Alumni Spotlight: Connor Dotson

After he graduated from Vistamar in 2016, Dotson headed to the East Coast to attend MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was one of two Vikings from that class to enroll at MIT joining Fiona McKellar. 
Why did you choose MIT? What was it about the school that you decided, “this is the place”?
I chose MIT because it had two things reminiscent of Vistamar: a wide array of people and excellence in a range of subjects. At MIT you can find your niche anywhere socially. No matter what you’re into there is a group of people who get together and do that every week! Academically, I got the same feeling I got at Vistamar. You’re not lacking anything, all the resources you have are sufficient in any academic topic you want to get into.
What extracurricular activities do you participate in at school?
At MIT, I’m on the fencing team, as well as, a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. At Vistamar, I mostly concentrated my efforts in fencing and community service (300+ hours).
How did Vistamar prepare you for MIT?
Vistamar prepared me by keeping my education strong, even in topics I knew I didn’t want to go into. As a science kid, I feel like the experience of writing essays and honing my rhetorical style is paying off in my humanities classes and writing scientific term papers.
What career path are you interested in?
Right now, I’m studying materials science with a minor in finance. Materials science is fascinating and helps me understand the world. Ultimately, I want to apply that knowledge in a field such as investment banking. I can use that industry knowledge to bring my academic impact outside just one company and make decisions that can truly change the world. I’ll be working at Moelis and Company next summer, and I can’t wait to see what comes after.
What’s your favorite Vistamar memory?
My favorite Vistamar memory is definitely Dr. Federle’s senior English class. It so fun to get so abnormally invested in Moby Dick alongside the entire football team. The Captain Ahab references didn’t stop until after we graduated.
What is one piece of advice you would give to a Vistamar student?
Excel in as many things as you can, even if you don’t like them right now. I thought I wanted to be a science professor until I got introduced to the world of Wall Street. I am so grateful I tried my hardest in stats and economics. Side note, even if you know you’ll never pursue a field, do your best in it anyways! Every single thing you study in school impacts how quickly you can work and solve problems. At MIT, consulting companies try to recruit aerospace majors not because they’re trying to build a rocket, but because they know how to use their brains.

Vistamar School is a private independent high school in the South Bay region of Los Angeles
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