Horace Allen '09


Describe your path since graduating from Portsmouth Abbey School.

Upon graduating from the Abbey, my goal was to earn a business degree. I did, but I got there the long way round. I went on to the University of Virginia where I majored in Medieval and Renaissance Literature. During my time there, I became aware of a one-year Master’s program in the McIntire School of Commerce, so I took additional classes in order to apply for the program in my fourth year. After acceptance, I dove right into the many great opportunities that were offered to me. I learned about business practices and theories, gained experience presenting to business leaders, and had the opportunity to travel abroad and learn how socio-political factors affect how companies operate in Latin/South America. After the program wrapped up, I started working at American Express in Project Management. After a year and a half, I then switched to work on Data Analytics on their Membership Rewards Team.

How did your experience at Portsmouth Abbey School help you become the person and professional you are today?

My experience at the Abbey helped me become the person and the professional that I am today. It instilled in me a sense of integrity and accountability that I carry with me throughout my personal and professional day-to-day life.

What is the best advice you could give to a current student? 

The best advice I can give to a current student is don’t hesitate leveraging the Abbey’s alumni network. There are thousands of graduates who have come out of the Abbey that are more than happy to work with you and ensure that you succeed. For the students of color, it is even more important that you actively engage with this network of alumni. We succeed if we look out for one another, so don’t let fear or discomfort stop you sending off an email to an alum inquiring about opportunities that are available.