Sara Santos ’07
“Show up and ask questions.”
“Learning how to start a conversation with someone about something I’d never dealt with was one of the most useful skills I picked up at Kent Place. Whether digging into Medea with Mr. Pridham or trying to understand Shakespeare with Mr. Chase, I always had the most wonderful models about how to pose interesting questions to kick off a conversation, especially about topics that were foreign to me.
“Quite a few years after high school, I still find this skill to be invaluable. It’s my job to find the best ideas on how to solve some of our thorniest issues and do my best to see if there’s an overlap with my foundation’s mission to get them supported. There’s no secret sauce to grant making; the best conversations I’ve ever had (and those that have led to some of my most successful funded projects) have been in-person deep dives with folks I was just meeting and who had no direct connection to anything I was currently working on.
“The best advice I can give is show up and ask some questions, even if you’re not entirely sure why it will matter that you went to that conference, that panel, or that random lunch with someone’s old buddy. Questions indicate curiosity, and they demonstrate your interest in any subject.”