BackgroundInterview Date:April 2019
Gender Identity: Female
Race/Ethnicity: Biracial – White & Asian
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2020
High School Experience: Public high school in Charlottesville, Virginia with about 400 students in the graduating class. There was a culture of going to college.
First generation college student: No
Major: Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing
Minor: Creative Writing
Extracurricular Activities: Literary Arts Society, and a few clubs around campus like Photography.
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
On average, I’m doing 2.5 – 3 hours of homework a day. The major graded assignments are essays and exams.
Is there anything that you feel your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
I think it’s good that the School of Management makes your major Business Administration with the option to go on to get your concentration. Business Administration makes me take finance and accounting classes even though marketing looks better to employers. What they can fix is the building. It’s terrible and it looks like a high school classroom, but I think they’re going to redo it at some point. It’s really hit or miss if you get a good professor.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s very collaborative. I don’t know of a class that I haven’t had a group project in. It’s way less competitive than my high school, and is only competitive in the sense that each individual is trying to achieve whatever goals they have.
How accessible have the professors in your department been?
Why did you pick your major? Are you happy with your choice?
I picked my major because I need to make money and have a job after college. I wish I’d taken a more creative route because I’m bad at the accounting and finance classes they make me take.
What has been your favorite class you’ve taken for your major?
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Champagnat Hall with one roommate on the honors floor.
Sophomore: Gartland in a single.
Junior: Gartland in a single.
How was transitioning from your hometown in Virginia to Poughkeepsie, NY?
I live in a town that’s very liberal, open, and friendly, where everyone wants to be a community. The perfect word for Poughkeepsie is seedy. You’re advised not to go outside of campus at night or even during the day.
Can you describe the level of safety on and around campus?
It’s extremely safe on campus. We have blue boxes, and even though it’s kind of dark on campus at night, they do have lamp posts around. I’ve never heard of an incident where something bad has happened on campus. Outside of campus I wouldn’t feel the same way, and I wouldn’t step outside of campus at night past 7 PM.
Pros and cons of being in Poughkeepsie?
1) It’s right next to the Hudson River. We have a section of campus where you can walk down to the river and sit at the boathouse or docks and have a picnic.
2) It’s close to New York City. An hour and a half train ride allows lots of students to go in during the week for internships during the semester.
3) The train station is a little less than five minutes. You can’t walk because the roads aren’t good for it, but you can drive.
1) It gets especially cold in the Winter being so close to the river. The wind coming off the Hudson is brutal, and your face will hurt.
2) It’s a little separated from town. There aren’t a lot of good shops around here. You have to drive ten to fifteen minutes to get groceries.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
This is definitely a bar school, so most everyone knows the four or five bars everyone goes out to. Most people go out at most four times a week. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. I don’t participate in that, but I’m an outlier.
What are your favorite events or activities?
Just hanging out on campus there are lots of clubs. I’ll just hang out and watch a movie or play video games with friends.
What’s an alternative to going to a party or a bar that you like for a night out?
I mostly see people leaving campus for any entertainment. They’ll have occasional on-campus concerts, or the choir will play, but it’s a calendar event that doesn’t happen too often.
How happy are you with the weekend options at Marist? If you could change anything, what would you change?
On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being extremely happy, I’d put it at a 3.5. [The bars are strict], but I’m happy staying on campus because I prefer being a homebody.
How did you meet your closest friends?
The first semester of freshman year, which is pretty typical. They invited me to watch a show with them in their room, and I got to know them that way.
How would you describe the overall social scene at Marist?
Very open and friendly. I think most people are happy to meet new people. It’s very inclusive and not exclusive. With that being said, there are already friend groups established by the time you get to your second semester of freshman year. I wouldn’t say it’s cliquey, and there isn’t a lot of Greek life. It’s fairly easy to find friends. [About 6% of students are involved in Greek life.]
To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
They don’t. There isn’t a lot of diversity on campus at all, and the bit of diversity there is have groups or clubs that tend to stick with each other and not intermingle. [About 76% of the Class of 2022 is White.]
How would you describe the student body?
They come from the Tri-State area almost exclusively. I got introduced as being from Virginia because it’s an anomaly. It’s mainly New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and that’s really it. There are lots of Long Islanders. A lot of families are wealthy and White, who went to private Catholic schools. There are quite a few students on campus who care about how they look.
How do you like the size of your school? How has the size of your school influenced your social experience? [There are about 5,000 undergraduate students.]
I think it’s a pretty perfect size because I see new faces every day, but I can’t go anywhere without seeing faces I don’t know, whether it’s acquaintances or close friends. Socially it’s helped me because if I wanted to, I could easily expand my social circle of friends because it’s a very open atmosphere. There’s not much pressure to join clubs or social things that I don’t necessarily want to.
Do people generally seem happy with Marist by senior year? Do people leave loving your school?
Yes. There’s not a lot of turnover, and all of my friends from freshman year are still here. When I’m working with Marist alumni, the first thing they say is that they love Marist, and they’ll name something specific like the professors or the social scene. [91% of students would recommend Marist to others, and in 2017 there was an 87% retention rate.]
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
One of the best perks of Marist is the alumni network. A good portion of graduates from Marist goes to New York City to work and tend to have pretty good jobs. The career services are great, and they are very open to bringing alumni back on campus. I’m usually able to network with anyone on LinkedIn who is an alumnus. I’ve gotten an internship from it.
Have you learned any computer programs or computer languages that will be helpful professionally?
Being a business major we have to take a course where Excel is heavily used. As far as computer skills, it’s not mandatory for our major to learn that unless you double major or minor in Computer Science.
Have you used financial aid? If so, accommodating was the office to your needs?
They were able to match another scholarship I got when I was deciding what college to pick, between two or three schools. I haven’t had to talk to them since.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Marist before entering as a freshman?
I would’ve wanted to understand how much of a norm it was to reach out to alumni, and how willing they are to help you get an internship, even coming out of freshman year. I also wish I knew how much of a bar school it was, and how limiting it can be if you’re not into that scene.
What is something a prospective student who isn’t interested in partying may want to know that we haven’t touched on?
It’s not necessarily partying. Once you get older it’s a much more casual partying atmosphere. There isn’t a lot of partying on campus at all, unless you go to a sports event. You don’t feel pressured to go out and party. You can still hang out with friends on campus, it just might be more of a struggle to find out what to do.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
They should go down to the river and see that part of the campus. It’s a nice place to go, especially when it’s warm out. It’s kind of a cultural thing that everyone does here. They should check out the newer building called Gartland, because that is potentially where they’ll be living once they get to their junior or senior year. It has its own kind of community with a restaurant and fitness center.
Reasons to attend Marist:
1) You’re going to get a good job out of college. It’s really career focused. [97% of 2015 graduates are employed or attend graduate school.]
2) It’s not competitive unless you want to be competitive with yourself.
3) It’s a very safe campus.
4) Everyone is nice. We have a culture of holding doors open for anyone behind us, even if they’re 5 miles away. This just shows what a kind and open-minded campus it is.
Reasons to not attend Marist:
1) It’s not a name school. Unless they’ve lived in Long Island, New Jersey, or Connecticut, [employers] won’t know its name which won’t specifically help you in getting a job.
2) If you want Greek life, don’t come here.
3) If you want a school with a big sports culture, this isn’t the school. Not many people go to sports games.