BackgroundInterview Date:June 2017
Gender Identity: Male
Race/Ethnicity: South Asian
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2018. I’m doing a 5-year program with 3 co-ops. You can do either a 5-year program with 3 co-ops or a 4-year program with 2 co-ops which is a growing trend.
High School Experience: Private high school in Baltimore, MD with a graduating class of about 100 students. There was a culture of going to college.
Major: Business, if you’re a Business major you concentrate, so I have a dual concentration with Finance and Management
Minor: International Relations
Extracurricular Activities: I’m involved in UTSAV, which is a South Asian community organization that holds all kinds of activities. I’m also a resident advisor.
Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your experience?
UTSAV helped me build a network of friends with a group I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to connect with. Being an RA helped shape my personality. It forced me to be a more social and personable person. You have to have interactions with all the residents on your floor.
Can you describe the coursework for your major?
You take 4 courses worth 4 credits each. On top of that, you’ll have a co-op class which prepares you for the real world which is worth 1 credit. You can take 2 or 3 of those. From my experience in Business, there are a variety of ways we do the work. Sometimes you have to post in forum threads in Blackboard, and sometimes you have to answer textbook problem sets in a website called Connect. The big grades are exams and a lot of group projects. Business majors especially get a lot of group work.
Did you especially like or dislike anything about the Business department?
They do a really good job preparing you for the real world that you will face, that may be from the co-op program too. Something they could do better is having more networking events. There are not enough opportunities for students to get to know each other or outside professionals to build out a network.
What has been your favorite class you’ve taken for your major?
Financial Accounting – The work was pretty boring, but the professor made it one of the most fun classes. He made it exciting and fun and made the class stand out.
What has been your least favorite class you’ve taken for your major?
Microeconomics – all business majors have to take this. The professor was really deadpan and boring. He just read out of the textbook. Plus, there was a language barrier with him.
What has been a fun class you’ve taken outside of your major?
The Professional Voice – If they could retitle it to [screwing] around it would be more accurate [laughs]. We sat in a circle in a dance studio and the professor, who was an actor, would help us find our “voice” and find our “unfiltered voice.” The projects would be impromptu stories, like one was about the craziest thing you’ve ever done.
Why did you choose your major?
I was picking between Maryland and Northeastern, and I was focused on business because I like the application of finance in the real world and how powerful it can be. I thought it would be something I explore in my first year, and after co-op my interest in finance and business was cemented.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Single in Speare Hall. It’s a prime location on campus and where business students tend to be put. It’s a spot for people to hang out so lots of people came over.
Sophomore: I was an RA. I lived in International Village. The setup is that you have single and double suites that share a bathroom. It’s kind of far off campus and didn’t have a great sense of community.
Junior: I was in Chicago all year for co-op.
Senior: West Village B – Upperclassmen apartments. They’re pretty classic apartment style dorms with a kitchen and 2 or three rooms with either a single or a double.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
Fajitas and ‘Ritas, which is a Mexican place that is downtown and has a cool vibe and pretty good food.
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
The Esplanade. It’s a picnic-y area just off the Charles. Sometimes they’ll have showings, especially when it’s warmer.
Pros and cons of being in Boston?
Pros: (1) It has something for everyone, whether you like food, comedy clubs, etc.
(2) It’s a fairly small city so it’s pretty walkable and bikeable.
Cons: (1) Really cold and windy weather.
(2) Once you’re 21 it’s fun, but when you’re under 21 it isn’t the best place to go to a house party because the cops can be strict and it’s risky to try to get into the bars.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
There are two lives I’ve had: student life and co-op life. Co-op life is I’m in bed at 10PM and up at 6AM, and I’m going out Friday and Saturday night. When I’m in student life, it can really be any night that I go out. In Boston you need to be 21 to do bars and clubs, so once you hit that you start to go out into the city way more. I’ll go Thursday-Saturday and one weekday. When you’re under 21, you go to other people’s places more often, but it’s hard to do house parties in Boston because you’re mostly in apartments. Then I’d go out Thursday-Saturday.
Can you describe a typical night going out?
Most of the time I’ll hang out at somebody’s place then Uber to the bar or a person’s house or apartment. Sometimes people hop around. Eventually, I’ll go somewhere on campus to meet up with friends or go home.
What have been some of your favorite times at Northeastern?
Holidays are a lot of fun in Boston. Halloween, St. Paddy’s Day, and Marathon Monday are all big.
What’s an alternative to going to a party or a bar that you like for a night out?
There is a good amount of people that have friends over and play card or board games and hang out. There is a big community of people that have chill nights. People also like to go to restaurants that turn into lounge areas, like Envoy.
How happy are you with the weekend options at Northeastern?
It’s okay, I’m having fun. Your class will all do their own thing during freshman and sophomore year. When you get older you go to bars, but if you’re 20 and all your friends are 21 and going to the bar, that’s tough.
How did you make your closest friends?
One was freshman year and they lived in Speare with me. I also met people through UTSAV. Over time, you get closer with the group of people in that organization.
How would you describe the social scene?
I’d say it’s fairly cliquey. Athletes hang out with athletes, business people hang out with business people, engineering with engineering, etc. To some extent you build a friend group and to some extent you stay with it. I don’t think there’s one person who thinks they’re socially better than someone else. Like, I don’t think people think that the athletes are cooler.
Do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
Yeah, no doubt. Boston is a progressive city so you’ll find a hodge-podge of people.
What is the impact of Greek Life on social life?
I am not in Greek Life but I have quite a few friends that are. Greek Life is a pretty small percentage of students but people that are part of it take a lot of pride in it. Even though I’m not in a frat I sometimes feel like I’m part of that brotherhood in a way through my friends. [About 17% of students are involved in Greek life.]
Do people seem happy with their choice of Northeastern by senior year?
Yeah, there is your fair share of discontented students but, by and large, people are really happy. I’m really happy.
Has the alumni network helped you with internships or jobs?
No, I wouldn’t say so actually. Probably just because the co-op program helps you with a guidance counselor.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you know about Northeastern before you entered as a freshman?
In terms of friendships, you don’t have to be intentional about who you’re friends with, but the people you spend time with end up being who you’re close with. So, know who your true friends are.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Northeastern has built out the campus so you know when you’re on campus and when you’re not. Make sure to notice the fact that you’re on a campus within a city rather than you’re in the city.
Reasons to attend Northeastern:
1) Co-op program. It can significantly increase your chances of getting the job you want or figuring out what you want to do or not do.
2) Northeastern has really good abroad programs.
3) The network you build because of the co-op program. You run into lots of people randomly that have an affiliation with Northeastern.
4) Northeastern is on the rise. It’s a good time to get in and ride the wave because it’s getting very hard to get in to.
Reasons to not attend Northeastern:
1) If you’re more of a rural kind of guy and want a more conventional college experience it’s very different. Like when you go into a dorm you have to sign everybody in. It’s just a very different lifestyle
2) Northeastern may not be strong in the department you’re interested in, so make sure to look at the program you’re applying to. The Business program is very good, but if you’re interested in something that it isn’t as strong in it might not be the place for you.
3) If you want big Greek Life it’s not the place. There are not as many frat guys here as you may find at a different school, it’s a small subset of the overall population.