BackgroundInterview Date:June 2018
Gender Identity: Male
Sexual Orientation: Straight
Graduation Year: 2020
High School Experience: Public school in a pretty rural town in North Carolina with about 350 people in my graduating class.
First Generation College Student: No
Majors: Double major in Finance and Entrepreneurship
Extracurricular Activities: I am part of Greek life, the Financial Management Association, and the Elon Microfinance club.
Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your experience?
I think the finance club has helped me pursue certain career avenues and internships.
Can you describe the weekly coursework for your majors?
For Finance, there is online homework that covers lecture material along with textbook reading and practice problems. The Entrepreneurship program was more involved, so we would sometimes have to watch a TED talk and give a summary to the class. Then the biggest thing is you have a semester-long project where you create a product from start to finish, so simulating an entrepreneurial project.
Is there anything that you feel either of your majors’ departments do especially well or especially poorly?
No, I don’t think so. I think for me it’s more about the effort I put into it is what I get out of it.
Can you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I think most of the students there want to learn. It depends on your major. Once you get through your first year of the liberal arts classes the classes get better because they pertain to something you’re studying. I think that’s the biggest switch. Competitive wise, I think everyone falls into their own bracket and they find their place. There are always people to push you academically.
Why did you choose your combination of majors? Are you happy with your choice?
So far, I am happy. My end goal is to own my own business, so I figured Entrepreneurship would be good to help spark some ideas and start thinking that way and also surround myself with like-minded individuals. Finance was just for overall knowledge and a steadier career path if I choose to do so.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Smith Dorm with one roommate
Sophomore: I was in the Danieley apartments in a single bedroom with three other people in the apartment.
Junior: Millpoint with three others.
How do you like living so close to school?
I live about 45 minutes away from school, and I like that if I want to go home I have the option to go home. The downside is that it’s not that big of an escape. I’m always on my parents’ doorstep. [About 83%] of students are from out of state and usually need to take a flight to get home, so I was different in that aspect. I would say I’ve enjoyed it. It’s given me some other opportunities that I wouldn’t otherwise have been able to pursue. I can keep an internship from the spring to the summer to the fall without having to pay rent.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I have never had any issues.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
There’s a taco place called Tangent, and if that’s considered on campus, then Red Bowl.
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
There’s a couple of mountains we hike. Hanging Rock is about an hour away and Pilot Mountain is about an hour and a half away, so we just go out for the day and hike. There’s also quarry about 45 minutes away in Durham with a rope swing. Sometimes people will go hang out there.
Pros and cons of being in Elon, NC?
Pros: There is a decent number of restaurants and things to do near campus.
Cons: (1) Elon is the only nice part of Burlington. Burlington is a pretty [bad] town.
(2) That creates a bubble as well, so if you’re not on campus it’s night and day.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you participate in at Elon?
I am in Greek life, so I enjoy the social atmosphere pertaining to Greek life that tends to be fraternity parties at off-campus houses. I go out Friday and Saturday night. Not for me personally, but Tuesdays are big bar nights and Thursdays are a big going out night in general.
What have been some of your favorite times at Elon?
There’s a lot. It’s hard to narrow it down to a specific event. With the fraternity brothers on the weekends I’d say are the best times.
What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
I would say for most freshman it’s stressful trying to go out during the fall semester unless they know where specifically where they are going to go. Rush is in the spring, so it prolongs this process of meeting people on your own until the formal rush process. Freshmen boys have trouble getting into parties. I would say that if you’re not going to rush but want an active social life, don’t go to Elon.
How happy are you with the nightlife? Is there anything you would change?
It’s fine for what it is. I think we should start earlier. We’re notoriously a late school with parties starting at 11:30-12. I think that is in the works. I think it shouldn’t be as exclusive as it is, and I think that has to do with the culture that’s been established with certain fraternities. I wish there could be on campus events opposed to off-campus events.
How did you meet your closest friends?
I met them during the January term. We have a 4-1-4 schedule, so during the month of January we take one class every day for three hours a day. I think during that time I had more free time to hang out with people on my hallway. I didn’t rush until sophomore year, and I would say the majority of students make their friends spring semester of freshman year when they rush a fraternity.
How would you describe the social scene?
This touches back to what I said earlier. It depends on the person, and sometimes you don’t really know until you experience it. If you’re not part of Greek life and you’re male, it’s very limited. If you’re a female, your options are endless. It all depends on what you look for out of the college experience.
To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
They typically don’t. They typically form into tight-knit groups. Out of 80 people in my fraternity, there are maybe one or two diverse individuals. Elon is a very predominantly White school, so they do form a niche. You will notice that there are cliques of different ethnic groups. [About 81% of the Class of 2022 is White.]
Do you think people are happy with their choice of Elon by senior year? Do you think people leave loving Elon?
By senior year, yes.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
Have you used the career office?
Both for class and on my own. For the Entrepreneurship class, there were a couple of key objectives, so one of them was to go to the career office, get your resume looked at, and talk about internships. I’d say most classes your freshman year push it. They do a fine job of explaining what services are available. I’ve been maybe twice. They’ve been helpful.
Have you learned any computer programs that will be helpful to you professionally through your coursework?
I learned a basic Excel understanding during Statistics for Decision Making, and I know for the higher-level Finance classes we get more into that.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Elon before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew that basically if you’re not in a fraternity and you’re a guy the social life is pretty restricted.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
I would encourage them to reach out to any connections they have. If they know a friend of a friend, try to get the private tour, and have some questions prepared because I think that would give them more of an inside scoop.
Reasons to attend Elon:
1) You’ll meet your friends, but that could happen everywhere.
2) There is a lot of room to make very good connections in terms of potential career opportunities.
3) Once you find where you “belong” I think you really are happy. It’s a matter of seeing what you want.
4) If you’re looking to major in business, the business school was just ranked [#48 in the nation, see article.]
Reasons to not attend Elon:
1) The social life is based on Greek life.
2) If you don’t like a small school
3) The food’s not the best.