For the latest edition of Oberlin and Beyond, I had the opportunity to interview the talented Jai Cunningham. Cunningham is a student-athlete who plays basketball and studies economics at the college.
In our interview, we discuss Cunningham's experience as a student-athlete at Oberlin, her favorite events at Oberlin so far, and her plans for the future. I hope you enjoy.
TM: How did you first hear about Oberlin? What made you want to attend?
JC: I heard about Oberlin from a college fair I went to in high school and knew that I wanted to go to a smaller liberal arts school. Then a year later I was recruited by the women’s basketball coach and he convinced me to visit! I’m from Chicago so the flight was only 40min to Cleveland and my family liked the tour of everything.
TM: As a member of the women's basketball team, what has your experience been like as a student-athlete at Oberlin? How has this been affected by the Coronavirus?
JC: My experience as a student-athlete has been cool. I’ve always felt supported by my coaches and all of the staff at the athletic department. It feels good to be on a first-name basis with many of the other coaches, and it’s a very familial environment. At first, coronavirus made connecting with my team and coaches harder because we weren’t able to have any in-person events, but with the help of technology we’re able to talk regularly again. Hopefully, with a vaccine, things will slowly return to normal.
TM: Speaking of in-person events, what has been your favorite event you have attended since coming to Oberlin?
JC: My favorite in-person event was definitely the stand up show that OHOP (Oberlin Hip Hop Collective) put on last year during black history month. I loved seeing Zach Fox and even got a chance to talk to him after the show.
TM: Why did you decide to pursue economics as a major and what has your experience been like in the department?
JC: I went after economics because I had a strong math background from high school and I’ve always liked the Econ classes I took before. I wanted to major in history at first but changed my mind. I’ve had only good experiences in the Econ department, the professors are all super knowledgeable and experts in their fields. For example, my major advisor John Duca has over a decade of experience working for the Federal Bank of Dallas.
TM: Where do you see yourself in ten years? How do you see Oberlin helping you get there?
JC: 10 years..... Well, I’ll be 4 years out of law school by then. I’ll probably end up doing a joint JD/MBA program (end up with a law degree and an MBA in 4yrs). I honestly have no clue where I’ll be, but a few of my goals are to own my home - and a few other real estate properties in various cities. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m living in Chicago in 10 years, but I might be somewhere completely random, who knows.