Peter Maybarduk ’02 and his amazing dueling careers | W&M Alumni Association

Maintaining a full-time position as an international public interest lawyer fighting to make medicines available to less-developed nations seems like a demanding enough job, but Peter Maybarduk ’02 juggles his other career with circus-like skills as an accomplished indie music artist. Not only does he enjoy successful careers in both fields, but he manages to give each the same dedication and passion that one man would find difficulty devoting to a single vocation.
“Music has always been a strong interest of mine, but I got considerably more interested in it after I graduated,” Maybarduk says. “I was in law school and it was the very left-brain orientation, deductive side work that flourished in the law school that made me need to express myself creatively.”
Although he did not begin to study music intensely until after he left the College, it still held appeal for him even then.
“I took a music theory class and some of the one credit instructional classes,” he says. “The creative element came first and then the desire to perfect came later.”
While attending the College, Maybarduk expended his considerable creativity in a band called The Buddy System with a few other members, playing indie rock in places like Lodge One and The Meridian Coffeehouse. At the same time, he was heavily involved with organizations like the Student Advocacy group, Student Environmental Action Coalition, The Living Wage Campaign, and the African cultural society.
Although Maybarduk’s career as a lawyer seems like the logical step for a student at William and Mary, the work he is involved in is quite unique.
“In 2007 I started an non-governmental organization with a couple of colleagues called International Professional Partnerships for Sierra Leone based in Washington D.C.,” he says. “A primary challenge for Sierra Leone has been developing the capacity of the public sector, helping the state deliver services to the people, things that many Americans take for granted.”
The partnership looks for young, passionate and competent professionals who work in all different sectors to move to Sierra Leone and lend their skills to the local government. The participants meet and work alongside local government officials to solve problems in the community. According to Maybarduk, supply is the least of their problems with so many people willing to help out. In fact, the demand is so high that the program will be expanding in the next year to take even more people to the country.
As a young boy, Maybarduk traveled with his parents all over the world, even living in the place he would later build his career, Sierra Leone, for a time. When they finally settled back in the U.S., Maybarduk was admitted to reform school. It was there that he found his calling.
“There was a moment in reform school when I had come a long way in their program and one of the instructors was trying to make a point with a different student,” says Maybarduk. “He points to me and says, ‘Peter knows what he wants to do. Peter, what do you want to do?’ I said, ‘I want to change things.’”
“He kind of stared back at me and asked, ‘What do you want to change?’ I said, ‘Everything.’”
When Maybarduk came to the College, the support from his friends and teachers pushed him even further on his path.
“It was the environment at William and Mary that set me up for a career: studying academic ideas, economics, culture, having professors as a resource and the opportunity to work with other students asking, ‘What do we want to see happen?’” He found this enthusiasm not only in his clubs and classes in his major, but also in the music classes that helped move him towards his career as a musician. He took some of the basic music classes at college as well as private guitar lessons. It was during his first semester at the College that he bought his classical guitar, which has traveled the world at his side.
In both of his careers, Peter Maybarduk hopes to reach out and help as many people as he can through the work that he does and the songs he sings. Maybarduk says, “Its important to me to do both. Music gives me satisfaction of creativity in being able to interpret events whereas law allows me to feel pragmatic satisfaction in that I took concrete steps in some issue that betters someone’s life.”

via Tribe Spotlight: Peter Maybarduk ’02 – W&M Alumni Association.

Leave a Reply