Rocky and Me: Jimmy Fair ’18 Senior Reflection

In the Rocky & Me series, Seniors reflect on their experiences during their time at Dartmouth.

I grew up visiting Dartmouth every summer because my grandparents retired to Hanover 25 years ago. Dartmouth became my first choice by the beginning of high school, and I was surprised by how receptive professors were to my requests to sit in on classes and chat with them during a visit my junior year of high school. Coming from Colorado, I also wanted to go to college where I had immediate access to the outdoors. 

Once on campus, I became interested in the First-Year Fellows program, so I took Professor Shaiko’s PBPL 5: Introduction to Public Policy class, which is a prerequisite for selection. That course opened my eyes to our nation’s federal debt crisis and how Congress functions (or doesn’t). In particular, I loved when former New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg visited our class—I got hooked on the idea of policymaking and public service. 

During my four years, I was fortunate to experience nearly every co-curricular program the Rockefeller Center offers. My favorite was the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP), which I did during my sophomore year before working as a student program assistant for the program during junior year. This program has a travel component (once to Montreal then to New York), and it was memorable to travel with fellow Dartmouth students for a break away from campus. Since I’m working abroad next year, it was a fitting preparation for the start of my career. 

I also think that the First-Year Fellows program was the perfect way to cap off my first year at Dartmouth and spend a summer with friends. It was my first time living away from home and commuting to a job, where I worked at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. This internship made an enormous impact on how I view fiscal policy and the role of the government in our lives. To this day some of my best friends at Dartmouth are those that I lived with that summer. 

I decided shortly after First-Year Fellows to minor in Public Policy, because I wanted to apply my economics major to the real world as a student. The perfect opportunity to do this came through the Policy Research Shop, where several students and I researched environmental policy for a Vermont state senator before presenting to the Joint Commission of the Connecticut River my senior fall. 

Traveling to Liberia with Professor Wheelan’s PBPL 85: Global Policy Leadership class during December break my senior year was another formative experience. Eleven other students and I wrote a memo charting economic growth through 2040 in the post-conflict state. This trip affirmed my passion for international work, travel, and development. I want to spend my time solving problems that matter.

Jimmy Fair, Dartmouth Class of 2018, comes from Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Jimmy graduates with a major in Economics and minors in Public Policy and Latin American Studies. Following graduation, he will be working as a consultant in Africa.