Loyola University (MD)
BackgroundInterview Date:July 2018
Gender Identity: Female
Graduation Year: 2019
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
High School Experience: Private school in New Jersey with a graduating class of about 200 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Majors: Double Major in Marketing and Information Systems.
Extracurricular Activities: Student-Athlete
Can you describe the weekly coursework for your majors?
I take the usual 5 classes a semester, but it’s pretty flexible. A lot of it overlaps because of the business core classes that we have to take. It’s pretty group-project oriented, especially for my Information Systems classes. For a lot of those, it’s a semester long project that you do with a group of people.
Is there anything you feel either of your majors’ departments do especially well or poorly?
For Marketing, I’ve had a lot of professors bring in guest speakers. That was really helpful because you see what different options are available in the field.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s slightly competitive but definitely more collaborative. Everyone is pretty helpful in the classroom. You know you’re in the same boat and never feel shy to ask for help.
What has been your favorite class in your majors?
Data Mining [for the Information Systems major]. It was super interesting, and you learned how to use this specific program that is pretty relevant for the field that I want to work in. With that class and a few other classes, we worked towards a specific certificate in statistics, which is something you usually go for after college.
What has been your least favorite class in your majors?
I had to take History of the Middle East as part of Messina, which is a program for freshmen. It was pretty difficult.
What made you choose your combination of majors? Are you happy with your choice?
Coming into college I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, so I was on the general business track. I was always between Marketing and Information Systems because I like the creative side of Marketing but I like how Information Systems is so innovative and super relevant right now, so that would help me get a job. I had enough room to fit in a double major so I decided why not. I’m super happy with it, I’m now leaning towards working in marketing analytics after college.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Hopkins, which is one of the freshman dorms, and I had one roommate.
Sophomore: I lived in Newman Towers, which is where sophomores and juniors usually live. I was in an apartment with three other people. We each had a roommate and there was a kitchen.
Junior: I’m lived in a Villa with six people total. We lived in three double rooms, had two bathrooms, and a big common room.
Senior: I’m living in the Guilford apartments off campus in a two-bedroom apartment with three other people. The bedrooms are pretty big so we figured why not share.
What was your favorite living situation?
The Guilford apartments. Last year was nice too because it was the first full apartment we had with an actual living room. This year is nice because I like being off campus.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
On campus I’ve felt pretty safe. Walking around at night they have shuttles that you can take instead of walking across campus. Campus security also drives around a lot, so it hasn’t felt too dangerous ever.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
Blue Agave in Federal Hill
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
Mount Vernon, [which is a neighborhood in Baltimore].
Pros and cons of being located in the Roland Park neighborhood of Baltimore, MD?
Pros: (1) There are a lot of restaurants and stuff around.
(2) It’s pretty safe around here. I can go for a run around the Johns Hopkins campus.
Cons: (1) It’s a lot of parallel parking.
(2) Anywhere in Baltimore, I wouldn’t feel that comfortable walking around at night by myself.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
We don’t really have parties. It’s mainly a bar school, so pretty much that. Either going downtown or going to Zen West, which is [a restaurant near campus]. Downtown we usually go to bars in Federal Hill.
What nights of the week do you regularly go out?
Mainly Thursday and Saturday, but sometimes Taco Tuesdays at Zen West are fun or random nights when somebody wants to do something fun. Thursday nights are usually downtown, Friday nights are usually a chill night so not a lot of people go out, and then Saturday night is usually Zen West.
What is an alternative to going to a bar that you like for a night out?
Loyola does weekend events Thursday through Saturday nights, like Movie night or open mic nights, so there are other options.
What have been some of your favorite times at Loyola?
My favorite nights are Thursday nights. Especially with the way business classes work, a lot of people don’t have classes on Friday. For school events, we have Loyolapalooza in the spring which is an on-campus concert.
How happy are you with the weekend options at Loyola? Is there anything you would change if you could?
The only thing I would change is getting more involved from the start. There are a lot of clubs that you can join, but it can be hard to with your class schedule, so I wish I made more of an effort to build that into my schedule.
How did you meet your closest friends?
I met them mostly during freshman year. One of my closest friends was down the hall from me and then two others were through my freshman year roommate.
How would you describe the social scene at Loyola?
It’s really fun. It’s a bar school, so it’s mostly a bar scene. But, our student government does a good job of providing other options for people who don’t like to go out and drink.
To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I would say we’re pretty diverse. I don’t think there have ever been any issues with that as far as I know. [23% of students are students of color.]
How would you describe the student body?
It’s a nice mix. We have a lot of athletes, but it’s not like they’re completely separated. They still socialize with people who aren’t involved in sports. People group up by major a lot too. A lot of the different classes are put into different buildings and people see more people than others because of that.
Do you feel people are happy with their choice of Loyola by the time they graduate?
Yeah, I would say so. For the most part, people who graduate end up staying around Baltimore and want to stick around.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
Yeah, definitely. We have a lot of alumni networking events. I’ve never gone to the events or tried to network through actual alumni, but my current internship I got through our online job portal, and a lot of people have found things for the summer through that.
How helpful has the career office been?
The online portion is very helpful. The office has sessions to improve your LinkedIn and your interview skills and stuff like that. I’ve only gone into the career center once to have my resume looked over and that helped a lot.
Have you learned any computer programs that will be helpful to you professionally?
A lot of the business core classes make you use basic Excel. In the business school, you’re required to take a computer science class that teaches you Excel and a little HTML. The Information Systems major is very program oriented, so I’ve learned Python, SAS, and Sequel.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
I would say the Fitness and Aquatic Center. It’s a little further down the block from campus. It’s pretty nice. Then also being on the quad in the springtime is the best.
Reasons to attend Loyola:
1) I like that we’re a small school because it has a real sense of community.
2) We have small classes and it’s more personal with your professors. You feel you can ask questions if you don’t understand something.
3) There are lots of things to get involved in. We don’t have Greek life, but we do have business fraternities and things like that.
Reasons to not attend Loyola:
1) If you want Greek life. Some people feel like it’s a big part of the college experience.
2) Small classes, a teacher won’t be afraid to call on you.
3) As it gets more major specific you’re with the same people, and because it’s a small school you’re with the same exact people from class to class every day.