Matt O'Connor | PPE & Theatre

Pomona Days: Class of 2015, PPE & Theatre; MBA From The Drucker School Of Management

Current Employment: Founder & Co-Executive Director of 3-P-3-D; Senior Consultant at ThinkTank Learning


 

Pomona presented me with the unique opportunity to do it all.   Theatre, PPE, football, community engagement work, track and field, student government, bible studies, the admissions office— I had the opportunity to pursue any and every interest possible.  Each involvement had its own unique flavor, culture and personality.  I loved that Pomona didn’t force me to choose; rather, the community allowed me to become an active member of multiple segments of the college both inside and outside of the classroom.

As I reflect on my time at Pomona, I would offer two pieces of advice.  First, get comfortable being uncomfortable.  Take a class that you wouldn’t normally take.  Join a club that is outside of your comfort zone.   Have conversations with people you’ve never met in the dining hall.  It’s in these moments of risk-taking where we learn, grow and develop in the most drastic manner.  Sure, it’s far safer to do the things we KNOW we are good at, but let’s be honest, doing what’s “safest” doesn’t give us the opportunity to DISCOVER!

Second, find a way to give back.  Whether it’s your local community, an organization that you truly believe in, or your friends and family, choose something or someone to give back to.  The education that you receive from Pomona College is an incredible gift that comes with incredible power.  Use the privilege you’ve been given to empower, motivate and love others.

Professionally, I serve as the Founder and Co-Executive Director of the non-profit organization 3-P 3-D, a program that pairs Pomona-Pitzer student athletes with high achieving, low-income high school students from Pomona Unified School District.  I’m also a Senior Consultant at ThinkTank Learning, an education-consulting firm that advises a variety of programs and students on the college admissions process.