1988, Pavlos Yeroulanos – Head of Communications, Greek Socialist Party

Williams taught me how to think. History at Williams taught me how to listen. It taught me how to understand people, how to explain the choices they make, and how to identify what forces influence them at any given time. This is a solid foundation for anyone who chooses to influence and lead people or teams of people.

There are no career limitations for the individual who understands history. Research and academia is only one obvious path. Several factors lead me in another direction. After I graduated Williams College I was required to join the Greek armed services and discovered unexpected ways in which my degree had relevance here as well. Later on, I worked in a small R and D firm in Waltham MA performing basic management functions and this lead me to a double Masters in Management and Government. Both degrees involved a strong element of management, which was a necessary addition to what I had done so far. Apart from some heavy dose of mathematics required for Management at Sloan my History background was all I needed to work through my Masters’ degrees.

After graduating from MIT, I joined the management team of a fish farm, designing and leading their restructuring program. Then I became a consultant to the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, worked in an executive search firm that recruited and evaluated talent for Greek and foreign multinationals and now I head the communications department of the Greek socialist party. They say that our generation will change career paths and average of 5 times in a lifetime. In such a fluid working environment it is tough to identify one sole tool worth acquiring in College. But if I were forced to make a choice, “understanding people” would be it. So far in my career it has been the undeniable foundation for anything I do.