Cyrus Poteat | Economics, Philosophy
From: Roaring Fork Valley, CO; Current Location: Seattle, WA
Pomona Days: Class of 2017 | Economics
Current Employment: Market Analyst @ Zillow (2019 to present)
Past Employment: Associate @ Notch Partners (2017 - 2018)
At first, I wasn’t even sure that I would apply to Pomona. But my mom, so wisely, made me. When I visited and learned about programs like the Draper Center and sat in on a few classes, I knew it was the best fit. I was born an east coast kid, raised in Boston for the first eleven years of my life. Life took a big turn when I moved to the mountains of Western Colorado. For me, going to Pomona was like the third stage of life. I had come from East to Mountain West to West Coast.
I arrived at Pomona with a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to do, economics and philosophy (specifically ethics), but I didn’t necessarily realize the impact my time at college would have on me. Pomona made me a person much more aware of my position and privilege, and it forced me to improve my work ethic and study habits. I am grateful for both of these things, but most of all Pomona pushed me to pursue my passions and interests, no longer content to sit on the sidelines. I think that sense of engagement is one of the best things about the Pomona community.
Working as a Student Coordinator at the Draper Center was one of the defining experiences of my time at Pomona, and I would recommend it to any student who cares about social justice and community work. Though this kind of work might seem incongruous for someone who ended up in a for-profit industry, it was one of the best decisions I made. The opportunity to know and work with classmates and community members of different backgrounds from myself was a big deal for me. I made close friends and became a better person. In the end, the mentoring and support of my colleagues and the incredible staff at Draper helped me land my first job.
I have a few pieces of advice for current and incoming Sagehens. One, concentrate on doing a few things well and don’t needlessly overstretch yourself. Don’t be afraid to take it slow at the start and take the time to find what you are really passionate about! Find people you enjoy and connect with, and don’t necessarily limit yourself to your sponsor group or class year. Also, go outside your comfort zone and put yourself in spaces where you don’t feel so comfortable at first. You’ll find that you understand yourself and others better if you do.
Since graduating, I’ve worked in a boutique consulting firm and then changed paths to join Zillow’s new iBuying group Zillow Offers. “iBuying” is basically technology-enabled purchasing and reselling of residential properties at scale, with the goal being to give homeowners a more flexible and less stressful experience of selling their homes. Within ZO, I’m part of a team called Zillow Offers Analytics. We use technology to make sure we are giving sellers a fair price.