DegreeChoices Speaks with: Ohio Wesleyan University

The team at Degree Choices spoke with Laren Wenzell, Associate Director of Admission at Ohio Wesleyan University, for her advice on applying to the college, how students can make the most of their studies, and more.

What advice do you have for students currently starting the application process?

Take your time with your application and be aware of all the dates and deadlines for the schools you are applying to. Also, really make sure you develop your personal essay and activities section.

Students tend to forget the activities they were involved in at high school, so start thinking of these things now and make a list. Even if you were only involved with something for a year, we still want to hear about it.

Don’t forget to list jobs and family responsibilities. We want to learn about who you are through your application, so tell your story!

What advice do you give students on discovering their major?

Take advantage of our liberal arts curriculum and try out different courses. Take a science course, a humanities course, a business course, to see whether there are areas in these courses you really enjoy.

You have plenty of time to officially declare your major, use it to explore your options. You can also work with our career connection office to find out what jobs exist for candidates with different majors. Sometimes a certain major can provide access to jobs you didn’t even know about. You’ll also discover that many jobs don’t require a specific major, but prefer experience instead.

» Read: Our guide to choosing a college major

Who are the most important non-professor faculty students should get to know as they set out on their college journey?

Staff at our career connection office can help when it comes time to look for internships and jobs pertaining to your major. We encourage our students to meet them during their first year. First-year students even get a $10 bookstore gift card for scheduling a meeting.

In addition, student-mentors are great resources if you are looking to take part in a travel experience. Staff at our office of multicultural student affairs are another excellent group of people to get to know. They support students who hold historically underrepresented identities, helping them to achieve their goal of graduation.

What is the best way for students to discover organizations or activities outside of their studies?

Each fall we hold student employment and student involvement fairs for students to connect with offices and departments that have job openings, as well as student groups looking for new members. If you can’t attend either of these, we have a student employment webpage with job postings, plus an entire student involvement website where you can browse different groups and find contact information for each organization.

You can also talk to your classmates, resident advisors, or teammates about groups they are a part of. They can easily introduce you to these groups.

» Read: The best extracurricular activities on campus

What is the best advice for all freshmen at Ohio Wesleyan University?

Get involved and take advantage of the OWU Connection early on! Don’t wait until the first semester is almost over to find the resources available to you. Tutoring is available in virtually every subject, clubs welcome incoming first-year students, and jobs are available for work-study.

The difference between high school and college is you might have to invest a little effort in seeking out such resources, but they are there! Work with your advisor, stop by our career connection office, talk to faculty and other students, and find what fits your niche.

What are your top 5 tips to get the most from your classes?

  1. Get excited about the material. Go to each class with an open mind and think about how it relates to your major or even everyday life. Liberal arts courses all have a deeper lesson.
  2. Connect with your professor from day one. Introduce yourself and find out their office hours. Ohio Wesleyan is a small school, so the professors will come to know your name and who you are.
  3. Study. Reports show that for every hour of in-person class you have each week, you should put in about 2-3 hours of work outside of class. Some classes might come easier than others, but it’s important to set aside some time in your week for personal study.
  4. Find study groups or a study partner. Collaborate with those in your class and study together, use each other for questions, and rely on them for notes if you happen to miss a class.
  5. Do the additional reading. Sometimes professors may assign additional articles and journals that aren’t specifically covered in class. The content is important, and you probably need to know it.

How should students work to develop relations with a faculty member?

Approach them on day one and introduce yourself. Because we are a small school, it will be easy for faculty members to get to know your name, but they appreciate students who are proactive and make the effort to get to know them first. This is also helpful in case you miss a class due to illness or are an athlete who needs to miss a class for a game. The professor will know who you are, and it will be easy to acquire any of the missing materials you might need. You are in college now and treated like an adult.

How can students get help if they are feeling stressed or overwhelmed?

Our counseling services office can help students with various situations. From providing individual counseling to assisting students with time-management skills, they are a confidential and free resource available to any student.

In addition, we offer a fee-based program called Bishop ACCESS  that provides one-on-one academic coaching for students with executive function disabilities including, but not limited to, ADHD, learning disabilities, and mental health disabilities.

About the Ohio Wesleyan Staff Degree Choices Spoke to:

Laren Wenzell is Associate Director of Admission – Northeast Ohio Regional. She cites the best part of being an admissions counselor as working with new students and forging strong relationships with them. She sees choosing a college as one of the biggest decisions in a person’s life, and enjoys helping students with this.

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