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Andrew-David Herrera '18

Andrew-David Herrera '18
Andrew-David Herrera '18

How did life at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia treat Oakwood alum, Andrew-David Herrera '18? Read more to find out!

Where do/did you attend college?

George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia

What is your favorite way that being an Oakwood student has affected your life in college and after?

Oakwood's sense of community is invaluable and one that I still like to hold on to which has paved the way the motivate me to get involved in my local communities both in an academic and professional sense.

How is college life and its general atmosphere compared to Oakwood?

College life (depending on where you go) was a lot busier than expected. Juggling your social and academic life is something you will need to know how to do. Everything at Oakwood is smaller, but college life just magnified everything tenfold.

Is college a big jump from high school?

Coming from Oakwood, I would say no. It will certainly be a new adjustment for the first three months, but after that, it's very easy to acclimate towards college since there's so many on-campus resources you can rely on.

How does the homework load in college compare to Oakwood's?

In the interest of wanting to be honest, I personally thought Oakwood's homework load was bigger than college's. In college, you have free reign over the workload depending on your classes, how many you sign up for, and the structure of the course as well

How was the college admissions process and what did you find most challenging during it?

The admissions process is not the end of the world, I promise you. While it may seem nerve-racking, you have the support of many behind you. What I found most challenging about it was standardized testing scores and the essays you need to write.

How did you select which school you attended? Anything you wish you knew before you settled on your school?

Location was a big thing for me. I wanted to be as close as possible to Washington, D.C. where all of the Smithsonian museums were. I wish I knew how big my school was. Seeing a number is one thing, seeing it in person is another.

Was there anything that steered you in a particular direction regarding your major and/or career?

Frequent trips to the East Coast (since I was young), specifically Washington, D.C. really stoked my passion for history. Silicon Valley is very STEM-based, something I never really had an interest in. Do what you love and the money will follow.

Do you think it is too late to try to build up your skills for your dream job in high school?

Not at all. As a recent graduate, I will say you might find yourself developing new skills and pivoting towards a different industry than you anticipated. High school is quite early to start building up your skills.

How did you manage your time in high school with sports, AP classes, and other extracurriculars?

Block out your time and minimize distractions! It's insane what you're capable of doing if you're in a quiet room and focused for a straight hour or two. Also learn how to prioritize your classes and deadlines. You'll need it for college!

How do you organize your priorities? When do you put your life before your career/studies?

Many times my health deteriorated for the sake of my studies and it just wasn't worth it. If it gets to the point where you think you need to see your doctor, speak to a professor (or your boss). They will understand. You come first!

What is your best advice for building a successful career?

Connections are key! Be social and rely on your professors. They're there to help you. Tell everyone about your goals (professionally and academically) and they might know someone for you! It's how I got hired at a museum! Be social!

Any other wisdom you'd like to share with our High School students?

Getting into college might be one of the biggest trials you've come across. If you don't make it into your dream school, don't stress. Oakwood knows how to make students that will thrive in their environment, regardless of the circumstances.


Check out this "Meet a Student" interview with Andrew-David Herrera from GMU!