BackgroundInterview Date:June 2017
Gender Identity: Male
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2017
High School Experience: Private school in Baltimore, MD with a graduating class of about 100 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Minor: Music Industry
Extracurricular Activities: Intramural basketball, volleyball, and sometimes softball. I signed up for teams with friends but some of the teams are bigger so it’s fun to meet people through it.
Can you describe the weekly coursework for your major?
I take four classes every semester and expect to work around 10 hours outside of the classroom per week per class. A lot of my coursework is interdisciplinary. I have a lot of projects. Some classes are just one big project that you do in phases over the semester. For homework, I have to do lots of little writing posts on our online platform. I don’t have much standard problem sets. My big graded assignments are definitely presentations. This helped me get comfortable with public speaking. A lot of classes also put a strong focus on participation.
Did you especially like or dislike anything about the Entrepreneurship department?
I haven’t loved the professors. Overall, I don’t think they’re very engaging.
What was your favorite class you took for your major?
Social Enterprise – It was about for-profit and nonprofit businesses that have social impact and part of their investment is doing good, not just making money but knowing it needs to do so to stay afloat.
What was your least favorite class you took for your major?
Supply Chain Management – It was a lot of numbers and very concrete, fact-driven busy work. There are a lot of core business classes like that that you need to take for your major.
What was a fun class you took outside of your major?
Media, Culture, and Society – We had a goofy professor that made the class. The class looked at how history, music, and film to decipher how the world works through different forms of media.
Why did you pick Entrepreneurship?
Mostly a personal decision. I want to start my own business, so it made the most sense. You learn a lot about companies that have been successful and why certain startups have become major corporations.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: I had a tiny double in Speare Hall. It’s not a nice building but it’s still expensive to live there.
Sophomore: West Village B. It was an on-campus apartment with a kitchen. I got off the meal plan because it was expensive and bad food. I liked this more than freshman year.
Junior: Apartment in Mission Hill with the same guys I lived with sophomore year.
Senior: Apartment in South End by myself. It was by far the best situation because I like being by myself. I’d prefer to be by myself if I’m not being particularly social.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
Wings over Boston or Otto Pizza
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
I have family on the South Shore that I will go visit. If not that, going camping or hiking in New Hampshire.
Pros and cons of being in Boston, MA?
Pros: More freedom to escape campus. I never felt like I was trapped, there was always a way to get away.
Cons: Being in Boston definitely gives the college less of a university vibe because there are businesses and adults all around you.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
Now that I’m 21, I tend to go out Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. That changed a lot when I turned 21. There are two types of nightlife: frat parties and bars. If you aren’t in a frat – they are pretty exclusive, but I was able to get in because I knew people in them – there were house parties and parties in the dorms, but those always got shut down. It became much easier to have a good weekend when I turned 21. On Thursdays, I went to clubs. I’d go to Howl at the Moon most often, Fridays I’d go to Mission Hill, and Saturday I’d go to Faneuil Hall.
What have been some of your favorite nights?
My favorite nights are when there are events hosted by friends at bars or clubs. That way you know you won’t have to deal with drunk strangers. It also usually turns into going to some of the late-night spots with friends.
What are some other options if you don’t want to go out to a party?
There are all sorts of things to do in Boston. You get to take advantage of things that are specific to college students, as well as whatever in the city. There are lots to do outside the bar scene.
How happy are you with the nightlife at Northeastern?
Before I was 21, I was not very happy. When I turned 21 it became more fun.
How was doing your first semester abroad with the N.U. In Program?
I did my first semester of freshman year abroad in Ireland. I made some really good friends abroad. I felt uncomfortable when I got back because you move into a dorm where kids have already become tight, and you don’t want to be alone so you hang out with your abroad friends so that can be isolating. It’s something I’m glad I did because you learn a lot about yourself, but the level of education wasn’t great. I also gained some bad habits because it’s so easy to drink when you’re abroad.
How did you meet your closest friends?
Ireland study abroad [through the N.U. In Program]. Living with them in Ireland was awesome. Outside of that, I rushed a frat and then decided not to join after receiving a bid. One of my close friends joined and I ended up hanging out with them afterward.
How would you describe the social scene?
It’s cliquey because it’s so big that you meet a lot of people but it’s hard to get to know them. There are so many people in the business school that you’ll meet them in one class but never have classes with them again. People have little friend groups and you mingle at parties, but you can’t have a friend group of like 30 people unless you’re in a frat. The smaller acquaintances and people you’re not so close with fade out because you live in off-campus apartments and don’t see each other casually.
There’s a lot of counter culture at Northeastern. Like some people that are in frats think they’re the coolest, but there are others that think they’re a joke. Just because you’re a certain way doesn’t mean you’re popular.
Do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
Yeah, it’s a very international school so almost all of my interactions involved my Middle Eastern friends. There aren’t a lot of Black kids at Northeastern, it’s pretty rare to see them. [6% of students are African-American, 8% are Hispanic, and 20% are international students.]
What is the impact of Greek Life on social life?
There is Greek Life and I am not part of it. It’s smaller at Northeastern than most schools. It’s more academic based than socially based in that there are frats that are more service oriented. It’s not all partying. I actually rushed a frat and received a bid, but didn’t end up joining. I’m happy I didn’t join because it didn’t affect my social life too much and being in a frat didn’t appeal to me.
Do you think people are happy with their choice of Northeastern by senior year? Do people leave loving Northeastern?
No – I would say there are a lot of things, particularly financial and service-wise, that frustrate people. It’s impossible to get an appointment with your adviser, it’s hard to see professors in lectures and it’s competitive to get into office hours. When you establish a relationship with a professor it’s easier to get in because they sometimes make special exceptions. [See Huntington News article “Editorial: The student body needs to see more of President Aoun” and and article, “University not to consider fossil fuel divestment in financial strategy.”]
Has the alumni network helped you with internships or jobs?
Not at all, I haven’t really started that process yet because I’ll probably work for my co-op.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Northeastern before entering as a freshman?
I wish I understood when kids are deciding between a big school and a small school that it is a big school. If I had known that I may have chosen a small school. [There are about 18,100 students at Northeastern.]
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
The gym is awesome, so check that out. I highly encourage them to explore Boston to make sure it’s the right city for you. Find out what you really like to do and see if Boston is a place where that’s possible. I love to drive and Boston is a miserable place for that.
Reasons to attend Northeastern:
1) The co-op program is awesome
2) It’s an up and coming school that’s getting pretty prestigious.
3) If you’re trying to get out of a small-town, Boston in a good option.
4) I can get back and forth to home pretty easily
5) The bar scene is fun.
Reasons to not attend Northeastern:
1) It can be isolating if you aren’t aggressive about being social. It’s not one of those schools where by being there you are going to have a good social life.
2) It’s difficult to get appointments with professors, and there is just a general lack of help from the staff
3) Expensive school plus the city of Boston is expensive. [Tuition is $50,450, and about 75% of new students receive some sort of financial aid.]