University of Florida
BackgroundInterview Date:January 2019
Gender Identity: Male
Sexual Orientation: Gay
Graduation Year: 2021
High School Experience: Public school in Tampa, Florida with a graduating class of about 600 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Major: Business Administration
Extracurricular Activities: I have an on-campus job.
Can you describe your weekly coursework for Business Administration?
I have readings, lectures, then usually a quiz, an assignment, or practice assignments following the lecture. If we have writings, they are usually quick responses.
Is there anything you feel the business school does especially well or poorly?
They do a good job of accommodating for a lot of students. They don’t always have enough infrastructure to fit the thousand students that could be taking one class, but given what’s available, they do a good job. There will be online lecture options with non-mandatory attendance in person. [In the 2017-2018 academic year there were 219 classes with 100 or more students and 31% of all classes had 30 students or more.]
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
Some of the smaller classes are both, but the core courses with larger class sizes are pretty independent. The smaller classes tend to be more project and presentation based.
How accessible have your professors been?
They are very accessible, which has been surprising given some of the large class sizes. If you give them time in advance, they are usually easy to meet up with.
Why did you pick your major?
I chose [Business Administration] as a blanket option because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I didn’t have any specific interests outside of this, and I’ve enjoyed it so far. I did not have to apply to the business school specifically.
Do you like how some classes don’t have an in-person mandatory attendance policy?
Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don’t. I like the fact that they are flexible because I have a job, so it’s easy to plan my studying around my work by picking when to read or watch the lectures. I don’t like the impersonality of it. You don’t engage with the professor or material directly, but I understand why they do it this way.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Hume Hall with one roommate
Sophomore: Off-campus house with four roommates
How was transitioning from Tampa to Gainesville, Florida?
It’s not as far as I thought It’d be and hasn’t been too bad. My high school class was large, and a lot of them went to the University of Florida, so I had a number of friends coming up here. I had a pretty easy time which was surprising.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I feel very safe on campus and there are a number of safety precautions in place. Off-campus, I haven’t had any problems but I have friends that do get concerned about it.
Pros and Cons of being in Gainesville, FL?
1) The busses are very easy to use, and are reliable.
2) There is a small downtown and midtown area.
3) Wildlife preserves and parks are accessible to students.
1) Not being near a major city leaves you without a whole lot to do. If there is a concert or something it’s usually over an hour away.
2) The weather is just ok, but some people really dislike the humidity.
What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you like to participate in?
I’ll either do something chill with my friends, go to a house party, or a club. The house parties are usually just my friends or large parties where addresses get spread around.
What nights of the week do you regularly go out? Are there certain things you do on certain nights?
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Usually Thursday night the clubs have cheaper covers, so that’s the only thing that is consistent.
What is an alternative to going to a party or a club that you like for a night out?
Hanging out with friends and watching movies. There isn’t a whole lot of nightlife options in Gainesville outside of [the party scene.]
How has identifying as LGBT influenced your nightlife experience?
I usually go to the gay clubs, but outside of that not much. It’s pretty available to anyone and I haven’t had trouble anywhere.
Is there a strong LGBT nightlife scene in Gainesville?
I wouldn’t say it’s crazy. There is a parade every year, but outside of that, I wouldn’t say it’s terribly strong.
How happy were you with the nightlife? Is there anything you would change if you could?
The transportation to and from is really good, and we get a variety. I wouldn’t change much.
How did you meet your closest friends?
They were from my high school. I wasn’t friends with most of them in high school, but we now are since coming to college. [I also met some] through my roommate, and just meeting friends of friends.
How would you describe the overall social scene?
There are so many people that I’ll see walking around campus, but only know a few. There isn’t an overarching social structure or status.
As someone not in Greek life, do you feel any impact of Greek life?
I am not a fan of it, but am not terribly opposed to it either. Some people really like it, and others don’t. It doesn’t really impact me too much. [22% of the undergraduate population is in Greek life.]
To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
It’s pretty high among my friends, but that could be a skewed perspective. It’s definitely not weak, and I haven’t noticed a big divide. [The undergraduate population at UF is about 6% Black, 17% Hispanic, 53% White, and 7% Asian.]
How do you like the size of Florida in terms of undergraduate enrollment? [University of Florida has about 36,400 undergraduate students.]
I like it and am fine walking around and not knowing everyone. In comparison to some friends who go to smaller schools, it seems like those small schools tend to foster more high school like drama. I like the anonymity of a larger school, and knowing that there are always new people to meet.
How strong is the LGBTQ community on campus?
It’s pretty strong. I’m not very involved but I know it exists and see posters around. I did attend a large meeting my freshman year with the Pride Student Union.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
There is one for the general student body which has mass postings, and the business school has a similar system itself which is really helpful. They send emails with new postings or opportunities when companies reach out. I’d say I get an email every couple of days with different opportunities.
What have you used the career office for? How helpful have they been?
I don’t think I’ve used them at all.
Have you learned any computer programs or computer languages that have been or will be especially helpful professionally?
There is a required course in the business school called Problem Solving Through Computers, which goes over of Microsoft office in depth. I haven’t learned computer languages, but there are classes where those are used.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Florida before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew to work with the most specific academic advisor as possible. There are a number of different advisors, and the more general ones aren’t always great because they don’t know as much about your specific school.
What is something a prospective business school student should know that we haven’t touched on?
It’s very easy to change your major. They lay everything out well, so the first two years [of classes] are pretty much the same for the business majors.
What is something that a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
The recreational sports are very good. Between the intramural and fitness classes, there are a lot of outdoor activates available. You have to dig into it to see what there really is available.
Reasons to attend University of Florida:
1) The variety of options offered.
2) It’s a growing academic institution. Last year we got ranked among the top  public universities. [According to Forbes, UF is ranked as the #13 public college in the U.S.]
Reasons to not attend University of Florida:
1) It’s a small town and not in a big city.
2) It’s a very big school, so if you’re intimidated by the size.