Author Archives: wfillman

So What Comes Next?

I can’t believe the fall semester has flown by so quickly and many of us, including myself, are taking January Term courses at HGSE.  One of the questions that has been on the minds of many Ed school students is what comes next? Where will we be in the next six months after we graduate from HGSE?

This is a question that popped up even during orientation and in the first weeks of classes as my cohort began to bond.  While many of the members of my cohort in the Higher Education program were coming directly from the work force into graduate school and had a very clear cut idea as to what they would like to do upon leaving, I did not.  I wondered should I apply to Teach for America, work in undergraduate admissions, or seek a job in a development office.  With a lot of options and ideas swirling around in my head it has been an incredible experience to learn abou the diverse careers and paths our alumni have taken after they left Appian Way.

Across the Ed School, Career Services has been offering workshops, drop-in hours, on-campus recruiting events, and sponsored the Recruiting Intensive Period and Resumania all in the fall.  Many of the students here during J-Term are participating in a myriad of Career Services workshops geared toward master’s students to get a head start on the job hunt.  It has been fascinating to see the wealth of opportunities that are afforded to HGSE students over the course of the year and beyond.

In addition, for the Higher Education program we had our own panel on careers in Higher Education with representatives from Human Resources and alumni that work across the university’s other schools (including Harvard College, the Kennedy School, and Harvard Business School). In a few weeks we will have an alumni day with members of last year’s Higher Ed cohort to discuss their paths after they left HGSE and ‘Higher Education at Harvard’ as part of admitted student’s weekend.  Knowing that Career Services and our program has put together a number of resources both formally and informally through networking, events, work-shops, and one-on-one appointments has allowed many of us to breathe and fully immerse ourselves in our academic experience at HGSE.  I should also add, the valuable skills from internships will continue to help us in the future as well.

I am happy to report that I will be participating in Teach for America this upcoming Fall as a member of the 2012 Baltimore Corps, which has removed me from the job search early on; however, I know that the vast network of resources from HGSE and its alumni will prove invaluable to my friends at the Ed School as the spring semester comes to a close and for myself a few years down the road.

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Reflections from an Open House

This past week has been an incredible whirlwind, but definitely for the better.  I have had to work on two papers, prepare for the admissions office’s Fall Open House, and anxiously await notification on applications to Teach for America and a Fulbright Scholarship in Hungary. With that said, I will hopefully have some good news to share next week and maybe even some post-HGSE plans, which is pretty crazy to think about because the fall semester is not even over yet.

The highlight of my week was the Fall Open House with the HGSE Admissions Office.  Masters students in Higher Education are encouraged to pursue internships and given my interest in admissions, I landed an internship in HGSE’s Admissions Office working with the alumni ambassador program and event planning.  Aside from arriving at Longfellow Hall at 6:30AM (I couldn’t believe that the Harvard crew team was out practicing on the Charles River at 6AM) it was a day to remember.

I was scrambling around all day making sure students got checked in, guests knew where to go, and that all of our set ups were complete, but what was most rewarding was the people that I got to meet throughout the day.  I met prospective students from diverse backgrounds interested in the Higher Education program at our breakout and had the opportunity to give a tour of Harvard’s campus and Harvard Square to guests and family members.  These personal interactions reminded me why I want to work in either undergraduate or graduate school admissions — to share my knowledge, discuss opportunities, and share my love of a place with them.

I think it is safe to say that I love HGSE after only a few short months and being able to share that with prospective students was rewarding, even if it did mean I had to get up at 5AM and program 150 clickers for our interactive information session.  The Open House was a great exercise for me to understand why I have chosen a career path in Higher Education as well as an opportunity to gain insight into what it really means to work in admissions and feel that I was more than an intern, but rather a colleague.