Exploring different careers can be hard. I hear this a lot - “I’m interested in different things, but I don’t know how I’m going to learn about what I like and don’t like because I don’t have time to try all the things I want.” This seemingly impossible problem is usually expressed with a tinge of hopelessness and an appeal for realistic, actionable advice.
The Professional in Residence Program at TuftsFear not friend! If you want to explore career fields, one great option is the Career Center's Professional in Residence Program, which brings professionals to campus so students can meet with them and learn what it's like to work in their field.
Professional in Residence = Easy Way to Network with AlumniConnecting with alumni and professionals who are working in a field is one of the best ways to get insider information. We call these conversations, informational interviews, where you can get your questions answered and build a relationship at the same time. It's good to do a few informational interviews within the same field so you can get more than one perspective. While the PIR Program is a convenient way to network with alumni right here on campus, there are many ways to connect to professionals, like through LinkedIn or by attending panel discussions and career events on and off campus.
What career fields do the alumni represent?Over the last two years we've hosted alumni as professionals in residence from many different fields including healthcare, non-profit management, environment, marketing, urban studies/planning and many others:
- Moises Cohen (A11, IR), Director of Development, BUILD
- Margot Schwartz (A06, Psychology & Community Health), Research Public Health Analyst, RTI International
- Amy Cotter (J95, Political Science & Environmental Studies), Director of Strategic Initiatives/Regional Plan Implementation, Metropolitan Area Planning Council
- Dana DiNino, PhD (J96 Biology, MG02 Cellular and Molecular Biology), Senior Principle Scientist, Pfizer
- Johanna Neumann (J01, Biology & Environmental Studies), Donor Development Director, The Public Interest Network
- Erin Allweiss (A05, IR), Founder and Partner, No. 29 Communications
- Rita Reznikova (A08, IR), Senior Data Insights Manager, Forrester
- Gillian Galen, PsyD (J01, Child Development, Community Health & Spanish), Program Director of 3East Intensive Adolescent DBT Residential Program, McLean Hospital
- Jason Bauman, JD (A02, IR & Quantitative Economics), Policy Manager (North America), Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL)
- Sarang Sekhavat, JD (A98, History & Anthropology), Federal Policy Director, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition
If I sign up for the PIR Program, what can I expect?Students sign up in Jumbo Jobs to meet 1-1 with the professional for 20 minutes in the Career Center. We also host an open discussion over lunch for anyone to participate - munch on some pizza and salad and ask questions.
During your 1-on-1 time or over lunch you might ask questions like:
- What kind of projects do you work on?
- What are some ways that I can break into this field?
- What kinds of experiences are good for me to get while I'm at Tufts so I can get a job in your field?
- Is graduate school necessary for me to get ahead in this field?
Check out our calendar throughout the semester to stay updated on who is coming to campus. And don't be afraid to reach out on your own to talk to alumni. If you have any questions about how to do that, we are here for you and there is great information available on our website, here! Until next time!
- Jim McCarthy
Jim McCarthy is a Career Advisor in the Tufts Career Center and manages the Professional in Residence program. He also specializes in internship and LinkedIn programming a liaises with the Film and Media Studies, Environmental Studies, English, Chemistry and Biology departments.