Finding It All at Mac

findingitallatmac646.jpg

Gerbrand Hoogvliet

CATEGORY: Student Life
TYPE: Articles
RELATED PROGRAMS: Economics, Philosophy

By Gerbrand Hoogvliet ’11

Zwolle, The Netherlands
Economics, Philosophy
After Mac: Master’s in legal and political theory, University College in London, England 

I thought going to a college in a different country would require a lot of adaptation on my part. What I found instead was a school that strove to accommodate my interests and passions.

My pre-college sports record had been eclectic, from soccer, swimming, and rowing to—unlikely as it may sound—competitive croquet. I worried that my lack of proficiency in one specific sport would make me ineligible for a serious sports team, but club sports at Macalester quickly proved me wrong, and I ended up playing water polo and rugby my freshman year alongside committed team members with highly experienced coaches.

Mac students are driven without being overly competitive, a rare quality to find and one I value immensely.

Since I had a keen interest in philosophy and economics, majoring in both was an easy decision. After high school I had taken a gap year to do development work in Cambodia. This year I wrote my economics capstone project on development indicators in Cambodian households, using skills I learned in my econometrics class. Simultaneously, I was working on my honors thesis in philosophy, focusing on global justice and the obligations of developed countries in poverty alleviation.

Support from faculty has been crucial in getting to this level of scholarship. Professors are very accessible and most will help you in whatever way they can, even if you are not in their class that semester. They take a personal interest in your learning, which has been very motivating.

But the most motivating factor has been my classmates. Macalester students hail from across the U.S. as well as over 90 additional countries, which brings many different perspectives to class discussions. Mac students are driven without being overly competitive, a rare quality and one I value immensely. I have found great friends who are passionate about their academics and who also know how to enjoy themselves outside of the classroom. You could say I found it all at Mac.

PUBLISHED: 12/09/2011