Jacob Francisco - Class of 2019 (UMass Amherst)

What is your major? I was initially a mechanical engineer major as a freshmen for two semesters. It wasn’t for me. The class was difficult for me. Usually if it’s difficult, I can do it. But I had no desire. My first semester I took 8 classes in it. When you transfers majors to Isenberg School of Management here it’s like scaling Mount Everest. It’s a highly selective process. From there, you learn about all the business things. You learn about how taxes and other behind the scene business things work. UMass is broken up into five colleges which is based on majors. Stockbridge School of Agriculture is for agriculture majors and Isenberg is for business majors. Each college is better to manage their own resources. Isenberg was welcoming with open arms. They are phenomenal. 
What do you like best about studying here? In truth no one likes to study. Learning is not always easy. Best thing about here is I never feel I’m out of resources. If I hit a topic where I can’t understand it, I can go somewhere. Teachers will make office hours on thin air. That’s the feeling I had on almost every professor. Isenberg is that way. I can walk up to any student there and I wouldn’t feel upset or nervous asking them. I genuinely feel that’s the community. Tell me about the ROTC at UMass?

Air force ROTC is a program at UMass. For me it was a perfect fit. Do you come from a military family? I have a uncle who was in the marines, but I don’t know him very well because he lives in the North Carolina. My drive is where I fit because of my drive. I work at Home Depot and the people aren’t as driven as I am. In the military you have people that all want to be here. They want to better themselves. I am so about that. If I am in a group of people where I need to get a task done, that’s so attractive to me. In the military teamwork is huge. I also want to fly in the Air Force. Why did you chose UMass? In high school I was a sharp kid. I had my stuff in a row. I couldn’t have gotten into Ivy Leagues, but I think could have gotten into most any other college. When I heard UMass Dining was the best, that was a huge draw for me. I wanted to go to a school that had a good reputation. And the last component was ROTC. So food, reputation and they had the programs I needed. I am a Western Mass native. I live 30 minutes down the road. I have family in Granby. If I really need help I have family 15 minutes away. I lucked out with this campus and community. I’m sure everyone has unique draws. But for me, UMass has unique draws. Tell me about your small trip to Hampshire College?

I pass Adkins on my commute home from UMass My buddy goes to Hampshire College. I’ve seen beautiful pictures of Hampshire. I’m not an architectural guy, but I can enjoy their architecture. There are interesting dorms. They look accommodating for students. It looks like someone with a creative touch did them that has an identity to Hampshire College that many [colleges] don’t get. It looked like someone genuinely cared making Hampshire College. I like how there is wildlife there. There are trees and bushes. It feels like I walked into the woods and found a college. I crawled around the dorm side and went around the campus. What is your biggest struggle? That’s a loaded question. It’s hard to say. I struggle at something. Can I come back to that one?

What is one thing you would change in this world? I would love to change human hearts. We live with so much fear in each other. Some don’t see it. Some want to help others. I would change it so we live with more honesty. It’s terrifying that people live in fear of one another. I wish you knew how great some people are. I have a coarse personality. I have a hard time connecting to some people. There are people who want the best for themselves, but they cannot communicate it. I wish that barrier wasn’t there. What is your senior year like at UMass? From my engineering friends, they have to do finals projects. For Isenberg, they have to do a capstone project. It’s just a course that dives deeper into material. The way they approach it is different. It’s more that they take real world scenarios and plop you into it. I learned about sustainability which is my concentration. Every capstone class is different, but everyone has to take it.

What do would you want Five College students to know about UMass? On a humorous note, I would love them to try UMass food. I think the dining halls have something unique. I’ve been to many colleges and UMass is the best. If I had to say, “UMass is known for this:” if you want to do research, come hear." Teachers always ask students for help. If that is what you want to do, this is a good place for it. I’ve haven’t taken courses other than UMass. They research a lot. It’s not all engineering or Isenberg. They genuinely research stuff. I say stuff because there is a lot.

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