Hobart and William Smith Colleges
BackgroundInterview Date:July 2018
Gender Identity: Male
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2018
High School Experience: Private school in Albany, NY with a graduating class of 50 students. You were expected to go to college.
First Generation Student: No
Major: Media and Society, which is essentially marketing or advertising
Minor: Public Policy
Extracurricular Activities: Student-Athlete
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
It was a lot more readings than anything else. We’d have group projects, but those were over the course of a month or two. You’d have to come up with a product and give an advertisement for it and get up in front of the class and explain why it is what it is.
Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
I would say it does a good job of accommodating students. If you need help, you can get it from the school. The only issue I had with it was it seemed closed minded in certain aspects. [They were very liberal, and not open to] conservative perspectives.
Can you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s competitive or collaborative?
It’s more collaborative than anything. If you needed help with anything you could ask anyone in your class. There were a couple of classes that I got through by talking to people and them helping me figure out what I had to do to get through the class.
What was your favorite class in your major?
Cultures of Advertising. The professor was excellent. The class was all about learning the ways that companies and different organizations advertise, use product placement, etc. to make their product more known to the public or to sell more. I thought that was the most interesting for me because that’s what I want to do later in life. I want to come up with marketing strategies.
Why did you choose your major?
I chose Media and Society because I knew I wanted to go into marketing after graduation. I knew that by doing the major I’d open myself up to a broad spectrum of different marketing opportunities. I’m also going to graduate school for business analytics, so that opens up a very broad umbrella for me to pick out what I want to do.
How was managing both your sport and your coursework?
It wasn’t bad. I didn’t do it as well as I should have. If you are diligent to your work and do what you have to do to get the job done, you’ll have plenty of free time. As long as you sit down and are willing to do the work, you’ll get good grades.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Sherrill in a double. It was average.
Sophomore: Medbery Hall, which was an absolute blast because I had ten other teammates in there.
Junior: Odell’s Apartments
Senior: In a house off campus
What was your favorite living situation?
Odell’s because we didn’t have to pay for utilities so you save a little money. My best was living off campus on my own. On campus, Odell’s is the best place to live.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
Geneva’s a small town, so you don’t have any issues on campus. They have campus security walking around all the time, so if somebody is on campus who isn’t supposed to be they will be removed. But, they also aren’t too much in the students’ business so it’s a good balance.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
Seneca Lake. The school has a dock and you can go there whenever you want. There is also plenty of countryside to drive around.
Pros and Cons of being in Geneva, NY?
Pros: You don’t have much of an issue with police because it’s such a small community. There’s not much to worry about, it’s kind of like summer camp. You go up there and it’s not real life.
Cons: You’re out there by yourself and if you want to go anywhere remotely close by it’s a 40-minute drive to Syracuse or Rochester.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
A lot of bars. The way Hobart works is there are a lot of parties, but they start around 8:30-9 and they’re done by 11 or 11:30, and at that point, you go downtown to the bars and stay out until 2 or whenever you want to leave.
What nights of the week do you regularly go out?
When I was out of season I could go out some Thursdays, and then Friday and Saturday. During the season it was only Saturday nights. A lot of people go out Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
What have been some of your favorite times at Hobart?
I think Thursday nights at the bars were the best nights I had. Besides that, I’d say the formals. There are a lot of theme houses which are based on giving money back to community organizations and they’ll have a formal. You pay money, and some of the money goes to paying for the formal the rest goes to supporting that foundation. My team had a formal and we pooled money together to donate to a charity.
How happy are you with the nightlife? Is there anything you would change if you could?
No, I wouldn’t change anything. Everything is super cheap there so you could go downtown [without worrying]. It was great.
How did you meet your closest friends?
Through my sports team.
How would you describe the overall social scene?
It’s pretty open. Coming from an athletic perspective, I made a lot of friends within athletics, so I knew a lot of kids on every team and it was easy for me. Kids who weren’t athletes, if you show up [to a party] with a smile and you’re nice enough, they’ll let you in and you can meet friends from there.
To what extent do you think people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I don’t think they did that much. Hobart’s a very liberal school and they had protests about that. [People of different races and sexual orientations] got themselves noticed, but they still wouldn’t come out and interact with everybody else. The athletic scene is pretty tight and close-knit, and [I thought that] some of the people who were of other sexual orientations believed if they were to come they would [not be accepted], which isn’t true.
How would you describe the student body?
It’s pretty open. [30%] of students are athletes, so everyone is pretty close. But, there is a portion of people who are on the outside who feel like it’s them against the world. There are a lot of protests because that’s how people feel they want to express themselves.
Do you think people are happy with their choice of HWS by the time they graduate?
I think people leave loving Hobart. The number of people I see coming back to Hobart proves my point exactly. There are so many connections with the people you meet there that help open up the rest of your life.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
Yes. That’s one of the biggest draws of going to Hobart is the alumni relations. They always come back and they love taking care of their people. Through a person in the athletic department, I was able to get in touch with a sports brand and get a job [with a sportswear company] that I wanted to do over the summer.
To what extent have you used the career office?
I’ve only gone there once. Being an athlete, I could talk to anybody who graduated before me and they’d be willing to help you.
Have you learned any computer programs through your coursework that will be helpful to you professionally?
Microsoft Excel. Through my Public Policy minor, I had to do a research methods course and it was all based on Excel and taking thousands of data points to put into a chart to prove your point.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Hobart before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew how cold it was honestly. I visited in the summer and it was beautiful. The winters are so long. When you get there it’s colder for longer than when it’s warm.
What is something prospective athlete should know that we haven’t touched on?
Use the Center for Teaching and Learning, I didn’t use it as much as I should have. It’s extremely helpful, with the course load and your sports schedule you need that extra little bit of help.
What is something a prospective student may have missed on a visit that is worth checking out?
The surrounding area around Hobart. The area around Hobart is so beautiful. There are a bunch of different restaurants on the lake or wineries. I regret not exploring it sooner.
Reasons to attend Hobart & William Smith Colleges:
1) Being on Seneca Lake. It’s beautiful. There’s a tight-knit community and you’re not going to have any problems with getting mugged or anything like that.
2) Professors are great and they really try to take care of you. If you’re willing to put in the work they’ll be willing to help you out.
3) There are small classes. The biggest class I ever had was about 22 students.
4) For an athlete, it’s a haven. Everyone loves each other, especially the seniors. All the sports teams get along and have a close-knit community.
Reasons to not attend Hobart & William Smith Colleges:
1) It takes at least 40-minutes to get anywhere, so if you want to visit your friends it’s hard.
2) There is not a big city feel, so if you want that you won’t have that.
3) If you’re a very conservative person, you’re going to hate it there. I know a couple of people who left because of that reason.