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The St. Olaf men’s and women’s swimming and dive teams opened their seasons on Oct. 25 at the St. Thomas Relays, an unscored meet. The Oles won the first event of the day, with strong performances b
Carleton College: the epitome of evil and everything wrong with college, lurks in the shadow of the Hill, exuding eeriness and lacking athleticism. St. Olaf College: the ideal academic institution, i
The St. Olaf men’s and women’s soccer teams took to their home pitch at Rolf Mellby Field on Oct. 24 to battle cross-town rival Carleton College. Both teams were looking for victory in order to stay
On Tuesday, Oct. 6, students gathered in Tomson 280 for a screening of “The Mask You Live In”, a documentary about harmful conceptions of masculinity in the media. The Department of Women’s and Gende
Josh Baltzell ’91 knows a thing or two about being a silent partner in business deals that get everyone talking.
As a venture capitalist with the firm Split Rock Ventures, he’s played a behind-the-scenes role in business transactions that have made headlines, like Medtronic’s recent purchase of RF Surgical Systems.
One thing he isn’t quiet about, though, is how the liberal arts education he received at St. Olaf College has prepared him for a successful career in the business world. He shared his experience earlier this year with St. Olaf students participating in the San Francisco Connections Program, and spoke to students on campus recently as part of the Alumni in Residence Program.
In doing so, Baltzell says he hopes to provide students with real-world insight on what a career in business actually entails.
“The education you can get at a liberal arts institution like St. Olaf arguably prepares you even better for a career in venture capital than some of the bigger schools because you are exposed to a broad variety of academic subjects and challenged to excel in how you think and communicate on a daily basis. My liberal arts education definitely contributed to my success in the venture industry,” Baltzell says, noting that his line of work requires a solid acumen for financial analysis, business strategy, and marketing — and, more importantly, the ability to see the big picture.
“You need to be able to think about how the world is constructed, contextualize that, develop a strategy, and articulate your vision,” he adds. “I honestly don’t know if I could do that without a St. Olaf education.”
The value of alumni insight
For students, the opportunity to hear from accomplished alumni — and ask questions about the career path they took — is an invaluable experience. That’s why the St. Olaf Piper Center for Vocation and Career has created a number of programs that connect current students with alumni.
The Alumni in Residence Program brings alumni back to campus to meet with students to discuss careers in a specific field. The program has given students the opportunity to sit down with alumni like Brigham and Women’s Hospital President Elizabeth Nabel ’74 and Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times reporter Gretchen Morgenson ’76.
Baltzell has visited campus twice to participate in the Alumni in Residence Program — once in the fall of 2013 and again on September 25.
He’s also participated in the Connections Program, which brings students to cities around the country to meet with alumni and see firsthand how Oles are succeeding in all sorts of endeavors.
This February, Baltzell arranged for students on the San Francisco Connections Program to tour one of the Bay Area companies that Split Rock Ventures had invested in.
“Through the Connections and Alumni in Residence programs, students are able to witness firsthand the ways in which a wide variety of alumni feed their passion for learning and leverage their liberal arts skills,” says Piper Center Senior Associate Director Kirsten Cahoon ’98. “Students are inspired and encouraged about their own potential through these events.”
An enduring education
For students, it can also be helpful to hear from alumni how their majors or career plans changed during the course of their time at St. Olaf and after graduation.
Baltzell came to St. Olaf with plans to major in physics and math, in preparation for a career as a biomedical engineer. He eventually switched his major to economics and made plans to pursue a law degree.
By the time he graduated from St. Olaf — having majored in economics and philosophy — his plans had changed again, and he started graduate school in industrial relations. He ended up earning an M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.
“It’s frequently challenging for today’s students to know what they want to be when they’re starting or even finishing college. And one of beauties of St. Olaf and a liberal arts education is that students are equipped with a broad skill set that they can use to excel in a wide range of things,” Baltzell says.
“I felt like I could have done any of the things I was interested in because of my St. Olaf education.”
As students see the construction going on in Rolvaag Memorial Library this fall and read about the Holland Hall renovation plan, it is evident that there are going to be changes throughout the campus
Precious By Julia Pilkington ’17 They say the world is made of atoms, That life’s greatest moments are in the little things. But what do they do? What do they make? And why is it so astounding
Dear Large Hot Apple Cider, It’s time we finally sat down and talked about this… whatever it is that’s been going on recently. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had our fun, and these past few weeks have
As we creep ever closer to the next election season, it’s once again time for the candidates to rev the engines of their Campaign Machines. For many, it seems like we just finished our last set of ele
If we go through our time at Carleton without having open conversations, it would be a betrayal of the liberal arts ethos of this institution.
Albeit a brief one, it was an experience I shall treasure/look back on with some anxiety for the rest of my life.
The oak trees' leaves have little balls on them. Perhaps someday you will give us the story of how these furry little oddities came to be.
True spookiness isn’t about having a great costume or getting lots of candy, it’s about the spirit of the season and remembering that we are all only a few hundred years removed from rampant disease and scientific illiteracy.
SAO's Halloween dance at cowling will feature a concert by Sonny Knight and the Lakers, an upbeat, dancey band who were a hit when they performed at Spring Concert two years ago.
Hundreds of cell phone lights shined onto the stage when the lights went out at Ebony II last weekend.
The history of Goodhue; from dining hall to 'Sayles East' to Superlounge.
This team works hard and parties even harder. They are one of the unofficial-official fraternities on campus.
It is finally World Series time. After a very exciting postseason, the stage is set for an even better finale between two championship-hungry teams.
I’ve found that the relative isolation of Northfield serves also to strengthen Carleton’s campus and provide it with its own individual identity.
Carleton is a meaningful not because or despite of being in Rice County, Minnesota, but because of the network of friends and community this place engenders in your life. Place is important; people are infinitely more so.