University Community

Caputo finds community and direction in University College

Spencer Caputo

When the time came for Spencer Caputo to choose a college, he followed in the family tradition. He chose Ohio University.

The fourth-year interior architecture student is the youngest of six siblings from Cleveland. He arrived at OHIO without a major, but he found his direction and his community, with the help of University College

Caputo, who said he has always been the creative and artistic one in his family, was unsure about turning his love for art into a major and future career. He was interested in fine arts, but also math and psychology. Entering OHIO undecided allowed him to explore his interests and options before declaring a major. Caputo said he was leaning toward a major in fine arts when he began at OHIO but narrowed his focus and chose interior architecture after taking a class with Matthew Ziff, who has since retired, called Aesthetics of Architecture. 

As part of a learning community for undecided students, Caputo got to connect and learn with other students who were also exploring their academic options at OHIO.

“I think the learning community is especially good for the undecided people,” Caputo said. “All of us were kind of in the same boat. I'll always say I love my learning community.” He still talks to many of his classmates he met in his first-year learning community.  

Caputo said his learning community leader and instructor helped him and other undecided students to figure out what they might want to major in. At the time, his learning community instructor was also his advisor.

“I discussed with him what I might be interested in, and he gave his input and helped me find my way, Caputo explained. 

Fast forward several years and all those students who began their OHIO careers undecided have found their passions and their paths in different majors and colleges.

“That means we all found out what we wanted to do, which is awesome,” Caputo said. 

As someone who started out undecided, Caputo values being able to form strong relationships with his professors and other students in his program.

“I really like how close I am with the professors, Caputo said. “It’s not a huge major and I know everyone in the class.” He appreciates how each cohort of students mentors the next group, providing support in the form of friendships or networking for internships and careers.

Caputo has a few pieces of advice to share with undecided students, beginning with utilizing the resources and support provided by advisors and participating in the annual fall majors fair.

“Keep asking questions,” Caputo said. “That helps you like figure out what you would want to do.” He also suggested students get acquainted with sometimes feeling uncomfortable, rather than following the safe and easy route.

“Don’t sell yourself short. Try new things,” he said. “Be honest with yourself. If you decided something and you don’t love it, you’re allowed to switch. You’re allowed to go in different directions and figure yourself out. That’s how you’re going to get to where you want to be.” 

Career exploration is the next big phase for Caputo as he prepares for a summer internship and looks forward to exploring the different career options available within the field of interior architecture. He plans to graduate in 2023.

February 21, 2022
Staff reports