Walker H. '10, Columbia '14
*Walker has since graduated from Columbia University with a BS in applied economics and a BA in creative writing. He is currently working for Google. Stay tuned for an update!
I am currently a junior at Columbia University double majoring in applied mathematics and creative writing. As many have reminded me, these two are inherently unrelated, making my choice a rare one (I've found only one other person here who has the same two majors). However, I find a lot of satisfaction in both and am actually able to relate the two sometimes: tinkering with the structure of a sentence to make it sound just right requires some logical thinking often found in mathematics and completing a particularly elegant proof can feel poetic for the right person.
My hope at the moment is to pursue journalism to some end, perhaps within the magazine business. This past semester I interned at Conde Nast Traveler magazine and while some of my work was simple research and data entry, I also got to edit feature articles, which was a great experience. It's my hope that the internship, coupled with my work for two of Columbia's papers, The Federalist, a humor publication, and The Spectator, the daily newspaper for which I wrote a biweekly column for a semester, might provide a decent basis for a transition into the writing business.
On the other hand, I will also have my background in mathematics, which could possibly be useful in a number of arenas -- finance, medicine, sports and so on. As for baseball, I walked on to Columbia’s team and was a member for two years until this past spring. It's a tremendous time commitment and I was not getting enough playing time to justify putting other aspirations on hold. Finally, I am the treasurer for my fraternity, Zeta Beta Tau, the oldest frat on campus.
In essence, I'm doing a lot of the things I did at Berkeley Carroll -- math, writing, even translating some Spanish and Latin in one class -- but just in more depth, which is what college is for ultimately. The truth is -- and I'm not trying to sugarcoat this -- that I had such an ideal time at Berkeley Carroll that I'm trying to bottle up whatever I did there and apply it to my current challenges. What would that proverbial bottle hold? Hard work, an interest in/appreciation for the subject matter, a comfortable social niche, a sense of humor -- sometimes you have to just relax when all of finals/work/life is beating down on you -- and probably most importantly a sense of trust in yourself.
There have been some bumps in the road since high school and I've had to realize that it's a big world and success in the classroom, on the playing field or in the office gets harder. But I have a keen sense of trust in myself, a trust that was forged at BC by a community that gave me many great opportunities and helped me take on a lot of challenges with people that supported me beyond the limitations of a cut-and-dry teacher-student relationship, and that trust carries on long after the maroon mortarboard is tossed.