An Interview On
Bentley University

Background

Interview Date:December 2018

Gender Identity: Male
Race/Ethnicity: Brazilian/Latino
Sexual Orientation: Bisexual
Graduation Year: 2021
High School Experience: Public school in Waltham, MA with a graduating class of about 450 students. There were a lot of AP and upper-level classes offered and for those students there was a culture of going to college, but there were also a lot of students that didn’t know English very well who were looking at 2-year schools and trade schools.
First Generation College Student: Yes
Majors: Double major in Managerial Economics with a concentration in International Business and Global Perspectives
Minor: Computer Information Systems
Extracurricular Activities: I’m a MOSAIC Ambassador, which means I am an orientation leader for the MOSAIC orientation which happens two and a half days before the regular orientation. I’m also in the Brazilian Student Association, I’m a tour guide, and I’m part of a business professional fraternity called Alpha Kappa Psi.

Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your experience?
The MOSAIC experience has for sure. I knew I wanted to be part of orientation, and I think I get a lot more out of MOSAIC than I would regular orientation because it has more of a service component. The continuation of learning about how to value your ethnicity, race, gender, and all of that made me make much stronger connections. Also, being part of the professional fraternity has taught me so much. It’s helped me land internships and other opportunities on campus. I don’t think I would have had the confidence to become a tour guide or a MOSAIC ambassador if I didn’t go through the pledging process in the business fraternity.

Academic Experience

Can you describe the weekly coursework for your majors?
I’ll have 3-4 chapters of reading, sometimes it’s less. I’ll have a bunch of other types of work, so that can be papers or group assignments. I also have online modules once a week or every other week. In general, I’m doing a lot of reading and extra writing or assignments outside of class.

Is there anything you feel either of your majors’ departments do especially well or poorly?
The professors are really good. The reason why I became a Managerial Economics major was that it’s integrated into every side of business. The general focus at Bentley is business, and the first two years you have to take a bunch of different business classes, and I think the professors I got in my Managerial Economics classes stood out because they taught me that I could use economics with any side of business.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It can be both. Bentley asked employers what they look for in a Bentley student when they go through the interview process and employers said they wanted students to be able to work in teams, so Bentley incorporates that into the classroom. In general, there is a lot of group work and group assignments at Bentley. The culture at Bentley is very much work hard play hard. Everyone is here for their future and people will be competitive because they’re worried about landing internships and full-time positions. It’s not competitive in the sense that people are working against each other because people are also there for the connections. They are competitive in that they are trying to work for themselves and their own success.

How accessible have your professors been?
Very accessible. There are some professors I get lunch with every month or so after the class was over. Because the class sizes at Bentley are really small, I’ve been able to establish a really good relationship with them. Some of them will have online live streams of an office hours session where they will answer students’ questions. They’re accessible by email and they have office hours during the week.

Why did you pick your majors? Are you happy with your choice?
I’m happy with my choice so far. The reason I chose my majors was that ever since high school I was super interested in economics because I had a really good economics teacher in high school. My first semester I took more economics classes and I decided to continue. I also love traveling and learning more about different cultures, and my parents are from Brazil, so having that international background made me want to concentrate in International Business and double major in Global Perspectives.

How was transitioning academically to Bentley as a first-generation student? Were there any systems in place to help you adapt?
At first, it was a little difficult. My sister goes to Bentley and she hangs out with a lot of people who are in Greek life and predominantly White, so I at first saw Bentley only through her perspective. Before I came, Bentley tried to reach out to me as much as they could and they tried to get me involved in their minority events. They do an overnight visit program for prospective students of color to visit current students of color at Bentley. I did that program and that’s how I realized that Bentley actually is diverse, and then once I participated in MOSAIC as an incoming freshman and that gave me that extra confidence to meet whoever I wanted to and take advantage of opportunities. That really helped me with that transition period.

On and Around Campus

Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Birch Hall in the Trees Complex in a double room for the first semester. Second semester I moved into Maple Hall in the Trees complex in a double room but I was by myself.

Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I think the safety is pretty good because we have actual police officers patrolling campus 24/7. There are also blue lights poles all around campus. I feel really safe here.

Pros and Cons of being in Waltham, MA?
Pros: (1) It’s a suburban town outside of Boston, so you get the best of both worlds. If you want that smaller school feel you can stay in the Bentley campus, but whenever you want you can go into Boston.
(2) I think the small campus feel gets you more willing to be involved on campus. You can get close to your professors because it’s a smaller campus so you’re not just a number to them and closer to your peers.

Cons: (1) The small school vibe leads people to stay confined to their comfort zone and not leave the Bentley bubble.
(2) We are a little bit away from the public transportation of the Boston area, so we are disconnected. I think if we were a little closer to the city it’d be more appealing.

Social Opportunities

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in at Bentley?
There’s no on-campus housing for Greek life, so there’s a lot of stuff going on off-campus. Most of the time there are people who are driving you to and from different Greek houses near campus. I personally like to hang out with friends or go into the city, but it depends on the weekend. If there is a big concert or a bigger weekend like St. Paddy’s Weekend or Marathon Monday, we’ll go into the city. If it’s a smaller weekend, I tend to stay on campus and go to different parties on campus at peoples’ apartments or off-campus houses where people live together or just Greek life houses. Sports teams will throw parties as well.

Do freshman boys have trouble getting into parties?
Freshman boys have trouble getting into parties at only two fraternities are campus, those are known as the more exclusive frats. When I was a freshman I didn’t have any problems getting into parties because I was friends with a good amount of people.

What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
I don’t think it’s too big. You don’t have to be in Greek life to have fun. It all depends on who you know and who you’re friends with. A lot of the times, if you have an okay ratio of guys to girls with you, you can get into a party. If you’re not in Greek life you’ll still have friends and can still go out on the weekends.

How happy are you with the weekend activities at Bentley? Is there anything you would change if you could?
On a scale of 1-10, I’m at a 7. I think our school spirit is down. At other schools the game days look like they’re really fun, but that’s also a tradeoff of going to a smaller school instead of a bigger school. The nightlife is what you make of it. If you want to have a good time you can, you just have to get out of your comfort zone.

Campus Culture

How did you meet your closest friends?
A lot of them were through freshman orientation and the MOSAIC pre-orientation program beforehand. Also, just meeting people through friends of friends. My other closest friends I’ve met through group projects, classes, and organizations on campus.

How would you describe the overall social scene?
In general, it’s cliquey, and I think that is because it is a smaller school. After the first few weeks of school, everyone is integrated into their own little groups. Some people stay confined to those groups because it’s up to them to branch out. I’m super social so I have friends in multiple friend groups.

To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
Race-wise, a lot of people who are in the Multicultural Center and the people in those friend groups like to stay confined to those groups. There are others who are more integrated on campus like I am, but it’s less common with minorities because they tend to stick with who they’re comfortable with. In terms of sexual orientation, people are pretty integrated on campus. I haven’t come across one group of people who are all LGBT.

How would you describe the student body?
I would define the student body as work hard play hard. Everyone is super career oriented and are trying to think about their future. At the same time, they still do like to have a good time and make the most out of their college years. People are on the more preppier side, but it doesn’t feel like I’m going to a boarding school because there is a lot of diversity. [About 61% of Bentley’s student body is White.]

Careers

Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
Yes, this summer I’m doing an international experience program I learned about through working in the admissions office. A bunch of people from Bentley did the program earlier, and the people in the study abroad office connected me with the people who did that program before to give me advice.

What have you used the career office for? How helpful have they been?
The career center has online portals that I’ve used to set up one on ones for help on how I should go about applying to internships and which ones I can apply to. They’ve been pretty helpful with advice of which ones I can do.

Have you learned any computer programs or languages through your coursework that will be especially helpful to you professionally?
I’ve learned a lot about Excel. We use different coding resources, like Brackets. The first Computer Information Systems class I took focused on databases, so Excel, and was an introduction to coding. Once I take more Computer Information System classes it will be more coding and program. It was a really good, resourceful thing to learn Excel and Brackets.

Financial Aid

Have you used financial aid? If so, how accommodating was the office to your needs?
Yes, I have used financial aid. They’ve been very accommodating. Coming from a low-income household, I don’t may much because of financial aid. My cost went up a few thousand dollars between freshman and sophomore year and I went to the office and said that I can’t afford it and the office helped me find grants and scholarships to apply for.

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

What is something you wish you knew about Bentley before you entered as a freshman?
I wish I knew more about time management, but that’s more of an overall college thing.

What is something a prospective student of color may want to know that we haven’t touched on yet?
Put yourself out there and don’t be afraid. Just because you go to a predominantly White school it doesn’t mean that you are less capable. That can be as simple as raising your hand in class or just asking for more help. There’s a lot of resources to do your research on what’s available to you and use them.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
They miss how the school spirit is. I think they should go to the new arena, [The Bentley Arena], that’s where the hockey team plays.

Reasons to attend Bentley:
1) If you’re going into the business field, it’s the perfect school for you. If you want to do business or something business related, you are basically guaranteed a job. [97% of the Class of 2017 were employed, attending or planning to attend within six months after graduation.]
2) You will meet so many people from different backgrounds and different countries. [About 15% of the undergraduate population are international students.]
3) There are accessible professors. You can go to your professors for anything you want. You can get close to them and get that extra help if you try to.

Reasons to not attend Bentley:
1) If you aren’t the type of go-getter person. A lot of [your success at Bentley] is based on doing it on your own.
2) The school much more geared towards the business students. If you don’t love business, you’ll hear about it every day.
3) If you’re someone who needs an amazing social life and needs to do something every weekend, then the social life aspect might not be the best. There aren’t any gameday tailgates or anything like that.

Notice: Bentley University is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by Bentley University.

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