Wondering What to do After College?

Katharine Burkland is a Junior at Boston College majoring in Communications and Psychology. She works as an intern with the Citizen Schools Recruitment team.  Nearing the end of college is scary. As a junior finishing my degree in Communications and Psychology, I am feeling the pressure to find an answer to that terrifying, increasingly common question: “What are you looking to do after you graduate?” Normally, the conversation doesn’t get very far.

Me: “Well…I’m passionate about education.”

Them: “Oh! So you want to be a teacher then?”

Me: “Well, maybe…” [Insert the awkward pause until I bring up some other topic, like the weather or the score from last night’s hockey game.]

Never did I think that four months as an intern for the Recruitment Team at Citizen Schools might change the course of that conversation. After four months here, though, I can confidently say I want to dedicate my time after I graduate to improving education and spreading the joy of learning.

During these months, I have had the privilege of being surrounded by caring, driven individuals who are dedicated to giving every middle-school child the education and opportunity that they deserve. Closing the achievement gap is no small feat, but the fearless people who work for Citizen Schools have taken it on and come one step closer to winning the battle every day. I see the positive impact Citizen Schools has nationwide, and the inspiration it gives to both kids and people like me. Let’s just say it is easy to feel the passion and energy in the Boston office when I go in every week, and that excitement is contagious!

Not to mention the practical skills I’ve developed while working at Citizen Schools that will help me in whatever role I choose. I’ve worked on recruitment, marketing and outreach, project management, problem solving, and more. As an intern, there is always that possibility that no one will really listen to your ideas or give you jobs with substance, but that was not even a question here. During these four months I have been given responsibilities, asked my opinion, and respected as a peer.

I encourage all of you slightly lost college students, like myself, to look into Citizen Schools and the National Teaching Fellowship (there’s still a week to apply!). It’s not just an opportunity to teach, but an opportunity to learn, grow, and serve in a nurturing community. After four months in the office, my graduation date isn’t looking so scary anymore. Now, not only do I have a better understanding of the world of educational non-profits, I also have the assurance that I want to be a part of this world. Now, I get excited to tell people about our mission and what we do. Now, I can’t wait for people to ask me that dreaded “What’s next?” question. “Well, have you heard about Citizen Schools?”

Apply today for the National Teaching Fellowship.