#academic: Old boy visits after graduating from Princeton

08 July 2019

On the 4th of July, we welcomed old boy Sebastian Hallum Clarke back to Wellesley.  Sebastian was at Wellesley from 2004 – 2008 for years 1-6.

Sebastian has recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree, majoring in computer science, from Princeton University in USA.  He has come back home to Days Bay for a few weeks to catch up with family and friends and a group of nine Year 7 and 8 Wellesley boys were lucky enough to share an hour with him hearing about his inspiring journey into the tech world.

Sebastian pictured above with staff members Gretchen Elliott and Kent Hainsworth along with Year 7-8 boys, L-R  Jett, Lachlan, Malachy, Jimmy, James, Oscar, Lachlan, Rick and Harry

Sebastian has fond memories of Wellesley.  The boys asked him what he loved most about his time here and he recalls relishing the freedom of the open spaces and the feeling of independence in and out of the classroom.  He also reflected on the strong foundation he received in coding from Ross Hampton whilst at Wellesley. At the age of 10, Sebastian taught himself simple computer programming and by aged 15 he had developed several critically acclaimed free Mac apps including MacDropAny which lets users sync any folder on their computer to the cloud. Over the years, Sebastian has received donations from satisfied users for the use of his free apps and this helped him save for his university education. “I really like the creativity of developing apps. You can take an idea, iron out the wrinkles, and then bring it to life. “

Sebastian spent four years at Princeton during which time he worked as a software engineering intern on MongoDB‘s Node.js Driver team in New York City; did an associate product manager internship at Google; was an Entrepreneurship Teaching Assistant on the Princeton campus, and continued to develop numerous web and Mac apps.  The Wellesley boys were very keen to hear all about Sebastian’s degree, life at Princeton (and of course Google) and his interest in software/app product management.  It was pretty clear to them that Sebastian was strongly motivated to succeed in the IT industry, and this inspired many of them to share stories about their own tech interests. In the STEM room, the boys showed Sebastian the Makey Makey and LEGO robotics kits and were also very interested to know about Google’s parental control software, comparing options to the Family Zone software used by Wellesley.  This group of boys clearly have a keen interest in computer science and, along with the staff that also joined the session, gave Sebastian a positive welcome back to his old school.

Sebastian graduates from Princeton University in USA in June 2019, with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree, majoring in Computer Science.

Sebastian has now secured a full-time job at Google, and in August starts as an Associate Product Manager, based in San Francisco.  The boys congratulated Sebastian on this amazing achievement and were given some wise advice in return – work hard to find your passions, gain technical expertise in chosen fields and don’t be afraid to teach yourself as much as you can, making the most of resources to upskill yourselves.

What great advice Sebastian – thank you for inspiring these boys.  With computer and communication skills like yours, you will be such an asset at Google.  Congratulations from the staff and boys at Wellesley who wish you great success in your new role and for the West Coast lifestyle in San Francisco.  We look forward to staying in touch.

Check out Seb’s website: