College of Wooster
BackgroundInterview Date:Summer 2018
Gender Identity: Male
Graduation Year: 2018, but left Wooster in second semester of senior year
Sexual Orientation: Straight
High School Experience: Private school in Baltimore, MD with a graduating class of about 100 students. There was definitely a culture of going to college
First Generation College Student: No
Major: Business Economics
Minor: Urban Studies
Extracurricular Activities: I was a varsity athlete until I got injured, then I was a student coach for the team. I was in a fraternity and I had leadership roles there.
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
Business Economics is a unique major at Wooster. You’re in the Economics department so you take all the Economics courses that the Economics majors take, but then, instead of taking other elective courses, you have to take accounting courses more business-focused courses, like marketing, finance, and things like that. Work-wise, I was doing problem sets pretty regularly, reading, and writing papers. Wooster is known for its mentored undergraduate research, so I pretty much always had a separate research project going on.
Is there anything you felt your major’s department did especially well or poorly?
Academics were Wooster’s strongest thing for me. I was a huge fan of what they do academically. Business Economics is nice because you get to pick your path in terms of what things interest you. While there is definitely a set of courses that you have to take, there’s a lot of room to take different types of things. You can either branch out and learn a wide variety of things or go down one specific path if you know where you want to direct your career.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s kind of both. Everyone wants to work together and does work together to help each other get further. At the same time, I think within the department you’re competitive with each other to push each other to do better. All the classes are very small, so you know everyone really well and form good relationships with everyone in your class.
What is your favorite class in your major?
Microeconomics. I really liked the professor. What was cool about that class is a lot of what we did wasn’t what you would traditionally think economics was, but we would use an economic approach to analyze something. For example, we did a project where we looked at terrorism and how you could influence terrorists to take part or not take part in terrorist activities with an economic approach.
What is your least favorite class in your major?
The first statistics class you take is pretty basic and boring, but you have to fight through it so you can go on with the major.
Are you happy with your major choice?
Yeah, definitely. I really liked it and I like the department and what we are learning. It’s really applicable and gives you a variety of options.
How was managing your sport and your coursework?
For me, it was easier because it set me on a really strict schedule where I just had to get things done. At the same time, it made it difficult because you lose 4 to 6 hours of your day for your sport, and most of that is the time where all your friends are going to be in the library and you then have to go to the library when they’re all out having a beer or hanging out.
What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you like to participate in?
I went out Wednesday usually, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I would usually go to off-campus houses, and then there are a couple of bars in town that people go to. There are also sometimes events on campus that are fun, like there will be concerts a few times a year, or sporting events like football, lacrosse, and basketball games. Basketball games are huge.
Can you describe a typical night going out freshman year?
We’d get together with a couple of guys on my team, hang out, and then meet up with the older guys on my team and party some before we went out. On the weeknights, we’d go to a bar, and on the weekends, we’d go to a party.
What have been some of your favorite times at Wooster?
I.S. Monday is the day when all the seniors turn in their senior thesis project, and you have to turn that in to graduate from Wooster. It’s a big deal for the seniors, but the whole community really comes together, and basically everyone takes the Monday off from school and parties the whole day. It’s a pretty good time.
How happy are you with the nightlife at Wooster? Is there anything you would change if you could?
What it was during my freshman year is not what it would be like for an incoming freshman now. They’ve made things a little stricter, but you’ll still have a good time I’m sure. They’ve cracked down on Greek life and cracked down on partying if It’s not registered.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Compton Hall with one roommate.
Sophomore: I lived in Bissman Hall with two other roommates. It was a Greek dorm, so I lived on a floor with just my fraternity.
Junior: Holden Hall with one roommate. It’s the biggest dorm on campus and houses mostly sophomores and juniors. We had a huge room and a bunch of friends on our hall.
Senior: Gault Schoolhouse, which probably the nicest place to live on campus. It’s apartment-style suites, so your rooms are really small and just have your bed, a desk, and storage, but there’s a huge common room. I had three apartment mates.
What was your favorite living situation?
By far Gault Schoolhouse. That place is really nice.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
They actually stepped up their safety a lot recently. There are security campuses everywhere and have guards patrolling campus. Wooster’s a small town, and there are definitely some issues there, but for the most part the college students are safe. [Wooster has a poverty rate of about 19%.]
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
Broken Rocks Café.
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
You can always go into Cleveland, it’s a really easy drive. You hop on the highway and 45 minutes later you’re there. If you’re used to city life, it’s going to remind you of home and get you away from the small-town feel.
Pros and cons of being located in Wooster, Ohio?
1) There are no city lights or noise or anything because you’re surrounded by cornfields.
2) The college is in a cool location because if you go south of the college it’s more historic and there are cool restaurants and stuff, and if you go north it’s more developed.
Cons: You’re in Wooster, Ohio, which is the middle of nowhere. Most people spend a lot of their semester on campus. There’s only so much you can do there.
How did you meet your closest friends?
Through my sport and my fraternity. I also have a bunch of close friends I met freshman year or I met through classes. Everyone is really friendly and it’s not hard to meet a very diverse group of people.
How would you describe the overall social scene at Wooster?
It’s what you make of it.
What is the impact of Greek life on the social scene?
I think it’s a very, very big part of it. Not that you have to be a part of Greek life to be a part of that social scene, but the social scene does revolve around Greek parties and athlete parties. Anyone can go to them, so you’ll be fine with neither of those groups there.
To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientation mix socially?
Pretty well. There’s a predominantly Black fraternity and an all international fraternity, but all those guys go to the other Greek parties too. There are people of every sexual orientation and race in Greek life. [20% of students at Wooster are U.S. students of color.]
How would you describe the student body?
Diverse and adamantly engaged.
Do you think people leave Wooster happy with their choice? Do you think people love Wooster?
I think it depends on the person. There are people who it’s the perfect school for and people who it is not. Some people really like it, and some people are not so much that way, but I think that comes from a social aspect not an academic one.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
Yes, the alumni network is very strong here.
Have you used the career office at all? If so, how helpful have they been?
I have not personally, but I know it’s been very helpful to my friends.
Have you learned any computer programs that will be helpful to you professionally?
Potentially, some of the statistical analysis programs would be helpful, like Stata. Also, because you’re writing so much, you learn how to use Word on a different level with formatting.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Wooster before you entered as a freshman?
I wish I knew how academically challenging it was going to be. I had no idea.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Get ice cream at Hartzler’s. It’s down the road and really good.
Reasons to attend Wooster:
1) The academics.
2) The community is great.
3) There is lots of academic support. If you ever need help, the professors truly want to meet with you and they want to help you.
Reasons to not attend Wooster:
1) For the academic rigor that you’re going to experience, it doesn’t have the recognition throughout the rest of the country that another school with that rigor would have.
2) It’s a really small school. There are [2,000] people on campus and that’s it.
3) Social life gets repetitive. There are only so many things to do.