After attending high schools in the Netherlands, Iowa, and California because of family moves, Brooklyn Button ’22 knew what to look for in a college. Size topped the list of her priorities. Location was another.
“I value the culture of a small school since I enjoy really getting to know my peers and teachers,” she said. She also realized soon after moving to California for 12th grade that she wanted to stay. “From the good weather to the beaches to the mountains to the happy people, I knew I wanted to make SoCal my home for the next four years,” she said.
Claremont McKenna College has more than fulfilled Button’s small-school expectations. Appreciative of the connections and friendships she has been able to make while working with her peers on real-world projects, she said, “I never expected there would be so much collaborative learning.”
The extent to which students get to engage with professors has also surprised her. She said that “small class sizes—typically under 18 students—foster lively and enlightening conversations where professors are genuinely interested in hearing what students have to say.”
A faculty member who especially impressed her is mathematics and humanities Professor Robert J. Valenza, Dengler-Dykema Chair of Mathematics and the Humanities. After taking his Linear Algebra class as a first-year student, Button also took his Abstract Algebra class last year. She fondly recalls how he would give Zoom lectures “using his chalkboard in his classroom on campus, always wearing a collared shirt and never failing to ask for student feedback.” Button said that Valenza’s enthusiasm for math “is contagious” and that “he makes learning an interactive and engaging experience.”
Button, who was also drawn to CMC because of its “philosophy of thoughtful and responsible leadership,” wants to make a career in the finance sector. After working last fall and winter as an intern with a private equity firm, she is looking forward to an investment banking internship with the technology team of Citigroup this summer.
“I am excited about finance and aspire to be a leader in a private market investing role,” she said, adding that she is “open to many paths that life may offer.”
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Major: Applied mathematics and economics, finance sequence
Athlete, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps varsity cross country and track teams
Portfolio manager of the Healthcare and Life Sciences Team, CMC Student Investment Fund
Research assistant, Financial Economics Institute