BackgroundInterview Date:May 2018
Gender Identity: Male
Sexual Orientation: Straight
Graduation Year: 2019
High School Experience: Public school in Shaker Heights, Ohio with a graduating class of 400 students. It was expected that you went to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Extracurricular Activities: I’m on a sports team, and I participate in the Economics Club.
Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your experience?
Athletics has been really big for me as far as a team culture aspect and getting to know people. Economics Club [has had less of an impact], but it has been a good way for me to learn more about the things that I’m passionate about.
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
It depends on the class. The core classes are more test based, so I’ll have lots of problem sets and a lot more math based material. The electives are more conceptual. It’s more writing and reading and understanding how and why something works, rather than just figuring out how to do something.
Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or poorly?
I think they are very good at challenging their students and making sure that it’s not a business degree that you’re pursuing. So, it’s more of a focus on critical thinking and problem solving, and not just how to get a job at a bank.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I would say it’s pretty collaborative, and not too competitive. There’s definitely a push to be successful and there’s an expectation that you are expected to meet, but I don’t think it’s students trying to one-up another.
What has been your favorite class in your major?
Intermediate Macro because I really enjoyed the content, it was a good professor, and it was a really good environment to dive into the material.
What has been your least favorite class in your major?
International Finance, only because I did not enjoy my professor, which kind of sucks. It was unlucky.
Do you feel people are open to multiple schools of thought in the classroom?
Yeah, I think the professors are very smart. They’re usually very good about explaining things and they’re open to discussion. If you have one set of views about something, they’re good about not just diminishing what you think or believe, but discussing it and finding out why you think that way. It’s more of a collaborative discussion-based class.
Why did you choose your major? Are you happy with your choice?
I think Economics is really applicable to all fields. I can apply my Economics knowledge to my history classes, sociology classes, and things like that. Plus, Denison doesn’t have a finance degree, and I am interested in being in the world of finance and business, so this was a good basis for me to hopefully get my foot in the door of that industry.
How is managing both your sport and your coursework?
It can be challenging at times, but that’s kind of part of maturing in college. Like, understanding what’s a priority and when you have to get something done and not just hanging out with friends all the time because you want to.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Shorney Hall with one roommate.
Sophomore: Crawford with one roommate.
Junior: Beaver with five other roommates last year in the spring, abroad in the fall.
Senior: Brown with three other people.
What was your favorite living situation?
I think junior year was my favorite because I liked being with a lot of friends.
How was being an in-state student?
I think it’s fine. I don’t really feel like I’m at home, but I feel like I have the luxury of going home if I want to. It really hasn’t been a problem for me.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
I like going to Ohio State to visit friends.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I like to go out with my friends to parties. Parties are typically either fraternity parties or team parties. Parties are mostly in the Sunset Houses, which are senior apartments. People call them the “Sunnies.” I regularly go out Friday, Saturday, and occasionally Wednesday.
Can you describe a typical night going out freshman year?
You just don’t know anything, so you’re just bouncing around from different rooms and trying to meet people and trying to go where your friends are going. People are usually pretty open to letting freshmen into parties. It can be kind of nerve-racking, but it’s still fun.
What have been your favorite times at Denison?
I really enjoy Saturdays during the day. Not as much going to parties, but I enjoy hanging out with my friends when it’s nice out, you know, doing activities outside or just going into town.
How happy were you with the nightlife? Is there anything you would change if you could?
It’s a little restricting sometimes just because it’s such a small school. There are pretty big limitations on what you’re able to do because of security, so in that sense it’s bad. But, you know, you’re always really safe and nothing really bad ever happens, so in that sense it’s good.
How did you meet your closest friends?
I met them awkwardly meeting people freshman year and it just happened. I got lucky and they ended up being my friends.
To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I think there are obvious lines, not necessarily intentional lines, but there are clear divides.
How would you describe the social scene at Denison?
I think it’s pretty active. I think a lot of people know each other so that’s good, but at the same time, it’s bad because everybody knows each other, if that makes sense. Overall, I think it’s a happy and inclusive social environment.
How would you describe the student body?
I would say that it is diverse geographically, with strong concentrations from the New England and Chicago areas. There are definitely hardworking with a focus on academics, but also there is a work hard play hard mentality. It’s also very athletic, there are a lot of athletes.
Do you think people leave Denison happy with their choice? Do you think people leave loving Denison?
I think that’s pretty depending on who you talk to. Yes, generally. But, I think people feel limited socially sometimes by the size of the school. I don’t think kids necessarily regret their decision but wish it was a little different.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
Yes, it’s been very helpful. The current job I have now was found through an alum. If you’re willing to reach out and make an effort, the alumni are very willing to help you.
How helpful has the career office been?
I would say helpful. They help you connect with the alumni, but at the end of the day it’s a lot of initiative on your own and you have to be willing to put yourself out there.
Have you learned any computer programs that will be helpful to you professionally?
I know computer programs because of my own outside work, but not from classes.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Denison before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew the expectations of you academically prior to coming. I guess that’s more of a general college thing. It’s very rigorous and the expectation is that you are on top of your stuff all the time, and if you slack off it will definitely come back to bite you. If you’re willing to work hard you can be very successful.
What is something a prospective student interested in finance should know that we haven’t touched on?
I think they should know that there are various routes to entering the finance world and they don’t necessarily have to be a business or an accounting or a finance major at a big school in order to do that. An Economics degree can actually be incredibly beneficial because it teaches you how to think critically and that’s what a lot of employers are looking for.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
I think it’s important to try and talk to as many current students as you can. Try to find students who are interested in doing the types of things you’re doing, not just the tour guide.
Reasons to attend Denison:
1) It is academically a great institution. The professors are more than willing to help you and they want to help you be successful. You can learn a ton taking a lot of different classes. You have the opportunity to join a bunch of different clubs.
2) You can find a social group no matter what type of person you are. There is really no limitation to the type of people at the school.
3) It’s a beautiful campus. People really like it.
4) We have great facilities.
Reasons to not attend Denison:
1) Depending on what kind of social life you like, it can be limiting. It can be limiting partially because we’re in the middle of nowhere.
2) We don’t have a formal business school, so if that is something you really want you aren’t going to get it at Denison.