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“My high school was diverse and I was concerned my college experience wouldn’t be the same. However, Rutgers–Camden is home to people of all cultures, backgrounds, and belief systems. ”
Philip Espiritu
Health Sciences and Psychology
Camden College of Arts and Sciences
Rutgers University–Camden

Meet with Phil

Phil is a senior double majoring in Health Sciences and Psychology. He is the past Secretary of the Catholic Campus Ministry, a member of the Filipino League of Innovative Pinoy Students, and Biology Club. He is a Resident Assistant and is an avid Philly goer.

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Did Rutgers–Camden meet your expectations? What surprised you once you were here?
This environment on campus is welcoming and very diverse. My high school was diverse and I was concerned my college experience wouldn’t be the same. However, Rutgers–Camden is home to people of all cultures, backgrounds, and belief systems. I want my circle to be open to different perspectives and I’m glad my school feels the same way.

How did you get involved on campus?
I have two jobs on campus—I work in Admissions as an Ambassador and as an RA. I am the secretary of the Catholic Campus Ministry. I’m involved in bio, psych, health sciences clubs. 

I came to this campus not knowing anybody or anything about the school. I just showed up and pushed myself to get involved. Now, I feel at home. Everyone says hello, but the campus is big enough that you’re still always meeting new people. 

How has your coursework brought you outside of the classroom?
We’re given a lot of opportunities to volunteer, whether through the classroom curriculum or as a way to get engaged in our free time. After transferring to Rutgers I got involved on MLK Day by taking a bus to Camden, meeting the community, and cleaning up the streets with other students. I also took a class in Childhood Disparities and after gaining knowledge in the classroom we got to see those lessons firsthand. Our TA drove us to visit a nonprofit in Camden and we learned things like how something as simple as a sidewalk can change the community or how being a food desert drastically affects the Camden population. As a school focused on civic engagement, there are many chances to learn more about the place you’re living in rather than keeping yourself isolated within the campus.

What is your experience like with the faculty?
I transferred here not sure what to expect with the faculty. I came from a college that had classrooms full of 500 students and the only way to hold yourself accountable was through a clicker. Here we have direct contact with our professors. They reach out to us one-on-one rather than through a mass email. They really care. In addition to working at Rutgers–Camden, they also work in their field so they have firsthand experience in the lessons they’re teaching. 

This is my second class with a professor who’s had a big impact on my college career. High school taught me a lot, but she taught me about the real world. She often shares her stories to impart some wisdom on our class and even takes up her own time to talk about my future. That personal connection is very important to me.

How do you take advantage of the resources and facilities Rutgers offers?
Rutgers–Camden provided me with many opportunities, especially through the job fairs and internship fairs they hold once a month. The best part is that I only had to wait in line about five minutes to speak to any company I was interested in. If I went to a bigger school, the competition to make an impression would get much fiercer.

The library is an amazing opportunity. Books can be expensive and since I prefer physical books to digital copies, they can get even pricier and harder to find. Because Rutgers is part of the Big Ten Conference, however, we have access to not only every Rutgers library but the other colleges’ libraries too. I can just type in the number of the books I need for my classes and get them shipped to my location. 

The Career Center is helpful in preparing me to apply for jobs. They offer resume workshops and even help you find business attire for the interview.