Hi! I'm Colleen! So far, I've studied abroad in Beijing, China and Cusco, Peru, interned at a start-up in Mexico City, and completed a non-profit consulting project in Lima, Peru with the Tuck School of Business. I'm currently working on a two-year project to identify ways to promote female empowerment through entrepreneurship in South America and East Asia. When I'm not traveling, you can find me advising DEN, exploring the Upper Valley, or debating the outcome of The Bachelor with friends.
Asian & Middle Eastern Studies Modified with Economics Major; Human-Centered Design Minor
A seven-person seminar class with my favorite professor (Prof. Clark) discussing the impact of religion on politics and economics... I don't think I could have possibly asked for more.
SummerBeijing, China - Chinese FSP
Studying abroad in Beijing, China my freshman summer was the best decision I could have made at the time. After a year of intensive language studies at Dartmouth, I was immersed in Chinese language and culture at Beijing Normal University.
FallCusco, Peru - Spanish LSA+
I LOVED living with a host family in Cusco, Peru and taking classes with Peruvian profs during my Spanish LSA+. My friends and I took experiential learning to the next level by traveling to Machu Picchu, the Amazon, Lima, Lake Titicaca, and more!
This was the class that made me realize my passion for Human-Centered Design. The project-based course challenged me to think differently and it changed the way I approached problem- solving on a daily basis!
SpringMexico City, Mexico - Internship Abroad
Thanks to full funding from the DEN, I spent the spring of 2017 completing a 10-week fellowship with LocalAventura, a travel, tech start-up in Mexico City. This meaningful, hands-on experience re-ignited my passion for entrepreneurship!
SummerHanover, NH and Lima, Peru - Paganucci Fellowship
I was able to petition to take Sophomore Summer "off" to work full-time as a Paganucci Fellow with the Tuck School of Business. I spent the summer working with a small team on a social entrepreneurship consulting project with a non-profit in Peru.
This class has a waitlist of over 40 people, and it's clear to see why. Prof. Compton teaches public speaking with an experiential learning approach, allowing me and my peers to improve through practice.
This course combined the study of social entrepreneurship and its manifestations with hands-on practice of creating our own social venture business plans and ventures pitches! My project group and I created a business that aims to support impoverished, indigenous women in Cusco, Peru and are currently working with our professor to turn this idea into a self-sustaining social business.
The Senior Design Challenge might just be my favorite class I have taken at Dartmouth! At the start of the term, my partner and I were given the challenge of figuring out how to use leftover Nike materials to improve the quality of life for individuals experiencing homelessness. By having the autonomy to fully immerse ourselves in the human-centered design process, my partner and I have learned how to pivot from one idea to the next and feel a remarkable sense of pride and complete ownership over our project!
SummerBeijing, China & Tokyo, Japan - Internship & Research Abroad
This summer, I am heading abroad for the sixth(!) time in three years. I'll be spending eight weeks working at a consulting firm in Beijing before continuing on to Japan to work on my Stamps Scholars research for a few weeks. Stay tuned for blogs about my adventures in Asia!
I had never even heard of Dartmouth before my daughter added it to her list of college prospects. But this private Ivy League, tucked away in the little town of Hanover, New Hampshire, won her heart. We probably visited the campus at the worst possible time – a blustery, sub-zero January day. And while I fought to keep warm during our student-led tour, my daughter decided her fate for the next four years. Dartmouth resonated with her. She loved the four-term system, the feel of the campus, the college town, the size of the school, the fact that professors taught classes (not teaching assistants), the plethora of off-campus and study abroad programs available. She noted the absence of a wall or gate separating the school from the town. The campus spilled into the community. It wasn’t a gated fortress. We’d visited other Ivy League schools, but Dartmouth moved to the top of my daughter’s list. There was something special about this place.
Now, as my daughter enters her junior year at Dartmouth, I can’t imagine her attending any other school. Sure, it’s a little farther away from our home than I had hoped her college would be, but Dartmouth is an incredible school and the surrounding area is rich with beauty and activities. Admittedly, during our first few visits, we concentrated our time in Hanover, getting familiar with the campus, taking in events at the Hopkins Center for the Arts (the Hop), and becoming acquainted with the restaurants, cafes, and shops in town. We’ve come to expect a long line for breakfast at Lou’s (it’s worth the wait) and never miss a chance to dine at Molly’s. We’ve stayed at Six South Street and the Hanover Inn and LOVE these two local hotels, but we’ve found a charming Airbnb tucked away in nearby Norwich, Vermont, that feels like a second home.
We look forward to walks around Occom Pond and recently discovered the trails in Pine Park. There are so many hiking trails near Dartmouth – even the Appalachian Trail cuts through Hanover. The Norwich Farmers Market is a new family favorite, offering local fare as well as live music. And our daughter introduced us to Tucker Box, a restaurant in nearby White River Junction that offers incredible Turkish food. More recently, we drove the easy hour and a half to Burlington, Vermont, and enjoyed the boutique shops, restaurants and cafes along Church Street and checked out Burlington’s waterfront. We visited during the peak of fall foliage. The colors, majestic mountains, and babbling streams took our breath away.
And while winters may be cold, there’s always something to do. Check out the Dartmouth Skiway. How many colleges own a ski way? Even when it was too cold (for me) to ski, I cozied up with a good book near a roaring fire inside the lodge and was perfectly content. Visit Occom Pond when the pond freezes over. Students and locals ice skate and cross country ski here. The first time I visited, I snuggled into a seat near the outdoor campfire. Shortly after, marshmallows were distributed for roasting and the crowd around the campfire grew. Students and local families intermingled. Hot chocolate was available nearby. I was in heaven! …Okay, so maybe I sound like a cheerleader for Dartmouth. Surely the school isn’t for everyone, but for my daughter, it’s the perfect place. And it has allowed our active family the opportunity to explore a unique part of the Northeast.
_________________________________________________________________________________________ Linda O'Connor, mother of Colleen O'Connor D'19, is a freelance writer and radio talk-show host from Buffalo, NY. When she's not working, you can find Linda on the ski slopes, sipping hot chocolate, or exploring the hidden gems of the Northeast with her family.