BackgroundInterview Date:November 2018
Gender Identity: Male
Sexual Orientation: Straight
Graduation Year: 2021
High School Experience: A public high school in Chicago, Illinois with 1,000 students in the graduating class. There was a strong culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Major: Political Science and is applying to the business school.
Extracurricular Activities: I am in Student Government, Young Democrats of Emory, part of a non-profit for inner-city high schools, and am a tour guide.
Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your experience? In what ways?
The Young Democrats of Emory has. I’ve met a lot of my closest friends there. Especially with the elections, we have spent a lot of time together. Being part of the Emory Student Government has also had an impact on me because I put in a lot of time and effort.
Can you describe the weekly coursework for your major?
Political Science relies heavily on readings and papers, but business is mostly exams. For some classes, I’ve had weekly problem sets online.
Is there anything you feel the Political Science department or business school do especially well or poorly?
The business school does a good job of having tutoring and review sessions available every day. Political Science is harder because it’s a content-based major, while business seems more skill based. Political Science has tutoring available, but it’s not really needed.
How would you describe the learning environment? Is it particularly competitive or collaborative?
The learning and academic environments are very collaborative. For a school that prides itself on being academically difficult, it’s not a super competitive environment. They did a good job with the physical structure of the buildings. For example, the library has group study rooms which encourage people to work together.
How accessible have your professors been?
They are largely accessible. I’ve always been able to sit down or contact them. Obviously, there are some that are more accessible than others, but I’ve never had an issue.
Do you think people are open to multiple schools of thought in the classroom?
I think so, yes. Especially in my smaller classes, there is a lot of discussions that go on. Emory seems to have an evidence-based learning theory. Since everything seems to be based on evidence, you get a different perspective.
Why did you pick your majors? Are you happy with your choices?
I came into school knowing I wanted to be a Political Science major. I’ve done some clinical work before, and enjoyed learning about it. Originally, I thought I’d only want to do Political Science, but the business school at Emory is really good so lots of people take advantage of it. There was no point to not take advantage of it because I’m here. Both majors are relatively difficult but have opened my eyes to career opportunities after college.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived during college?
Freshman: Longstreet Hall with 1 roommate
Sophomore: Harris Hall with 1 roommate
How was transitioning from Chicago to Atlanta, GA?
There wasn’t any culture shock. Emory is in Atlanta but is a little suburban which can make it feel like a bubble. Public transportation isn’t readily available, so it’s hard to get into the city.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I think Emory is very safe. I’ve never had an issue, and there are precautions to make people safe such as the blue light system, and safe rides.
What are the pros and cons of being located in the Druid Hills neighborhood of Atlanta, GA?
1) It’s very Emory-centric and caters toward the students.
2) It’s a safe campus where people feel okay walking around at night.
1) There is not a lot of late night stuff going on, so if you want to get food late at night, you are kind of out of luck.
2) There is poor public transpiration.
What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in at Emory?
It depends. I’m not in a fraternity, but first-semester freshman year I went to a lot of frat parties. Now that I’m not in one, I don’t do that as much. Most of my weekend stuff revolves around sorority date parties, clubs in Atlanta, and staying in to just hang out.
What nights of the week do you regularly do things?
Only Thursday through Saturday. A lot of people don’t have classes on Friday.
What’s an alternative to going to a party or a bar that you like for a night out?
I think people are also happy to watch a movie and hang out. People will go into Atlanta to get dinner and walk around the neighborhoods. The two most popular neighborhoods for people to go to in Atlanta are Decatur and Inman Park.
How happy were you with the nightlife at Emory? Is there anything you would change?
As someone not in Greek life, sometimes I wish it wasn’t as Greek centered. Not joining was a conscious choice on my part, but I’m largely happy with it. Emory is very academic centered, so [the party scene] is appropriate for the type of school we are.
How did you meet your closest friends?
A combination of ways. I met most in my freshman dorm and through orientation. I’ve met some through the involvement of clubs, and others just randomly.
How would you describe the overall social scene at Emory?
I’d say people primarily go to Emory to be studious and because it’s a highly rigorous academic school, but people are also here to have fun. People always prioritize their studies, but it’s definitely a fun school where people can separate the two.
How would you describe the student body?
I would say it’s very diverse based on ethnicity, nationality, and geographically. I’d say it’s a hard-working student body. It leans toward people who are upper-middle to upper class socioeconomically. [The class of 2018 was 37% White, 22% Asian, 32% came from the Southeast, and 18% are international. The median family income is $139,800 and about 15% of students come from the top 1% socioeconomically.]
To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
There is a pretty large mixture. It’s a diverse school that represents these mixtures well. I have friends of all different races and nationalities.
To what extent do people inside and outside of Greek life mix?
As someone not in Greek life, most of my friends are. It’s not necessarily an exclusive community, but certain events aren’t open to the people outside of these organizations.
How do you like the size of Emory in terms of undergraduate enrollment? [Emory’s undergraduate population is 8,000.]
I think it’s the perfect size for a college campus. It’s not too small where you know everybody, but it’s small enough to get individualized attention, get involved on campus, and feel like you know a lot of people. I joke that I can’t walk across campus without seeing someone I know, which I kind of like. It makes it a much more comfortable place to be.
Do people generally seem happy with their college choice of Emory by their senior year? Do people leave loving Emory?
I think people leave loving Emory. People say that once they graduate they don’t tend to come back. That might be because it’s not a football school so you’d be coming back to walk around the campus. I think Emory does a good job at mimicking the real world, so people get a good sense of life after graduation.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
No, but that’s more because I haven’t taken advantage of it. I have not gotten my internships through the Emory network. It is there, and I know people who’ve taken advantage of it, but I have not.
What have you used the career office for? How helpful have they been?
I used them at the beginning of my freshman year to determine what the best major would be for me. They steered me toward what I wanted to do. They have also helped me with my resume.
Have you learned any computer programs or computer languages that have been or will be especially helpful professionally?
For the basic statistics class, you have to learn R which was helpful at the time but I’d have no idea how to use it now. People also learn Excel through their coursework.
Have you used financial aid? If so, accommodating was the office to your needs? Were they responsive to your questions?
I have used financial aid and they have been relatively accommodating. They are easy to work with, and I’ve gotten the assistance that’s been appropriate to my situation.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Emory before you entered as a freshman?
I wish I knew how academically difficult it would be. This is something I wanted, but it was a little eye-opening when I first got here. I wish I were a little more prepared.
What is something somebody in the business school should know that has not been mentioned?
It’s very job centered. Their focus is on you graduating and getting a job. [90% of students from the BBA program were employed immediately after graduation in 2016.]
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Walk around Emory’s surrounding area to see what is there. You have Atlanta at your disposal, but sometimes you may think there is more or less than there really is.
Reasons to attend Emory:
1) It’s definitely a super supportive an enriching place to go to school.
2) You’ll learn a lot and can get super involved in what you’re studying.
3) If you’re interested in the business world or working at top companies, or attending a top medical school.
4) There are incredible research opportunities.
Reasons to not attend Emory:
1) Sometimes you miss the college game day experience that doesn’t exist at Emory.
2) If you have an interest in being social but not Greek life, it’s probably not the place for you.
3) It’s very academically challenging.