Tag Archives: Ed School

Welcome to HGSE, Admitted Students!

Welcome, newly admitted students, to HGSE!  Some affectionately call this place Hug-see.  Others really hate that pronunciation and call it H-G-S-E.  Then there are students like myself who call it the Ed School.  Whatever name you decide to call this place, I really hope it will be your home for the next year!

It is a wonderful feeling knowing that I have been at the Ed School for 6 months.  I cannot describe how much I learn every day.  While the time passes incredible quickly, there is a certain pleasure in knowing that one is taking full advantage of a place like Harvard.  It’s not just the classes, though they are great.  It’s the people, the speakers who come to campus, the self-reflection and growth that happens, and the moments of fun that I will remember most from HGSE.

Last Thursday, I participated in the HGSE phonathon.  It was really lovely welcoming new students to the Ed School – it felt like we were all part of one community, and I felt proud to be the first person that many admitted students spoke to about the Ed School !  Pay it forward, right?

For those admits reading this, come to the Ed School!  Hopefully your experience will be as joyous as mine has been so far!



Irteza Binte-Farid is a Master’s of Education candidate in the Education Policy and Management program.  Having worked for QuestBridge, an education non-profit which matches low-income, first generation students to great colleges within the US, Irteza continues to be interested in the experience of first generation students in college. In the future, she is excited to enter the field of Higher Education Policy.

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On Applications and Motivations

This time last year, I think I’d just taken my GREs and I was in the midst of the extremely stressful process of applications that you all must be going through right now. It’s astounding though how fast this amazing first semester at HGSE has passed and the acceptance, visa application process and the first few months here at the Ed School seem like a blur now.

I guess I just wanted to write about a few things that might help you with your application process! Firstly, I would really encourage you to think through honestly and clearly why you are applying to graduate school in education and why Harvard, not for the admissions committee or anyone else but for yourself. If those motivations are strong, clear, genuinely yours and sincere, they will no doubt keep you focused and motivated even through the chaotic year on Appian Way. No two people come to ed school for precisely the same reasons. All you have to be sure about is that you are applying for the right ones (but no one else can really decide what “right” means for you). After thinking that through, be sure to communicate it simply and genuinely in your Statement of Purpose! Be concise and coherent but also be sure to stick true your writing style and your person.

I was thinking back to what drove me to apply here and I thought I’d share what motivated me. Simply put, I’d wanted to get better, as an educator, as a learner and as a person on the whole. And now that I’m at the halfway mark of this journey myself, I feel like this determination and drive to know more, to learn, to be able to put into practice what I’ve learnt, to broaden my mind and to open it to new ways of thinking has pushed me to become better. I don’t have all the answers yet, I’m not entirely and completely sure that I’ve done all that I can to get better but all I know is that I’ve one more semester to try harder! (:

That’s my two cents’ worth! All the best with your applications and happy holidays everyone! (:

Divya Somasundaram is a Master’s of Education candidate in the Language & Literacy program. As an educator-to-be in the island city-state of Singapore, Divya is interested in the intersection of language policy and language teaching, as well as enabling equitable access to literacy.

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