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Shipboard Interview with Jeff

By Preston Price

    It was a very sunny day on the outside deck in the back of the ship, and a wonderful place for an interview.  My interviewee, Jeff Leary, was very cooperative but not very enthusiastic about the interview and he tended to respond with short simple statements.  Due to these circumstances, I resorted to going back to him a second time just to elicit more personal information.  Lucky for me, he was just as willing the second time.

    Jeff was born and raised in Rochester, New York.  He currently attends the University of Pittsburgh where is majoring in Psychology and History.  After he told me where he attended school, I assumed that he had heard of Semester at Sea because Pittsburgh had been the previous academic sponsor.  Alsthough this was true, he also knew a number of friends from school that had attended SAS in the past.  Jeff's prior travel experiences are fairly limited, with abroad visits consisting of only visits to Canada and Mexico.  However, I did find out that he has traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and he is extremely excited to visit the various countries that are on the itenerary for the near future.  I personally believe that this is the perfect candidate for this type of voyage.  He has minimal travel experience and is very enthusiastic and opportunistic about future travels.  Jeff made it clear that his upcoming SAS experiences do not necessarily reflect his academic interests as much as his desire to travel.

    I concluded the interview with questions relating to his application process and reasons as to why he was interested in SAS.  He seemed pretty set on going to Semester at Sea when his friends at school had first informed him about the program.  He stated that his parents were very supportive from the start, financially as well as inspirational in terms of being persuasive.  Jeff told me, "Once I had the grades it was just a matter of applying and getting accepted."  Jeff was never unsure about SAS, explaining that he had no fears for the dangers of traveling.  I feel that he was truly looking forward to a new, unique, and possibly life changing experience.

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