College Types Interview Series: Technical Institution

College Types Interview Series: Technical Institution

Today’s post is the fourth in our College Types Interview Series, and we’re highlighting one student’s undergraduate experience at a technical institution.

When students are creating their college lists for applications, one of the criteria we ask them to consider is the type of school that appeals to them. To provide more context, we’ve asked several of our tutors and consultants to share their own experiences at five different types of colleges.

Technical institutions are definitely for those students who have a clear sense of what they want to study before they graduate high school. These private colleges usually have strong liberal arts programs, but their real focus is S.T.E.M. subjects. Many students are attracted to these schools for their high-tech facilities or their strong programs in engineering and other S.T.E.M. disciplines. Note that technical institutions are four-year colleges, not to be confused with vocational associates or certificate programs (sometimes called “technical schools”).

Keep in mind that the mention of any specific school in this series is not an endorsement by Signet.

Name: Vazrik C.

School Attended for Undergrad: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.)

Year of Graduation: 2011

Major (and minor if applicable): Double-majored in Mechanical Engineering & Physics; minored in Math

Thinking back to when you were applying to colleges….How did you hear about your school?

I did some research into schools that were strong in the S.T.E.M. subjects in the Boston area. M.I.T. was definitely on that list.

Did you take a college visit to your school?

Yes. The college visit there was quite honest. It portrayed a lot about student life—exercise facilities, dorm environment, academic culture—which gave me an interesting perspective.

What appealed to you about your school?

M.I.T. emphasized that its students were curious about knowledge and learning, which resonated with me.

Once you were accepted, how did you decide to attend your school?

M.I.T. was my dream school, based on my personality and what I had seen of the students there. I knew that if accepted, I wanted to attend.

Thinking back to your college experience…What did you like about your school academically?

I loved the undergraduate academic experience. I felt like I hit a goldmine of knowledge and learned an enormous amount about topics that helped me prepare for graduate school.

What did you like about your school socially or from an extracurricular perspective?

My dorm had a wonderful, family-like feel, where the people who lived together really cared for each other. Doors were often open, and people supported each other through tough times and celebrated each others’ good times. The campus also had great club sports; I was part of the Shotokan Karate club, which provided wonderful stress relief and was also a great form of exercise.

Was there anything you didn’t like or would have done differently?

I definitely approached undergrad with the “drink from the firehose” mentality, which led to not getting as much sleep as I would have liked.

How well did your school prepare you for what you went on to do after graduation?

Very well. I went on to do a PhD at M.I.T., and the knowledge, study habits, and passion for math and science I gained in undergraduate were critical for my success in the PhD program.

Is there anything else you want to add?

Just that I loved my undergraduate experience!

Want to learn more about the college process? Check out Signet’s Guide to College Admissions.

Picture of Vazrik Chiloyan

Vazrik Chiloyan

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