The Orient checked in with some recent alumni to see what they have been up to since leaving Bowdoin.
For Nathan Chaffetz '08, the Bowdoin Cable Network segments he sent in with his resume landed him his first job post-college. "I primarily rant[ed] about things I didn't like at the school," he said, but it "definitely got me my first job, and I'm very thankful for it."
This first job was in Los Angeles, where he booked people and organized shoots for Showtime's "Penn and Teller Bullsh*t!" a libertarian-leaning documentary television series that aimed to debunk misconceptions, popular fads and pseudoscientific ideas.
Between two seasons of the show, Chaffetz also worked as an assistant for "South Park: Season 13."
Four months ago, Chaffetz was lured back east to his hometown of New York City to work for Freedom Watch, a nightly news show hosted by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Fox Business. Chaffetz is responsible for scripting the show's introduction, transitional segments and leads.
"I basically have bounced around between different libertarian television shows," he said. As an economics major at the College, Chaffetz says he learned to question conventional wisdom and social norms, a perspective that he has carried with him into the workplace.
"It's a bad economy—kids are not doing things—and I get to use my brain everyday," he said.
For Jared Porter '03, an average year consists of 10 to 12 trips around the United States from April to September, one or two winter trips to countries like Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, or Puerto Rico, and February and March in Florida.
Based in Boston doing pro scouting for the Red Sox, Porter makes player personnel decisions on both professional and international scouting, development of minor league players and major league transactions and trades.
A history major at Bowdoin, Porter was also a skilled athlete, captaining both the hockey and baseball teams and serving on an athletics committee with other students and faculty. He still cites men's ice hockey coach Terry Meagher as a father figure, and says they talk at least twice a month.
"Playing sports at the NESCAC [level] helped me," he said, adding that three of his four current officemates followed a similar track.
After Bowdoin, Porter took a year-long internship with Red Sox Player Development in Fort Myers, Florida.
"The internship is the most important year," he said. "[Afterwards] I told them I would go anywhere and do anything," he said.
Daily, Porter says he oversees the pro scouting budget and ranks prospects and brainstorms trades, directing scouts on where to go and who to see in both the minor and major leagues.
"The key to my job is showing the ability to learn," said Porter. He cites Bowdoin—and the close relationships with peers, professors and coaches—for drastically improving his communication skills, such as the ability to understand and deliver messages both orally and through writing.
"It's normal for me now to see famous executives, famous TV people, famous reporters, famous players," said Porter, referencing names like Peter Gammons, Kevin Youkilis and Jacoby Ellsbury.
But he remains humbled by his constant focus to keep acquiring skill and competence. "I think he [boss Theo Epstein] is the best general manager in baseball," said Porter. "I'm going to the Harvard of bosses. I wouldn't trade that in for anything."
"The pinnacle of my career is to be the general manager for a major league team," said Porter. "We'll see."
Since he graduated from Bowdoin, Ian Yaffe '09 has worked as a firefighter, assistant harbormaster, ferry captain, self-stated "professional ski-bum" in Colorado and as the current Executive Director of Mano en Mano in Millbridge, Maine.
According to its website, the mission statement of Mano en Mano, or Hand in Hand, is to "build a stronger community in Downeast Maine by working with diverse populations to provide educational and affordable housing opportunities, remove barriers to health and social services, and advocate for social justice."
Graduating as a Latin American Studies major with a teaching minor, Yaffe says he found the "only job in Maine where the major directly prepared me for my job." He describes his work as a simultaneous combination of active research, theory, reflection and action.
"It's purely a continuation of Bowdoin's commitment to the Common Good," said Yaffe, who was actively involved in community service learning at the College.
In 2006, he founded Food Forward with three friends, directing Food Recovery and Taste for Change, both still active student-led organizations on campus. He also served as a member of the Brunswick-Trinidad (Cuba) Sister City Association and studied abroad in Havana during the spring of his junior year.
"It's pretty nice being your own boss...I have a really lofty title but I'm on the ground doing work," said Yaffe about Mano en Mano.
Yaffe's schedule is primarily filled with day-to-day administration, long-term policy planning, work with the board of directors, meeting with clients and helping with casework and mobilizing staff to further the mission in fieldwork. He is also overseeing the organization's construction of an affordable housing project in Millbridge, which will be Maine's first for migrant farm workers.
Growing up in the Washington, D.C. area, Yaffe said he never imagined he would be in Maine this long, but he has only positive things to say about the non-profit world he inhabits here.
"It's a state where you can accomplish a lot—there are not a whole lot of limits," he said. "People leave their egos at the door and you are able to accomplish things very quickly if you have talent and drive," said Yaffe, citing his own age—24 years old—as hardly a hindrance.
Yaffe, who was on campus Thursday to give a lecture to an education class, hopes to strengthen bonds between Mano en Mano and the College and one day provide guest internships for students.
"For students who get trapped in the Bowdoin Bubble, I guess it's easy to think that certain things don't go on in the world anymore," said Yaffe, "but they do—and they go on right in Maine—anti-immigrant bias, hate crimes—we're on the ground dealing with a lot of serious things."