My First Semester

KENNESAW, Ga. | Jan 4, 2019

Transfer student finds perfect fit at KSU

After two years at a Texas university, Max Vande Beek decided to attend college closer to home, and found the right fit at Kennesaw State.

“I didn’t know anyone when I got here,” he said. “But I’ve made more friends in one semester at KSU than I did in my two years there.”

Max Vande Beek

At his previous school, about 80 percent of the student body are involved with Greek life, and while Vande Beek did not participate, he said that he also didn’t feel connected to his classmates there.

“There’s a lot more people at KSU who are more like me, even those who are in Greek Life,” said the 22-year-old.

Vande Beek explored other universities in the area before deciding on KSU, noting that its location, affordability and “solid biology department” made him more comfortable with the move.

“When I visited last year, I was blown away by the quality of the campus and its infrastructure,” he said. “I love the library. I like the feel of the campus. It’s relaxing but productive. You can really feel that other students are out there grinding it out.”

Vande Beek said that he has always been pretty shy, but that at KSU, students will start a conversation or discussion during class, which then carries over after class and evolves into a fun conversation.

“Students here at KSU are approachable and considerate,” he said. “It’s less about themselves, and more about substance.”

Even small, random conversation starters made his first semester at KSU a memorable one. He said that when he sees someone wearing something that he likes, or playing a game on their laptop he’s played, he’ll tell them, and other students do the same to him when he’s on campus.

Vande Beek knew he wanted to go to veterinary school, so finding a program that would be a good fit and later lead to vet school was important. KSU’s College of Science and Mathematics, with its pre-professional track within the biology program, is giving Vande Beek that opportunity.

Besides being more affordable than an out-of-state school, transferring to KSU also makes paying for vet school easier, he explained. An Atlanta native, Vande Beek plans to apply to multiple veterinary schools in the Southeast.

He will begin work as an assistant at a veterinary clinic, Paces Ferry Veterinary Clinic, this month and believes that the hands-on experience will be beneficial when applying to vet school.

While Vande Beek spent his first semester at KSU adjusting to the move and new classes, he explained that he’s looking forward to exploring clubs and other interests – and the new friends he’ll meet along the way – in the new semester.

– Tiffany Capuano

Photos by Lauren Kress

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 43,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit