In this alumni spotlight, meet Matthew Watowich '17, a current senior at Carleton College!
WHERE ARE YOU NOW?
I am a senior biology major at Carleton College in Northfield, MN. Once I graduate this coming June (2021), I will be moving to Washington D.C. to conduct work under the Director of Neuro-Oncology at the NIH.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR MOST VIVID MEMORIES OF POST OAK?
I remember the amazing connections and friendships I formed while at Post Oak. Both in terms of my peers and my professors, I really benefitted from getting to know and work with them in a close-knit, supportive community.
TALK ABOUT WHAT IT WAS LIKE AFTER GRADUATING. WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO START YOUR NEW JOURNEY?
Post Oak's high school really taught me how to work independently and manage my time properly. This has definitely benefitted me since graduating as I have learned to pursue each opportunity presented to me and have had valuable learning experiences through this.
HOW DID YOUR POST OAK EXPERIENCES HELP PREPARE YOU FOR COLLEGE OR LIFE AFTER POST OAK?
The environment of the high school and connections to the surrounding museums prepared me well for life in college as I had to encourage myself to learn and grow. Not only did the structure of classes in the high school mimic the structure of many of my college terms, but the skills that I learned through Montessori and IB educations prepared me well for the rigor that I would encounter while in college. Additionally, the multifaceted approach to education that Post Oak utilizes, in terms of encouraging coursework, internships, and travel simultaneously, prepared me well for balancing the many responsibilities and opportunities I would come to encounter in college.
WHAT PASSIONS AND INTERESTS DID YOU PURSUE AT POST OAK THAT YOU STILL PURSUE NOW? HOW DID POST OAK HELP FURTHER YOUR PURSUIT OF THESE INTERESTS?
While at Post Oak, I worked at the Contemporary Art Museum of Houston on their Teen Council, collaborating with artists and educators as we curated exhibitions and outreach programs. I have continued to pursue art in college and was able to work in the South Pacific studying painting and drawing through a Carleton Off-Campus Program, which also included work with Maori artists in New Zealand and a month-long residency at the Australian Print Workshop in Melbourne.
HOW DO YOU SEE MONTESSORI EDUCATION SHOWING UP IN YOUR LIFE TODAY?
Montessori kids learn how to be responsible and accountable, to clean up after themselves. We know how to interact with people of all ages, we form closer relations with our teachers, professors, etc. We learn how to care for the world and the people around us.
IF YOU HAD TO PASS ALONG WORDS OF WISDOM TO POST OAK STUDENTS, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL THEM?
I would tell them to take advantage of every opportunity they can while at Post Oak, since it is a super special place, and your time there will fly by way quicker than you think!