BackgroundInterview Date:February 2019
Gender Identity: Male
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2020
High School Experience: Public high school in Long Island with 400 students in the graduating class. There was a culture of going to college.
First generation college student: No
Majors: Economics and Finance
Extracurricular Activities: I [have a leadership position] on a financial board, I’m in the Economic Honors Society, on the Club Golf team, and I’m in the Math Club.
Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your experience? In what ways?
The [leadership position] of the financial board and the golf club have. The Golf Club introduced me to a lot of people with similar interests. The financial board was a springboard for me where I could have something on my resume. As a freshman, it was hard to put an experience on your resume other than clubs, so I found that it was a great experience.
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
For my Economics classes I have a lot of online questions, almost like an online quiz every week. My Finance classes are more hands-on with Excel problems. It really depends on what you take at Marist. You could be a Finance major and opt to take different classes. We have something called the Greystone Equity Fund here, and if you’re really into finance you can interview to get into this class and invest real money in equities or fixed income securities. If you’re a finance major and don’t want to take it that’s fine, but you get the most out of these classes.
Is there anything that you feel either your majors’ departments do especially well or especially poorly?
I think the Finance department did something well by creating a great opportunity for Finance students to learn if they wanted to, and if they’re passionate about it. They got an investment banker who was a director at Citigroup who packaged asset-backed securities, so he had this incredible experience. The school poured a lot of money into this investment center.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I almost wish it was more competitive because I’m a competitive person. It’s very collaborative. You’re usually helping other students, and there are lots of smart people here. Some people are just going to try to get Bs and Cs and call it a day, but I think you’ll find that anywhere. There’s a space for everyone. You could probably skate through it, or you could do really well if you were committed.
How accessible have the professors in your department been?
Professors here are very accessible. It is a smaller school, so they all have office hours. I personally meet with two professors every week because of the clubs I’m in, and I value their input.
What has been your favorite class you’ve taken for your major?
My favorite class is probably Fixed Income. It was really interesting. It was an investment practicum where you had to wear a suit every day, and if you’re in the Greystone Equity classes you also have to wear a suit. The first class was very hands-on and industry-based where you learn stuff people on Wall Street are trying to learn. That class really benefited me when I was in the internship interview process for this summer.
Why did you pick your combination of majors? Are you happy with your choice?
I was really interested in Economics. I love consumer behavior, so when I got to college I declared my Economics major pretty quickly. The majors go hand in hand, but Economics is a small major here with not too many credits. I wanted it to make myself as marketable as I could to get an Economics related job, so I decided to double up with Finance.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Champagnat Hall with one roommate.
Sophomore: Upper West in a double with eight other guys.
Junior: Fulton Townhouse in a single.
How was transitioning from your hometown in Long Island to Poughkeepsie, NY?
It was very different. Manhattan is a pretty nice area. I remember the first night we were out and decided to walk back and we told someone after, and they told us never to do that again. Certain parts of Poughkeepsie aren’t safe, and that was unheard of for me and my other friends who also came from Manhattan. The campus is really nice and safe, but off campus is a little different. With that being said I was also pretty close to home, so I’m able to go home for the day. This made it easier. [The violent crime rate in Poughkeepsie is 84% higher than the national average while the property crime rate is 15% lower than the national average.]
Can you describe the level of safety on and around campus?
On campus is very safe. One time there was someone who wasn’t a Marist student hanging up defamatory flyers, and the security guards were on top of him within five minutes. Off campus is a lower income area.
Pros and cons of being in Poughkeepsie?
1) You go to a college that really benefits the surrounding area.
2) I’m close to home.
1) There isn’t much to do outside of campus.
2) It’s not generally safe to be outside off-campus late at night.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I go out every weekend, most Fridays and Saturdays. Marist is a bar school, so when you’re a freshman you’ll have a small party around 8, then you’ll leave for the bar around 10 or 11, then leave the bar around 12:30 or 1. As you get older this gets later. When it gets a little warmer, people will have house parties. Yesterday there was a snow day, so my friends and I had a snow party, but it’s generally bars.
What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
There is a little bit of Greek life, but the impact on the nightlife is really just for the people in Greek life. Fraternities aren’t really prevalent here. They will mix with the sororities that are more prevalent here because lots of girls want to be in a sorority. They only really mix with each other, which is usually a party before the bars. It does get prevalent when it’s warmer out. They have day parties at their frat houses. [About 6% of students are involved in Greek life.]
What’s an alternative to going to a party or a bar that you like for a night out?
Marist has really cool people come, such as the voice of Linda from Bob’s Burgers. Every Friday and Saturday night if you don’t want to go out they have movie nights in the student center, which I’ve done a few times.
How happy are you with the weekend options at Marist? If you could change anything, what would you change?
I’m pretty happy with it. The bars are getting strict, and they get a little boring after a while. I wish we had more house parties here and there. The bars are nice because basically everyone you know is going to be there.
How did you meet your closest friends?
I came to Marist with five other graduates from Manhattan, so we hung out at first. One of our friends was very involved in intramural sports, and he met several other really great guys. Our friend group and their friend group kind of mixed in together.
How would you describe the overall social scene at Marist?
I like it. Everyone is really nice here and it isn’t cliquey, compare to other colleges I’ve visited. I would say it’s very heavy on nightlife.
To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
Not too much. The international students usually hang out with each other. I haven’t seen a lot of gay people hanging out with heterosexual people, but that could be because I’m not aware of their sexual orientations. The biggest thing you’ll see at Marist is the international students sticking together. It’s almost kind of weird how they don’t hang out with anyone else, which is a pitfall of Marist. [About 76% of the Class of 2022 is White, and 2.5% are International.]
How would you describe the student body?
It’s predominantly White, and I’d say the political view is probably a little more conservative. Everyone is really nice though. In the study body, you’ll find a section of super driven students, which I really like. There aren’t many snooty people, everyone talks to everyone.
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 wish it were a little bigger, but one of the things that got me to come here was the small school atmosphere. I think I did better in my classes because of it. Professors are super easy to reach. It was kind of easy to get these positions in clubs because it’s a smaller school, and not everyone loves math or economics. I wish it were a little bigger because I think it would be cool to meet some more people and stuff like that because everyone knows everyone. [The average class size is 18-26 students.]
Do people generally seem happy with Marist by senior year? Do people leave loving your school?
I don’t actually. I happen to love Marist, but we have something called the Climate Survey that came out last year, and a lot of people bashed parts of Marist. I’m a firm believer of saying college is what you make of it. At Marist, you have to go out of your way a little more to make it a good experience, especially if you’re looking to get a good job out of school. You have to take that extra step. Everyone I hang out with says they love Marist, so I think some people do love the culture.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
Yes, but you have to go out of your way to reach out to the alumni. I was talking to a professor and she asked what I wanted to do. I’ve always loved the Federal Reserve, and she said we have an alumnus that works there and that I should reach out to him. I did, he referred me, and I ended up getting to interview. Now, I’ll be interning at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It’s up to you to get in contact and find them, but once you do, they’ll help you no matter what.
What have you used the career office for? How helpful have they been?
It kind of stinks. The people in the career office are phenomenal, but I used them to edit my resume and there wasn’t anything that made it better, they just made it different. I know a lot of people that have found career opportunities through the career office, but the finance ones aren’t great. If you’re a Communications major, the career office is huge and they’ll provide lots of opportunities. They always email you with internship opportunities.
Have you learned any computer programs or computer languages that will be helpful professionally?
I’ve learned VBA in Excel through the Greystone Equity Fund class where you have to write code to find the value of cash flows. If I didn’t take that class and was a Finance major, I would have probably had to minor in Computer Science to learn other code.
Have you used financial aid? If so, accommodating was the office to your needs?
I used a little financial aid in the beginning, and the office was very accommodating. I decided to stop using it.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Marist before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew how much you’d have to work by yourself to get an internship. Career services will help you as much as they can, but it’s up to you to find a good one. If you really want to excel at Marist, you have to have that drive and push yourself to get a leg up.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
You won’t see the townhouses. We have two separate parts of campus with a tunnel that you walk through to get to the other side. I know the tours only cover the river side of campus, so you won’t see sophomore or junior housing.
Reasons to attend Marist:
1) The teachers are always accessible, and the classes are small. You’re always able to meet with them, and they want you to succeed as much as you want to succeed.
2) The nightlife is fun if you’re into bars.
3) You’re going to meet a lot of really nice people. The best thing about Marist is everyone knows everyone, and on Friday and Saturday it’s like you have one big friend group.
4) If you do well and want to succeed, Marist will set you up well.
Reasons to not attend Marist:
1) The bar scene gets a little old.
2) There’s aren’t many good food places around. The nearest Chipotle is a half hour away, and the deli we have by us is pretty expensive.
3) The courses that are offered are nitpicky and covers a lot of broad-stroked courses.
4) The dining hall isn’t that great.
5) The campus is a little small. I wish it were slightly bigger, but that also means getting to class is pretty easy.