Describe your path since graduating from Portsmouth Abbey School.
It has not been a straightforward path but through careful career analysis, sheer hard work, and taking calculated risks, I have been able to continue to grow in my career in the sciences. I have a passion for science and wildlife and couldn’t have found a better place to start than the University of Rhode Island, which allowed me the hands-on fieldwork with experts. However, I waited to get my Master’s Degree because I wanted to know what career options were available.
I volunteered a lot as it was key to get real-world experience, to see what I like, what I didn’t like, and where my strengths were as a career professional. I started at an environmental consulting firm based in Rhode Island working on a few projects, and then I moved to Florida to pursue my Masters and ended up overseeing a small nonprofit nature center in Florida. After that, I found an opportunity in Washington D.C. working for a large association developing and executing an international and organizational-wide program. We live in a world where we can carve our own path, and finding opportunities outside work has been just as crucial to personal happiness as is it is to professional success.
How did your experience at Portsmouth Abbey School help you become the person and professional you are today?
The Abbey provides the opportunity to be exposed to a variety of people, cultures, experiences, and particularly classes that provide one with a solid foundation for life and a community you can always rely on. The rigorous academic program instills fundamental skills and value for quality work. In later years, those skills provided the confidence and abilities to conquer career hurdles while managing life obstacles.
What is the best advice you could give to a current student?
Maximize your study hall hours. I still give myself study hall hours. Anything in the world is possible if you can sit down for two hours and focus on it. I apply this philosophy to other aspects of life as well such as physical fitness, a hobby I want to peruse, or a committee or group I want to join. This is most helpful when you need to put your nose to the grindstone.