Student Profile

Alex Ireland

What brought you to Saint Michael's College, and how did you make your decision?

I applied to eleven schools, and I just wanted to keep my options open. I had been looking at St. Mike’s since my sister toured it when she was applying to schools. I was a freshman in high school then, and I just kind of fell in love with the campus, and so it was always in the back of my mind.  My dad grew up here, and I still have a lot of family in the area, so I’ve been around here before and I’ve always liked the location. As I continued to tour other places, and then St. Mike’s for a second time, I still felt the most at home here.

What’s one incredible memory or experience that you’ve had here so far?

I did the pre-orientation weekend program, and one of my senior leaders and I hit it off there. One day he messaged me and he was like, “I remember you telling me you played goalie on your soccer team in high school, my intramural soccer team needs a goalie tonight and it’d be great if you could come”, so I said sure. I played with a bunch of seniors that I had never met before against a really solid team; they had actually won the championship the year before. But, we ended up beating them by a lot. I played really well, and I was really excited, and they invited me to keep playing with them.  

Have you had a favorite class so far?

Yeah, I would say macroeconomics is my favorite class. It’s really interesting to me, and my professor, Dr. Kessel, uses a lot of real world analogies that relate back to economics. He’s really good at putting everything in context, so some of the less basic economic theories become easier to synthesize. He’s probably my favorite professor; I really like his teaching style.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

It’s weird, a lot of stuff I do at home I don’t really do here. I like to read, I really like classic novels –they're books other people my age don’t necessarily read outside of class, but works that are important to the history of literature. This summer I read The Brothers karamazov by Dostoevsky, which was fascinating. Other than that, I like to hang out with my friends, listen to music, that kind of thing.

What made you decide to major in Business?

I’ve always been really interested in business. I’ve been working in restaurants since I was thirteen, and I eventually worked my way up to management. Managing the restaurant was really challenging, but I felt comfortable with what I was doing, and I like the management position in general. You have a lot of power over people’s actions in the restaurant, but you have to learn to use your authority only when you need to. There’s nothing worse than working under a manager who abuses their power or neglects you as an employee. My extended family also owns a company local to Chittenden County, and it would be an awesome experience to work with them if that’s where my path leads me. 

What would you say to prospective students about the college process? Any advice?

I would say just remember that it’ll all be over eventually, and it’s definitely worth applying to as many schools as you’re interested in because it’s really nice to have a lot of options when it comes down to picking a school. As far as picking a school, as cliché as it is, I would say there really is something to choosing the place where you feel the most at home. Everybody talks about getting a certain feeling at a certain campus, but for me that was definitely true with St. Mike's.  

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I’m a really good whistler. When I was young, during the summers my parents would both work during the day, so my grandparents would watch me and my sister. My grandfather would whistle all the time, and he was really good at it. I thought it was the coolest thing, so I started whistling too. I’ve been doing it for so long that I’ve become good at it, and I often have to stop myself from whistling in public. 

What’s been your biggest challenge during your time here, and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge, I would say, was finding the motivation to finish my work when I felt really overwhelmed. There was a point early in the semester when I just had a ton of work piled up, and I felt super overwhelmed. I was in the library and I just wanted to stop and go to bed and try and finish it the next day. But I took a break, sat back for a couple minutes, went for a walk around the library and told myself that if I finished all of it tonight, then I’d be free tomorrow to sleep in and do whatever. So I just cranked it out and had a nice, relaxing day the next day.

What would you say about the community here?

A lot of people talk about what a tight knit community it is, and that was definitely one of the big selling points for me when I initially chose the school. Then when I got here, I was like “wow, they weren’t lying, it really is a tight-knit community”. You don’t really sense any hostility between the seniors or the freshman, or anything like that. It’s a really open community, and everyone is kind and endearing toward each other. 

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