BackgroundInterview Date:May 2018
Gender Identity: Male
Sexual Orientation: Straight
Graduation Year: 2019
High School Experience: Private high school in northern New Jersey with a graduating class of 93 students. There was a culture of going to college.
Extracurricular Activities: I went abroad so right now I’m just in a fraternity. Sophomore year I was the business school senator for the Undergraduate Student Government and was on the Finance Committee, which is a small group that is given about two million dollars from the endowment each year to allocate to the student body. You would meet with each organization and talk about their budget and allocate money as we saw fit.
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
In the earlier intro classes there is a lot more weekly homework but as you get to the more upper-level classes you have about one or two big projects throughout the semester or maybe just a midterm and a final. It becomes a lot more spread out as you get to the upper-level courses.
Why did you choose finance?
My dad worked in finance so I grew up around it. He used to work at some of the bigger banks so I got interested in the idea of banking. It’s pretty common for people from my high school to go into business whether it’s finance or marketing or whatever. All my friends who I live with freshman and sophomore year were all business students so it sort of was an easy decision. I never really thought about majoring in anything else that major just kind of made sense.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Sharpe hall in a double. Sharpe hall is one of the two big freshman dorms. I met my roommate at orientation and decided to room together and he’s actually one of my closest friends to this day.
Sophomore: Phelps hall in a suite of 8 with a bunch of my friends that I met from Sharpe, including my roommate from freshman year.
Junior: Studied abroad in Spain in the fall and lived with a couple of guys from my pledge class in my fraternity. And then in the spring, I lived in a house with some of the guys I studied abroad with and some other guys.
Senior: I’ll live in the same house as Junior year with the same guys.
What was your favorite living situation?
I think living in Phelps in a suite of 8 was a lot of fun. I mean being in a suite constantly surrounded by your closest friends is definitely a more fun atmosphere. It’s an outdoor type dorm so you walk out of your dorm be on a balcony. We used to go hang out on the balcony when it was nice out and there were other suites on either side of us with guys from our fraternity so it was fun just having people around all the time.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
It’s definitely gotten a lot better since my freshman year. Freshman year we were getting crime reports all the time of people getting robbed either right off campus or sometimes even on campus. They’ve led a big effort to step it up. They put lighting around campus and definitely see a lot more of a presence from them now. I think crime has dropped a ton since I was a freshman here.
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
The Boot bar is definitely one of them. New Orleans runs right down the Mississippi River and so there’s this open grassy area right off of the river called The Fly. On Fridays, people will go after class and bring food, speakers, maybe drinking a couple of beers and it’s a nice relaxing start to the weekend. That’s definitely a fun place to go at the end of the week when classes are done.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
That definitely changes over the years as you get older at Tulane. Freshman and sophomore year you’re going to the campus bar, The Boot, and, if you join a fraternity like I did, you’ll have parties at your fraternity house. As you get older you tend to branch out a bit you check out different bars in the city because once you turn 21 that opens up a lot more opportunity. So, we’ll check out new local places or places that we’ve heard are having different drink deals or happy hours. This year we still go to The Boot and to the fraternity parties, but we try out more new places because we can.
The benefit of being at a place like Tulane is even on a certain night where you can’t go to a house party or if there’s not something going on, there’s always The Boot which everyone’s welcome to because it’s an 18 and up bar. Most people end up there after house parties too. If you want to go out, there’s really always a place for you to go which I think can’t be said about a lot of schools.
What nights of the week do you normally go out?
Wednesday is usually a good one for happy hour at The Boot. Friday or Saturday, if there’s something going on with the fraternity we’ll go do that, and then the other night we’ll go check out a bar somewhere in New Orleans. In general, we will end up back at The Boot by the end of the night.
How happy are you with the nightlife? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’m pretty happy with it. I would say that over the years it’s been getting less crazy because the school is getting better and accepting smarter and smarter kids. It’s not that the fun goes down, it just gets a little different. My freshman year pretty much Tuesday through Saturday there were people going out whereas nowadays Wednesdays are a big night and then maybe one night out of Friday and Saturday are big nights. It’s toned down a bit.
What is the impact of Greek life on the social scene at Tulane?
Like most schools, they’ve definitely cracked down a lot in the last year or so with everything that’s been going on. Greek life is definitely still alive and we have parties, but it’s under scrutiny. We have to register every party we have with the school so they know what’s happening, we see the police driving around a lot more. They’re putting in a rule next year where freshmen can’t come into fraternity houses for the first month of school, but I’m not exactly sure what that accomplishes. I think it’s just part of the overall effort to really keep Greek life in control. [About 42% of students are involved in Greek life.]
Do you think people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
There are different perspectives on it. Being on student government you see every proposal to improve that, so I sort of have first-hand exposure to where that takes place. I think it could be better, but I think in terms of everyday life I think it seems pretty inclusive. Back when there was Hurricane Maria they offered free tuition for students who were displaced from their schools. So, I think they make a pretty strong effort for things like that when it’s possible.
How would you describe the overall social scene at Tulane?
When I came in I kept hearing this phrase, “work hard, play hard.” Students get their work done but they definitely are out every weekend having fun. Like I said, the number of people that go out has probably decreased a little bit over the years, but I think it still follows that motto. I think people are very into going out and people look forward to going out, but for the most part, they are able to handle both going out two or three nights a week but also getting their work done.
How would you describe the student body?
For the most part, it does have a Northeast influence. [About 31% of students come from the Northeast.] The majority of students are decently well-off and come from pretty good families who are able to support them [54% of students come from the top 10% and 3.9% come from the bottom 20%.] For the most part, people are pretty social and pretty accepting of everyone. It’s definitely a hardworking community too, especially nowadays where people realize that they need good grades to get internships or jobs. I think it’s gotten more hardworking the past few years I’ve been here.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
That’s probably a weak spot and I think. I think they could definitely do a better job of expanding the network and bringing companies here to come to speak and recruit directly from Tulane. I mean you see other schools where companies are taking a certain percentage of students from that school, we don’t have any strong connection like that. I’m hoping that in the coming years they can put in more effort and really grow it.
How helpful has the career office been?
That’s the other thing. They really haven’t been helpful at all.
Have you learned any computer programs that have been or will be helpful to you professionally?
They offer a course in Bloomberg which I know is pretty helpful for finance. I haven’t done it but it’s an 8-hour course. We have a class called Business Analytics which is really meant to sharpen your Excel skills and teach you to run more complex functions and things like that.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew before entering Tulane as a freshman?
From a career aspect, I wish I knew how limited the alumni network is and how unhelpful the career office is. I’ve gotten lucky that I’ve gotten a couple of good internships through my own personal network, but it’s definitely been a push. It would have been nice to know that I was going to be on my own for that process.
From a social perspective, I was lucky that I got a bid to a fraternity. It would have been nice to know that technically Tulane says rush starts in the spring, but it pretty much started on day one when you get there. It would have been nice to know that as soon as I got there I should be going around to the different fraternities and making a good impression. I’m lucky that I got a bid anyway, but I know a lot of people who just didn’t realize that it started so soon and were just late to the game.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Definitely the Boot, but I don’t know how many parents will want to take their kid there. There is a street called Broadway Street where all the students live and all the fraternity houses are there.
Reasons to attend Tulane:
1) Work hard, play hard. It’s a really good mix of people getting good grades but going out a ton.
2) The city of New Orleans is hard to beat. There are tons of different festivals, you have Mardi Gras, lots of food and drink festivals, and you can go to a new place almost every single weekend. It’s a really cool place to go to college.
3) It’s definitely getting better. The network is growing, there are smarting people coming here, and you can see that in the rankings. It’s definitely a school that’s on the rise.
Reasons to not attend Tulane:
1) I definitely think they could have better professors. I’ve kind of heard this across the board, but all the different schools have their fair share of really bad professors. I mean a lot of them are old and have been there for a really long time so they don’t connect with students anymore.
2) Being in New Orleans, the vast majority of students come from places that are far away. Once you’re here, you’re here. If you’re someone who feels like they need to be able to go home a decent amount then Tulane may not be the place. If you’re lucky you may go home once a semester and you’re not really near a lot of your friends’ schools. [See Tulane’s geographic diversity here.]