Admissions Office
John Rodriguez '23

John P. Rodriguez '23

Job Title
Admissions Interviewer

Why did you choose Union?
At the beginning of my college search, going to a small, Division III, liberal arts college that’s only an hour and half from my hometown was not at all on my radar. I saw myself at a large, DI sports school where I could take as few non-major classes as possible.

However, as I visited the schools I was considering, the environment of other schools always left me lost and feeling like I was visiting the same school over and over again. These environments made it seem as if creating an enriching campus community was secondary to infinitely expanding and advancing the school as an institution…until I visited Union. Instantly, I was intrigued by what Union had to offer – from the size of campus, the way it engages the community, the unique trimester system, the vibrant and plentiful student activities life offered by Union. Union stood out as different, not just from the big schools, but from comparable schools. To me, Union struck me as a student-first institution, which is why I ultimately chose Union.

How do you describe Union to your friends and family?
When describing Union to my family and friends I typically emphasize the community atmosphere that emanates throughout the campus. I talk about the frequent open-invite campus events, easy-to-join clubs, and group work assignments, and how they provide ample opportunity to form important relationships and casual friendships. I tell people that every school should be on the trimester system and how it makes so much more sense and why it’s so well-structured. Lastly, I’ll tell them about the research opportunities and how they uniquely allow you to work at your own pace and with your own goals in mind.

What has been your favorite class assignment at Union?
My favorite class assignment was the final essay I did on sampling, fair use, and private property theory for a class called “Politics and Private Property,” one that showed me how deep Union’s interdisciplinary opportunities can run. Bringing together an economic concept like property with my passion for music in a philosophical paper allowed me to simultaneously cover my two majors and a huge out-of-classroom interest of mine.

What is your favorite place off-campus in Schenectady?
While the whole of Schenectady’s Italian scene is hard to match, I’d have to go with Civitello’s on North Jay Street. Few places can approach the combination of both product quality and variety they offer, along with the way they make you feel like you’re a part of the family at Civitello’s.