about 4,200 undergraduate students.]
I think it’s a good size because it’s not too small where you feel like you know everyone too well and you see everyone all the time. It’s also not too big where you wouldn’t run into someone you know. I like walking to class and being able to see a friend and say hi.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
It’s definitely helped me because I’ve been able to connect with some Bentley alumni who have been able to connect me with people in the Connecticut area. So far, I haven’t had a direct impact from that, but I think down the line it’ll really help me out.
What have you used the career office for? How helpful have they been?
Career services actually have classes you can take. They help you set up LinkedIn, they help you set up your resume and cover letter, they have job opportunities you can apply for. I think they’re very helpful.
Have you learned any computer programs or languages through your coursework that will be especially helpful to you professionally?
I’ve used Excel a lot. Freshman year you take an IT class. We also did SPSS and in my finance classes they want you to get Bloomberg certified, so I’m doing that now.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Bentley before you entered as a freshman?
The only bad thing here is the food. I wish I knew that because I would have gone on a lower meal plan. They have restaurants on campus that are good, but the dining hall food isn’t good. There’s a meal plan that is weighted more heavily on discretionary money, so I would have done that.
What is something a prospective student interested in Greek life may want to know that we haven’t touched on?
It’s really positive. At least with the sorority I’m in, we focus a lot on philanthropy and community service. I know that nationally Greek life has gotten a bad reputation, but, overall, it’s really good at Bentley. Everyone is just trying to make friends and it’s a really great way to expand your network too. You don’t think of it that way when you’re a freshman, but when there are people from your Greek organization in the workforce they can help you out.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Maybe try to sit in on a class if you can. Also, try the food.
Reasons to attend Bentley:
1) They are really good at teaching you all aspects of business. If business is what you want to do, it gives you a lot of good perspectives because you take a course in every different concentration. Once you graduate you’ll be exposed to marketing, management, finance, accounting, and so forth. That will give you a leg up on somebody who has only taken classes in their specific business major.
2) Career services are really good. They have a 99% job placement rate which is really impressive. You really get the vibe that the alumni are willing to help. If you message them on LinkedIn or ask them to coffee if they’re campus, they’re receptive to that. For me, the point of going to college is to get a job, so this school is really appealing to me because they’re so good at that.
Reasons to not attend Bentley:
1) It is difficult coursework so you have to be on top of it and balance a lot of things.
2) The food is not good, but they say they’re working on it.