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Peter Bird '06

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Recently graduated Peter Bird '06 went on to get his Master's at Carnegie Mellon University and now works as an Online Product Manager at PNC Bank in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Q: Describe the key work that you do.
A: I primarily research and design new features for PNC's online banking systems, focusing on products
     that are targeted to Generation Y. I design information and interactions that create a consistent, positive
     user experience for our banking customers. I work with business analysts and programmers to test and
     implement these new features, so communication through detailed wireframes is crucial.

Q: Think back a bit: Why did you choose Clarkson in the first place?
A:  Clarkson is a small school that could offer me a lot of personalized attention and opportunities that
     wouldn't necessarily be available at a larger school and the curriculum in the communication program was
     exactly what I was looking for, combining writing, web design, multimedia, information architecture, and
     communication. Not too far into the fine art world and not too far into the computer science world!

Q: How did a Clarkson education help you launch your career?
A:  I found the faculty at Clarkson to be first-rate and had a very easy time relating to them and enjoyed
     learning and interacting with them. I was privileged to work with Brent Faber for two years on
     nanotechnology research, which eventually led to my honors thesis research, and enjoyed traveling to 
     conferences with him. Clarkson also helped to spark my interest in information design, leading me to
     complete a graduate degree in Communication Planning and Information Design at Carnegie Mellon
     University. There, I expanded on many of the things I had learned (formally and informally) at Clarkson.

Q: What clubs/activities did you participate in at Clarkson?
A: Clarkson Union Board (CUB) as publicity chairman and audio technician; Clarkson Theater Company
     tech crew; Honors Program; Potsdam Community Chorus secretary; Boy Scouts Order of the Arrow.

Peter Bird