BackgroundInterview Date:June 2018
Gender Identity: Male
Race/Ethnicity: Half-Black and Half-White
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2018, I transferred in the Fall of 2014 to start sophomore year.
High School Experience: Private high school in Locust Valley, NY with a graduating class of about 100 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Minor: Business Analytics
Extracurricular Activities: I was a student-athlete.
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
Freshman year it was problem sets, and when I got to the middle years it was less weekly problem sets and more like four problem sets a term, and then when I got to my upper-level classes it was all papers and group projects.
Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
In terms of what they did poorly, I think it would have been smart to have a separate section of Economics majors for introductory economics classes because there are a lot of people who are in the college of business who have to take Economics as an elective so it slows down the class a little bit. They have that for Biology and Chemistry, and I think they could have done that for Economics. In terms of what they do well, the professors are all very smart and know what they are doing. They all have very advanced degrees and experience in Economics.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s competitive or collaborative?
Speaking from recent memory, my senior year seminar class was hard work. I showed up every day knowing I had to participate in class and knew that I was on the lower end of the spectrum for the class. I was blown away by the knowledge some of the other students had either through co-op or through their own research. That class was competitive because the teacher expected a lot from us. My other classes were not as competitive. The teachers just expected you to get your work done whether you do it with other people or by yourself. No professors want you competing with other people.
What was your favorite class in your major?
Survey of Economic Policy. It was with my favorite teacher and each week we went through a different Economics elective that we would have to go through during our five years at Drexel. One week was Game Theory, one week was Advanced Microeconomics, etc. The class concluded with a term paper, which, as a freshman, was something I had never done. He would meet with us and hammered home that if you want to get into a traditional economics research role you will have to be able to write and communicate your findings. It helped set the tone for me for the rest of college.
What was your least favorite class in your major?
Game Theory just because of the professor. He was an old school guy and was a little hard to communicate with. I also wasn’t a big fan of the topic.
Why did you choose your major? Are you happy with your choice?
I originally applied to Drexel thinking I might do engineering, but I quickly realized that I’m not very good at the sciences. I picked a social science that would work for me, and I took an Economics class in high school that I liked so I picked it.
I’m happy with my choice because I don’t really see myself in many other majors in the business school, like, I could never do Accounting. Since I don’t want to do anything with financial services or specific to Economics, it’s a great major to have for me because it’s pretty broad. I’ll probably be able to answer that question better in a couple of years.
How was managing your sport and coursework?
When I wasn’t getting playing time it wasn’t that bad because I was able to sacrifice sleep or nutrition to get my work done. It was really tough when I was [a starting player] because on game day nobody cares how much work you had that week or how much sleep you got, you have to go win a game. You can hurt yourself with the course loads, but if you manage your course loads over the semester you’ll be fine.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Towers Hall with two roommates
Sophomore: Off-campus on Hamilton Street with 10 other people.
Junior & Senior: Off-campus with two other people.
What was your favorite living situation?
Towers was definitely my least favorite. Hamilton was a cool experience living with 10 guys. It wasn’t necessarily a “party house” but when you have 11 guys with similar interests it’s going to be a lot of fun. My current situation is probably my favorite because [it’s a little calmer].
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
In general, if you stay within the boundaries of Drexel you’ll be fine. When you get north of Haverford Ave. or west of 38th Street you probably don’t want to be walking alone at night. Personally, I’ve never felt unsafe just being a guy and generally being alert, but I could understand how people would feel unsafe going to the areas I just described.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
Definitely White Dog Cafe, it’s down on Penn’s campus close to our Rec Center.
Pros and Cons of being in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia?
Pros: (1) You’re not in the middle of the hustle and bustle, but you’re close enough that it’s a 50-minute walk over there.
(2) It has everything you need. You don’t have to leave University City if you don’t want to. There are grocery stores, bars, and anything else you need to survive.
(3) The subway line goes right through Drexel on Market Street, so you can easily hop on that.
Cons: I can’t think of any.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
Pretty much everything. If you had to put Drexel’s nightlife into one bin, it’s a bar school. I enjoy house parties, going to bars, anything really.
What nights of the week do you regularly go out? Are there certain places you like to go?
On Tuesday nights there is Taco Tuesdays at Wahoo’s. Thursday nights everyone goes to Cavanaugh’s near Penn’s campus. Fridays and Saturdays, we don’t really have a set spot, but usually, Saturday nights are spent in Center City.
What have been your favorite times at Drexel?
Definitely my favorite nights are Thursday nights at Cavanaugh’s.
Do freshman boys have trouble getting into parties?
You either have to know somebody on the inside or if it’s an open party you usually have to pay between $5-$15 dollars.
How happy are you with the nightlife? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I was pretty happy. When you have a team of close friends you can make the best out of anything. We had a lot of fun this year especially with the Eagles doing really well. Super Bowl night was one of the best nights of my life. It’s a different scene than the larger state schools, but the thing with going to bars is they’re always open. You don’t have to wait for someone to organize a house party.
How did you meet your closest friends?
The two I live with now I know from living on Long Island. Most of my friends I met through my team, and the rest are other athletes or I met them living in Towers.
How would you describe the overall social scene?
I don’t want to say it’s cliquey, but none of the teams have huge houses so you’re never at a party with tons of people there. I feel like we’ve gone through rotations where we hang out with other girls’ teams and a couple other guys’ teams. I’m not sure what it’s like outside of athletics. I know there are fraternities, but I’m not really sure what their deal is.
To what extent do you think people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
Drexel’s pretty diverse. But, I’d say that someone who’s a minority in terms of race fits in a little bit better than somebody who is a minority in terms of sexual orientation. [In the Class of 2022, about 50% of students are White, 22% are Asian, 10% are international students, and 6% are Hispanic.]
Do you think people are happy with their choice of Drexel by the time they graduate?
I think they do. There is an [84% employment rate], so people usually have jobs. It’s a very expensive school so people aren’t always super happy about that, but I think people do get some return on their investment. Down the line, I think Drexel is going to take an upward trend so I think it will be more beneficial to be a graduate from there later on.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
Not really, but I’m also not very proactive about it. I’ve heard enough stories to say that you can get out of it what you put in.
Have you used the career office much?
After my last co-op, I had some meetings with an advisor who helped me with my resume and gave me the basics of networking. The freshman year class you set up your LinkedIn and teaches you what to expect for the next five years. The senior year class is actually a lot of work for a one credit class. You have to do interview peer feedback, and resume and LinkedIn assignments. The career office does put you in the right spots, but if you’re lazy about it you won’t get the best results.
Have you learned any computer skills through your coursework that will be helpful to you professionally?
In my Business Analytics minor and Economics major, I used the computer a lot. I learned C++ in a Computer Science class that was required for my Economics degree. I used Excel extensively in Business Analytics. In my upper-level Economics classes I learned Stata, EViews, SAS, and for my senior project we used R. You get to handle a lot of different programs, and most classes you will have to use Excel, so you definitely will have a handle on that.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Drexel before entering as a freshman?
I wish I understood that you’re a number unless you put a name to yourself. Freshman year I was kind of put down by the fact that if I needed something or forgot to submit a form nobody would go out of their way to help me. There are so many students here that you’re just a student ID number unless you make yourself visible, that’s especially true with your adviser. I wish I knew earlier on to make those personal connections. I did that later on, and by the end of my fifth year there were people helping me out with various issues in order to graduate.
What is something a prospective athlete should know that we haven’t touched on?
This isn’t specific to Drexel, but what I tell everyone is that tons of people have done this before you and gone through what you are about to go through. In terms of going to lift early in the morning or not getting to eat before practice, there is so much dumb stuff that you know none of the other students have to do, but you always have to remember that each year you graduate 5 to 15 people that went through what you’re going through the last four years. No situation is too tough as long as you’re prepared for it.
What is something a prospective student may have missed on a visit that is worth checking out?
I would recommend walking down by Penn because everything inside University City is shared resources. I’ve seen Penn students at the Chick Fil A on our campus and we go down there for their bars. While it’s two different schools, you interact a lot more than you would think.
Reasons to attend Drexel:
1) The co-op program sets itself apart from other schools. If you do the three co-ops over the five years, you graduate with eight months of experience. Employers do understand what kind of experience you’ve gotten.
2) I think being in a city is pretty cool. I like that you can go to Center City. You’re not isolated, you can always travel.
3) Public transportation connects you to most major train stations, so you can travel the east coast. Also, the Philly airport is a half-hour away.
4) The business and engineering schools are highly regarded by employers.
Reasons to not attend Drexel:
1) It’s expensive. [Tuition for Drexel is $52,146 and Room and Board is $14,241.]
2) The relative danger of living in a city. You do get heckled a little and there are always homeless people outside of 7-11. [There is a 25.7% poverty rate in Philadelphia.]