Media Marketer-Musician I Tom Sikes I ’11

It’s easy to think of your first job as a tradeoff between money and passion. Either sell out for something stable and secure or eke out a meager existence doing what you love. We tell ourselves that work is supposed to be a grind—that a lucky few are blessed… Continue reading »

Gospel Singer I David Bass I ’77

 “Next on stage — Mr. Dave Bass.” In the corner of the crowded bar, Bass took a deep breath and pushed his way to the stage. On the surface, this was an ordinary event — a midweek open mic night at the Peppermint Lounge, a dive bar a few… Continue reading »

The Geologist Designer I Carissa Carter I ’01

It’s easy to get trapped into thinking that each of us is predestined for one path—that happiness is contingent on finding our one and only perfect career. For four years at Williams and five more afterwards, Carissa Carter was convinced that she was going to become a geology professor. Continue reading »

Filmmaker I Rachel Kessler I ’13

Imagine the Science Quad at 5 a.m. Even on the rowdiest of nights, the pathways would be quiet, the buildings deserted. It was this time of day her freshman year that Rachel Kessler first realized she could become a filmmaker. She had arrived… Continue reading »

Clothing Designer (and TV Star) I J.J. O’brien I ’05

After starring on the most recent season of “The Bachelorette,” he’s become a household name across teenage America. He has tens of thousands of Instagram followers and can hardly take the train without being stopped for a picture. For more than half a decade, though, J.J. O’brien’s post-Williams life… Continue reading »

Farming Artist I Lucy Rollins I ’12

Lucy Rollins ’12 is a tough person to define. She is a farmer, an artist, an entrepreneur, an activist, an outdoors enthusiast, a teacher, a singer. Two years removed from her Williams graduation, she has returned to Williamstown where she now splits her time between… Continue reading »

Storyteller | Pei-Ru Ko | ’09

What would you do if you woke up tomorrow unable to get out of bed, incapable of going to work, and faced with no timetable for a recovery? After graduating from Williams in the spring of 2009, Pei-Ru Ko went home to Taiwan determined to make a difference. In many… Continue reading »

Artist | Robby Cuthbert | ’11

It often takes years to become an overnight success. By October 2013, Robby Cuthbert, a soft-spoken psychology and art double major, knew he didn’t have a lot of time left before he would have to start looking for a “real job.” He’d spent the last two years… Continue reading »

Darlingside | The Band | ’06, ’07, ’09

Sam Kapala ’09, Harris Paseltiner ’09 Don Mitchell ’06, Auyon Mukharji ’07 Dave Senft ’07 Musicians Darlingside Hadley, MA   Sam Kapala, Harris Paseltiner, Auyon Mukharji, Don Mitchell, and Dave Senft make up the string rock quintet, Darlingside. They all… Continue reading » | Mariam Naficy | ’91

Mariam Naficy, ’91 CEO San Francisco, CA Mariam Naficy is the founder and CEO of, a website that crowd-sources design for stationery and paper goods. Mariam’s previous venture, the beauty retailer, was acquired by LVMH’s Sephora.     What is Minted? And how… Continue reading »

Line Cook | Payson Cushman | ’05

Line Cook Momofuku Ssäm New York, NY   At the time of this interview, Payson Cushman was a line cook at Momofuku Ssäm in New York City. He is now at Craft (, also in New York City. What… Continue reading »

Writer and Performer | Mayda Del Valle | ’00 Los Angeles, CA Mayda Del Valle is a renowned spoken word-artist. In 2001, she became the youngest person and first Latina to win the National Slam Poetry title. She subsequently appeared in four seasons of the HBO series “Def Comedy Jam” and in… Continue reading »