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Student Snapshot: Jarred Parrett ’20

Jarred Parrett, on a farm near Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Meet Jarred Parrett ’20 (computer science, economics), an ultramarathon runner who served three gap years at a startup. He interned at UBS last summer and will begin a software-engineering job in NYC after graduation.

Hometown:

Madison, N.J.

Major(s)

Computer science and economics.

Clubs and organizations:  

Competitive Coding.

Honors/scholarships/awards:

Speers Family Scholarship.

Post-Dickinson plans:

I will be working as a software engineer at UBS in New York City.

Favorite book:

Misbehaving by Richard Thaler.

On choosing a major:

Coming into Dickinson, I had an interest in the field of economics and had read books on the topic, such as Misbehaving by Richard Thaler. After taking Associate Professor of Economics Emily Marshall’s First-year Seminar on the Great Recession, I found a blossoming interest in the field. From learning about the Great Recession to concepts of political economy and health in Professor of Economics Ebru Kongar’s class, the field of economics touched an array of areas that interested me and provided me with the toolkit to understand those areas. As for computer science, I knew I had an interest in the field when entering Dickinson, but I was not sure where that would take me. First semester in my first year, I found my way into the COMP-131 class and, with the help of Lecturer/Technician in Computer Science Michael Skalak, I discovered a subject at the intersection of problem-solving and critical thinking. Before that class was over, I had declared.

Favorite place on campus:

The Caf.

On choosing Dickinson:

My route to Dickinson was a bit atypical. After graduating high school, I took three gap years and worked at a startup within the agriculture space. While doing that, I volunteered to coach football with two Dickinson alumni, Scott Spelker '85 and Phil Garrubbo '86. Having grown in the three years, I was prepared to re-apply to colleges. Initially, I was not going to visit Dickinson, but after some incessant pestering by Scott and Phil, I made my way out to Dickinson for a visit, and the rest was history.

Favorite Dining Hall food:

Jen’s apple cake.

Favorite class:

Analysis of Algorithms helps you learn how to grapple with large, unwieldy problems and solve them through algorithmic techniques.

Favorite professor:

Professor Skalak, as he helped me realize that while tests matter, it is not the sole purpose of why we are here. He goes out of his way to commit extra time to help students and see them learn. Before tests in his computer science classes, he comes to the comp help room from 8 to 10 p.m. (sometimes later!) to help students understand the material. During those sessions, he will answer questions, but if you ask him, “Will this be on the test?” he will not provide a “yes” or “no.” Rather, he will say it is good information to know in life and then explain the topic.

Little-known hobby/talent:

I like to run ultramarathons.

About my internship:

During my summer at UBS as a software engineering intern, I worked within the investment bank on a platform used for trading financial instruments. I learned about professional environments and about new frameworks and much more. I also learned that when we leave Dickinson, we continue to walk with the lessons we learn on campus. The tools that are taught to us within the curriculum extend far beyond a classroom.

Proudest accomplishment:

Learning how to love learning.

Most important thing I’ve learned so far:

The importance of taking time to appreciate how much effort and time each student puts into work at Dickinson. It can be easy to distill an entire semester of working, learning and committing yourself to a field of study down to nothing more than a test score. However, while a score is what translates to a GPA, the reality is that it should not be taken for granted that the effort and passion for learning are what matters.

If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be …

… my mom, as she is an inspiration and incredibly insightful. Fortunately, I get to do this every time I go home. (Hi Mom, if you’re reading this!)

Read more Student Snapshots.

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Published February 20, 2020