Saint Leo University
Graduate with a bachelor’s degree in communication management in April 2013
Saint Leo University was a natural choice for Cody Gude — he’s from the region, his grandparents worked there, and the school’s core values aligned with what he was looking for in a university — excellence, integrity, and community. In fact, during his four years at the school, he’s come to view his classmates as a second family.
Question: Why did you decide to attend Saint Leo? And in what ways has the school met those expectations?
Gude: “I chose Saint Leo University for these reasons: location, heritage, and their core values. I have grown up in the Saint Leo area all my life; all of my family is from this area. This also ties into heritage, my fraternal grandfather and maternal grandmother both worked at Saint Leo University before I was born. One thing that I took away from my campus tour when I was a prospective student was the core values of Saint Leo. The core values of excellence, community, integrity, responsible stewardship, respect, and personal development really stood out to me. This really let me know that Saint Leo would care for me as a person and who I became. I have been with my core group of fellow students in my major for the past two years and we are like a family, we care about each other and we want everyone to succeed. The core values of Saint Leo really back that notion.”
Question: What are some of the best learning experiences you’ve had as a student at Saint Leo?
Gude: “When the Donald R. Tapia School of Business was completed, it really gave students a new way to learn and an excitement about learning. The classrooms in the building are equipped with technology that promotes interactive learning. Having small class sizes at Saint Leo allows students to collaborate and learn together. This in itself I would say is what has been one of the best learning experiences I have had here. Having the technology in the School of Business really allows me and other students to put into practice what we have learned.”
Question: What are some non-academic experiences you’ve been able to pursue through Saint Leo and what have you enjoyed about that?
Gude: “Being a full-time student as well as having a job outside of school really filled up my schedule. This being said, I did complete my first internship last year with the Benedictine Sisters of Florida. The Monastery is located right up the road from Saint Leo. My internship was to create multimedia presentations for the Prioress of the Monastery. Our technology department at Saint Leo provided me with the proper equipment and training I would need to complete the internship. At the end of the semester, I gave a presentation on the SMART Boards in the School of Business about my internship.”
Question: Would you recommend Saint Leo to prospective students? If so, why?
Gude: “Most definitely. Saint Leo tops my list because of the sense of family and belonging you feel when you attend the university. The relationships I have built here will last a lifetime. The experience and the knowledge I have received from my professors and advisors will benefit me greatly in the future. The small class sizes really allow for collaborative learning and one-on-one time with your professors. If you stumble onto a roadblock in class, your professor actually has the time to give you the attention you need. The largest class I have been in during my past two years at Saint Leo capped at 25 students. Within the first two weeks of classes, your professors learn your name and you really get that sense of belonging. Saint Leo is a great university that can appeal to a wide variety of individuals.”