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Alumni Outcomes

Interviews with four young-ish people who went to Bates and (not coincidentally) are now doing something worth reading about.

Kevin Thorson of Piper Jaffray

Was it a tough transition from Bates?

“I’d interned at Piper Jaffray the summer before my senior year, so I knew what I was getting into. And Bates gave me the tangible tools I needed to make my way in the field — an understanding of corporate finance, experience with analysis and communication and collaboration. But the most valuable tool I got at Bates is a little more abstract.”

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Sulochana Dissanayake, a performer in
Sri Lanka

How did Bates prepare you for your life?

“Bates taught me how to think — how to analyze a situation and reach my own conclusions about it — and how to write. Those two skills are responsible for setting up my career. They look small on paper, but they affect everything I do — everything I can imagine doing.”

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Olivia Zurek, resident physician, Brown University

Is this where you thought you’d be a few years out of college?

“In a weird way, yes. I got hooked on neuroscience in an intro course at Bates. I did my senior thesis on the connection between schizophrenia and drug addiction. When I went to medical school, I realized that all the things I loved were the things I’d done at Bates.”

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Mike Watson and Clark Winchell of Ora Inc.

You both played sports. Was that important?

Mike: “In my last race at Bates, my 4×800 relay team broke the 79-year-old school record. So I felt like I’d met a huge challenge, and was ready for new challenges ahead.”

Clark: “I loved my team — but I can’t stress enough the importance of the whole community. Bates rejects the idea of separation. If you played sports, you weren’t just a jock. The diversity of friends I made was immense. And the community stays with you after you graduate. That’s a powerful thing.”

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