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Grad says campus community made his college experience rich

Tal Edman ’10 is set to head off for his first professional job, at a Big 4 accounting firm in Portland. First, he shares his take on everything from his profs to his favorite late-night hangout.

How has the “small college experience” had an impact on your education and your future?

Getting a chance to interact with professors has been incredibly valuable. Because of these connections and an internship, I have managed to land a job with KPMG after I graduate.

What made Linfield a valuable experience for you?

I can’t talk about Linfield’s value to me without talking about the people. It’s so nice to be in such a friendly environment where everyone from freshmen to administrators goes out of their way to say hi, where so many are so enthusiastically involved in campus life.

What kinds of activities have you been involved with?

I have carved out a place here. I played four years of varsity tennis, participated in community service, sang in three choirs, performed at Wildstock, participated in a theatre production, served as a peer advisor, studied in Japan, served as an executive member of Delta Psi Delta Fraternity, and skied at Mt. Hood with the Ski and Snowboard Club.

What is your favorite place on campus and why?

My favorite place on campus is the roof of the Delta House, especially on a sunny day. It has a nice view of the north side of campus, but is also fairly private, so it gives the sense of being able to see without being seen. Something about roofs is nice, just being up and away from everything is peaceful and calming.

Where is your favorite late-night hangout?

Going back to the roof theme, I have to say the rooftop bar at McMenamins Hotel. I love being able to sit up there and see the whole valley lit up. Plus, there isn’t much light pollution so on clear nights the stars and moon are phenomenal.

How would you describe Linfield?

Because we are primarily a residential campus, we have this inherent “bubble” that students, faculty and staff exist in, but within this bubble is a vibrant, creative, energetic and friendly community. It is a place where students can learn a great deal, not only about their classes and core subjects, but about themselves and real-world situations through participation in extra-curricular activities.

The willingness of faculty, coaches, peers and advisors to work with me and my constantly full schedule has been amazing, and I have had far fewer hiccups than I could’ve imagined coming in. When I look back at the list of things I have done here, it really blows me away that not only did I pull it off, but I had support from so many people.

How do you feel about the faculty?

I love the faculty here at Linfield, especially the personal interaction involved in having smaller classes. I love that my professors from past semesters take the time to say hi to me in passing on campus and check up on how I am doing.

What kind of diversity have you found among the students?

There are a lot of students from smaller towns who maybe have never even traveled out of the state. On the opposite end are the students from Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles who are used to being in a city and have been exposed to much more. Based on our incredibly varied backgrounds, Linfield is a place full of diverse ideas.

Have you studied abroad?

I had a chance to study abroad in the fall of 2006 at Kanto Gakuin University in Yokohama, Japan. It was an incredible opportunity to experience a different culture. Probably the most valuable experience was the trip I took on my own to go skiing. It gave me so much confidence in myself to know I could navigate my way through a foreign country and make new friends on the spot.

How have you changed from your “high school self” since you have been at Linfield?

I think I have become more aware of the realities of things around me, and more conscious of the “real world” and its possibilities. I have accepted my limitations and embraced my passions. More than anything, I have grown into someone who understands the impact small events in the present can have on the future, instead of someone who simply operates within the now.

Hometown: Tacoma, Wash.

Majors: International business and accounting

Minors: Music and Japanese

Job upon graduation: KPMG LLP, a Big 4 accounting firm in Portland