Tucker Hutchinson, Sonoma High ’03
Catching up with a grad
Tucker Hutchinson: “Don’t be afraid of looking far from home … California is my favorite place … but I’m glad I left for a couple of years.”
Like most grads, Tucker Hutchinson, Sonoma Valley High School class of 2003, could never have predicted the path that led him to his current career as the marketing director of San Francisco-based start-up, GoOverseas.com. But the journey there, via upstate New York and Korea, has been as much fun as the destination.
Hutchinson never pictured himself at a start-up. “I was lucky enough to lose a job in finance that I hated, and made sure I didn’t make the same mistake again. I jumped around for almost two years before settling at GoOverseas. Now I’m working with friends and am excited every day to get into the office.”
GoOverseas.com is a site that allows people to read peer reviews of volunteering, teaching, studying and internship programs around the world. The goal of the site is to encourage more people to have a more meaningful experience when they travel, and for visitors to be more informed when choosing programs.
Outside of the work, Hutchinson enjoys life in San Francisco with his two roommates (including Ashley Moulton, ’05) and a great network of friends from high school, college, previous jobs, his current job and the 15 months he spent teaching and working in Korea. He explores the city and sees his sister, Katie, Sonoma high ’97, as much as possible. “I’ve only been here a year, so I do my best to spend time with friends in new parts of the city. Great food, bars and hiking keep me plenty busy, not to mention trips home to Sonoma.”
Hutchinson thinks perhaps the best choice he made in terms of life after Sonoma Valley High was choosing to attend a small liberal arts college out of state. “I applied to a wide range of colleges and visited the ones I got into. I loved Hamilton College from the moment I laid eyes on it and felt it was an easy choice. A small liberal arts college was perfect for me, even though I didn’t really know that until I got there.”
He strongly suggests prospective college students visit as many colleges as they can, before applying if possible. One allure of a small liberal arts college is the close friendships and networks that develop among their alumni. Hutchinson continues to be extremely involved with Hamilton, which is located in central New York state and has an enrollment of about 1,800 students. He serves as an official off-campus interviewer for admissions, and he wishes he interviewed more Sonoma students.
Hutchinson did a double major in economics and English at Hamilton and said he really liked learning to juggle a dozen demands on his time, explaining that “enjoying a Friday night after finishing a long paper is a great feeling.”
When asked what advice he would give to Sonoma students applying to college today, he said, “Don’t be afraid of looking far from home. California is my favorite place in the world, but I’m still very glad I left the state for a couple years. Also, don’t listen to your parents too much about specific colleges, because they change, and the admissions process changes, so do as much of your own research as you can stand.” He does suggest asking those around you what type of school they can see you at, however. “Determining what type of school (big/small, urban/suburban) is right for you is really tough and advice helps.”
Hutchinson did find his way back to California for his career but he values those years spent on the East Coast and traveling the world and can’t imagine life not having had those experiences.