Byron K. Johnson ’09 majored in psychology because he was fascinated by human behavior and thought the course of study would be useful in a career as a criminal defense lawyer. Well before he graduated from Hamilton College, however, Johnson figured out that law wasn’t for him, but he hung on to the psych major. That proved to be a good thing.
Johnson works as a lead analyst in financial crimes compliance at GE Capital, where he puts his knowledge about human behaviors to use.
Johnson says that of all the things he learned at Hamilton, the most important were critical thinking and writing skills. In particular, he credits Todd Franklin, the Sidney Wertimer Professor of Philosophy for Excellence in Advising and Mentoring, with sharpening his abilities in those areas.
“I always thought that I was an OK writer, and now I’ll never forget the first time I turned in a paper, how he just tore it up,” Johnson recalls. But Franklin was supportive. He encouraged Johnson to come see him during office hours and worked with him on all elements of writing well. “It was eye-opening,” Johnson says.