Alex McPhilips '07
Position: Executive Communications Manager, Google
Every childhood dinner of my upbringing in Alabama was an occasion to gab about some family legend or another—the wartime romance (and engagement) of one set of grandparents by letter before they’d even met; my Annapolis-raised mother’s first trip to meet the in-laws in Birmingham; my grandfather’s supposed invention (never proven) of the zip code. I chose history at Harvard because I grew up in a family of storytellers—and nowhere else could I find more absorbing storytelling than Robinson Hall.
But, with the benefit of hindsight, I can report that my education in history was practical as well as engrossing. I can’t imagine a concentration better suited to have prepared me for my five years in campaign politics and the federal government. If the best way to fire up a crowd is to tie one’s personal story to the story of a changing America, it helps to have a finely honed sense of what makes our nation dynamic and exceptional (and what, in turn, we still have to prove). I’ve learned that what organizations prize in any potential recruit, even more highly than a complete toolbox of skills or experiences, is a keen sense of judgment rooted in perspective. Few, if any, concentrations afford such an opportunity to develop one.