I learned a love for academia and invaluable research skills at L&C. I have put those skills to use in my work as a small business owner.
Degree and Class Year
Job Title, Organization
What three words would you use to describe L&C?
What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?
Honestly, I didn’t get into Brown (where my all-time crush Emma Watson was attending) and my grandma lived in Tigard, whom I love deeply. Would I do it all again? Heck yes.
What have you been doing since graduation?
I started and run a backcountry tour company in Eastern Oregon. After graduation and without major career prospects, I worked my last season of ecology for the U.S. Forest Service monitoring white-headed woodpeckers. Over the course of that summer, I hatched an idea to take international students to my home region of Eastern Oregon for rural and backcountry experiences. Over the last six years, this idea evolved into what Go Wild: American Adventures is today. We no longer focus only on college students, but rather students of the world. We introduce many people from all over the globe to their first backcountry hiking or paddling experience.
How did Lewis & Clark prepare you for your job?
Ironically, none of my schooling at L&C focused on business, ecology, outdoor recreation, or hospitality, which are all now foundations of my daily grind. I think what L&C did for me was show me what it’s like to have an institution and its people believe in you. From starting the tennis club, to creating my own study abroad program, to convincing the Asian studies faculty to let me write my thesis on a Korean rice alcohol, to writing numerous grants. Lewis & Clark supported any wild idea I had from start to finish. This gave me immense courage moving forward. Oh, and they sold me my first tour van—that was a huge help in starting my business.
What would you say is the most important thing you learned at Lewis & Clark?
Besides some really classic dance moves? I learned a love for academia and invaluable research skills. Come to think of it, I have put those skills to use in my work by creating historic walking tours of small Oregon towns. Those tours take me about six months to research and write. I don’t think I’d be as good at it or enjoy it as much without having attended L&C.
How do you stay connected to Lewis & Clark as an alum?
I have not stayed connected as well as I should have. Being a small business owner keeps me wildly busy. There are a few very special people I keep in touch with regularly. Currently, the alumni office and I are talking about launching alumni trips with Go Wild to Eastern Oregon or Colombia—a new international trip we’re offering.