With February flying by, Spring Break approaching, and many national conferences, we are so excited to introduce you to a current student for the Administration of Higher Education program. Cate Connerty, a hard working and ambitious commuter student, brings forth a fresh “day in the life of a graduate student” perspective (in case some of our readers forgot)!
Hi Cate! You are the first student being featured in this segment! Tell us a little bit about your current role within Suffolk University.
Right now, I am a graduate fellow for John Silveria in the Orientation and New Student Programs Office. Mainly, I work with Student Government Association as a co-advisor, and I am working with them right now on getting the elections season going, as well as the SGA Awards in April. I also do a lot of the weekly events marketing, I advise the Senior Week Committee, and I’m currently working on a lot of parent programs research to further develop our programs at Suffolk. I’m enrolled full-time in the program, and really love it so far. The other students in the program are great, and everyone brings in their own experiences to relate what we’re learning to the real world.
What made you decide to pursue your Master’s in Administration of Higher Education?
Originally, the only reason that I went to undergrad was so that I could go to law school afterwards. I had my heart set on being a lawyer, but after taking a few courses, I realized that it was not the path for me. I switched into the business school at Suffolk as a marketing major, but never really felt super connected to the business world itself. I know most jobs are office jobs, but I just couldn’t picture myself working in a marketing firm or advertising agency as an associate. My heart was never there, but the material was great to learn. I love the marketing major, I just prefer higher ed. I was super involved during my undergraduate career at Suffolk, and really fell in love with working with students. I enjoyed being an advisor to them, working through issues, and guiding others to what they believed they should do in life. I am a firm believer that getting involved (this especially coming from a working commuter student) is the best way to become apart of campus and make yourself at home there. I had a lot of conversations with mentors of my own, and ultimately decided that this was the field that I wanted to be in, and I couldn’t be happier!
What is the most helpful aspect of the program thus far?
Although the classes are helpful in learning the theories and potential situations that may arise in the field, I have always been a “hands on” learner. My assistantship with John is an amazing opportunity because I am really getting some experience working with students face-to-face instead of having hypothetical situations in class. Networking has also been a great way for me to learn more about the field and the opportunities that are available for current grad students!
Though this is fairly early to ask, do you have a potential career trajectory?
Honestly, I don’t know! I have so many interests in different levels of the field that I’m really just learning as much as I can right now in order to have a better idea come May 2014 when I graduate. My main interests lie in first year programs, student activities, and conduct – but that could all change within a year! Who knows! I really love what I’m doing right now, and I will probably be taking on a few more responsibilities as the semester and next year go on in order to make the absolute most out of my fellowship and other opportunities!
What a great outlook! We all wish you the best with the rest of the program and beyond! As our final question, we always like to ask what people do outside of this field, even though the life of a graduate student probably provides little time outside of your work!
Outside of school, I work part-time at Lucky Brand Jeans in Burlington. It’s a great way to get out of the education atmosphere a couple hours a week and get some really great clothes at the same time! J Although my weeks are generally consumed by work, I really love spending my downtime with my family and friends – especially my two-year old boxer Stella! Otherwise, I just go wherever the day takes me – I try not to book too many things during my off-days because it’s the only time that I have to just sit down and relax!
Contact Cate (firstname.lastname@example.org) for any questions or comments regarding her current education or future career path!