Loyola University (MD)
BackgroundInterview Date:July 2018
Gender Identity: Female
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2019
High School Experience: I went to a public school in Grand Rapids, MI with a graduating class of about 360 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Minor: Information Systems
Extracurricular Activities: I’m in the honors program for the business school, I’m part of an investment club and Women in Technology, I’m a tour guide on campus, and I help with Saturday events for incoming and prospective students.
Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your experience?
The honors program just because you’re stuck with the same people in your business classes for the rest of college, so you find a group of friends through there. Being a tour guide you are with a group of about 30 students in a range of classes, so you’re able to get close with them because you work with them.
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
Every semester we have a big 20-page group paper or a 10-page paper or something along those lines where you examine a company and do a stock valuation for it. Most of the semester you have projects or lectures. Our classes are smaller, so we have 20-25 students per class and get a lot more interaction with the professor.
Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
Something they do really well is that they offer the chance to apply for a student-run portfolio class your senior year. You are given money from the school’s endowment to put in the stock market and you make choices all semester on which stocks you are going to put it in and how you’re going to manage it. It’s a great way to get real world experience and have it count for one of your courses.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s competitive or collaborative?
I think it can be competitive. In the honors program, it can be more competitive to get internships and jobs. I think that everyone does a good job of supporting each other helping each other out when needed.
How is being a female in a generally male-dominated major?
It’s been interesting. There definitely are more guys than girls in my classes. It does help with internships. At my internship this summer, all of my managers happened to be female, which is really cool. Through that, I have been able to see that there are females in finance. [Through the school], we’ve taken a couple of different trips to visit companies and the companies try to show that females are working.
What has been your favorite class in your major?
The first class you take as a finance major Intro to Financial Management, or something like that. I just really enjoyed the professor and it made me pick finance.
What has been your least favorite class in your major?
My least favorite class of all time in the business school is Managerial Accounting, which you have to take if you’re a Finance major. I just thought it was awful.
Why did you choose your major? Are you happy with your choice?
It was mostly my intro class that played a large role. There are a few people that guide you through your first three years in the honors program and the most vocal ones happened to be Finance and Accounting professors, so I think that also pushed me in that direction. I’m definitely happy with my choice.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Flannery O’Connor in a suite of two doubles and a shared bathroom.
Sophomore: Campion Towers with the same people as freshman year plus two more. It was apartment style so we had a full kitchen, two bathrooms, and three shared rooms.
Junior: I was abroad in Thailand for the fall semester and then lived in Campion again in an apartment of four people.
Senior: I’m living in an off-campus house with the same people I’ve lived with the past three years.
What was your favorite living situation?
I love my house now, but I love it because I’m a senior and I already have friends and those connections. I loved freshman year and the apartment sophomore year was also an absolute blast. By senior year most of my friends had houses that were down the street from me, so that’s more the convenience. I haven’t had a bad year with housing.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
On campus there is campus safety everywhere and they make that pretty clear. Campus safety is also really helpful if you’re leaving the library late at night they’ll give you a ride back to your dorm.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
Downtown, so Federal Hill or Fell’s Point is really nice. My roommates are from New Jersey and Philadelphia, so if we ever really wanted to get away we could go to one of their houses.
Pros and Cons of being in the Roland Park neighborhood of Baltimore?
Pros: (1) You get the full college campus feel, but you also have the city of Baltimore 20 minutes away and D.C. an hour away. You’re not in the hustle and bustle of a city, but you have the outlets of a city.
(2) Roland Park doesn’t have many chains, but it has more authentic restaurants and places to go, so that’s really fun.
(3) It’s in the middle of things. This year I’ve noticed people are either working [south of campus] downtown or [north of campus] in Hunt Valley or Pikesville. It’s a great place to be located if you’re living on campus for internships, it’s about 20 minutes away in any direction to where the major internships are.
Cons: The fact that it’s a bar school.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
Loyola is a bar school. I go out on the weekends and some weekdays, but it’s mainly off-campus activities, like going downtown in Baltimore or there are a couple of places near campus that people go and hang out at. Thursday nights people usually go downtown and on the weekends people will go downtown. It depends on the week and how far you are into the semester for how often you go out. Being a junior, you have harder classes but you can schedule your week so that you can go out some nights. Sometimes Tuesdays or Wednesdays are fun, so I’ve gone out different nights of the week depending on where we are in the semester.
What have been some of your favorite times at Loyola?
Some of my favorite times have been on campus hanging out on the quad when it’s a really nice day, that’s always so much fun. We did a formal for our honors program, which was a blast. I did a technology trip to Ireland for my spring break trip and that was a three-credit class and one of the coolest things I’ve done. You apply to the class in the fall and you write an essay, if you get picked there are a couple of weeks of preparation and then you go to Ireland.
How happy are you with the weekend options? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I would change the fact that it’s a bar school. I have a particularly late birthday so that was rough because I turned 21 a lot later than other people. If there was more stuff on campus, or even off-campus parties would be nice. That way you’re not going downtown because that can get expensive.
How did you meet your closest friends?
I somehow ended up with the best roommate combination. Then my other friends lived across the hall. I met a lot of other people through the honors program and then going abroad. I met a lot of people abroad.
How would you describe the overall social scene?
I would say Loyola has a very tight-knit community. Since it’s only about 4,000 undergraduates there aren’t really cliques. It could seem cliquey at times and like high school even, but you kind of know everyone. There’s no reason you can’t go up to anyone. There are no strong divides and everyone ends up at the same bars.
To what extent do you think people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I think they mix fine. I have a diverse friend group, so that could just be who I surround myself with. I think it is very open and inviting [for people of other sexual orientations] for being a Catholic university. There’s the ability to have discussions and conversations, so it’s not that closed off in that sense.
Do you think people are generally happy with their choice of Loyola by the time they graduate?
I feel it is kind of mixed. I think it depends on your major and if you were involved in things. But generally, yes, I think people love coming back to Loyola. There’s a really strong alumni connection.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
Yes, that’s how I found my current internship. It’s definitely very strong, especially in Baltimore so many people stay here after graduation. There are so many people here in Baltimore. I interviewed with three different people and two of them were Loyola alumni, so I think that definitely helped.
What have you used the career office for? How helpful were they?
They’re very helpful. I’m there all the time. One of the people who work in the career office was one of my advisors sophomore year, so that could have something to do with it because I’d go and check in with her just to say hi. The online resource, Handshake, is also very helpful.
Have you learned any computer programs through your coursework that will be helpful to you professionally?
I have used Excel and Access.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Loyola before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew it was a bar school. I wish it was more known.
What is something somebody interested in finance should know about Loyola?
A lot of the professors have worked in the real world and still have a lot of connections. Everyone’s trying to get you a job and internship and they definitely know what they’re talking about.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that is worth checking out?
The Fitness and Aquatic Center. Most people don’t visit it because it’s separated from campus, but it’s so cool and has so many amenities. There’s an Olympic sized pool, a rock wall, there are so many different things there.
Reasons to attend Loyola:
1) The location.
2) The networking you can do with the professors and the resources that they have.
3) We are a Division 1 sports school, so you can get that experience of going to sports games. We don’t have a football team, but the basketball team and lacrosse teams are huge. You get that sense of a big school but we still have small classes.
Reasons to not attend Loyola:
1) It’s really expensive. [Tuition for the 2019-2020 academic year is $48,700.]