❍ Year of graduation: 1986
❍ Field of current or former occupation: Finance
Question: What is your current occupation and where do you live? Please briefly describe your duties and responsibilities. How long have you been at this position?
Daniel Peris: I work in investment management. Quite remote from my original training in Russian studies. Pittsburgh, 15 years. I oversee stock investment portfolios for a wide variety of individuals, endowments, pension funds, retirement plans, etc.
Question: Did studying Russian language and culture at Williams help you in your professional and personal development? If yes, then how were Russian Studies were useful to you? What opportunities and challenges did the Russian major open up for you both specific to your current occupation and more generally?
Daniel Peris: Being a historian—trained in Russian history and language at Williams and then Ph.D. in Russian history—has certainly helped me in my current profession where there is almost no historical sensibility/sense of perspective at all. Being a historian gives me a clear competitive advantage, even if that history background is not specifically in the capital markets. On the personal front, I married a Russian and we have a bi-lingual household.
Question: Please share your advice or recommendation about the Russian department at Williams to a prospective student who is considering taking courses or majoring in our program.
Daniel Peris: The obvious things: learning a critical language says a lot about a person. Those folks are generally open to challenging projects.
If you would like to write to Daniel Peris, please contact Baktygul Aliev.