Archives for March 2017

Meet the Willners: These Class of 2006 Sweethearts and Silicon Valley Pros Offer Peek Into Tech Culture

Dave and Charlotte Willner, both members of the Class of 2006, met and fell in love when they were students at Bowdoin. Since graduating, they have had parallel careers in the fast-paced world of Silicon Valley. Having both worked at Facebook, they’re now at Airbnb and Pinterest.

The Willners visited Bowdoin this week, dropping into several classes to discuss a wide range of topics: free speech and ethics on the Internet; safety, privacy, and security on social media; women and diversity in Silicon Valley; and government regulations in the sharing economy. They also spoke about the trajectories of their careers, and the challenges they have faced in their rapidly developing industry. Read the story in Bowdoin News.

Santagata Lecture: An Evening with a Theater Great, Oskar Eustis

Oskar Eustis, “a giant in the American theater,” spoke at Bowdoin Tuesday night, giving the annual Kenneth V. Santagata Memorial Lecture. The campus lecture series brings in bold speakers with fresh ideas.

Eustis has been the artistic director of The Public Theater in New York City since 2005. The theater is “an incubator for some of the brightest and most innovative theatrical talent in the country, in the world,” said Bowdoin theater professor Davis Robinson. “Mr. Eustis has used this influential position to democratize American theater, and push the envelop of what topics are appropriate for modern audiences.”

Here are two examples of recent successes at the theater: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton debuted there in 2015, and in 2013, the theater presented Fun Home, a musical about a lesbian cartoonist grappling with the suicide of her gay father.

Not Just a Place to Lay Your Head: The World’s 25 Coolest Hotels (Forbes)

The founders of Tablet, a site that evaluates and selects hotels to provide exciting and reliable accommodation options,  view hotels as experiences rather than simply commodities.

Each year Laurent Vernhes and Michael Davis choose the most memorable and unique hotels for their top 25. Check out the latest list on Forbes to see where you might want to check in.

How May I Help You Today? Breaking Down Customer Service — And the Reps Who Do It Best (Harvard Business Review)

Overwhelmingly, customers prefer self-service rather than working with live representatives—unless their problems are more complicated. Yet, training for reps has not changed, leaving many under-qualified to deal with today’s service needs. (And, for the love of Pete, please stop reading from those scripts. I beg you.)

The Harvard Business Review analyzes who best handles customers, dividing reps into seven categories: accommodators, competitors, controllers, empathizers, hard workers, innovators, and rocks. Read more in the Harvard Business Review.