Connecticut College Magazine · Winter 2014

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Katherine Bergeron, Connecticut College's 11th president. Photo by Harold Shapiro

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Five years out

Five years out

A look at the whereabouts of the Class of 2008

by Ed Cohen


Five years after graduation, the overwhelming majority of members of the Class of 2008 were employed or in graduate school, sometimes both simultaneously.

Last year, the College's Office of Institutional Research set out to learn the status of former students five years after their graduation. The office was able to find verifiable information (often by looking at people's profiles on the business networking website LinkedIn) on 379 of the 440 members of the Class of 2008 or roughly 86 percent. Of that total, 97 percent were found either to be employed or in graduate school.

Graduates from 2008 were working as software engineers, scientists, investment advisers, auditors, lawyers, editors, actors, illustrators, policy analysts, pathologists, fundraisers, chefs, account executives, economists, entrepreneurs, teachers, consultants, coaches and program administrators, among other professions.

Some went to work immediately after graduation in a field related to their major. Others immediately started graduate school before launching a career. Still others had experienced different sequences of work, professional certification or graduate study, sometimes simultaneously. Some were engaged in entrepreneurial pursuits.

Almost universally, the alumni contacted for this article said they were satisfied with the education they received and where they stand in life.

Brendan Curran '08, who majored in economics, credits his education with helping him succeed as an investment strategist in the defined-contribution group of State Street Global Advisors in Boston. He said the College taught him how to be flexible in approaching problems and assignments and how to work on teams with people from diverse backgrounds and with different skill sets.

“My education at Conn was excellent preparation for postgraduate life,” he said.

Emily Winslow '08 (sociology and religious studies) is an “innovation fellow” at a company — JVA Consulting in Edgewater, Colo., near Denver — that consults on the marketing and communication needs of nonprofits. She develops new social-media products and services through a “social innovation lab.” She says her liberal arts education taught her how to disentangle complex ideas and problems. In addition to working, she is in the second year of a master's program in international development at the University of Denver Josef Korbel School of International Studies.

Keith M. Drake '08 (psychology) didn't complete his higher education until 2012, when he finished his Ph.D. in health services research at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. He now works as a senior associate for Greylock McKinnon Associates, a small consulting firm in Cambridge, Mass., that specializes in conducting economic analysis for use in litigation. The group he works in often assists lawyers of plaintiffs in antitrust cases, typically involving large class-action lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies. 

In addition to his work at the consulting firm, Drake continues to publish academic manuscripts in the fields of obesity epidemiology and health economics, as well as on topics related to his work for his employer, he says.

Drake says the detailed feedback he received on his senior thesis from Class of '43 Professor of Psychology Joan C. Chrisler helped him become a better writer, and the psychology department's statistics and research methods courses helped him excel in graduate school. He added that running cross country and track for Coach Jim Butler taught him the value of hard work and persistence.


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