University Community

Snyder finds community in the Russ College

For fourth year engineering technology and management student Andrew Snyder, finding community at Ohio University happened very early in his first year.

As an out-of-state student, Snyder did not know anyone attending OHIO before he stepped foot on campus, but through his roommate, learning community, classmates and student organizations, Snyder quickly found the people who made him feel at home. 

Snyder knew he wanted to attend OHIO from the first moment he visited campus. As a native of a small town in southeast Indiana, Snyder felt a similar sense of home in Athens because it shared that same small-town atmosphere. As a result, he fell in love with more than just the campus, but the atmosphere that resembled home. 

He knew that he would have to establish new connections and friendships but was admittedly reluctant to step out of his comfort zone.

“Being an out-of-state student, I had no friends who came to OHIO. My roommate was my first friend here,” said Snyder. 

He quickly realized that he had to try to find community outside of his residence hall room, so Snyder embraced his fellow learning community members. His learning community instructor helped to facilitate building bonds in the classroom; they encouraged students to switch seats, talk to one another and build connections.

His experience in his learning community then built his confidence to embrace friendships elsewhere. In the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, he found that his instructors were personable and supportive. He began joining student organizations, like the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, which allowed him to meet like-minded students. He also embraced the business-side of engineering technology and management and joined the Ralph and Luci Schey Sales Centre. While his relationships evolved over the course of his undergraduate study, he even recalled a few acquaintances he made from his first days on campus. 

“I sometimes run into a friend I made during our 2022 class picture. We just stood by each other for the photo and now we say ‘hi’ when we pass each other on campus. I was making a friend without even knowing it,” said Snyder. 

As Snyder finishes his final semester at OHIO, he reflected on the impact of the Bobcat community. 

“Bobcats will help Bobcats. I’ve noticed it applying for jobs. Former business majors, journalism majors and engineering majors — you name it — they will always help you,” said Snyder. 

Snyder will graduate in spring 2022 and has accepted a position as a sales engineer for Keyence, a company specializing in sensors and other manufacturing instruments. His success in his career search was largely due to the support from the community he found at OHIO. 

If he were to do it all over again, Snyder recommends that incoming students always go to the recommended, but not required events as a first-year student. 

“I went to a few optional events, but not all. I wish I would have gone to them because you go to those events to calm your nerves, find who you want to be friends with and what you like to do,” finished Snyder. 

February 9, 2022
Staff reports