The Rewards of Hard Work

Dan Diamond ’98 and Andrew Schapiro ‘01 addressed the Upper School in March for the 38th Annual H.K. Douglas Cotton Memorial Lecture. They discussed their career paths and options available to current students, as Mr. Cotton intended when he established the lecture

Dan is a POLITICO reporter whose investigations of the Trump administration led to the resignation of Health Secretary Tom Price and sparked multiple congressional inquiries. His career started at Gilman, where he was the managing editor of Gilman News. He shared his view that the job of a reporter is to "shine light on dark corners to help protect the weakest among us" and, while discussing careers in journalism, said, "many of you will not be interested in becoming a reporter but you will all be consumers of news."

Andrew is the founder of Andrew Schapiro Design and, until recently, served as the creative director for the popular home-sharing service, Airbnb. Although his educational path did not include design (Davidson College did not offer a design major; he earned his B.A. in art history), he pointed to his work designing theater sets at Gilman as a spark to his interest, leading to his career. During his six years at Airbnb, he oversaw a rebranding campaign while the company grew from 300 to more than 6,000 employees. Explaining his choice to leave, he said "Airbnb had become the navy and I didn't want to be a captain. I wanted to be a pirate." 

Both Andrew and Dan noted the importance of hard work. "Working hard is in my control and can pay off," said Andrew. Dan told students,  "At Gilman, I was a mediocre athlete and I wasn't the best student. But the world keeps turning, and I just worked harder. And the biggest victory is coming back to Gilman to speak with you today."