by Brandon Bhajan
Mr. Nowicki makes a “point” while teaching his business class. Mr. Nowicki graduated from Pace University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. (Credit: Brandon Bhajan)
In a new series, entitled “Teachers on College,” The Barron Perspective sits down with Woodbridge High School teachers to discuss their college experiences. The series will look at the unique aspects of their experience, such as transferring, attending an out-of-state school, or switching majors.
Recently, The Barron Perspective sat down with Mr. Nowicki to talk about his college experiences. Mr. Nowicki has been a member of Woodbridge High School’s Business Department for two years. He teaches principles of business/marketing and google apps/digital presentation. Mr. Nowicki graduated from John F. Kennedy Memorial High School, attended Middlesex County College for two years and then graduated from Pace University in 2009. Mr. Nowicki runs a vlog channel and does various other video related things for the school.
Barron Perspective: How did you decide college was for you?
Mr. Nowicki: I didn’t really decide, it was kind of something my family said I had to do otherwise I wouldn’t be successful, and it was also a totally different time. Now I think there’s absolutely alternatives for students besides college, like learning a trade or joining the military. I was always under the impression I had to go to college or my mom would kick me out of the house.
BP: Was there anything specific you looked for when looking for a college?
MN: At the time I looked for the best party school, but that is the worst thing you can possibly look for in a college.
BP: What type of degree did you attain?
MN: I got a bachelor’s in business administration and in specifically marketing, advertising, and promotion.
BP: How was going to school out of state in terms of seeing family/friends?
MN: That’s one of the things I loved about going to Pace, I think a lot of people don’t realize going to New York City is an hour train ride from Woodbridge Township. It’s amazing the financial capitol of the world is an hour from us. It was great to go there cause if I wanted to go home for some good mom home cooking or for somebody to do my laundry, I could. If I wanted to stay and immerse myself in school culture and New York City I could absolutely do that too.
BP: What was the decision process like when choosing your major?
MN:Well I changed majors three times during my college career. I originally wanted to be a doctor, I always liked helping people and I liked the idea of being a doctor, because obviously you make a lot of money and you help people. I liked the idea of being a doctor more than being a doctor. So when I took my first biology class I realized this wasn’t for me so I decided to pursue another passion of mine, which was designing and creating content with business in mind. So I became a graphic design major after my first semester at Middlesex. Pace did not have a graphic design major so I went into marketing because that allowed me to focus more. I got my creative aspect from my two years at Middlesex, and then I transferred into Pace to get that business aspect of it, which has paid off. It was a great decision looking back on it.
BP: What were the classes you enjoyed throughout college and which ones helped you with your major?
MN: I loved photography, I took that at Middlesex. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed and had an interest in, and I was around people who had the same interests as me who wanted to learn new techniques in photography and developing your film. It’s just cool to be around like-minded individuals and that was my favorite class then. At Pace I gotta go with two classes here because the professors were awesome. One was finance and I had Professor Maury. One of the great things about the professors at Pace was that they all worked within their industry before. He was a very insightful individual and his classes were always exciting. My marketing professor always talked about the auto industry and tequila industry which was interesting for a college student.
BP: Do you do anything related to those classes now?
MN: Photography helped with the vlogs I make here in school. Vlogs and video are a bit different but there’s still a lot of the same thing: framing a photo, getting what you want inside the picture frame. In my marketing classes [we learned] understanding your audience; I would create and edit a vlog completely different if I was making a vlog for everybody’s grandparents versus making one for the students.
BP: What are some tips you would give students who don’t really know what they wanna do in college or major in?
MN: I think the one thing a lot of students don’t realize is the potential of college. It’s not just a time for you to go and get a degree. In college they specifically put time in your schedule to explore different topics, and if I could tell any advice to a student it would be to take that time and take the class that you’re most interested in or that you’re curious about. If you’re interested in majoring in finance but you also have an interest in art, you can still declare a major in finance but take that art class and maybe that leads to something totally different, which is great because in college you’re also surrounded by people who share the same interests as you do, or you can at least find those people. Explore as much as you can, take as many classes and workshops as you possibly can, I think that’s what college is about.
BP: How big was the workload of college compared to high school?
MN: I’d say it was bigger but it was a lot different. It was at least at Pace, it was more exploring than, you know, here are the questions you have to answer. In college I feel like they give you an objective that you have to reach and how you wanna finish that is up to you. Whereas in high school, I’m not saying they do this all, but especially for the lowerclassmen and women there’s a lot more direction in it for better or worse. Some students need that and some students need to have that creative freedom.
BP: Was college an overall good experience for you?
MN: It was amazing. If, I mean off the record stay in there as long as you can, if you can afford it stay in there as long as you can. I’m saying it cause it’s such a great time to explore and just for that. Sometimes I’m sitting in mundane meetings and I’m like, “I’d rather be sitting at Pace University Advertising Club.” I’m sitting on social media and their Instagram page like, “Man, I miss that,” because there’s so much great creativity and ideas flowing.
BP: Is there anything else you would like to add to this interview?
MN: College is just an amazing time to feed your mind with amazing things that you’ve mostly been craving, you just didn’t know where to find it, and then when you get to college, one moment it kind of hits you in the head and you’re like, “Wow, there’s so much more out there.” That’s when your life starts to get fun, you realize what you can do and you realize that you live in a world that you have the ability to make a change and man, once you do that, you start to find your purpose.