Hometown: Mountain Lakes, New Jersey
Major: Mathematics and Music
Why did you choose to come to Bowdoin?
Bowdoin had everything I was looking for in a college. It had great academics and I loved the campus and the feeling I got when I first visited. I felt very comfortable and safe and immediately knew that Bowdoin was a place that I could spend four years and be truly happy.
Why did you choose your major?
When I first came to Bowdoin, I did not intend to be a math/music double major. I originally thought I was going to be an economics major, but after taking a few math classes, I decided that I enjoyed math much more. I love solving problems and equations and over the span of my Bowdoin career, I have been able to take all kinds of different math classes.
Majoring in music was an easy choice. Music has always been my passion. My high school did not offer many music classes so when I came to Bowdoin, I was determined to take as many music classes as I could. I decided that since I was going to be taking so many classes, I should just major in music.
What has been your favorite course at Bowdoin?
I guess I have had two favorite classes while at Bowdoin. The first was an orchestration class (Music 361) that I took with Assistant Professor Vineet Shende during my junior year. I have never had so much fun or learned so much in a class. We studied about all the different instruments and how to use them to create different musical textures and colors. At the very end of the class for our final piece, we had to choose a piece of piano music and orchestrate it for a full orchestra. When we were finished, we had an orchestra play our pieces. It was incredible to hear a live ensemble play something that I orchestrated.
I also took a math course called "Knot Theory" with Assistant Professor Jennifer Taback during my junior year. I had never heard of knot theory and I signed-up for the class only because I had taken a class with Prof. Taback my sophomore year and really enjoyed it. This class turned out to be amazing.
Have you engaged in any independent research while at Bowdoin?
I actually spent the better part of my Bowdoin career taking independent studies in music, which has culminated in an honors project. I began studying musical theater during my sophomore year with the hopes of writing and producing a musical. I took numerous independent studies with Prof. Shende and worked very closely with James Nylund '06 to write the musical "Home". We finished writing the music last December and orchestrated the music over semester break. "Home" opened on March 2, 2006, in Pickard Theater. The music for the show took about two years to write. It was by far the most fulfilling thing I've done at Bowdoin.
What extracurricular or work experiences have you had at Bowdoin?
While at Bowdoin, I've spent most of my time either playing [Ultimate] Frisbee or working with the College House System. I've met almost all of my closest friends while playing Frisbee. I live with all Frisbee players and I couldn't imagine what my Bowdoin experience would have been without the team. Frisbee also allows me to play a competitive sport that I love. Our team, for our size and experience, is very good and is only going to get better. Our team actually won the Division II Regional Club Championship this fall, which was the first one our team has ever won. In terms of the College House System, I spent two years living in Ladd House and spent one of those years as the president. As a senior, I am currently president of the Inter-House Counsel. I love being involved with the House System. The System is very young and it has been fun trying to make it stronger and more efficient. The House System is only going to get better in future years.
What is your best Bowdoin memory?
My best Bowdoin memory has to do with the musical I co-wrote. The closing night of "Home" was a very special night. It marked the culmination of two years of very hard work and determination. During the curtain call, Luke Wilson '06, one of our leads, called a few of the directors, including myself, on stage. While on stage, James Nylund '06, Davin Michaels '06, and I (the co-writers) stepped forward and took a bow. Everyone was applauding and cheering. It was an incredible feeling and probably one I will never experience again. My entire family and closest friends were in the audience. My family had come all the way from New Jersey to see the show. To stand on stage and be acknowledged for working so hard is something I will always cherish and never forget.
What are your plans for after graduation?
After graduation, I'm going to work for Goldman Sachs, an investment bank, in New York City. I interned at Goldman this summer and loved it. When they offered me a job in September, I jumped on the opportunity. I'm very excited to live in New York City and work for such a prestigious company.
What advice would you give to a prospective student or first-year about the Bowdoin experience?
Many students come to Bowdoin, find their own little niche, and stay there for the duration of their Bowdoin career. I would tell a first-year student to take advantage of all that Bowdoin has to offer; go on Outing Club trips, play an intramural sport, attend lecture series and speakers, etc. Don't get stuck in a "routine" and do the same thing every week and weekend. Also, I would tell a first-year to always try and meet new students. Bowdoin is filled with very interesting people. Each student has something to offer the Bowdoin community and all students should make more of an effort to meet each other.