UC Los Angeles, 2013
Director of Communications
Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education
Research Communications and Projects Manager
University of California Humanities Research Institute
I run multiple initiatives related to agency operations—and occasionally do some communications work.
Informational interviews are always tricky for me. While I love talking to people, I always wonder how useful I am. When I worked in market research, I had easy next step for interested parties—we had a referral system and were always hiring. But after that, I followed a process that was not replicable and required things like moving across the country once every few years.
Outside of the academic job market, getting a job with a humanities PhD is not markedly different from getting a job without one—you look at job postings, tap your connections, try a few things to find out what you like/don’t like, and (hopefully) move toward jobs that are more suited for your interests. At the same time, when I was looking for my first job, I felt overeducated and underqualified—so I know that while it isn’t that different, it may feel like it should be. Squaring these perspectives is hard in a 30-minute chat.
Communications is at the intersection of strategy and execution—what we do and how we do it—and I like that I have a seat at many tables and can look at what we do from multiple angles.
Enjoy this time—you probably won’t experience anything quite like it again. Some people follow a band in their twenties—treat this moment with the same exuberance they do.
Less a skill than a realization: I can do hard things.
What is the worst career advice you’ve ever gotten?
What fictional or historic character would you most like to have an informational interview with?
Student loan debt?