The Center for Life Beyond Reed

Division of Student Services

Mark McLean

Class year: 1970
Major: Psychology
Company/organization: Bonneville Power Administration
Job title: Computer Specialist
Company URL:

How did you get where you are? (e.g., education, brief work history, mentors)

After Reed, I went to the Electronic Computer Programming Institute, where I learned several programming languages. The economy being what it was, it was several years before I got an actual computing job working for TRW in setting up the realtime control system for Bonneville Power. I worked on several jobs after that, learning realtime process control and electrical distribution software. Finally I returned to work for BPA, where I have been for 33 years now, writing energy management system software for the Pacific Northwest.

What lessons have you learned along the way that you'd like to pass on to current Reed students?

Invent, then reinvent as necessary. This applies to your job and yourself. Pay attention to what other people are doing, but don't feel obligated to do it the same way.

In what ways you think you can help Reed students?

Helping navigate the oddities of government work, which is a very unique work environment, both to get into and to work in.

What else should students know about you? (e.g., volunteer engagement, avocations, interests)

I volunteer to run technical equipment at a church. As an aftereffect of Hum 110, I've become interested in cultures, and how they progress from one stage to another.