Alumni Stories: Brian Otley '89

I can't tell you how many times in my adult life I have received odd looks from people when I tell them I majored in Religion at Dartmouth. People just don't expect it and seem to have trouble understanding it beyond the typical "did you want to be a minister/pastor/priest?" Despite those awkward moments I wouldn't change my decision on my major for anything. I have found that my Dartmouth education and my Religion major have served me well in my life, both professionally and personally. Since leaving Dartmouth my professional path has been leadership roles with technology companies and companies trying to evolve or disrupt their industry sector in some way. My major gave me insights into peoples and patterns and cultures and history and communication and writing and just thinking differently and being tolerant of different thought. I had easy access to challenging professors and a wide range of courses that were mostly stimulating and thought-provoking. Much of my work these days deals with leading large teams of people through change cycles they don't always like. I credit my Dartmouth experience with helping me to develop a reliable set of flexible skills that I use constantly to push, prod, hug, nudge, poke, cajole, inspire, and many other verbs to move diverse teams through change so they can better access important work. My Religion major has never held me back and quite certainly has contributed much to this journey I am on called life.

For me, life is about choices and opportunities. My Dartmouth experience and my Religion major have given more of both.