Cyrus Poteat | Economics, Philosophy
From: Colorado; currently living in New York City
Pomona Days: Class of 2017 | Economics
Current Employment: Associate at Notch Partners (Consulting for Private Equity)
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 a guy who ended up in consulting, 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 consulting 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.
I am happy to connect with you to talk about consulting, private equity, the Draper Center and social justice work, economics, philosophy, networking, and life at Pomona in general. My leisure passions include skiing, road biking, and Dungeons & Dragons, which I also enjoy chatting about.