❍ Year of graduation: 1970
❍ Field of current or former occupation: Other
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?
Peter Ogilvie: Currently sell residential real estate in New Canaan/Greenwich/Darien, CT which I have done for 15 years. After college and grad school, considered Nat’l Security Council but finally opted for NYC banking with Bankers Trust.
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?
Peter Ogilvie: As top student at Bankers Trust training program I was offered the choice of the Russian desk, or alternatively the Tehran or Saudi desks. Since this occurred with the demise of Nixon and the end of détente, I chose the Tehran desk (bad mistake). Used my Russian language however on trips to Afghanistan and even Pakistan, as well as rural parts of Iran. Further, living just outside NYC we frequently took in Russians that were visiting the USA under auspices of the United Nations. We would host them in our house for a weekend, or a week or two, getting to know scientists, teachers, singers, and others. Since they could usually speak not a word of English, our aid was invaluable.
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.
Peter Ogilvie: Language is a great way to learn of other cultures and histories, both thru their literature and mixing with the common people who usually do not speak English. Knowing several languages makes one more accessible to all foreigners who appreciate that you have at least tried to learn their language and culture. Lastly, I met my wife at the University of Leningrad, tho she is from upstate NY.
If you would like to write to Peter Ogilvie, please contact Baktygul Aliev.