HarvardOCS

Aug 08

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Where will you be next year? 
Columbia School of the Arts, New York City

What will you be doing? 
Pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing- poetry, and living with great Harvard friends.

What advice do you have for Harvard undergraduates?
Take risks, and go crazy with the endless opportunities that the Harvard experience offers: travel, research, social life, courses, advising- If you do, you might discover dreams that you did not even know you could have. And make plenty time for sleep the summer after graduation. 

Also, savor every moment that you spend with your friends and roommates. When else would you have a chance to live in the same room, house or even community with so many of your closest friends?

See additional senior spotlights

Aug 07

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A New Meaning of Justice

I stayed out until midnight one night sitting on a park bench, reading The Prisoner’s Wife, as different groups of tourists speaking Polish, Korean, Hindi took turns shuffling past me. Gradually, the sun faded into dusk, then left only the glow of the streetlight in the middle of the park illuminating my pages. I’m sure people must have stared at me, with tears trailing down my face, sniffling in the most undignified way possible, yet still unable to tear myself from my book.

The thing with interning at the ACLU in mass incarceration policy is that it’s not just a 9-to-5 internship, an office job that you can just leave from. It’s immersion into a world of passionate individuals, real stories, and a keen sense that every effort mattered in this fight to keep people out of bars. It was that sense of urgency that kept me reading Asha Bandele’s powerful memoir The Prisoner’s Wife late into the night. Bandele, the wife of a prisoner sentenced to twenty years, reminded me through her fluid prose, of the pain that incarceration dealt to prisoners and to their loved ones—and the justice for which we had to keep fighting. 

The shackling of pregnant women. The criminalization of psychiatric disability. Aging prisoners, weak and ailing, yet still kept behind bars. Solitary confinement. Violence by guards. The Prisoner’s Wife. Each new puzzle piece revealed a story of 2.2 million Americans behind bars—and reminded me that whether through litigation, policy reform, or activism, we had to remind people of our common humanity in order to even get close to achieving justice.

That’s what my summer taught me most of all. Ultimately, what I learned most wasn’t the fact that women make up a growing percentage of incarcerated people, or that my home state of Pennsylvania is launching a justice reinvestment initiative or that Mississippi has terrible mental health policies. 

What I learned most was a new definition for justice—one that incorporates mercy, humanity, and healing rather than isolation and punishment. 

Justice isn’t about an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, but rather about safety, healing, and humanity. Justice is not the strip-searches that Bandele’s husband had to go through; justice is not locking someone in a cell and throwing away the key. Justice is not our current model of criminal justice and mass incarceration. 

Perhaps someday, I will be able to read The Prisoner’s Wife, and know that because of me, one less wife has cried that all she wants is for her husband to come home to her. Perhaps someday, I will be able to help realize the Cornel West quote, “Justice is what love looks like in public.” Perhaps someday, we will truly make the justice system, just and more importantly, compassionate.

In the meantime, I’ll keep fighting. 

—Eva Shang

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Eva Shang, Harvard College ’17
Intern, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU
New York, NY

Read additional Presidential Fellowship summer experience blogs.

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Happy summer from Cambridge, everyone!

My name is Jing Qiu, I’m a rising junior in Mather House, and this summer, I have the awesome opportunity working as a director of the Cambridge Youth Enrichment Program, a PBHA academic enrichment summer program that serves 160 Cambridge youth. 

As we finish Week 5 of camp (next week is our last week of CYEP, yikes!), our staff and students have spent the past couple of days reflecting on the summer and celebrating each others’ accomplishments. 

Students in the first grade classroom spent the last week learning about grammar and punctuation, making “My Book of Punctuation” packets to take home!

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They also visited the Cambridge Public Library with the 3rd Grade class and participated in a Reading Buddies Program, not only sharpening their literacy skills but also finding a new friend along the way. 

Our older students have enjoyed hiking trips to New Hampshire, astronomy classes, and sailing lessons on the Charles River as a part of CYEP’s 2014 Outdoor Education Initiative! 

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And finally, everyone participated in the Midsummer Celebration, a PBHA-wide carnival and talent show held on July 30th to commemorate another successful summer.

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It’s been such an amazing summer working with these students! Here’s to a great last week of camp!

CYEP-LOVE, 

Jing 


Jing Qiu, Harvard College ’16
Director, Cambridge Youth Enrichment Program & Literacy Project
Cambridge, MA

Read additional Presidential Fellowship summer experience blogs.

Jun 24

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Where will you be next year? 
Hong Kong, China

What will you be doing?
Alternative Investments Analyst at a Private Equity Firm

What advice do you have for undergraduates?
Use the Harvard Alumni Network when going through the job search. Alumni are more than willing to help! OCI is only one method of recruitment. Crimson Compass, the peer database, good ol’ networking—these are all also great options for helping you find a job  / get advice on the types of jobs out there.

See additional senior spotlights.

Jun 11

Where will you be next year? 
Boston, Massachusetts

What will you be doing?
Working as a Business Analyst with McKinsey & Company 

What advice do you have for undergraduates?
In experiencing classes, extracurriculars, and life in general: do what you want to do, not what you think you should be doing. The more times you have to tell yourself something, the higher the probability that what you’re telling yourself isn’t true. A note on extracurriculars: they are a valuable opportunity to 1) get a sense of the type of work that you enjoy doing, 2) develop the ability to work effectively both on your own and within a team, and 3) apply what you’ve learned in your classes to the real world. Whether it’s joining a club, playing a sport, working on your startup, conducting research, or whatever: to make the most out of Harvard, realize that much of its value lies outside of the classroom.

See additional senior spotlights.

Jun 09

Arts & Museums Fellow: Sara Price

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It is often proposed that the most beautiful things in life are those that we cannot initially see. Indeed, my stint as an OCS Arts & Museum Fellow with the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture (HMSC) taught me that the inner workings of cultural institutions are beautifully intricate. This consortium consists of four very cool galleries on Harvard’s campus: the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, and the Semitic Museum. During our work with these institutions, my fellow intern Haley and I spent time with staff divisions ranging from Development and Public Relations to Education and Academic Partnerships to discover how the museums are maintained. To facilitate the portions of the HMSC that are readily seen, these departments operating “behind the scenes” work diligently to organize and order the displays of knowledge that educate visitors.

One hidden aspect of the HMSC that surprised me was the scope of its collections. Harvard’s holdings include far more objects than those put on exhibition at any one time. As a component of the internship, I enjoyed the privilege of viewing archives which contained unique items such as P.T. Barnum’s “mermaid” made up of a monkey and fish tail. Once I saw the treasures stored here, I saw it fit to spread the word! Under the guidance of Executive Director Jane Pickering, Haley and I interviewed several staff members and perused the programming of similar museums in order to gain tangible knowledge of outreach and promotional campaigns.  Through this research, we developed some potential strategies to enhance our fellow undergraduates’ engagement with the HMSC.  We aim to encourage more students to seek out the plethora of resources we encountered at the museums – after all, there are so many beautiful things to see!  

Sara Price ‘16
Arts & Museum Fellows Program
Harvard Museums of Science and Culture (HMSC)

Learn more about the Arts & Museums Fellows Program:


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Jun 02

Where will you be next year? 
New York City

What will you be doing?
A Center for Public Interest Careers (CPIC) Fellowship as a Case Manager at Montefiore Medical Center

What advice do you have for undergraduates?
Take advantage of all of the wonderful resources at OCS. The summertime is the perfect occasion to immerse yourself in something completely different, and OCS can help you with your search and your application for funding! The workshops OCS organizes are very helpful and it would behoove you to make time in your schedule and attend those that seem interesting to you.

See additional senior spotlights.

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Where will you be next year? 
Boston, Massachusetts

What will you be doing?
Serving as a Corps Member with City Year Boston

What advice do you have for undergraduates?
It’s never too late to explore the things you really care about, that thing that you’ve always really wanted to do but have always been a little bit scared of. I think at Harvard it’s tough to step off the trodden path, but I think those that do are rewarded tenfold for it. Also, never worry about having a job at the same time that “everyone else does.” The right opportunity for you will come at the right time and worrying will only cause unnecessary stress.

See additional senior spotlights.

Where will you be next year? 
Minneapolis, Minnesota

What will you be doing?
Working as a Sales Associate for General Mills

What advice do you have for undergraduates?
Speak to as many professionals as possible to discover your passion by shadowing, coffee chats, etc. Learning early on what kind of lifestyle and job you will enjoy is very important.

See additional senior spotlights.

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Where will you be next year? What will you be doing?
This summer I will be in Hawaii on a Booth Fellowship, and next fall I will be at Cambridge University on a Herchel Smith Fellowship obtaining a master’s in earth sciences.

What advice do you have for undergraduates?
My advice is to become close with a number of professors — they’re great at advice!

See additional senior spotlights.

May 29

Where will you be next year? 
New Haven, Connecticut

What will you be doing?
Pursuing a J.D. at Yale Law School

What advice do you have for undergraduates?
Even when times are busy during your undergraduate education, try to devote moments for self-reflection on your experiences, both academic and non-academic. Be introspective about your goals and consider how they may fit into the larger context of supporting your community and society more broadly. Thinking critically and challenging yourself to agree or disagree in your experiences can help you discover what you ultimately stand for and how you may best pursue your goals. Remember during this exploration that strong viewpoints and being open to new perspectives are not mutually exclusive. Instead, they can both be incredibly important together for finding a personal path that will work well for you.

See additional senior spotlights.

May 28

Where will you be next year? 
Boston, Massachusetts

What will you be doing?
Working on the Social Media team at Fidelity Investments

What advice do you have for undergraduates?
My advice would be to take chances on things you might not know you’ll like. A lot of us come in as freshmen thinking we need to know exactly what we want to do and who we want to be when we graduate. Don’t put the blinders up - keep an open mind and try new things.

See additional senior spotlights.

May 23

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Where will you be next year? 
America’s Finest City (and my home): San Diego, California

What will you be doing?
Teaching middle school math at a charter school through Teach For America (and with a teaching credential I was able to obtain through Harvard’s Undergraduate Teacher Education Program - do it!).

What advice do you have for undergraduates?
Don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t go into a career because it “isn’t what you go to Harvard for” or it “isn’t elite.” Pursue whatever you’re passionate about, because at the end of the day, you’ll be happy and they’ll still be talking. For me, this has definitely been the case with teaching, but I honestly can’t think of a more elite profession than educating our future.

See additional senior spotlights.

Where will you be next year? 
New York, New York

What will you be doing?
Pursuing my dream of becoming a rock n’ roll drummer, while tutoring to make ends meet

What advice do you have for undergraduates?
Make sure you leave Harvard with a plan of doing what you really want to do. You’ll never have as much freedom as you do in the time immediately after graduation!

See additional senior spotlights.

Where will you be next year? 
Miami, Florida

What will you be doing?
Working for Burger King Corporation in their Leadership Development Program

What advice do you have for undergraduates?
GO TO OCS! Have a conversation with them! Even if you think they won’t be helpful because you don’t know what you want to do - that’s the perfect time to go! The OCS staff are some of the most knowledgeable, helpful resources we have here, so don’t miss out on an opportunity to make the most of your internship/career search by scheduling a quick meeting with them! 15 minutes could save you 15% or more of your “real life” stress. :)

See additional senior spotlights.