My Interview Essay
I interviewed Joe Bluford, an African-America student attending California Institute of Technology (CALTECH). Joe was born on January 20th, 1995 and raised in Newport Beach, California. Both o his parents were engineers and studied in the same institution. He is a slim person but of average height and dark in complexion. He has a black hair and pointed ears. His chin is always clean-shaven. I got to know him through social networks several years ago when I still dreamt of joining Caltech. Although my application was not successful, I still maintained my friendship that I had started with several members of the Caltech community. I was lucky to meet Joe personally, and that is when I discovered that he is an African-America. I chose to interview Joe because I consider him as an example of a successful college student, who has made a lot of difference in the community that he lives in. Apart from having the attitude of a servant leader, he has numerous other admirable characteristics such as the ability to manage his time well and high creativity. Moreover, I chose to interview him because he considers no topic to be off limit. The following is the interview that took place:My Interview Essay
Interviewer: Welcome to this interview, Joe, and thanks a lot for accepting to be my guest.
Joe: Thanks for choosing me.
Interviewer: As I had informed you before, this interview will focus on a wide range of issues about your life and cultural experiences. Maybe I would start by congratulating you for managing to join California Institute of Technology. Based on my understanding, this is one of the most competitive learning institutions globally. It is also a common fact that the Caltech is one of the least diverse institutions with African Americans constituting only 1% of Caltech undergraduates. How did you manage to join this institution?
Joe: I was lucky enough to join Caltech. I had a childhood dream to belong to this community. As you know, the institution has established some application requirements that every applicant must meet. Additionally, it has a holistic review method that it uses to determine those that qualify. Luckily for me, I met all the requirements. The results of my standardized tests and teacher evaluations were all satisfactory. Moreover, I was awarded full Caltech scholarship from my first year of study. Presently, the institution is the one covering my entire tuition fee.
Interviewer: You must be from a family of academicians. Tell me about your family history.
Joe: True, both my mother and father are engineers. My mother works for the British Petroleum Company. My father, on the other hand, worked for some time for American Airlines before quitting and going back to college. He studied at Boston University and was awarded a Master’s degree in engineering and later got a job at the same institution. He did not work for long since he started to suffer from diabetes that eventually caused his death.
Interviewer: Sorry for the loss. Tell me about your childhood.
Joe: I grew up in a black neighborhood. Both my parents were strict Christians and ensured I attended church every Sunday. They were also keen on education and ensured that I got the best opportunity to study. I also found going to school very interesting. Apart from giving me an opportunity to meet new friends, it gave me a sense of pride given that I was always the top students in my class. I also enjoyed school activities such as playing volleyball since they helped me to enrich my experiences greatly.My Interview Essay
Interviewer: Most black students have poor school attendance. Are there any days you would miss classes?
Joe: My parents were very strict about education. They would never have allowed such a thing without a good reason. The only time I missed attending classes was when I was sick.
Interviewer: Now that you are studying at Caltech, one of the world’s best learning institutions, how would you describe your experience for the duration that you have been there?
Joe: I would say with certainty that studying at Caltech has greatly contributed to my intellectual development in ways that I could not think of before. I have taken part in several class discussions. Every day, I am challenged to think about different and new ways of solving the problems facing people. One thing that I love about the Caltech community is that professors, deans, dons, and department chairs are all willing to help students achieve the success that they want in their area of specialization. Moreover, though the institution is predominately white, race does not hinder student interactions. All of us are willing to help each other in group projects and discussions.
Interviewer: How would you describe your social life at Caltech?
Joe: When I was admitted to the college, I discovered that I was the only African-American student in my class. Initially, I felt socially isolated and I did not have a lot of friends to hang out with. Through the short interactions that I would have with my classmates, however, I managed to create some friends. At first, I was a bit nervous since I understood that all of my classmates came from very rich families. After staying at the institution for approximately 4 weeks, I realized this was not going to be a barrier either. I had many opportunities to engage with my classmates and learn more about them as they learned from me. It was my classmates together with my professors that challenged my thinking and helped me to realize a transformative experience.
Interviewer: Have you come across a professor or students that are skeptical about your ability at Caltech?My Interview Essay
Joe: No. Everyone knows that the institution gives full consideration to all applicants seeking to join Caltech. Only the most qualified people are selected. Moreover, I am also one of the best students in my class. I have never encountered a person judging my ability on the basis of my skin color.
Interviewer: What would you tell an African-American student that is afraid of studying in a white-dominated school or colleges?
Joe: It makes me sad to think that there are some African –American students who are afraid of taking advantage of opportunities available to study at top colleges simply because of race. Although they should be aware that they will be in the minority, there is no reason for them to be afraid. Joining Caltech was the best opportunity that came my way. The knowledge I have received, the important life lessons that I have learned, and the many friends I have created are clear indications of the benefits of studying in such an environment. I don’t think this would have been possible if I was studying somewhere else.
Interviewer: You have also been doing research related to African-Americas representation in the top colleges in the US, right? Tell me more about your work. Why do you have an interest in this area?
Joe: When my application to join Caltech was approved, I realized that African-Americans were greatly underrepresented. Upon keen analysis, I discovered that Black students are to blame for the current situation. Those who perform exceptionally well fear to make applications for joining top colleges such as Boston and Caltech for the simple reason that their application will not be accepted, and even if accepted, it would be impossible for them to raise the amount of money for meeting the cost of their education. I realized that they are ignorant of the selection process, which is done on the basis of merit. Moreover, they are not aware that most of these institutions provide scholarships to bright but needy students to help meet the cost of attending college. My interest in life is to help narrow the present graduation gap between African-American and white students.
Interviewer: That would be an overwhelming task! Have you already started smoothing towards accomplishing that?My Interview Essay
Joe: Yes. I am already training bright African-American students on the best studying habits. Moreover, every week, I gather information about fellowships, grants, and scholarship opportunities that universities and colleges offer and pass this information to all African-Americans that could be interested in them.
Interviewer: Wow! That sounds great. What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years?
James: I hope that before I finish studies, I will have developed an application that will make my work easier. African-American students will only have to download the application to get constant updates of the available opportunities. I also hope that in future, I will have secured enough funds to start an organization that will work in partnership with top universities to find ways of increasing the number of black students enrolled in these institutions.
Interviewer: What are your hobbies?
Joe: Hiking, traveling, and taking photos.
Interviewer: What is it that motivates you?
Joe: I would say I am driven by results and the need to make a change in society that will make life better for everyone.
Interviewer: Amazing. It has been a pleasure talking to you. Thank for very much for giving me your time.My Interview Essay
Joe: Thanks again for choosing me.