BackgroundInterview Date:April 2019
Gender Identity: Male
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2020
High School Experience: Private school in Miami, FL with a graduating class of about 60 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Extracurricular Activities: I intern with a law firm and I started my own business so I have to manage that.
Have any of your extracurricular activities had a particularly big impact on your experience?
In terms of Morehouse, the reason I’m interning at the law firm and doing the things now to be successful is because of the opportunities Morehouse has given me. I met my mentor through Morehouse and he is the person who got me in touch with the attorney I work for and to start my business, so I definitely would say Morehouse has broadened my network of individuals.
Can you describe the weekly coursework for your major?
Since I’m a junior, we’re mainly doing theory work. We’re working with possibilities in the economy and figuring out if those solutions through [the statistics software] Stata are accurate using data. There are some weeks where I don’t have much work and other weeks where I have to do a lot of data research and write papers. I also have exams and essays.
Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or poorly?
The Economics community at Morehouse, as well as the professors, is very understanding. I think it’s really important to have professors who can relate to you and sympathize with you so you can work with them.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s more collaborative. It depends on the individuals you’re in class with, but most of the time it’s collaborative because everybody wants to work together to get to one solution. I haven’t faced too much competition in the classroom.
How accessible are your professors?
For the most part, they’re accessible 24/7. There are some times when they have family obligations because they are human, but the rest of the time they are accessible.
What has been your favorite class you’ve taken for your major?
Economic Development. It gave me an understanding of how countries are developing across the world and how our country benefits from and helps the growth process.
Why did you choose your major? Are you happy with your choice so far?
I am going to law school after I get my undergraduate degree, so I’m not sure if I would say Economics was the right choice for me. I think a political science background would have been something more applicable for me, but Economics has definitely given me a learning experience that I probably would have never gotten with a Political Science degree. I am able to understand how the economy works as well as factor in different aspects of my own theories and thoughts that can make a difference in the microeconomy.
How has going to an HBCU impacted your academic experience?
Growing up, I was from a Black area but I went to a predominately White school my whole life. The high school was competitive, especially among the limited number of African-American students we had because everybody was trying to be number one. Being in an environment where it’s majority Black, it’s more of a relaxing and relatable environment.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Living Learning Center with one roommate.
Sophomore: Mays Hall, which is one of the oldest dorms on campus, with one roommate.
Junior: Mays Hall in a single.
What was your favorite living situation?
Both in Mays were good. I preferred last year because I was able to choose one of my close friends to live with and it was a different environment than having a random roommate freshman year.
How was transitioning from Miami to the AUC in Atlanta in terms of location?
It definitely is hard. I’m still feeling the effects of it because Miami has much different weather and certain things that I need are more accessible in Miami. I saw snow for the first time last year which was a unique experience. It’s been an okay transition. Atlanta is not my home but it has a good place in my heart.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
Safety on campus is pretty good. I have been blessed to not be in any unfortunate situations. I personally choose not to go to certain places where it may not be the safest because I know the possibility of something happening. Just being on campus and staying to myself has been pretty okay for me.
Pros and cons of being located in the AUC in Atlanta, GA?
1) Being so close to downtown, you are able to go experience different sites and visit buildings downtown.
2) Being able for the weather to be hot and cold and see the seasons change is a plus.
3) It’s nice being close to the family members I have in Atlanta.
1) When it rains in Atlanta it’s cold and I’m not used to that being from Miami.
2) The AUC is not the safest neighborhood. I wish this neighborhood was a little bit different so that we could ensure a safer environment for the community as well as the students.
3) There are not a lot of places that I like to go to hang out in Atlanta. I’m not the party dude, but I like to have a good time. There are a lot more places that fit me personally in Miami than in Atlanta.
What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in?
I like to go out to movies, dinner, go to the park. I’m not a party guy, but I’ll go hang out with friends outside of Morehouse.
What are some of your favorite events that happen at Morehouse or in Atlanta?
Any event where people come together, eat some good food, and have a good time. Homecoming is a perfect example of that where there is a lot of good food and a great community.
How happy are you with the options for weekend activities at Morehouse? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’m okay with them. I wish they had more things happening in the day time where individuals could come out and feel a little safer. That’s not something I can control, so I don’t think that really applies to me.
How did you meet your closest friends?
The majority of my close friends lived across the hall during my freshman year. We created a group that we still have today. Some of them are my closest brothers. I’m really thankful for the opportunity to be in a space like Morehouse and have individuals who I can trust like I can trust them.
How do you feel going to an HBCU impacts your social experience?
It’s definitely given me a better look and hope for the future. Seeing people that look like me striving for things greater than I am striving for is impactful and motivates me. I’m able to walk around campus and be myself and talk the way I talk when I’m home. I don’t have to code-switch with anybody because everybody, for the most part, understands what I’m saying.
How would you describe the overall social scene?
It’s unique. I feel like the social scene here can fit anybody. From what I’ve seen, there’s not a lot of judgment when it comes to individuals on campus. You’ll see men express themselves in whatever way they feel best fits them and nobody judges them for that to their face. The plus of being at Morehouse is you have a safe space for you to express yourself and the way you feel.
To what extent do people of different sexual orientations mix socially?
I definitely see gay guys and straight guys hanging out. I have gay friends. I think Morehouse gives individuals an understanding of things that you may have not known or may not be comfortable with before Morehouse. It helps you see that just because somebody is different it doesn’t mean they’re not cool people to be around.
How do you like going to an all-male school? How has that impacted your experience?
The funny thing about going to Morehouse is it’s a space where I feel more comfortable because in high school I was always looking at the pretty girls in class and wasn’t focused [laughs]. Morehouse is a bunch of dudes, so I’m more focused on my assignments and getting my work done because I’m in a space with individuals who are on the same road as me in terms of success in business.
How do you like the size of your school in terms of undergraduate enrollment? [There are about 2,175 students.]
I think it’s good. I would always like to see Morehouse’s enrollment numbers go up because they get more African-American men in this institution who want to better with their life.
Do you think people are generally happy with their choice of Morehouse by senior year? Do you think people leave loving Morehouse?
I would say that people have their opinions about Morehouse. When you walk out of this institution there are some things you may not admit, but Morehouse does have its pluses and things that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. There are pluses that individuals may not acknowledge but know deep down that Morehouse helped them.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
Yeah, they’re pretty good with that. You just have to communicate and speak out to them. As long as you put the effort in, they will be helpful.
What did you use the career office for? How helpful have they been?
I personally haven’t used them, but I’ve seen my friends use them and have gotten them jobs and lead them on the right track. I’ve had a network and known what I want to do my whole life so I’ve been able to make those efforts myself. If I do need them down the road, they’ll always be there.
Have you learned any computer programs that will be helpful to you professionally?
I’ve learned Excel and Stata.
Have you used financial aid? If so, how helpful was the financial aid office?
The office needs work, but I feel like President Thomas is putting a lot of effort into making things better on campus with faculty because I think it starts off the foundation. I like him as a president and feel like he’s working to make the best solutions for the students.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Morehouse before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew the impact that it was going to make on my life. I didn’t have an idea of what three years of being in this institution would have for me.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that is worth checking out?
On a visit, you will see but not understand the history of it until you get here and live through it. Going here humbles you and teaches you the values of service. Until you actually get into the institution and live the life of a Morehouse student, you will not understand certain things.
What is something a prospective student interested in law may want to know that we haven’t touched on?
There are a lot of different law classes that you can take. Also, one thing that I’ve learned is to get yourself a foundation in the basics of business as well as law. It is good to have a foundation in business because once you get out of law school you can also have that business background just in case you want to go into different sectors.
Reasons to attend Morehouse College:
1) The brotherhood.
2) The alumni network.
3) The strong education.
4) The history of being at a prestigious HBCU.
5) The unity of the student body here as well as with Spelman and Clark Atlanta. The AUC unity is something you can’t get anywhere else.
Reasons to not attend Morehouse College:
I think that is up to the individual. Morehouse was a great decision for myself because I have a certain goal for my life and I understand the road I have to take to get there. I wouldn’t speak on other individual’s choice because I don’t know what their goals or life plans are.