University of Vermont
BackgroundInterview Date:August 2018
Gender Identity: Male
Race/Ethnicity: Biracial: Half Indian – Half Asian
Graduation Year: 2020
Sexual Orientation: Straight
High School Experience: Private school in Manchester, Vermont with about 160 students in graduating class. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Major: Business, with a concentration in Marketing and a theme in Entrepreneurship
Minor: Sports Management
Extracurricular Activities: I’m on a club sports team, I’m in a fraternity, and some small business clubs. One is a community service group with small businesses. I help with the marketing for small businesses and firms that can’t afford it, and for another, I help people build their resumes.
Had any of your extracurricular activities had particularly a big impact on your experience?
Being on the executive board of the fraternity had a big impact. That has taught me about leadership. That has benefited me and I have received jobs by having that on my resume.
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
It is a lot of problem sets and group work. The business simulations that are primarily group work and the accounting classes are problem sets. We focus mostly on the problem sets and studying concepts.
What are your major graded assignments?
It depends on the semester on how many presentations I have. One semester I can have 14 and the other one zero. It depends on the type of classes, but on average, five to six big presentations per semester. We also have graded exams.
Is there anything that you feel your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
Something that my major’s department has done poorly is the way they have set up the major before you declare your concentration. During my freshman year, I took business classes, which made sense. My sophomore year, they only made me take accounting classes and afterward I was able to pick my concentration. I chose Marketing and had never taken a marketing class. Students who chose Finance had never taken a finance class, but Accounting-concentrated students were able to start with classes before the concentration was chosen. I still have not taken any Marketing classes and I think this is something that is done poorly. You should have classes from your concentration during sophomore year, rather than just taking accounting classes.
Something they do well is diving deep into the knowledge of business in a broad sense. My freshman year we had classes on business itself, so learning about corporations, small businesses and every type of businesses.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s collaborative and competitive. Teachers are willing to help you. They have office hours, but if you can’t make them they schedule a time for you. I have never had a teacher who couldn’t schedule a time outside of the office hours.
Do you feel that people are open to multiple schools of thought in the classroom?
I’m not sure because there are not a lot of discussion-based classes [in my major]. The teachers are open to all sorts of ideas, but it is not a lot of discussion in class. It is mainly lecture classes.
Why did you pick your major? Are you happy with your choice?
I grew up building a small business and working in a small business with my family. That experience wanted me to keep going with business. I am happy with my major. I still have a lot of classes to take that will teach me a lot and I already have learned a lot. I don’t know how useful everything is that I have learned so far because some classes didn’t apply to my concentration. But, I don’t regret doing business and I like it so far.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: I lived in Harris-Millis. I lived with my best friend from high school. I became close with all the students from my floor and they’re still my best friends. The location was great because it was close to everything, but the dorm was a little outdated.
Sophomore: I lived in Wilks Hall. I lived with another friend. Those dorms were better, but it was further away from my classes. It was a 25-minute walk to the Business school.
What was your favorite place to live?
Harris-Millis, because of the location in the middle of the campus, the people that I have met, and I liked my roommate. Sophomore year the building was a lot nicer and the buildings were close to each other, so that created a quiet little community.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
The safety here is great. There are Burlington police cars patrolling the whole campus throughout the whole night. The dorms are always locked, and if you want to get in you have to swipe a card and have to go through 3 different doors.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
There are a lot of options on Church Street at all different price ranges. The restaurants are easy to get into. They accept reservations, but mainly people just walk in. We have the bus that brings you down to where all the restaurants are, which is really helpful.
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
I go to North Beach. That is where many of the students are going, especially in the summer it is nice to hang out.
Pros and cons of being located in Burlington, Vermont?
1) Burlington itself and downtown, it is nice and right by the water.
2) Even though it’s freezing here in the winter, spring and fall are nice.
3) There is good skiing.
1) I live in the North End and the crime is heavier around here. My neighbor got broken into the other night and there were stabbings around here.
2) Burlington has a huge homeless population, which is sad.
3) There are no grocery stores in Burlington. All the grocery stores are outside Burlington, so if you want to do groceries you have to take the car and otherwise, you have to take the penny bus which takes a while.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
There are parties, but the party scene isn’t as heavy as people think it is. The school puts on some events on the weekend like movie nights and there is a nice downtown where people go to. I like to go out with my friends to fraternity parties, off-campus house parties and bars.
What nights of the week do you usually go out?
There are house parties on Friday and Saturday and sometimes on Thursday.
Can you describe a typical night going out during your freshman year?
Everyone would come together in one room and when we are all together someone would have an address and then we would go to a party.
Do freshman boys have trouble getting into parties?
It depends on where the party is. If it is a well-known house party they will have a tough time getting in, but getting into a normal house party is pretty easy. My fraternity is one of the few who doesn’t care if you are a guy or a girl, we will let you in.
What do you think the impact of Greek life is on nightlife?
Greek life is not that big of an impact on UVM. They kicked some of them off campus. They’re cracking it down and fraternities are scaling back and focusing on recruitment and what they can do, rather than parties because everyone is on thin ice. The fraternity and sorority scene are a lot lighter than it used to be, and every year it becomes lighter and lighter.
How happy are you with the weekend options at UVM? And is there anything you would change?
I don’t want to change anything. Everyone can go to a party on the weekend. There are always a few parties and it is not hard to find out about it. The parties stay under control and the Burlington police are really good with them. If they come, they don’t breathalyze or give citations, they tell you to leave and to shut down the party and no questions asked. They don’t give a lot of fines, I think Burlington police handles it really well. It makes nightlife more enjoyable.
How did you meet your closest friends?
I met some of my closest friends and girlfriend during my freshman year in Harris-Millis and they were on the same floor as me. I met other close friends during a travel study in Boston and we met in the Sports and Management Program. We see each other almost every day.
What was the travel study program you did?
In spring break UVM offers travel studies where for a week each semester you basically take an online class and during spring break you go somewhere. I went to Boston, but you can also go to Costa Rica or Europe. I really like that it relieves the course load with an online class, you still have 3 credits and you get to travel somewhere in the spring.
How would you describe the overall social scene at UVM?
Everyone at UVM is nice and friendly. Everyone approaches each other. People are spirited and willing to meet new people and make friends. It is a great place to come.
To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientation mix socially?
Different sexual orientations mix really well. UVM is one of the top schools for the LGBTQ community. The majority race is white around 90%, everyone else integrated well, but most of them stick to their own racial communities. There’s no problem with race or sexuality at the school and everyone is open.
Do you think people are generally happy with their choice of UVM? Do you think people love UVM after they graduate?
They do love UVM. All the alumni are positive about UVM and enjoy the school. I haven’t heard any complaints about it.
Has the alumni network helps you find internships or jobs?
There is a whole center at UVM to find internships and advisors who help you with that. There are mandatory seminars about finding jobs in the business school. It has been helpful, I found out I was not able to find my current job without their help.
Did you learn any computer programs that will be especially helpful for you professionally or for your course work?
In one of our classes, one half was about investing and the other half was about Excel. You use Excel in almost all your business classes. That is the only program that we have learned.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew before you entered UVM as a freshman?
I wish I had known how heavy the drug scene is here. At UVM it is all about [marijuana] and people are smoking a lot. Weed is a really heavy influence around this campus. [Although the state of Vermont legalized cannabis possession and consumption for individuals 21 and older, University of Vermont does not allow cannabis possession or consumption on UVM property.]
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
The North Beach. I didn’t know about it before I came to this campus, and it’s a frequent thing to do when it’s warm. When I visited the school, I looked at Church Street and went to the waterfront. I don’t go to Church Street or the waterfront that often, but I go to the beach or play sports outside often. I wish I was able to see the beach before I came here because that would have been a big deciding factor.
Reasons to attend UVM:
1) People see UVM as a state school, but the school is pretty rigorous and you get a good education. They want you to work hard and you are getting your money’s worth, especially when you are in-state.
2) Everyone is friendly and willing to meet new people. People are willing to work with each other and they are inclusive.
3) The campus is beautiful. It is great to walk around and there are a lot of things to do downtown.
Reasons to not attend UVM:
1) The drug-heavy scene. If you’re not into it, it might not be the school for you. I was not big in it, and it has definitely annoyed me in regards to my peers. [Vermont has recently legalized recreational marijuana.]
2) Don’t come to UVM if you don’t like winter. The winters are freezing.