Meet: Spencer Walle '10

Name: Spencer Benjamin Walle

Hometown: Bedford, Massachusetts

Current location: Malmö, Sweden

What were you involved with at Princeton? I studied Near Eastern Studies with a certificate in South Asian Studies. I also worked at Public Safety, was a member at Princeton Tower Club, and proudly led with Outdoor Action.

What's your favorite memory of Princeton? Hard choice - either late meal at Frist with my best friend, or having the privilege of studying Persian literature under Michael Barry

What have you been up to in the seven years (!) since graduation? What are you currently doing? What has your path been like since college? What's next?

Ah! I spent my first year after graduation working as a project manager at a translation agency in NYC. I went on to quit to strike it out on my own as a freelance translator, which is still my job today. In 2013 I chose not to renew my lease and instead spend some time traveling - I ended up falling in love in Iceland and living there for two years before we moved to Sweden in early 2016. We live in Malmö, across the water from Copenhagen, where I'm immersed in at least five different languages in my daily professional and personal life. Despite all this moving around, my professional life has been pretty narrow: translating technical texts from Japanese and German to English. I'm taking advantage of free education here to learn some more languages and maybe expand my repertoire, and I'm hoping to add a side career in programming perhaps a few years down the road.

What about your life now would your sophomore-year self be most surprised by? I was always too timid to take the plunge and study abroad, even for a semester or summer, so I think I'd be shocked that I live abroad now. Sweden was also nowhere on my radar — sophomore Spencer would probably have picked India or China.

What's a lesson/belief/idea/skill you've learned since graduating? Hm, I went from barely being able to prepare spaghettios to being a pretty enthusiastic plant-based cook at home. That, and a bunch of vague things like "having perspective" and "learning to believe in myself" that adults do.

Anything else you want the class to know? Let me know if you're ever passing through Copenhagen – I'm always happy to catch up

Meet: Laura Hankin '10

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Hometown: Washington, D.C.

Current location: New York City

What were you involved with at Princeton?  

I was big into the theater scene (Triangle, PUP, Intime, PSC, etc...), plus Tower. 

What's your favorite memory of Princeton?

The first thing that comes to mind is Dean's Date--staying up all night in Frist with friends, getting loopy as we tried to write 20 well-researched pages in 10 hours, then trooping over to Tower for breakfast sandwiches to celebrate. (It's probably a lot more fun in my memory than it was at the time.)

What have you been up to in the six years (!) since graduation? What are you currently doing? What has your path been like since college? What's next?

When I graduated, I moved to NYC to be an actor. I got to do some really cool shows (as well as some very strange ones, like a site-specific play in an actual graveyard...), but I soon realized how much I wanted to make my own work. So I started writing. I co-created a web series, Emergency Contacts, which is basically live-action female Bert & Ernie. Fellow 2010er Dominique Salerno and I started making feminist comedy videos with our sketch group Hurdy Blurdy (favorites include a trailer for a Ghostbusters reboot starring Hillary Clinton, and a "Santa Baby"-themed plea to Saint Nick to help us freeze our eggs.) And last year, I published my first novel, The Summertime Girls, with Penguin Random House, which was a crazy, dream-come-true experience. Hopefully the future holds more books and more fun creative collaborations, and maybe even being able to support myself solely through my artistic endeavors instead of having to work a bunch of random day jobs. (I've sung to so, so many babies.)

What about your life now would your sophomore-year self be most surprised by?

I think my sophomore-year self would be surprised by how uncertain my whole career still feels. If I told her that I had published a novel and been in a movie, she'd do a big happy dance and be like, "Okay so you're a movie star/famous author now! Cool, SET FOR LIIIIIIIFE!" And then when I told her that wasn't true that all--that I still had to work all sorts of day jobs, and deal with plenty of rejections--her naive little face would fall, and she'd look into switching her major, and then ultimately decide to go into the arts anyway. 

What's a lesson/belief/idea/skill you've learned since graduating?

I've learned to play guitar, kind of! (Like on the level of a fifth grader at a school talent show.) But I've also learned a little more about how to stand up for myself and my ideas, instead of trying to please everyone all the time. (Is this a good enough answer? I hope you like it!)

 

Meet: Andrew Usoro '10

Name: Andrew Usoro

Hometown: Katy, TX

Current location: (Just moved to) Boston, MA

What were you involved with at Princeton? 

Varsity Track and Field (100m/200m dash); Outdoor Action Leader Trainer; Cap and Gown Club Treasurer

What's your favorite memory of Princeton? 

Sophomore Year Halloween (for a variety of reasons), Cap and Gown Pick Ups, various shenanigans with the C&G officers senior year

What have you been up to in the five years (!) since graduation? What are you currently doing? What has your path been like since college? What's next?

Since graduating in 2010, I found myself in Singapore with the Princeton-in-Asia program teaching high school Inorganic Chemistry. I ended up extending my post by another year and lived in Singapore from 2010-2012. Participating in PiA has absolutely been one of the single best decisions I've ever made. I've made incredible friends through the program, learned about an entirely different part of the world, and got to travel quite a bit.

After (sadly) leaving Asia, I started at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, NC in 2012. I had a wonderful 4 years there and every year got better as I became closer and closer to being a real doctor. I ended up deciding to specialize in orthopedic surgery and will be completing my residency at Massachusetts General Hospital with the Harvard Combined Orthopedic Residency Program. I start in June 2016 and I can't wait! I'll also be co-residents with fellow '10 Tiger Vinnie Murthy who is two years ahead of me in residency as I took two years off before going to medical school. My residency will five years long so I'll be in Boston for a while!

What about your life now would your sophomore-year self be most surprised by?

That I spent two years in Asia and have gotten to travel so much! My sophomore self never thought I'd do Princeton-in-Asia in a million years and probably didn't know what Princeton-in-Asia even was.

What's a lesson/belief/idea/skill you've learned since graduating?

You can't escape Princeton. I knew this while I was a student, but didn't really get it until graduation. Princeton somehow found me in Asia and continues to find me wherever I move. I have run into alums in the streets of NYC, in the mountains of Peru, on top of temples in Cambodia, etc. It's actually insane.  

Anything else you want the class to know? 

See you at Reunions!

Meet: Andrew Kilberg '10

Name: Andrew G. I. Kilberg

Hometown: McLean, VA

Current location: McLean, VA

What were you involved with at Princeton? 

Tower Club (Vice President), Model Congress (Executive Director), College Republicans (President), Delta Kappa Epsilon (Vice President)

What's your favorite memory of Princeton?

This might be the hardest question anyone has ever asked me. The answer probably is sitting on the bar in the Tower tap room on the night of our graduation, recalling all the time I’d spent in that basement.

What have you been up to in the five six years (!) since graduation? What are you currently doing? What has your path been like since college? What's next?

In late September 2010, I flew across the Atlantic to attend the University of Cambridge (St. Catharine’s College).  I received my M. Phil in Historical Studies the next summer.  From there, I moved to Charlottesville, VA, to go to law school at the University of Virginia. UVA Law is likely as close to a twin of the Princeton ethos as one can find. No wonder that quite a few Princetonians find their way to the law school and the Darden School of Business, which is literally next door. Princeton alumni always field their own team in the law school softball league. I stayed in Charlottesville for a year after graduating from law school to clerk for Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. During that year, I married Julia Osellame ’09. After that yearlong clerkship ended, I moved back to McLean, VA, outside of Washington, DC, and started another yearlong clerkship, this time with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court. The year has been fun, challenging, and extremely busy -- all the more so on account of the birth of our daughter, Alice, on March 17 of this year. My clerkship with Justice Kennedy ends in July, and Julia and I plan to stay in the DC area.I likely will accept a job with a law firm in town doing a mixture of appellate and trial litigation.

What about your life now would your sophomore-year self be most surprised by?

How little hair I have left.

What's a lesson/belief/idea/skill you've learned since graduating?

(1) The second draft is always better than the first. (2) When someone tells you that having a kid completely changes your life and your perspective, (s)he’s telling you the truth. (3) It becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with old friends, but that makes weddings even more exciting because they turn into mini-reunions. (4) Princeton is still the best damn place of all, but Charlottesville gives it a run for its money.

Meet: Nikhil Pereira-Kamath '10

Name: Nikhil Lawrence Pereira-Kamath

Hometown: Newton, Massachusetts

Current Location: Kigali, Rwanda

What were you involved with at Princeton: 

I was involved with the Princeton Wrestling Team (which only got really good when I left... coincidence?) and Tiger Inn with a brief couple of stints with eXpressions.

What's your favorite memory of Princeton: 

Forbes. Given we were essentially in a different area code than the rest of campus in the Addition, all of us were extremely close. We celebrated "Forbes Friday" which basically involved chilling in a dorm room and enjoying each others company and mindless board games - our motto "Go Hard, Stay Home".

What have you been up to in the five years since graduation? What are you currently doing? What has your path been like since college? What's next?

I took a pretty typical path for the first five years post graduation - did Healthcare Investment Banking at Morgan Stanley for 2 years followed by a move to Boston (my city!) to work as an Associate in Berkshire Partners' Private Equity arm. While I was working at Berkshire Partners - as a side passion project - I worked with an Entrepreneur from Burundi to establish the first dialysis clinic in the country. This was my come to Jesus moment and I learned quickly that the operating side was more attractive to me than investing. Thus, after the 4 years of finance, I decided a break was necessary and I joined Harvard Business School in the fall of 2014. While I was there I began the long process of beginning to formulate a business plan for establishing a professionalized chain of dialysis centers across East Africa and from that "Africa Healthcare Network" was born!

Africa Healthcare Network (“AHN”) aims to establish the first dialysis chain across Sub-Saharan Africa, providing high-quality, life-saving dialysis at an affordable cost. AHN brings world-class technical expertise combined with developing world practical operating experience to a region in dire need of quality dialysis treatment. The net result will be increased access, higher quality and lower cost to patients, delivered through a sustainable business model. AHN’s vision is to bring access, quality, and affordable dialysis care to Sub-Saharan Africa. While we are unable to provide care to the entire population, by offering high quality care at ½-⅔ prevailing rates, we expect to expand the addressable patient population. As we scale, we will educate physicians and hospitals to ensure early detection in order to prolong life, and provide additional social services including, Dialysis Olympics and free-testing holidays, similar to what is done in India & the U.S. 

This summer, I was fortunate enough to move to Rwanda to launch my business, The business accelerated quickly and I am proud to say that within four months, I have established the organization and will be launching our first center in two weeks with a follow-on center in January in Rwanda. Unfortunately, passion drives performance and leaving would lead to the demise of the Company and, as a result, I decided to withdraw indefinitely from Harvard Business School to concentrate 100% of my time on making this venture a success. I will be back at school at some point, but for now, I am laser focused on my mission of improving healthcare in Africa. It has been quite an adventure! As it stands, I have no plans on leaving any time soon, this is likely a 3-5 years project at a minimum so if anyone needs a place to stay in Rwanda - shoot me a note!

On the Rwanda side, I am in love with this country. The people, the flora and fauna, and the pace of life have me, for the first time in ages, relaxed! It is truly amazing how far the country has come post genocide twenty one years ago. For those who do not know, I would recommend that you read up on the Rwandan Genocide. Having visited the Genocide Memorial, I left with extreme sadness at the events that occurred (a powerful quote that has stuck w/ me: “When they said never again for the holocaust, was it meant for some people and not for others?”) and disappointment in the U.S., Europe and the U.N.’s complete inaction. It is both depressing reflecting on the events of 1994 and also inspiring at how the country has been able to move forward and unite. I could write for hours on this topic, however, it is an emotional topic which I prefer to speak about in person. 

What about your life now would your sophomore-year self be most surprised by? 

1. I live in Rwanda. I always thought I would end up moving back to Boston after a few years in NYC as that's where my family is - East Africa was never on my radar. But having a truly eye opening experience! I'll be back to Boston in 5 years (self promise)!

2. I don't work in the financial services industry. I was an economics and finance nerd in college and lived an breathed finance for my first few years. Frankly I burned out and wanted to have direct control on what I was doing in life.

3. I have two dogs! Layla and Jackie - they are the two women in my life who keep me sane.

What's a lesson/belief/skill you've learned since graduating?

My cultural awareness was awful. In five months here I have had my eyes opened on how there are differences in essentially every way of operating in Rwanda and unless you are fully aware of how people operate and the slight nuances, you can turn off a number of people. Relationships are the key to success. I am learning new things every day - it has been quite enjoyable.

Anything else you want the class to know?

To quote The Truman Show, “In case I don’t see you, good afternoon, good evening and good night!”

Meet: Josephine Wolff '10

Name: Josephine Wolff

Hometown: Cambridge, MA

Current location: Rochester, NY

What were you involved with at Princeton?

I was maybe a little bit (too) involved with The Daily Princetonian; I'm pretty sure I signed up for other things at the freshman activities fair but the Prince slowly subsumed them all. I was also an undergrad fellow at the Center for Information Technology Policy and worked for the Office of Information Technology.

What's your favorite memory of Princeton?

I have very vivid memories of the first snowstorm freshman year when it was so cold and miserable out that my roommate and I both ended up pretty much unwilling to leave our waffle-ceilinged dorm room in the old Butler quad for an entire day. Even though neither of us really liked the other (it's perplexing, I know-- who wouldn't want a roommate who spent most of her waking hours agonizing over the intricacies of real analysis theorems?), since we shared about 180-square feet of space there was no way to avoid each other that day and we had an hours-long conversation about all sorts of random and highly inappropriate topics. We ended up living together through the end of college.

What have you been up to in the five years (!) since graduation? What are you currently doing? What has your path been like since college? What's next?

I pretty much dealt with graduating by never, ever leaving school. I finished my PhD at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Labs last spring, and this fall I started a position as an assistant professor in public policy and computing security at the Rochester Institute of Technology. I also do some cybersecurity journalism for Slate, The Atlantic, and a few other publications. Basically, I've kept doing many of the things I enjoyed most at Princeton (research, classes, journalism, agonizing about real analysis) so, if I had to guess, the future probably holds more of the same... 

What about your life now would your sophomore-year self be most surprised by?

Either the fact that part of my job involves teaching and advising students or the fact that I love that part of my job.

What's a lesson/belief/idea/skill you've learned since graduating?

I've learned a lot about how to buy and sell stolen information on the black market. And maybe a dozen or so different techniques for gaining access to someone else's email.

Anything else you want the class to know?

I don't actually read other people's email. Or buy and sell stolen information. And when I do, it's always in the name of research and the greater good.

 

Meet: Matt Westmoreland '10

Name: Matt Westmoreland

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Current location: Atlanta, GA

What were you involved with at Princeton? 

The Daily Princetonian, Mock Trial, Chapel Choir

What's your favorite memory of Princeton? 

4am walks home from the'Prince' newsroom

What have you been up to in the five years (!) since graduation? What are you currently doing? What has your path been like since college? What's next?

After graduation, I joined Teach for America as a Corps Member in Atlanta. In 2013, I got elected to the Atlanta Board of Education, where I serve as chair of our budget commission and liaison to the Georgia General Assembly. I'm also the assistant director of Horizons Atlanta, an education non-profit focusing on preventing summer learning loss. 

What about your life now would your sophomore-year self be most surprised by? 

That I actually enjoy beer. 

What's a lesson/belief/idea/skill you've learned since graduating?

 "Truth without hope is failure, and hope without truth is fantasy."

Anything else you want the class to know?

 Only countdowntoreunions.com days till Reunions

Matt "makes green" with a kindergartner at Atlanta's Cleveland Avenue Elementary School during a visit there in March 2014.

Matt "makes green" with a kindergartner at Atlanta's Cleveland Avenue Elementary School during a visit there in March 2014.

Meet: Jasmine "Jazzy" Ellis '10

Name: Jasmine "Jazzy" Ellis

Hometown: Union, NJ

Current location: Atlanta, GA

What were you involved with at Princeton? 

Xpressions, TapCats, Sympoh. Chapter President of NAACP. Black Student Union. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

What is your favorite memory of Princeton?

My favorite memory of Princeton is graduating. When a day comes that you weren't sure would ever come, it's exciting.

What have you been up to in the five years (!) since graduation? What are you currently doing? What has your path been like since college? What's next?

After graduating college, I was still going through the motions and doing what I thought was expected of me.  I applied to 18 medical schools before coming to terms with the fact that I was looking for a different kind of life than that of an MD.  I moved to New Orleans and became a teacher while I figured things out. I taught Spanish, Math, and Special Education, among other things.  All the while, I was dabbling with pageantry.  I placed in many regional pageants, including 2nd Runner Up in Miss New Jersey USA, Miss Orleans USA, and Miss Congeniality at the Miss Louisiana USA pageant.  That helped me transition into modeling, which helped me transition into acting and stunts. I have been a SAG-AFTRA stunt performer for film for two and a half years.  I've done stunts on Selma, NCIS: New Orleans, Terminator: Genisys, Vacation, Under the Dome, and Gotham, among others. (Check them out here: https://youtu.be/_JrqeeYqx-4) I plan on continuing with stunts until my body gives out on me.  I am also an independent film producer, and I'm currently producing social justice films, sci fi films, and horror films.  I love the film industry, so as long as I can spend my life being involved in some way with movie magic, I'll be happy.

What about your life now would your sophomore-year self be most surprised by?

Sophomore year Jazz (as I was known then) thought she would become a family doctor in a small quiet town somewhere..... I'd say my ability to have a new and exciting adventure everyday is surprising.

What's a lesson/belief/idea/skill you've learned since graduating?

Since graduating, I learned to not care about what other people want for my life, and instead to guide myself on my own personal and professional journey.  It's been working out pretty well for me, I think.

Jazzy Ellis - Stunt Double for Kylie Bunbury on Under the Dome

Jazzy Ellis - Stunt Double for Kylie Bunbury on Under the Dome

Jazzy Ellis - Stunt Double for CCH Pounder on NCIS New Orleans

Jazzy Ellis - Stunt Double for CCH Pounder on NCIS New Orleans

Meet: Carolyn Edelstein '10

Name: Carolyn Edelstein

Hometown: Toronto

Current location: Boston (Somerville, if we're getting technical)

What were you involved with at Princeton?

Theater! I miss it! Also environmental groups, OA, and the international relations council 

What's your favorite memory of Princeton? 

This question prompts a summer camp-style slideshow montage in my head, complete with Green Day soundtrack: sitting in my common room at 3am giggling at my roommates, sitting backstage in a dark theater, giggling again, Tower dinner, more laughs... I don't even know if these scenes actually happened. 

One thing I'll never forget, mostly because Alex Satty will never let me, is the time I sent the most freshman-esque email out to all five hundred students in ECO100, two weeks into first year. Harvey Rosen emailed an Economist article to the class over Blackboard, illustrating a point he'd made in lecture that day. I replied all with a message that went something like "By golly, Professor, it's just so special that we can already apply some of the wisdom that you've been imparting to real events happening in the actual world. Thanks! Carolyn E."  Yep. That was me. Oh god, why am I telling you this. 

To this day, Satty will still sign her emails to me "Thanks! Carolyn E." 

What have you been up to in the five years (!) since graduation? What are you currently doing? What has your path been like since college? What's next?

1. I became a sketchy grad student. Right after graduation, when it seemed like everyone else was off teaching English in Borneo or becoming an adult in New York, I moved across the golf course into the Grad College. It felt awfully anticlimactic, but it kicked off a couple of my favorite years on campus. I stayed to get a Master's in Public Affairs at WWS as part of the SINSI (Scholars in the Nation's Service Initiative) program, which helps position students to work in the federal government (other alums from our year are Will Wagner, Rashad Badr, Simonne Li, and Andrew Kim).

2. I became a DC bureaucrat. Also through SINSI, I spent two years, mostly in DC (a little in Delhi) working for Development Innovation Ventures at USAID. DIV evaluates and funds promising ideas in international development based on their cost-effectiveness and potential to scale. I spent a lot of time learning about amazing things people are doing around the world to try and chip away at poverty, some of which is working really well. (One of our early grantees was Dimagi, an organization where Danny Roberts has been working for many years.) 

3. My cousin got sick. While I was at DIV, my cousin got sick with C. difficile, a terrible, nasty gut infection that people most often pick up in healthcare settings. (It's the most common healthcare-acquired infection in the U.S., and makes about a half million people sick every year.) His life was on pause as he tried to beat it, but 18 months and seven rounds of very strong antibiotics later, he was just getting sicker. That's when he tried a fecal transplant. 

4. I ship poop to hospitals. Fecal transplants are exactly what they sound like: stool from a healthy donor is infused into the intestines of the patient, and the bacteria in the healthy person's stool outcompetes the infection. Patients are usually better within the day. 

Back in 2011, my cousin (who has politely asked that I refrain from using his name) couldn't find a physician who would perform the treatment -- it was not as well understood, and it was also a logistical nightmare to find and screen a donor, get set up to process the stool, and then hope that the day of the procedure the donor could perform on command. So, he ended up doing the transplant at home, by himself, using his roommate's stool. 

It worked. 

My boyfriend, Mark Smith '09 was working on a PhD in microbiology at the time and heard this story over a thanksgiving dinner with my family (brave man). He thought it was insane that anyone had to do this at home. To make the logistics of fecal transplantation easier for everyone, in 2013, he and James Burgess started OpenBiome, the first stool bank. I helped. Today, I cover our public comms, policy, and our expansion overseas. So far, we've sent out about 6800 treatments to ~450 hospitals in 6 countries. Next, we'll be launching poop pills! 

5. _____?. I don't know what comes next! I feel like this is one of those brain teasers where you have to use some pattern from the first four numbers to predict what the fifth one should be. I was never very good at those.  

TL; DR: I'm at OpenBiome, a stool bank that sends doctors frozen stool preparations for use in fecal transplants. 

What about your life now would your sophomore-year self be most surprised by?

I own a Mac. 
Just kidding. 
I don't think I would have ever expected "poop bank" to be on the list of activities, but I probably wouldn't have found it wildly out of character. 

What's a lesson/belief/idea/skill you've learned since graduating?

I've claimed to have learned to play the ukulele, but that's a vast over-exaggeration. I've learned to drive, which has proven useful, if terrifying. I've learned that a very rewarding way to travel is to pick a place, any place, that looks crazy beautiful on Google Earth and then sort out how to get there. 

Anything else you want the class to know?

If you ever want to come check out the poop lab, it would be great to host you! We're in Medford, which is one of the many suburbs that thinks of itself as part of Boston, just behind Tufts University. 

Inside OpenBiome: Mary Njenga processing samples

Inside OpenBiome: Mary Njenga processing samples

Meet: Jacob Kosior '10

Name: Jacob Kosior

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN

Current location: Chicago, IL

What were you involved with at Princeton?

While at Princeton I was a member of BodyHype, Triangle, and Tower.

Senior year I served as Class Social Chair, which entailed running booze all over campus for 2010 Happy Hours. That ended up being great training for planning Reunions!

What's your favorite memory of Princeton?

It sounds cliche, but too many to count. BodyHype initiations and tech week will always hold a special place in my heart, as will the final Triangle show during Reunions. Nights at Tower with the Old Gang and playing croquet on the Tower lawn after turning in my thesis are also great memories. 

The memories I enjoy most are from freshman year, meeting new people and running around campus not knowing what we were getting ourselves into. Those memories were a lot like life when I first moved to Chicago with two of my best friends from Princeton, Zach Zimmerman and Halcyon Person. We had this whole big city in front of us and didn't know what to expect. It was like freshman year all over again... just without the free food and booze. 

What have you been up to in the five years (!) since graduation? What are you currently doing? What has your path been like since college? What's next?

After graduation I moved to Chicago where I completed a two-year Project 55 Fellowship at Center on Halsted, Chicago's LGBT community center, where I served as the organization's Director of Special Events & Volunteers. 

In 2012 I enrolled in graduate school at the University of Illinois-Chicago to study urban and regional planning. I graduated in 2014 with my Masters in Urban Planning & Policy with a focus on economic development and real estate finance. 

I now work in multifamily real estate in Chicago and serve as both a Senior Consultant with AMG Real Estate Advisors and the Director of Operations & Business Development for our brokerage, Luxury Living Chicago Realty. We provide consultative services for multifamily developers in Chicago including floor plan review, pro-forma analysis, and market reporting, and leasing. 

Basically I get to help developers plan their residential high-rises in downtown Chicago! 

Time will tell what's next for me. I'm very lucky to have a great group of Princeton friends in Chicago, a very supportive partner in my boyfriend, Paul, and a job that allows me to continually get involved in new projects.

What about your life now would your sophomore-year self be most surprised by?

Surprised isn't the right word... but my sophomore-year self would probably be disappointed that my pop music career never took off as planned.

Other than that, sophomore year Jacob would be surprised that life after college moves even faster than our time spent on campus. 

In the 5 years since we graduated I have worked 4 jobs, appeared on a reality TV show, got a dog, got rid of said dog, lived with my best friends, lived with my boyfriend, saw both of my siblings get married, earned a Masters degree, welcomed my first niece, and bought a condo in Chicago.

Cramming all of that into 5 years makes me feel like college life was actually pretty slow and reminds me to appreciate the day-to-day a bit more. 

What's a lesson/belief/idea/skill you've learned since graduating?

My mantra has always been that "everything happens for a reason" and since graduation that motto has become even more true. 

In 2005, I wasn't sure where I wanted to go to college and what passions I wanted to pursue, so I took a year off and ended up with the Class of 2010 instead of the Class of 2009. I attribute a lot of things in my life to that one decision, none of which I could have predicted at the time. 

I left my post-college fellowship without another job lined up and briefly worked as a temp for my current company, not knowing all of the opportunities that would open up for me down the road. I wavered on going to graduate school and turned down all of my offers, not knowing that doing so would prompt an even better offer from a great program that kept me in Chicago. 

Most of all, there are some truly amazing people who came into my life both in and after college who remain with me today and I still believe there is a reason we met and became friends. 

Anything else you want the class to know? 

I really enjoyed serving as the Reunions Co-Chair for our Class. I think Brendan would agree that it was difficult at times to work a 50 or 60 hour week and have to fit in Reunions planning late at night or in the middle of a work day, but it was all worth it in the end. Serving as Reunions Co-Chairs was a great opportunity to stay engaged with our classmates as well as the on-campus team who make Reunions happen. 

I hope that everyone had a great time on campus and visiting with friends during our 5th. And I'm sorry I didn't get to talk to more of you!