Hometown: Denver, Colorado
Graduation Year: 2018
Favorite Girl Scout Cookie: Thin Mints
5 Things You Might Not Know About Oliver
- I was born in Dallas, Texas.
- I am a Harry Potter nerd.
- Like a real Harry Potter nerd meaning I’ve read the books, not just seen the movies.
- I’ve been all over Europe including Italy, France, England, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany.
- I had never heard of Nazareth College until a week before I applied.
How have your experiences at Naz challenged your expectations about what college would be like?
When I imagined college growing up, I pictured huge seminar rooms with a thousand people in them. The professor would be standing on the stage speaking into a microphone and reading off power point slides. The students would be playing on their computers or phones, waiting for class to be over so they could head to the next crazy party. It was quite surprising coming to Nazareth and having some classes that were even smaller than classes I had in high school; our average class size is about eighteen students and all of our classes are capped at thirty-five. I never imagined forming good relationships with the faculty like I have been able to do here at Naz.
How has your time at Naz sparked your passion?
I’ve definitely gained a lot of inspiration and clarity from my internships. First, I interned with the Marketing and Communications Department on campus and really enjoyed learning about a field I didn’t know much about. Second, I’ve been interning with Underberg & Kessler (a law firm in downtown Rochester) this semester, and it’s made me a lot more confident about my decision to go to law school. I’ve gotten a first hand look at the inner workings of a big firm and their day-to-day processes. That’s really opened my eyes and shown me it’s something I can be really passionate about and successful in.
What are the benefits of participating in the legal studies program at Nazareth College?
A lot of the professors I’ve had so far have actual work experience in the legal field and I think that’s a huge advantage for the classes. My Legal Writing and Research class is taught by a professor who works at a real estate firm in town and she’s able to teach me actual skills I will use as a lawyer versus theoretical lessons that might not translate as effectively into real world scenarios.
What kind of internships do legal studies majors participate in?
I think the most common internship is at a law firm–but I also know that isn’t very common at other schools. It’s often very difficult to intern at a law firm before you enter law school, but through connections I’ve made here at Naz I was able to land one.
What is the coolest class you’ve ever taken in your major?
By far the coolest class I’ve taken was Intro to Law my sophomore year. It was taught Daan Braveman, the president of the college. I have never heard of a college president teaching a course anywhere else. He was an incredible teacher and had so much experience to share with all of us. He was a very successful civil rights lawyer before coming to Nazareth and it was awesome being able to hear about some of his cases and get feedback from him on ways to improve my writing and the way I think about situations.
What does a typical day in the life look like in your major?
My typical day this semester is as follows: I wake up around 8 a.m. and head downtown to work at Underberg & Kessler until a little after noon. Then, I go home to change out of my suit before I go to campus for hockey practice or to workout. Most days of the week I have class in the afternoon or evening at four or six. Finally, I head home and get some homework done before going to bed to wake up and do it all again. It’s definitely a busy semester but work is exciting and I’ve learned a lot already.
What is your advice for incoming freshman in your department?
My biggest advice is to create good relationships with your professors. Every professor I’ve had at Nazareth has a ton of contacts in their field and that really helps with finding internships and learning more about what type of career path you might want to take. By participating in class and working hard on every assignment, you can earn a professor’s respect and they will want to do everything in their power to help you succeed in whatever you decide you want to do.
What is your favorite thing about being a legal studies student at Naz?
The opportunities. I’ve made so many contacts and met so many great role models in people who have a ton of experience and want to share it with me. I still can’t believe how helpful my professors have been with writing letters of recommendation or introducing me to people that work in the fields I’m interested in. When I talk to my friends from back home who go to different colleges, they’re shocked at how much my professors care about helping me get to where I want to be.