Washington University in St. Louis
BackgroundInterview Date:Summer 2018
Sexual Orientation: Straight
Graduation Year: 2020
High School Experience: I went to a really large elite public school in Westport, CT. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Majors: Math and Finance double major
Extracurricular Activities: I’m [on the board] of the Olin Venture Fund, MoneySync, which is a business tutoring club, I’m in a sorority, and I’m on club tennis.
Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your experience?
I would say my sorority has had the biggest impact on my social life and well-being at college.
What is your weekly coursework for your majors like?
I’ve mostly taken math classes so far. We have a lot of weekly homework assignments and usually three to four exams a semester. The math classes really aren’t too bad, you can definitely survive them. I did one semester of chemistry and physics, and that was terrible, they were so hard.
Is there anything that you feel your major’s departments do especially well or especially poorly?
I think the focus is a little bit too much on memorization and it should be focused more on learning. I also think the classes are too big for math.
Can you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s very collaborative. Everyone is very friendly and working together.
Favorite Math class so far?
Matrix Algebra, it was really fun.
Least favorite Math class so far?
Calculus of Several Variables, it was the worst class I’ve ever taken.
How accessible have your professors been?
Not accessible. It’s just that math people are so bad at human interaction they try to avoid it.
What made you choose that combination of majors and are you happy with your choice?
To get a good job. I want to go into consulting after college.
What kind of nightlife do you participate in at Wash U?
Mostly frat parties, but there are a lot of nights where nothing’s going on and you just hang out with your friends and watch movies or something.
What nights of the week do you regularly go out?
I’d say once a week is pretty standard for Wash U students, typically Friday or Saturday.
What have been your favorite days or nights at Wash U?
Usually it’s the chill nights where I’m hanging out with a few friends. I don’t like going out to big parties that much.
What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
Oh, it’s everything. If you’re not in a sorority or fraternity, it’s not good for your social life if you want to go out. It is a lot harder to make friends if you’re not in Greek life. I don’t think people treat people not in Greek life particularly well. [About 35% of students are in Greek life].
How happy are you with the nightlife options at Wash U?
I was highly disappointed. The culture’s very strict with parties. Like, if frats have unregistered parties, they get in trouble, and each frat is only allowed two invites per fraternity member, which makes it really hard to go out with all of your friends in a big group.
So, when you do go to frat parties, it’s usually a mixer?
Yeah, I pretty much just go to mixers, because if I want to go out, I want to go out with all of my friends. I don’t want one to be left out and not invited.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Lien with one roommate, and two suitemates who lived in the next room over through a bathroom.
How was transitioning from your Connecticut to St. Louis?
Really easy, there are so many people from the Northeast. It hasn’t been hard at all.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
On campus is really safe, I haven’t heard of anyone having any issues.
Favorite off-campus restaurant?
Pros and cons of being in St. Louis, MO?
1) There’s always a lot to do. It has the big city charm of having clubs, bars, museums, parks, and there’s a nice zoo.
2) There’s a really nice entrepreneurial network in St. Louis.
3) There is also a lot of hometown pride, so if you want to get a job in St. Louis or the Midwest. Wash U is one of the best schools in the Midwest, so it is really easy to get a job there.
1) When you leave campus, it’s not very nice and parts of it can be unsafe.
2) I’m a really big hiker and backpacker, and there’s not much to do outdoors around St. Louis.
How did you meet your closest friends?
How would you describe the social scene?
It’s very Greek life dominated for sure. People are definitely on the shyer side. If you’re not that much of an extrovert, I highly recommend Wash U because it’s really easy to make friends if you’re on the quieter side. I think Wash U is the kind of place where everybody has their niche, and nobody is going to judge you for what your niche is. There are people in the anime club, there are people that do theater, there are people who do sports and they kind of stick to themselves, but there is no judgment from anyone.
Do you think people are happy with their choice of Wash U by the time they graduate? Do you think people leave loving Wash U?
Oh yeah, everyone loves it. I’m probably one of Wash U’s biggest critics and I still like it. Everyone is really happy with it.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
Yeah it actually has. I LinkedIn messaged this guy at a Med Device company that I thought was cool we met for coffee, and that ended up being my internship this summer.
What have you used the career office for? How helpful have they been?
So much. I’ve been going there like every week doing mock interviews for consulting, they’ve been helping me with my resume, showing me where to apply to jobs, they give you free access to all these career guides that are super helpful, especially for consulting and investment banking. They are a very valuable resource that I use a lot.
What computer programs have you learned that will be helpful to you professionally?
I haven’t learned much Excel, but that is because I haven’t taken many finance courses yet. I learned R in one of my statistics classes and Java in a Computer Science class.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
Something you wish you knew about Wash U before entering as a freshman?
People don’t party much. You have to remember that Wash U is not a party school so don’t expect to go out and party every weekend, but also know that you can have a lot of fun without traditionally going out.
What is something somebody interested in Greek life should know that we haven’t touched on?
I’d say be very open-minded. Some people try to rank the sororities, but they are all very similar. Rankings are stupid. Even if you’re in a “bottom tier sorority,” it’s better than not being in one.
Reasons to attend Wash U:
1) If you want a collaborative yet elite academic environment.
2) If you want a school that has the elite feeling of an Ivy but is located in the Midwest
3) If you want lifelong friends from all over the country.
4) If you want a really beautiful campus with a lot of resources to help students.
Reasons to not attend Wash U:
1) It really depends on your major. If you want to be a STEM major and want small classes, don’t come because you won’t have small classes.
2) If you want to party four days a week don’t’ come.