At this time last year, I was both excited and anxious about my application to HGSE. My biggest worry was whether it was time to go back to grad school. I was debating whether it was a good idea to make the career shift away from law practice back towards education, the sector where I began my career. I am also in my mid-thirties with a family, so it is no small feat to move my entire life across the country. At any age and stage though, it is a major decision to invest the time and money to go to graduate school.
I am happy to say that after two months in the Education Policy and Management (EPM) program, I am confident that I made the right decision. There are multiple reasons I think HGSE is worth all the effort it took to get here. No one will claim that a degree from Harvard looks bad on your resume – earning the credential is a legitimate reason to come. A better reason would be to learn from professors who are the leading experts in the education field. That is absolutely one of the reasons I came here, and I have already learned an incredible amount from my courses. What I find to be the most compelling thing about HGSE, however, is the community of students. It is the energy and inspiration I get from my classmates that I find most valuable about the entire grad school experience.
There is something very refreshing about spending a year in Cambridge with a group of people who are all passionate about improving education. It is fascinating to hear the stories of how people got here, and where they plan to go next. I also find it valuable to hear everyone’s different perspectives. Even though we all want to make the system better, we approach solving the education sector’s problems from different angles, no doubt influenced by our varied backgrounds. I think understanding these different motivations will make us all better education leaders when we are out in the field next year. For now, there is no place I would rather be than HGSE!
Sara DeWolf is a Master’s of Education candidate in the Education Policy and Management program. She has experience as both a civil litigation attorney and a public school teacher. When she’s not at HGSE, you can find her playing with her daughters and exploring Boston.