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Q&A with Zachary Altman ’19

Zachary Altman 19

New York, New York
Birch Wathen Lenox School
Political Science Major

Why did you decide to transfer to Skidmore?
I transferred because I felt I had outgrown what my previous college offered me academically. I chose Skidmore for a myriad of reasons. Among them, the fact that many students are double majors, there is an abundance of musicians, and class sizes are small. Skidmore also differed from my previous school in that it has no fraternities. I was greatly attracted by the sense of camaraderie and community at Skidmore that appeared to emanate from the people and professors in your major and the extracurricular activities, rather than a Greek-centered social life. Lastly, Saratoga Springs is such a great town!

What does Skidmore offer you that your previous college did not?
At my previous school, there were very few musicians. As a guitarist, the types of groups and bands in which I could play was limited. At Skidmore, I am a member of the Small Jazz Ensemble. Playing with other musicians in that group and otherwise informally is one of the most enjoyable parts of my week.

What advice do you have for others considering transferring to Skidmore?
Visit Skidmore! If you have the opportunity to visit campus, see if you can imagine yourself walking the pathways from class to class, eating lunch in Murray Aikins Dining Hall, and studying in Lucy Scribner Library. Imagine yourself rejoicing with your friends at the beautiful fall weather in shorts, or making snowballs in the winter months. Yes, it snows. Sometimes a great deal, so be prepared for the Winter weather in Upstate New York.

If you know what your major is going to be, speak to the professors in that department about the curriculum. Also, if you are interested in doing research, ask them what opportunities exist for research and internships in the summer.

Are you glad you transferred?
I am ecstatic that I transferred to Skidmore! Even though I have only been on campus for a short period of time, I can say with confidence that the community is welcoming, and that the professors in the Political Science Department are very kind. As soon as I got to campus, my advisor, Professor Feryaz Ocakli, sent me an email asking that we introduce ourselves in person.  From that moment on, I felt like a member of the Skidmore community.

What's the best part of Skidmore so far?
This is a very easy question: the student body and the professors.

What are your future hopes/plans?
I am still uncertain of what my career path will be after I graduate from Skidmore. This summer, I did an internship in the Office of New York City Council Member Ben Kallos, so I might continue working in government after college. I also plan to continue practicing and playing the guitar.