Class year: 1999
Company/organization: Recovery and Relief Services
Job title: Director
Company URL: www.recoveryandrelief.org
I would love to connect with students. In addition or instead of attending the Schmooze, I am available for one:one meetings during the weekend. Drop me an email and we'll arrange a time to meet. I arrive on Thursday.
How did you get where you are? (e.g., education, brief work history, mentors)
After Reed I used my social science degree to get a job in the dot com boom. Realizing that I hated corporate life, I dropped out and started working at a non-profit helping small entrepreneurs. This led to volunteering with the Peace Corps in Mongolia, underwriting microfinance loans in New York, and leading small business recovery with commercial fishermen in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. I now have my own consultancy working with municipalities, NGOs, and First Nation tribal governments to plan economic development activities, or engage in post-disaster recoveries. I have a Master in Public Administration from NYU, and am currently a Ph. D. candidate in Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia.
What lessons have you learned along the way that you'd like to pass on to current Reed students?
Two pieces of advice: 1) I was a full financial aid student, and still have student loan debt. Don't let the debt obligation cloud your vision of what's possible after Reed. There's lots of ways to pursue the career you want, while either reducing or postponing payments in the interim. Do what you're passionate about and nothing less. 2) Don't worry about linear trajectories. The first or second job you take out of Reed doesn't set your career path, so don't put a lot of pressure on yourself to do the right thing. Look for interesting experiences, or employers who care about mentorship. You'll have to get an advanced degree at some point, so use that as your career reset. In the meantime, just learn about the world outside of academia and enjoy your life.
In what ways you think you can help Reed students?
I can help students interested in community development and public service, mostly through providing career advice and vetting career choices. Life after Reed is a fog - it helps to find someone who knows the way out.
What else should students know about you? (e.g., volunteer engagement, avocations, interests)
I like dogs and beer. I still think Homer nailed it. I married a Reedie (statistics don't lie as much as you think they might).