Author Archives: ivanv16

Finding Harvard!

While I was compiling a list of graduate programs I was going to apply to, I neglected to put down HARVARD (you know, the school I attend now?). I thought that Harvard accepted only extraordinary people. I was too average—a senior majoring in English secondary education at a university in the state of Washington. Harvard wasn’t the school for me.

A friend of mine referred me to the Harvard Graduate School of Education website, specifically the Education Policy and Management program. She was a recent alumni of the education policy and management program at HGSE, and was working for a U.S. Senator. Since we were both from rural towns in the state of Washington, she knew that I wanted to be involved in a space that felt like a family and that would be intellectually stimulating. She pushed me to apply to the HGSE. I decided to add it to my list of places to research.

hgse_pic

I wanted to gain multiple perspectives before I clicked submit on my application and on the website, I found a link with the option to connect with an HGSE alumni or current student. The alumni who I was connected with was a student of color in the EPM program. At first, we began communicating via email, but when the application deadline was fast approaching, he offered to communicate via phone. It really helped me to make the decision to apply.

My advice to prospective students is twofold:

1) Connect with alumni and current students

2) Don’t be intimidated by Harvard if you are interested. Besides, your chances of getting in are much higher if you apply.

Ivan Valdovinos is a Master’s in Education candidate in the Education Policy and Management Program. He is a first-generation college student who seeks to develop culturally sensitive intervention programs for underrepresented students.

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I got HIRED!

Twice a week, I intern at Cambridge School Volunteers (CSV), a non-profit organization that supports the academic and personal success of Cambridge Public School students. I work closely with the College Readiness Mentoring Program which assists high school seniors, some who are the first in their families to apply to college, with college applications and financial aid. As a first-generation college student myself, I know all too well the adversities students may face during the college application process. One of my goals was to make an impact in the lives of underrepresented students and my Program Assistant position at CSV allows me to do just that.

Ivan Valdovinos (Left) and Diane Sherlock (Right) HGSE alum.

Ivan Valdovinos (Left) and Diane Sherlock (Right) HGSE alum.

During the summer, I began my search for an internship that would complement my course load. I browsed through the Hired system—a Harvard Graduate School of Education resource where internship and job postings are available—in order to secure a paid internship. The Career Services Office also hosts an Internship Expo during Orientation Week where you can speak face-to-face with potential employers. I met my boss at the Internship Expo which helped me land an interview and eventually helped secure my internship! Here are some tips to help you during the internship process:

Tip #1: Meet with a career counselor

Work diligently and face-to-face with a career counselor in order to explore the internship process.

Tip #2: Browse the Hired system

Compose a list of potential employers and do your research!

Tip #3: Attend the Internship Expo

Bring copies of your polished resume and dress professionally! You may encounter your future employer.

Tip #4: Secure a for-credit, work-study, or unpaid Internship

Good luck, have fun, and get HIRED!

Ivan Valdovinos is a Master’s in Education candidate in the Education Policy and Management Program. He is a first-generation college student who seeks to develop culturally sensitive intervention programs for underrepresented students.

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