Yoga teacher, academic tutor, mother
Grad Year: 1996
Other areas of sudy/degree(s):
MAT, Tufts University, 2004
A winding path to the best job I have ever had
I became an English concentrator because I loved to write and I fell in love with Virginia Woolf. I wanted to spend my college career reading as much as I could possibly read. My career path has been windy, windy, windy. The most valuable class I took, career-wise, at Michigan, was Buzz Alexander’s Literature and Social Change class. It put me on track to join the Americorp VISTA program and to teach theatre in school settings. His class (which I took for two semesters) put students in the classrooms and prisons, teaching arts. It gave me real-life experience, in the trenches teaching. I used that experience as I helped to organize arts programs in the California school through the VISTA program. I would recommend the Americorp program to graduates, because it gives you the job experience many of us lack when we graduate. I spent a year in Americorp VISTA and then a few years substitute teaching and teaching for after-school arts programs. I spent summers teaching theatre at performing arts camps in Colorado (one summer) and on the East Coast (three summers). That’s when I discovered another passion -- yoga. I began studying in 1997 and became a certified instructor in 2001. I have been teaching yoga to adults and youth ever since. I have also done a number of other jobs in between: booking manager for a dance company, personal assistant, theatre box office employee, academic tutor. I have been the queen of odd jobs, because I cannot bear the prospect of a 9-5 job. In 2004, I got my Master of Arts in Teaching English (grades 8-12) at Tufts University. I taught for a grand total of two years and then went back to teaching yoga, tutoring, and teaching in some after-school programs. It’s been a long, windy path, and I expect it to keep winding. I am also now a mom (of a one year old). That’s an over-time job and the best one I’ve ever had.
Advice to undergraduates
Do valuable work that you feel passionate about in the summer months. Get internships and don’t wait until you graduate to start thinking about possible career paths. Being an English major is stimulating and good for the soul; it teaches you to think about problems complexly and to write and express yourself very well. Those are invaluable skills, but don’t get caught in the trap of thinking that just because you’re an English major, you have to get a PhD or teach high school. Those are great options if you’re suited for them. But, if you’re not suited for them, enjoy your degree but spend some time in the summers getting some real job experience. Also, one of the best pieces of advice I got from my professors at Michigan was, “DON’T GO RIGHT TO GRAD SCHOOL AFTER UNDERGRAD. TAKE SOME TIME. WORK. SOUL-SEARCH. FAIL. MESS-UP. TRY A PATH AND GET OFF OF IT IF IT’S NOT RIGHT. BUT DON’T GO TO GRAD SCHOOL JUST BECAUSE YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO DO.” The best thing I did was wait seven years before I went to grad school. When I finally went, I loved it, because it was a great fit. If I had gone sooner, I would have been going out of a state of panic and would have only racked up debt and stressed myself out.
Faith Adler Brown, Erin Crowley, Dory Gannes, Aric Knuth, Lawrence Landman, Katherine MacNair, Howard Markel, MD, PhD, Sarah Marwil Lamstein, Kelly O’Connor McNees, Amanda Richardson, Michael Richman, Melissa Shook, Rebecca Soares, Kurt Taroff, Lisa Vandenbossche, Lee Woldenberg, Anne Wyman
Related Career FieldsEducation, Health and Wellness