The current state of the world has required many people to pivot — or make a 180 degree turnaround — on the professional, social and educational lives they were used to and loved. Whether working from home, going to virtual school or making complete changes in profession due to the job market, many Americans are finding themselves in a new place. Jeffrey Bolte (‘15), who graduated with a degree in accounting from Southern Methodist University in 2019, is pivoting but on his own terms.
After four summer internships in the field of business — including working in international tax at Deloitte — Bolte decided upon graduation to switch fields and pursue medical school and a career as a physician. He’s currently taking the prerequisites, like organic chemistry, for medical school right now and exploring his opportunities for where to attend school. He plans to take the MCAT in January.
“I loved the creative problem solving in the business field,” Bolte said. “But I am also a geek about science and what's going on under the hood.”
In his recent address as keynote speaker for the Vanguard class of 2020 commencement ceremony, Bolte told graduates:
“A good life is a life which increases the net positive experience of humanity. Some might call this net positive experience thing “happiness”. A good life is a life which has more happiness than suffering. In addition to being happy often, a good life can be remembered with a sense of fulfillment. Fulfillment can be defined in this context as contentment, lack of regret, and a feeling of meaning. A good portion of fulfillment is subjective, so I’m not going to go into the calculation, but deep down we all know what gives us a feeling of contentment and meaning. The process of finding happiness and fulfillment starts from within.”
Bolte said Vanguard prepared him to find fulfillment and also to make things happen for himself.
“I never forgot the chemistry Coach Seifert taught me,” he said. “Vanguard teachers showed me how to work hard and juggle tasks. One of my favorite quotes is "The more you do, the less you wait" and I've taken that to heart. Vanguard showed me how.”
One of his favorite teachers was art instructor John Perdichi and one important thing Bolte said he learned in high school is:
“Sample everything before you specialize. It's good for you because it's hard. Struggle is growth.”
Alumni Feature - Vanderbilt Magazine - Jonathan Dallas