If it wasn't for their business attire or personal offices, they might just blend in with the student body; in fact, not too long ago, they were members of the student body.

Across campus, recently minted alumni work alongside administrators, coaches and staff members—as administrators, coaches and staff members themselves. Many shared classes and campus-wide parties with current students, or can easily remember back to the days they spent in the dining halls between classes instead of between meetings.

Making the relatively quick leap from undergraduate to administrator was "initially pretty strange," said Luke Mondello '10, an interim assistant director in the Office of Residential Life (ResLife), but the dynamic of working with former peers quickly "got a lot less weird."

"Most people that I hung out with last year know when I have my ResLife hat on and know when I don't," said Chris Rossi '10, an assistant director of ResLife.

"You can't do anything or act in a certain way that's going to somehow inhibit the way you do your job," Rossi said. "You have to act responsibly, and you can't be...out at some campus party."

For alumni working on campus who may have already attended a Reunion Weekend, the lack of an overlap with current students can work in their favor.

"The distance is very helpful, especially considering what I do," said Assitant Dean for Student Affairs Jarrett Young '05.

Megan Brunmier '08, a program advisor in student activities, said that her leadership position on the ResLife student staff as an undergrad prepared her for the types of interactions she has with students—including some former proctees—through her job.

The alums working on campus that spoke to the Orient all carried over some connection from their undergraduate experience to their post-grad professional positions.

Through an AmeriCorps-supported position, Emily Skinner '08 was able to stay on campus after graduation working with students on health, sexual safety and women's issues—areas she had been involved in extracurricularly as a student. After the position ended, the college hired her for her current position as a health education coordinator.

While a student, Curatorial Assistant at the Museum of Art Kate Herlihy '08 had limited access to the museum where she works now as the Walker Art Building underwent its major renovation during her sophomore and junior years.

As a senior art history major, Herihly became exposed to the way the museum works and kept in touch with a few staff members after graduation. While working at a gallery in Boston, she saw a job posting for her position and applied immediately because she knew that Bowdoin "was where I would love to be."

"I feel like a lot of the leadership opportunities I had as a student member of the Residential Life staff have exploded times a million now that I work here [full time]," said Mondello. "It's been really cool to develop this personal growth in the program that made such a big impact on the way that I lead and lived here as a student."

Young explained that it was a suggestion during his senior year from Dean for Academic Affairs Tim Foster that got him interested in working in education. After teaching high school history at Worcester Academy in Massachusetts, he decided to pursue his interest of one day becoming a dean and completed a masters program in higher education administration at Harvard. He never imagined that he would end up back at Bowdoin.

"This place sucks you back in," Young said. When he was leaving an administrative position at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas, he was describing the kind of higher education environment he wished to work in to his wife. After using Bowdoin as a point of comparison to his ideal place of employment, he said his wife asked, '"Why don't you just apply for a job at Bowdoin?'"

Dissimilarly, Jess Horstkotte '08, the assistant director for service and leadership at the McKeen Center for the Common Good, said she had not sought out her initial position, as the center's youth and education coordinator, and at first felt conflicted about taking the job.

"It was definitely something that was a little daunting to me, to stay behind on campus when all my friends were going off and doing other things," Horstkotte said, though ultimately she said she was glad to take the position.

"Bowdoin's a really supportive community to learn how to be an employee in," Brunmier added.

For all that they could anticipate about what it would be like to return to Bowdoin as a professional, there are aspects to the experience that these young alums have had to navigate firsthand.

Herlihy found herself back in the classroom, taking Intro to Microeconomics—for credit—last year, something she felt compelled to do as she is looking to attend business school for arts management in the near future.

"It was really hard," she said. "I took so many art history classes when I was a student...I wished afterwards that I had done something like economics, so it was a cool opportunity to do it again."

When asked if he ever goes to Joshua's Tavern, Rossi said, "Not as frequently as I used to, that's for sure."

"It's been weird trying to figure out what to call people," said Mondello. "Do I call President Mills 'Barry?' Maybe not, I don't really feel comfortable with that—it took me long enough to learn to call Dean Foster 'Tim.'"