Seniors choose off-beat careers

by Colin Grey | 6/12/94 5:00am

Seniors must for one year live the everyday nightmare of facing the benign question "What are you doing after graduation?" and having no answer.

While some students have known the answer to this question since watching their first L.A. Law episode, others sit now and do not know what they are doing in one hour, let alone for the rest of their life.

Still others, like seniors Meghan Dunleavy, Ally Hyun, Timothy Martin and Madeleine Pooler, have elected to explore off-beat careers and find out what it is that they really want to do in the process.

"I think that it's a fascinating thing to do," Dean of the Class of 1994 Teoby Gomez said. "People can see if they really have talent in doing what they're thinking about, and if not they can go back and do what is the more traditional route."

Meghan Dunleavy

Meghan Dunleavy will attend Johns Hopkins University next fall to get a Masters in Public Health, which she says will teach her how to serve others better.

Public health is a relatively new field concerned with distributing health care more fairly to people usually passed over for proper treatment.

"Public health to me is an essential part of medicine. And here, in the United States, we separate health care so that an M.D. is prestigious and public health ... no one knows what it is," she said.

In her time at the College as a pre-med student, Dunleavy worked extensively with the Tucker Foundation and last summer worked with Mother Theresa in the streets of Calcutta.

"You could feel her when she came in the room. She had an aura about her that was amazing," Dunleavy said. "Very soft spoken, very, very humble."

Dunleavy said students often lose their idealism upon exiting the College to begin working.

"The thing that scared me about corporate recruiting is that I had two very good friends that had graduated two years ago, who I saw and they were laughing about 'O gosh, recycling ended really quick.'"

Dunleavy said she hopes to continue her work in public health in the future, either with uninsured Americans or internationally.

Ally Hyun

Ally Hyun has a starting job which will take her in a far different direction than her original intentions to enter teaching.

She will spend the next two years working in New York researching a source book for NBC's coverage of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Hyun said she is thrilled to be starting out with a job which gives her not only security but also a chance to learn.

"I've put so much pressure on myself to have a job after graduation. And now I do -- one that, you know, pays me and gives me health insurance," Hyun said.

Hyun was flown to New York for two rounds of interviews before she was chosen from more than 800 applicants.

Besides being a coxswain for the men's lightweight crew team and a member of Green Key, Hyun's year as sports editor of The Dartmouth did much to prepare her for her job at NBC.

Still, Hyun never expected her work at the College's daily paper to lead to a career in journalism.

"I never started working at The D because I wanted to be a journalist," Hyun said. "I did it because it was fun, and I liked the people."

So now that Hyun has landed the NBC job, she said she needs to just see what happens.

"I really don't know how it fits into the grand scheme that is my life. I really had my heart set on teaching and at one point even had a job offer, but this was an opportunity I really couldn't pass up."

Madeleine Pooler

Madeleine Pooler will embark on a one-year stint teaching English and environmental awareness to Costa Rican children.

She said learning to speak English is important to Costa Rican people. "Everyone wants to learn English because for them that's the only way to partake in the global economy."

Pooler said much of Costa Rica's national economy is based on tourism.

Pooler has worked educating children in the Upper Valley and as a drill instructor in Ancient Greek. But before coming to the College, she said she had no intentions of going into education. She became aware of opportunities in education through other Dartmouth students.

"Graduating from Dartmouth, we are extremely privileged in terms of education, and that's just not the reality experienced by the majority of kids in this world."

Pooler said she wants to eventually bring that experience to more American children in less economically-developed parts of the country.

"Working with the kids showed me a more positive way of doing that. It was also a more tangible way of making a difference," she said. "I'd primarily like to get involved in teaching what are called 'high risk' kids."

Timothy Martin

Timothy Martin will be working at Sotheby's, the famous auction house in New York.

He became involved in Sotheby's when he was an intern there during the summer of his junior year.

"That experience actually surprised me because I felt as if I found something that was not only interesting, but a job where I could continue learning, and that really appealed to me," he said.

Martin said at Sotheby's, he will have the opportunity to work in several positions and decide what aspect of art history interests him most.

But art history is a far cry from Martin's intellectual ambitions upon entering the College four years ago.

"Actually I came to college very intent on being a government major and studying international relations, going off to grad school and joining the foreign service or something like that," he said.

Martin, a government major who wrote a thesis on British foreign strategies toward Hong Kong, developed a passion for art history early on in his academic career.

This does not mean Martin's plans to go into art history are set in stone, though.

"I'm totally prepared for the possibility that I might get to my job and hate it. I have no idea, and I think in a way that's good," he said.