University of Delaware
BackgroundInterview Date:Summer 2017
Gender Identity: Female
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2017
High School Experience: Private Catholic all-girls school in Baltimore, MD with a graduating class of about 75 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Major: Hospitality Industry Management
Minor: Sales and Marketing
Extracurricular Activities: I was in a sorority, I had a job off campus, and I was in Hospitality Club and Marketing Club.
Can you describe the weekly coursework for your major?
I took a lot of business classes that were geared towards the hospitality industry. We did a lot of practical work, like simulations of working in a hotel and restaurant and making management decisions. We had a lot of case studies as homework. The biggest assignment we had senior year was in a property management class we had to write a 30-page report about how you would go about starting a hotel from acquiring the space to how it is run.
Is there anything you feel that your major’s department does especially well or poorly?
The major doesn’t prepare you for the real-world work schedule because it’s a lot of weekends and a lot of nights, but I don’t think that’s something that’s possible to prepare you for in college. At Delaware they do a really good job of giving you real life examples, like cases and simulations, so you get as much experience as possible without working.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s a really small major, which is awesome because you got to know all the people in the major pretty well. We had a lot of group work with other people, and it’s nice because you know each other well and you don’t dread working with people you don’t know.
How did you like your professors?
I was really lucky with professors. We had a bunch from the industry who were managers of hotels and restaurants. It helped that they knew what they were talking about and had real world experience.
What was your favorite class in your major?
A class where you bring a restaurant concept to life in terms of menus and marketing. It’s interesting to see how that process works.
What was your least favorite class in your major?
What is a fun class you’ve taken outside of your major?
Hip Hop class about the study of hip hop artists. We read Tupac’s book and learned about how hip hop was born. I took it for my Cultural Music requirement.
Why did you pick your major?
In high school I knew I wanted to do something with events. I put together a dance in high school with the boys’ school nearby and thought it was fun. I never wavered from that.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Dickinson B with one roommate and about 30 people on the floor.
Sophomore: Towers on campus with 3 other girls in a suite style set up with 2 bedrooms and a living room.
Junior: 1 South Main in an off-campus apartment with 2 other girls.
Senior: I lived with 4 other girls in a townhouse.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I honestly felt pretty safe. I was never alone super late walking around. I had a car junior and senior year so if I needed to I’d drive somewhere. The town isn’t super sketchy, so overall I felt pretty safe. I never had an issue.
How walkable is the area around campus?
You are able to walk to classes and the restaurants and shops on Main street. The off-campus housing isn’t super far. I had a car because I had a job off campus. There’s also a mall and more shops further off if that’s super important to you. You may bring a car earlier on but I wouldn’t recommend it, you don’t need it. I knew plenty of people that didn’t have a car until junior and senior year.
What was your favorite off-campus restaurant?
Taverna, it’s Italian rustic food.
What was your favorite place to get away from campus?
I did like going to the mall every once in a while, just because it was nice to get away and there are restaurants around the area and a movie theater.
Pros and cons of being in Newark?
Pros: (1) Safety-wise I never felt super freaked out or anything.
(2) It’s really accessible from I-95, there is a train station nearby, and a mega bus that stops right there. It’s easy to visit friends and leave if you need to.
Cons: Things aren’t open that late. The bars close at 1AM and restaurants close by 9 or 10PM. If you’re used to a big city environment this is not the place for you, but I didn’t mind it.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife did you participate in?
It changed freshman and sophomore year to junior and senior year. Freshman and sophomore year definitely Friday and Saturday and probably Thursday. Junior and senior year we’d go to more bars that have a lot of weekday specials. Tuesdays are big, Wednesdays possibly, then Thursday – Saturday.
Were there regular places you’d go?
Junior and Senior year we’d go to bars on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Then freshman and sophomore year we’d go to frat parties at off-campus frat houses, which were technically on campus but not in the lettered houses.
What’s an alternative to going to a party or a bar that you like for a night out?
I had friends that didn’t like to go out and they weren’t alone. We would hang out on our floor a lot. There are a bunch of student activities like there are movies every Friday night.
How happy are you with the nightlife? Is there anything you would change if you could?
Things were so far away because Delaware’s campus is pretty big, so walking that distance is a pain. Overall, I was really happy. Things changed a lot from freshman and sophomore year to junior and senior year, and going to the bars was nicer. I liked that freshmen and sophomores couldn’t go to the bars because it was something you looked forward to. It’s kind of a rite of passage to go to the frat parties and then move on from that.
How did you meet your closest friends?
My floor freshman year. I had a group of 4 girlfriends and I’m still close with them now. I made some close friends through my sorority, as well.
How would you describe the overall social scene at Delaware?
I think it’s great. It’s a work hard, play hard environment. People do take their work seriously so they aren’t always going out, but you can find something to do almost any night. I think it’s a nice balance.
To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
Honestly, the Delaware student population is not super diverse, which isn’t good at all. But, I never had a problem with it. My freshman floor had different races and sexual orientations and they mixed, but the majority of people at Delaware are white. I have never heard of any problems, but I wasn’t exposed to it as much because it wasn’t as common. [About 71% of students are White.]
What is the impact of Greek Life on social life?
I found it really useful because, coming from a small school, being in a sorority of 300 girls helped me make everything a little bit smaller because I got to know so many more people that I wouldn’t have normally met. It helped a lot because I wanted the smaller school feel, and having that community helped me feel much more at home. [About 28% of students are involved in Greek life.]
To what extent do people inside and outside of Greek life mix?
I would say there’s a pretty big divide between Greek and non-Greek people. There are plenty of other things to get involved in, but I would say Greek life is becoming more popular because they were adding more sororities and fraternities when I was there. It’s getting more popular, but not in a bad way. It’s easier for the sororities to mingle with the fraternities because we already have philanthropy events together.
Do people generally seem happy with Delaware by senior year? Do people “love” your school?
Yeah definitely. I didn’t have any friends that transferred or anything. All of my friends loved it. Everyone I knew were all really happy with their decision and I definitely wouldn’t change it.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
Yeah definitely. For hospitality we have an administrator that would send us alumni information in the field that we could connect with. I worked with an alumna that worked at the Four Seasons.
What have you used the career office for? How helpful have they been?
Yeah, I did. I went to them sophomore and junior year for help with my resume. For one class we had to get our resume approved by career services. I went on my own to get help with my resume and to get help with internships. They were actually really helpful and a useful resource.
Do you feel that your education prepared you especially well for your job in any way?
Like I said, the only thing it didn’t prep me for is the work hours, but there isn’t a way to do that. I’ve definitely gone back to notes that I’ve had from classes to use in my job now. I think they taught me a good amount of skills. For what they could teach me, I think they did a good job.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew before entering Delaware?
I didn’t rush until I was a sophomore, and freshman year I was overwhelmed by not knowing people, so I’d recommend rushing earlier on and doing as much as possible and getting out of your comfort zone to meet more people and make more friends. Getting that support system early on is really helpful and helps you not get homesick.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Try one of the restaurants on Main Street because that’s where you’ll be eating for the next four years. Definitely check those out because they have a lot to offer.
Reasons to attend University of Delaware:
1) It’s a big enough campus but it’s not huge to the point where it’s super, super overwhelming.
2) There’s definitely a lot to do socially.
3) The workload is challenging, but not impossible.
4) They really help prep you for internships and help match you with jobs. Most of my friends have jobs and know what they’re doing.
Reasons to not attend University of Delaware:
1) It’s expensive if you’re an out of state student. [For the 2018-2019 academic year, the tuition for out of state students was $34,310.]
2) If you’re looking for an environment where there’s going to be a whole, whole lot to do in terms of nightlife it’s not for you because there’s not a ton of bars and they close pretty early.
3) It’s not for you if you want a city environment.
4) If you’re a guy and not interested in Greek life you might have a harder time finding things to do freshman and sophomore year, or at least until you’re 21.