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Joshua Hartshorn ’97

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Joshua attended BYU, American University for a Master’s degree in teaching and the University of Virginia for law school.When did you come to Waterford and why did you choose Waterford as your school?
I started at Waterford in 10th grade. I first visited in 9th grade after moving from Maryland to Utah. I remember meeting with Todd Winters and observing a class. My parents wanted me to attend Waterford despite the sacrifice that it would require. I was happy to attend then and, as I look back, I am increasingly grateful to my parents and everyone else who supported me at Waterford.

What has been the most meaningful impact that Waterford has had on you?
My interaction with classmates and teachers who inspired me has had the most meaningful impact on my life. Is there a Waterford Alumni branch in DC? I wish that I could regularly see my classmates and continue the great friendships that we had in high school. The most impactful class for me was economics with Charles Rosett, which gave me a whole new way of seeing the world and analyzing problems.

What passions did you find at Waterford that you may not have discovered elsewhere (photo, theater, dance, robotics, birding, Shakespeare, ceramics, tennis, outdoor, lacrosse, etc.)?
I’m so glad I found lacrosse in Utah at Waterford. Among my favorite memories is playing for Coach Morris on a team that included half of the guys from my graduating class and Catie Nelson.

Did you have a favorite teacher or more than one? Why?
I was fortunate to take British Literature from Robert Ralphs and European History from Kimberly Sorenson. I regularly think back to their classes and hear their voices. I still quote Mr. Ralphs in saying “This is going to hurt me a lot more that it will hurt you…”. I recently visited the Prado in Madrid and saw paintings that Ms. Sorenson introduced me to. A favorite memory was eating French onion soup that she made for our class as part of a study session at her home before the AP exam. Finally, as mentioned above, I loved taking classes with Mr. Rosett.

Did Waterford prepare you well for college and life beyond?
Of course! I roomed with Dan Jensen and Danny Swinton as freshmen in college. Without a doubt, we were all well prepared. In part, the format and rigor of our classes at Waterford meant that we did not have to make too many adjustments to succeed in college.

Where did you go to college?
BYU for undergraduate studies in economics. American University for a Master’s degree in teaching and the University of Virginia for law school.

What was your first job after college?
I started working for an internet start-up company before my sophomore year of college and continued full-time for 6 months after graduation. I left to teach elementary school in Washington DC as part of Teach For America.

What culminating experience(s) helped you select a career?
I think I always planned on getting either a JD or an MBA. The start-up that I worked for was acquired and I took a particular interest in how that deal was structured and what agreements employees and shareholders had to enter into. Based on that experience, I thought I wanted to become an M&A attorney. I never had any interest in litigation.

How has your career evolved?
I was very fortunate to learn Spanish as a Mormon missionary in Spain. Speaking Spanish has perhaps influenced my career more than anything else. Along the way to becoming an attorney, I took an enjoyable two-year detour to teach Spanish and reading in an inner-city elementary school. Out of law school I joined the Latin American group of my current firm in Miami, where I did some M&A work before realizing that I hated it. I did, however, discover that I really like project and asset finance. After a couple years in Miami, I spent 3.5 years in Mexico City and now work in Washington, DC. My work largely consists of representing companies in the construction, development and financing of big projects, such as wind farms in the Dominican Republic, a large petrochemical facility in Mexico and an LNG regasification terminal in Colombia. I consider myself to be a deal junkie. I like working on and closing deals.

Where do you live now?
McLean, Virginia

Words to live by?
Don’t take yourself too seriously.