BackgroundInterview Date:July 2017
Gender Identity: Male
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2017
High School Experience: Private school in St. Paul, Minnesota with a graduating class of about 300 students.
Minors: Math and Economics
Extracurricular Activities: I was in a fraternity and worked at a coffee shop that was part of the Corp.
What impact did the frat have on your experience?
It was more of an impact my freshman and sophomore year. It was a nice way to make the campus a little smaller. I didn’t know anybody going into the school, so it was a good way to meet people that have similar interests in terms of going out.
Can you describe the weekly coursework for your major?
At the peak of it during sophomore and junior year I was probably enrolled in 2 finance classes. It kind of varies by class, but it wasn’t too much work for me. It was geared heavily towards case studies, the occasional test, and group projects. Usually, there’d be a final and one or two tests each semester and mix in a project and the occasional weekly homework assignment.
How accessible were your professors?
I thought we had really good access to our professors. They were very available for help.
How would you describe the learning environment?
It was big to find study groups. I ended up becoming friends with other finance majors because of that. Studying together is encouraged and you’re forced to do that with group projects. I don’t think I could have done it alone.
How did you feel about the business school being graded on a curve?
The whole MSB (McDonough School of Business) is graded on a curve. I didn’t really like the curve because they left flexibility to the professors. They made the professors hit certain averages in terms of grades, and this sometimes forced the professor to give a ton of B’s, which limits the amount of A’s they can give. It seemed like you had to do a lot of work to get to get an A or A- but if you mailed it in you would still get a B. This is because they don’t want to give a bunch of C’s so they lower the amount of A’s they give.
What was your favorite class you took for your major?
Derivatives and Financial Instruments. I found the material interesting and really liked the professor.
What was your least favorite class you took for your major?
The two core finance classes are Basic Financial Management (BFM) and Applied Financial Management (AFM). I didn’t like them because they felt repetitive and redundant. They’re big lecture classes and those were difficult environments for me to learn in.
Why did you pick your major? Are you happy with your choice?
I don’t know. I think my personality. I didn’t do it strictly for job reasons, but the job security in that major is pretty nice. I think I chose it because math was always my strong suit. I’m really happy with my choice. Georgetown does a really good job with that program.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Harbin in a standard freshman double.
Sophomore: I lived in an on-campus apartment in Henle Village. There were five of us sharing 3 bedrooms, I got the single.
Junior: I lived in an apartment in Village A. There are 2 bedrooms there. For half the year there was just me and one other guy and then in the second semester two more guys moved in. We lucked out being allowed to live there just the two of us for a semester.
Senior: I lived in an off-campus house with 4 others. I had my own room.
What was your favorite living situation?
Living off-campus was definitely my favorite. It was a profound improvement.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I feel extremely safe. I’ve never had any incident of feeling unsafe. Every now and then we get some safety notification but those don’t really bother me.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
Wisey’s is a great sandwich shop. Then if you want a nice restaurant, Mai Thai.
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
If you make a day out of it and if you have a car, Great Falls National Park is only 20 minutes away. Other than that DuPont Circle is a pretty quick trip and there’s fun stuff down there happening.
Pros and cons of being in Georgetown?
Pros: (1) There’s tons of stuff to do. They have artists, comedians, and all sorts of other people come in.
(2) It’s a really nice area.
Cons: (1) The neighborhood is really nice, but you’re paying a lot more for your housing because of that.
(2) We’re in a constant battle with the neighbors over the noise. The neighbors don’t want us to party and they’re winning because they pay a lot of money to live there.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you participate in?
It varied by year. Senior year I went out almost 5-6 nights a week, but when I was a serious student it 3-4 nights a week, so Thursday, Friday, Saturday and maybe Wednesday. Freshman year I mostly went to house parties. Groups like the fraternity or the Corp have the older members carry the load of the parties. When I was a freshman I’d mostly be at older guys’ houses. As I got older we went to more bars.
What is an alternative to going to a party or bar that you like for a night out?
There’s a ton of events happening in DC. There are sporting events, comedians, plays, there’s lots of fun stuff.
How happy are you with the nightlife at Georgetown? Is there anything you would change about it if you could?
I’m pretty happy with it.
How did you meet your closest friends?
Part of it was through the Corp, my freshman floor, and friends of friends.
To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I think different sexual orientations do, but races a little bit less. A lot of kids from similar races hang out together.
How would you describe the social scene?
I’d say it’s becoming more and more bar heavy because the campus is cracking down on noise. The social scene is dominated by campus groups, whether it be the Corp or a sports team. Within each group they will have parties, like club hockey will have parties and so will a frat. Joining groups is a good way of connecting with older and younger people. Because of the clubs, it can be cliquey. Once friend groups are formed they only want to hang out with each other. I’m part of different friend groups so I have to choose which group I want to hang out with on a different night. People try to take on the identity of something, like guys in my frat will always be frat guys and some people can’t get past that. Once you’re all going to bars it gets better because everybody hangs out together.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
Yeah, definitely. The finance department is pretty good about the career center and having companies come to campus. You’re usually connected with somebody.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Georgetown before entering as a freshman?
The importance of getting involved. It’s important to take advantage of all the campus groups. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re not getting involved even if it’s something you’re not super interested in.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
I would say it’d be important that going to a school in a city, like Georgetown, that you’re going to spend time on campus but you also take advantage of things in the city. You’ll have access to things in DC when you’re at Georgetown. The campus visit isn’t everything.
Reasons to attend Georgetown:
1) Strong academics.
2) Job opportunities. People have a fairly easy time getting a pretty decent job after graduation. [For the Class of 2016, 74% of students were employed and 13% were in graduate school.]
3) You’ll meet a diverse group of people from all over the country and world.
Reasons to not attend Georgetown:
1) If you’re somebody that wants to go out all the time and have big frat parties, Georgetown is not the right place. I was at the far end of the most social people at Georgetown, and I’m not a party animal.
2) It can be academically very stressful. There are times when you’re grinding and you’re spending weekends in the library, but it’s helpful to put in perspective what you’re working towards.