It takes two: Aniela Mack ’17 and Courtney Kobren ’17

Brown has 6,264 undergrads, 2,094 grad students, and 490 med students. Somehow, someway, a lot of these people look like each other. You might not know their names, and you might not be friends with them, but you know these pairs exist. And don’t you just want to tell them? We definitely do.

Meet Ani Mack and Courtney Kobren, both in the Class of 2017. Although this dopplingangin’ duo had never met, the pair immediately attributed their strong eyebrow game to their “It Takes Two” match-up. Ani is a proud Northern California girl studying economics, whereas Courtney admits that she is less inclined to show hometown pride for Long Island, and is double concentrating in Slavic Studies and BEO. Check out Ani and Courtney’s questions for each other after the jump!

Aniela (left) and Courtney (right)

Aniela (left) and Courtney (right)

Ani: What’s your favorite compliment to get on your eyebrows?

Courtney: Hm, I always get weird compliments on my eyebrows, especially when I get my makeup done.

A: Do you ever get compared to any celebrities?

C: By nobody other than my grandmother (laughs). What about you?

A: I don’t know, people always say different ones. I don’t think any of them actually mean anything, but one time my friend told me I looked like the girl from Game of Thrones who plays Khaleesi.

C: I actually think somebody told me that before!

A: Okay, so maybe it’s not that far-fetched.

C: What’s your favorite book?

A: I was that kid in middle school who on Friday and Saturday nights could be seen reading on my couch, so I read a lot of books. My favorite one is probably Pride and Prejudice, a class. How about you?

C: Solid. Mine’s To Kill a Mockingbird.

A: Oh my god, I was going to say that before! If you had to play one character in To Kill a Mockingbird, who would it be?

C: I mean, can I be so typical and say Boo Radley? Who would you play?

A: Freshman year we did the play in high school and I was Atticus, but I think you’re right. I want to play Boo Radley. If you could tell your thirteen-year-old self something, what would you tell yourself?

C: Um, find new friends? (laughs). No, honestly I have no clue because everything I learned was a worthwhile experience.

A: That’s a very zen perspective. I like that. I’d probably just tell myself to listen when my mom told me to wash my hair more.

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Brown Bearish


This post is the first in a new column that will track Brunonian-influenced stocks.

Investing in today’s recession-battered, tech-saturated market can be difficult. New wealth management tools targeted at millennials have become ubiquitous on the Internet, while the old debate between the skeptical academics and the Wall Street elite over the value of financial advisors continues. But what if there were an alternative way to construct a portfolio of equities? A middle ground between the broad, diversified index fund approach recommended by academics like 2013’s Nobel Prize winner Eugene Fama and the expert-picked stock selection of Wall Street’s traditional financial advisors and hedge funds?

There are precedents, mainly in the world of mutual funds and ETFs. Some recent companies have encouraged everyday investors to purchase equities grouped into ‘concepts’ – asset classes they predict will take off in the market, i.e ‘solar energy’ – that have made investing easier while leading to predictions that the system will eventually render exchange-traded funds obsolete. But this approach still requires a substantial amount of luck and economic know-how – if investors cannot reliably predict the future directions of individual stocks, will they really be more capable at predicting the directions of asset classes?

What if there were a broader, more intangible set of criteria for equity selection? Criteria based not around a predicted trend in the market but around the inherent value of companies rooted in innovative intellectual practices and reliable leadership? Hey, those values are deliberately cultivated at Brown! Brunonians, after being selected for their curiosity, creativity, and diversity – all traits of rapidly increasing value in today’s knowledge economy – are then educated in a tradition of  via the New Curriculum. Unsurprisingly, Brown alumni also have a long history of success in the business world, creating and helming components of some of the most widely traded companies in the world.

Brown Bearish, a new weekly column on Blog, will follow a portfolio of equities purchased from several of these companies and examine their performance in light of both in-firm developments and broader market trends.

The Criteria

Specific criteria for a publicly-traded company’s eligibility for the portfolio include:

  • founded or co-founded by an alumnus of Brown
  • currently run by one or more alumni of Brown in the roles of CEO, CFO, COO or CTO
  • previously run by a Brown alumnus who was particularly instrumental to the company’s success and/or integral to its vision
  • founder and/or current CEO of a major subsidiary of a firm is a Brown alumnus
  • possesses one or more Brown alumni as shareholding board members
  • has had an unusually large number of Brown alumni instrumental in major company projects and/or operating at relatively high levels within the organization

All these qualifications ensure that a firm included in the portfolio is at least partially influenced by the leadership of one or more Brown alumni, and those values of creativity and specialization cultivated at the University. Brown Bearish will examine whether companies guided by these principles can achieve reliable long-term growth across a variety of industries, consistent with the buy-and-hold strategy of a diversified portfolio.


The List:

Apple (AAPL) – Andy Hertzfeld ’75, John Sculley ‘61 – member of development team behind original Mac and Mac OS, president from 1983 to 1993 (respectively)  – technology, media, and telecommunications

Interesting fact? Carl Icahn recently claimed that much of the company’s growth potential has yet to be priced in.

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) – Tom Scott ’90 and Tom First ’89 – founders of Nantucket Nectars, subsidiary of Dr. Pepper Snapple – retail (food and beverage)

Interesting fact? Take ENGN 9.

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