An Interview On
Cornell University

Background

Interview Date:July 2018

Gender Identity: Female
Race/Ethnicity: Biracial: Half Caucasian, Half Asian
Graduation Year: 2019
Sexual Orientation: Straight
High School Experience: Public High School in Southern California with a graduating class of about 300 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Major: Applied Economics and Management
Minor: Nutrition
Extracurricular Activities: I’m a student-athlete. I’m part of Athlete Ally, which is an organization for supporting, discussion and inclusion gender sexual identity and sexual orientation in athletics specifically.

Academic Experience

Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
It largely depends on the class, but I’d say most of the work is reading and writing and not so much problem sets. We also study many case studies.

What are your major graded assignments?
Most of the classes have 2-3 major essays or 2-3 midterms.

Is there anything that you feel your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
There are a lot of good career resources. The professors do a good job even in the classes themselves. They are great at explaining how the skills that you’re learning will be applicable to a career after college.

Can you describe the learning environment?
Within my major it is competitive. There are always a lot of people talking about internships, where someone’s going to work and how many interviews they’ve gotten. It’s not too much competition in grades, but more about jobs.

What has been your favorite class in your major?
My favorite class has been Consumer Neuroscience Science.

What has been your least favorite class in your major?
My least favorite has been Financial Accounting.

How accessible have your professors been?
They are very accessible. They’re very good at responding to e-mails and good about setting up extra time if I need that.

What made you choose your major and are you happy with your choice?
I picked it because it is very applicable to a large variety of jobs because I don’t know what I want to go into. My major can be applied to many different things and, overall, I’d say I’m happy with it.

On and Around Campus

Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: I lived in Bauer Hall on north campus, which is where all the freshman lived, and I had one roommate.

Sophomore: I lived off campus in an apartment about a mile off North Campus and I had two roommates.

Junior: I was also off campus, but pretty close to West Campus and I still had the same two roommates.

Senior: I’ll be in Collegetown in an apartment off campus with the same two roommates.

What was your favorite living situation?
This past year was my favorite. My apartment wasn’t necessarily nice, but we were so close to campus and with our schedules and not necessarily sitting around in my apartment that often. Being able to walk to campus in 15 minutes was really nice.

Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I feel for the most part pretty safe, but in the evenings I’m definitely more cautious.

What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
Collegetown Bagels.

What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
Going down to downtown Ithaca, the Ithaca Commons.

How was the transitioning from Southern California to Ithaca, New York?
The weather is the hardest part for me just because I haven’t really spent an extended period of time in cold weather and snow. Getting used to spending three months indoors with very little sunlight was hard, but for the most part, it is manageable.

Pros and cons of being located in Ithaca, New York?
Pros:
1) The natural landscape; it is so pretty and gorgeous. There are plenty of places to go hiking and you have really nice views and you have the Cayuga Lake.
2) Ithaca itself is known to be one of the best college towns in the country. It has plenty of restaurants and shops and plenty of entertainment.
Cons:
1) The weather; it can be pretty cold in the winter and miserable.
2) It isn’t a huge city so after a while especially when the weather is bad it can feel like that there isn’t that much to do around Ithaca.

Social Opportunities

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
With sports, it can sometimes be difficult to participate in nightlife because we have early morning workouts. If I do have the free time, I will go to parties off campus. I usually don’t go to sororities or frat houses. I go to houses that belong to other athletes or occasionally bars.

What have been some of your favorite times at Cornell?
I enjoy Slope Day, which is a big festival that we have every year. Most of my favorite times are the downtime I spend with friends. It’s not necessarily exciting, but it’s great to be around friends and share memories in that sort of way.

How happy are you with the nightlife at Cornell?
I’m pretty happy with it. I know that there has been a history of various altercations. I know that we had issues with racism. The people were throwing around racial slurs and there were some fights going on. That happened a couple of times last year, but I never witnessed any of those things but that can be an issue. I know also a couple of years ago there were some issues involving sexual harassment and sexual assault, especially in Greek life, but I didn’t witness any of that. For the most part, I’d say I’m pretty happy with the nightlife but there can definitely be some improvement.

Campus Culture

How did you meet your closest friends?
Most of them I met through athletics. I have my close friends on my team but I have other close friends from other sports teams.

How would you describe the overall social scene at Cornell?
It’s a pretty big party school. I didn’t really know that going into school. Not everyone goes out, but if you are walking through Collegetown on a Friday night there is often a large portion of the student body partying.

To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientation mix socially?
It is pretty inclusive for the most part. There were some instances of racism in the past couple of years. For the most part, especially surrounding gender and sexual orientation, I’d say it’s pretty inclusive. People do mix.

How would you describe the student body?
Most of Cornell’s student body is from New York, or the East/Northeast Coast. [31% of the Class of 2021 was from New York, 10% was from New England, and 18.5% was from the Mid-Atlantic]. I have been able to find people from California and there are also many international students. Many of the people are pretty affluent and in Greek life as well. There are a number of athletes and they usually hang out together. Also, Ithaca is known for the natural landscape, Cornell has a big outdoor education program and many people are involved with that. Overall, the student body is really diverse.

Careers

How helpful is the career office?
They have many resources for getting your resume checked out and cover letters, which I’ve taken advantage of.

Have you learned any computer programs or languages through your coursework that will be helpful professionally?
In Spreadsheet Modeling, we learned how to use Excel. In Management Communication, we touched on PowerPoint and how to make an effective PowerPoint presentation, which was something I didn’t know how to do.

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

What is something you wish you knew about Cornell before you entered as a freshman?
I wish that I had had a better idea of what the social life is like. The fact that Cornell is a party school and so many people do go out is something that I wish I knew before.

What is something that we haven’t touched on that a prospective athlete should know?
It’s largely a time management thing to learn how to balance your practice and workouts with your workload. I would tell an incoming freshman that at first it’s really hard and a lot of people are not quite sure if they’re going to be able to make it, but once you figure it out it’s easy.

What is something that a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Explore the greater area of Ithaca, get to know the downtown, and get an idea of what Ithaca has to offer. That’s a good way to determine if the city is big enough for you.

Reasons to attend Cornell:
1) I’d attend Cornell, because of how great of the college town is.
2) The academic prestige, all the resources they have for academics as well as the career resources.
3) The school spirit. I’d say everyone at Cornell has a lot of school spirit and it’s a fun atmosphere to be around.

Reasons to not attend Cornell:
1) The weather.
2) The mental health resources aren’t great. That’s something that has been an issue in the past and there are a lot of people trying to fix that.
3) It’s not a big football school or athletic school. There are a couple of teams on campus that are really good. Many people are looking at colleges and they want a big football or basketball school, but Cornell is not that.

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

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