Student Conversations

Sean Burke ’18
Wayzata, Minn.

Major in media & society; 2016 photographer for Vineyard Vines (first assignment: the Kentucky Derby); former assistant creative director at Kiel James Patrick (KJP); member of the HWS Sailing Team and the HWS String Ensemble; social media savant with 50K followers on Instagram (@seangaleburke)

The summer after my first-year, I had an internship with Kiel James Patrick that turned into a full time job. I took a year off from Hobart to do it, and that changed my perspective and academic goals. All of KJP’s advertising and promotions are social media based. I learned how to develop a social media strategy and worked with brands like L.L. Bean, Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren. In the field, I learned from successful entrepreneurs, designers and photographers but I also realized the importance of a formal education and having an economics or finance background. I returned to Hobart with a better idea of what I want to learn.

My worldview has been changed by classes at HWS, classes in feminist philosophy, LGBTQ studies and ones on creative movement and thought. I want to push myself out of my comfort zone and really learn. These are the classes where I don’t have an A, but they are the ones that have challenged me and, I hope, made me a better person.

The Colleges are at a pivotal point in our history. We have fairly conservative, traditional roots. We need to pivot to more broadly encompass race and gender. It would be easy for a school this small to brush these issues aside; that’s not happening. The challenges facing higher education have sparked conversation on campus and brought us closer together. This is a community where students respect one another. When you compare us to other, larger colleges and universities, we are doing more and we are better.


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.