Oliver Bernstein '03

My comparative literature major honed my language, writing and critical thinking skills and has served me well in my career. I focused on Spanish and Portuguese literature with environmental themes -- a passion of mine. These days I am Senior Communications Strategist for the Sierra Club, the country's oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization. I use my Spanish all the time, do plenty of writing of all types and spend significant time thinking about the effect of specific language and diction on our environmental conservation goals. The small classes and outstanding professors I had in the Comparative Literature program will always be one of my best memories of Dartmouth. I recommend the major to anyone who enjoys language, writing and thinking; it has served me very well.

My academic passion was always literature and languages. I sought out comparative literature classes at Dartmouth because they were small and had lively discussions and amazing professors. My extracurricular passion was always environmental protection and activism. At Dartmouth, I worked to make the campus more sustainable and to hold public officials accountable for their environmental actions. After graduating, I combined my two passions and spent a year studying air quality in Mexico City with support from Dartmouth. This phenomenal experience helped me get a job in Texas as the Sierra Club's U.S./Mexico border representative. After two years traveling the border region working with communities on environmental issues, I was named Sierra Club's National Deputy Press Secretary for Diversity Programs. Now I help generate more media coverage for environmental and justice issues across the country, especially among ethnic media. With the support of the country's oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization, I am helping to educate voters, families, and reporters about global warming and environmental justice.

Looking back, every job and internship I have had so far came from my ability to speak a foreign language and my ability to write. Most importantly, I developed these valuable career skills while enjoying myself and staying true to my passions.