To sophomore Jacob Ehrlich, Tufts University is about opportunities. “Tufts is innately liberal arts so I can pursue my various passions without being married to one subject necessarily,” Jacob says. For students with a wide variety of interests, passions, and pursuits, liberal arts colleges are the best option to discover these different paths. For Jacob, Tufts goes even further. Besides being able to study different subjects, Tufts, as a research institution, also allows him the ability to study very specific trades at intense levels, like computer science. This is something Jacob thinks is specifically unique to Tufts. “It’s an opportunity that many other liberal arts colleges cannot offer,” he says.
Since middle school, Jacob has been obsessed with filmmaking. While applying to colleges, he was not exactly sure where this passion fit in terms of deciding a major and career. “Not to say I have my whole life figured out now, but I do think my first two years at Tufts have brought me some clarity,” he explains. Filmmaking continues to be a personal and academic passion for Jacob, specifically in terms of the resources offered by Tufts. The camera, sound, and lighting equipment offered through Tufts’ Film and Media Studies program is open for all undergraduate students. “At most film universities, the top equipment is reserved for the undergraduate seniors or graduate students, but at Tufts, as a freshman, I got access to 4k cameras, Steadicams, and professional lighting kits. In this way, Tufts really trusts its students and wants the undergraduates to have as much of an opportunity as students at the graduate level,” Jacob says.
Jacob loves camera equipment and image technology and has decided to pair a Film and Media Studies major with a major in Computer Science. His passion for creating art and his interest in understanding the technology behind film equipment have combined in a unique way, something not uncommon at Tufts. Regarding other opportunities, Jacob sees Tufts as a place to make incredible connections. “In my first semester as a freshman, my film professor gave me the opportunity to be a production assistant on his short film,” Jacob recalls. Jacob is also involved in a band and has met other musicians through Tufts’ music program, playing gigs at different social events. When he is not behind the camera or playing music, Jacob is also involved in a cooking club with his friends and classmates. He finds that while the school can sometimes feel big, he has thrived within a “family-like filmmaking community.” This community makes Jacob feel unique and gives him the confidence to continue to use the broad resources offered at Tufts and expand his network across the community.
As for his future, Jacob feels that he has the advanced academic skillset to do something with his creative instincts. “This is not to say I know I want to work at a camera tech company or be a film director, but rather, whatever path I end up choosing, I will be better off knowing the full story,” Jacob says. This full story is specifically that Tufts presents students with a wide range of opportunities to develop skills for future work. With Jacob, Tufts gave him a variety of liberal arts options but also encourages him to explore these options deeper.