BackgroundInterview Date:April 2019
Gender Identity: Male
Sexual Orientation: Straight
Graduation Year: 2022
High School Experience: Public school in Seekonk, MA with a graduating class of about 150 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: Yes
Minors: Marketing and Sports Management
Extracurricular Activities: I’m part of the Bentley Pep Band, the Bentley Real Estate Group, and the Club Frisbee Team.
Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your experience?
I’ve met a lot of upperclassmen through the Club Frisbee team who have helped make the transition process a bit easier. The Real Estate Group has helped expose me to the field I’m interested in. In regards to the Pep Band, I played an instrument in high school and it helped carry on that interest.
Was the Bentley Real Estate Group competitive to get into?
No, anybody can join.
Have you taken many Finance classes yet?
I haven’t taken many Finance specific classes yet, but I’ve taken the general business courses where we’ve talked about it some. The second semester, you take [Tools and Concepts in Accounting and Finance], which is an early finance course.
Is there anything you feel Bentley has done particularly well or poorly so far academically?
We’ve taken two general business courses so far and I think they exposed us well to accounting and finance, which are two of the most popular majors here.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s collaborative, competitive, and also pretty prestigious. There are a lot of group projects here. About 75% of the classes I’ve taken have had at least one group project. Everyone here has a desire to do well and succeed. People are laid back to an extent, but, at the same time, they know they’re at a pretty prestigious school and they’re going to do their best to succeed and to the best ability they can.
How accessible are your professors?
Very accessible. The majority of my professors mention that if their office hours don’t work for you to email them and they can set up an outside time to meet, so that’s really helpful.
How was transitioning academically to Bentley as a first-generation student? Were there any systems in place to help you adapt?
I felt like I was pretty prepared from the high school I was at. I had a decent amount of work and I took several AP courses. I was nervous at first about the workload but it hasn’t been overwhelming. It hasn’t been worse or less than I expected, it’s about what I expected. I haven’t been drowning in work but, at the same time, I’ve been pretty productive and learning a lot. The library is a great resource and all the textbooks and the homework are very informative. I haven’t gone to any tutoring session because I haven’t been struggling. If I do start to struggle, there are plenty of resources around campus. I know friends who are struggling and there are the Math Center and the ACELAB which are great for the general business classes.
Why did you pick your major?
I have a close family friend who went to Bentley and majored in Finance, and she said it was a great field to go into so I kept it in mind. Once we took the second general business course, [Tools and Concepts in Accounting and Finance], which really exposed me what finance is about. It interested me so I decided to major in it.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Oak Hall in the Trees Complex with one roommate.
How was transitioning from Seekonk, MA to Waltham, MA in terms of location?
It was pretty easy because the campus is very homey and isn’t in the middle of the city. I’m from a small town and you get that vibe around campus. The campus is very warm and welcoming. Transitioning wasn’t that hard because I wasn’t a homebody, I was always out doing stuff with my friends, so having a sense of independence here is really nice for me.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
It’s been very good. I haven’t heard of any problems whatsoever. You always see campus police officers around campus and they’re very friendly and approachable. At orientation, they also went over several aspects of safety so you can tell that safety’s a priority here.
Pros and Cons of being in Waltham, MA?
Pros: (1) It’s a city but the specific location of Bentley doesn’t have that feel. You get more of a calm, homey feel. There are only a few roads and the only buildings are university buildings, so you have that sense of not being in a city.
(2) We’re close to Boston and have a shuttle that takes us into Harvard Square and then you can take the train into Boston. I’ve done that several times to go to Red Sox and Bruins games.
Cons: (1) The phone reception at Bentley’s campus is pretty bad because were at the lower part of campus.
(2) The town and campus are very hilly. The campus is built on a hill so you’re constantly going up hills and stairs. Getting up at 7 or 8 in the morning and walking up a bunch of stairs isn’t the most pleasant thing.
What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in at Bentley?
My friends and I aren’t the crazy fraternity party type people. We have a large group of friends so we’ll go to a frisbee team party or stay in and have a little party with all of our friends. There is also plenty of stuff to do around campus, like, there are plenty of sporting events. We like to go play basketball or hang out on the green space on campus, but the majority of the time we just hang out in our dorm and have some friends over to watch a movie. The dorms are pretty big so you can fit a lot of people in them.
How happy are you with the weekend activities at Bentley? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’ve been pretty happy. I don’t think there’s anything I would change because I’ve always had something to do on the weekends.
How did you meet your closest friends?
My closest friends were actually in my roommate’s orientation group. I didn’t hit it off with my orientation group so well, but my roommate was going to Boston with them and asked me to tag along and I hit it off really well with them. My other close group of friends has been people on my floor.
How would you describe the overall social scene?
Everyone here is pretty welcoming, talking, and very accepting. You’re never afraid to have a conversation with people even if you don’t know them well. There are pretty nice people overall.
If at all, how has being a first-generation college student impacted your social transition?
I don’t think it has because it’s never been a topic of discussion. Generally, I don’t think people can tell I’m a first-generation college student, so it’s not really something that comes up.
To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
The campus is pretty diverse, but I personally tend to see a lot of ethnic groups hanging out with one another. I’m not sure how to explain that, but it is something I’ve noticed. [Just over half of the population of Bentley is White.]
How would you describe the student body?
There are a lot of different types of people. You can tell groups of people who are the party-type, people who are into sports, people who are into video games, etc. I feel like no matter what you are, there’s a group of people on campus for you. It’s a matter of finding them more than anything.
To what extent do people in Greek life and not in Greek life mix socially?
I personally am not in a fraternity or a sorority, but I am friends with people who are. In my experience, the people who are in Greek life don’t tend to cut themselves off from the people who aren’t, so I know that I hasn’t ever been a problem for me. I also see people in different fraternities and sororities being friends with one another. I think it’s a good thing because a couple of friends who are in them, and even though it’s not my thing to do, I’m still good friends with them. If I wanted to go to a fraternity party for whatever reason, I could probably ask them and they would get me in.
How do you like the size of Bentley in terms of undergraduate enrollment? [Bentley has about 4,200 undergraduate students.]
I think it’s just the right amount because it’s not super small where you literally know everyone, but you often seem familiar faces and can still meet new people. You’re walking around campus and are not completely surrounded by strangers. If you’re going to class during the busiest time of the day, you’ll probably see somebody who you know. It’s a good balance between big and small.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
What have you used the career office for? How helpful have they been?
I’ve gotten information from career services about what classes I should look to be taking in regards to next year and what classes I’ll need in the future. I haven’t done anything too extensive yet, but from what I can do, I’ve gotten a decent amount of information.
Have you learned any computer programs or languages through your coursework that will be especially helpful to you professionally?
We actually have a course freshman year called IT 101 that is mainly an Excel course. We do a ton of Excel work in that throughout the semester. I found it really beneficial because you do numerous functions, spreadsheets, graphs, and other stuff. It’s also something I know I’ll take into the work environment one day.
Have you used financial aid? If so, how accommodating was the office to your needs?
A lot of the reason I came to Bentley was because of the amount of financial aid I got. I haven’t had to go talk to them too often, but the couple of times I have they responded very fast and they’ve been helpful. It was more about me being confused about the stuff I need to do to fill out financial aid and if I missed anything. They were very helpful and informative.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Bentley before you entered as a freshman?
Sports here aren’t as big as I desired. It’s not a huge deal for me, but I personally am a big sports guy and would have liked to know if this school was a big sports school or not. I would have wanted to know that people do go to sporting events here, but it’s not as much as I’d expect for a Division II school.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Find out about the courses you have to take freshman year because on the tours I wasn’t informed about this. The courses you take freshman year are pretty well-balanced and super beneficial. If I knew the extent of what I had to take freshman year, it would have influenced my decision more because I feel like I’ve learned a lot and have been exposed to business more so than what I thought I would get in my freshman year.
Reasons to attend Bentley:
1) You can tell that it’s a prestigious school because career services and internships are really stressed here and the employment rate is very high. 99% of students are employed or in graduate school. We’re ranked as having the best career services in the nation.
2) Being so close to Boston is definitely a huge help. Especially when I’m looking for a job, being next to Boston will expose me to more opportunities. It’s also nice being close to a city and giving me more things to do.
3) How well-recognized the school is both nationally and internationally. There are so many international students that come and I think that’s for a reason. [About 15% of undergraduates are international students.]
Reasons to not attend Bentley:
1) It’s a very expensive school and the tuition is increasing. [Total costs for 2019-2020 is $71,570.]
Other than the price, I don’t think there are any other reasons why a student wouldn’t come here. I think it has all the assets needs to have to prepare a student well.