Rocky and Me: Billy Kosmidis ’19 Senior Reflection

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

Billy Kosmidis, originally from the north suburbs of Chicago, graduates from Dartmouth with a major in Government and a double minor in Public Policy and Ethics. Billy considers the Rockefeller Center as one of the places that influenced him the most during his time at Dartmouth. As an undergrad he participated in numerous courses and programs offered by the Center: the Policy Research Shop (PRS), the Management Leadership and Development Program (MLDP), the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP), and the Global Leadership Practicum. He completed a Rockefeller Center funded leave-term internship, as well as attending numerous public programs.

What first attracted Billy to the Rockefeller Center was his desire to find a place where he could be challenged by learning experiences both inside and outside of the classroom. Interested in Public Policy studies from the start, Billy felt a connection to the Center as early as his first-year winter, when he took PBPL 5: Introduction to Public Policy with Professor Shaiko. From there, he found it easy get to know many of the Rocky staff members.

The Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP) in particular was an impactful experience for Billy. In RGLP, Billy was able to interact with students from different backgrounds and learn through difficult conversations, which allowed him to grow and pursue more opportunities with Rocky and with global engagement. At the time, Vincent Mack, now Associate Director of Intercultural Leadership at the Tuck School of Business, was the Program Officer. Billy benefitted from Vincent’s genuine care for students’ success and continues to look to him as a mentor. Vincent was one example of how supportive the Center’s faculty and staff are of students and interested in their personal, academic, and professional growth.

As a junior, Billy participated in an exchange program at a university at Tokyo studying public policy with guidance from Professor Ron Shaiko, Associate Director for Curricular and Research Programs. While in Japan, Billy applied skills learned in RGLP and his various public policy courses. In return, he brought back his experience living in a new culture and learning how to be a global citizen to the Dartmouth community.

As a final culminating experience through the Center, Billy took PBPL 85: Global Leadership Practicum with Professor Wheelan. He credits Professor Wheelan with teaching him what is means to find a love for learning in college. One of the best things about Dartmouth in Billy’s opinion is the chance to connect with professors like Wheelan and to take advantage of experiential learning experiences, which is what Billy accomplished through Public Policy 85’s two-week off campus immersion experience in Colombia studying the peace process.

Billy’s advice to incoming students? “Step out of your comfort zone and go out of your way to pursue programs and experiences. Don’t forget who you are, but also be willing to challenge your own thoughts and be open-minded.”

After graduation Billy plans on working in public sector consulting before attending law school.   

As told to Bethany Malzman '19, Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant for Communications