Stefan Wind, Graduate Student
Education Update has launched a new section called Careers to provide insight and guidance to recent college graduates. Several graduates share their responses to the questions below.
1. Can you share both your professional and personal struggles and triumphs? What are you currently doing?
Since I graduated last fall, I’ve been working at several different jobs trying to stay afloat financially. I’ve also applied and have been accepted to grad school at Hunter College, which will also be in the education field.
2. Which college did you attend, and what was your major?
I attended Brooklyn College, which is part of the CUNY system. I double majored in childhood education and art.
3. What year did you graduate?
4. What do you think your career goals will be five years from now
It’s scary to think that far ahead, but in five years I hope to be a full-time elementary school teacher who still finds pleasure in my career every single day. Having tenure wouldn’t hurt either.
5. How did your major, if at all, determine the course of your current career?
My major basically determined the entire thing. I’ve traveled down a couple of different paths before stumbling upon education, but nothing has fit my personality as well as childhood education has.
6. Was the career guidance office at your college helpful in your job search?
During my student teaching course, the Magner Center (for career development and internships) put on several different workshops for the potential graduates. They didn’t help us directly in a job search, but they did offer help on how to write a respectable resume and tell us about the do’s and don’t of a job interview. The tips they offered were insightful.
7. Did you have internships, and were they helpful?
Every education major has to do a certain number of hours as a student teacher. This is an unpaid internship that gives each student nine credits upon graduation. It’s an amazing experience that pairs each student up with a cooperating teacher in one of the city’s public schools. The experience that I gained from being a student teacher is tremendous. It’s more or less the only way to gain classroom management skills, which are vital for any new teacher to learn quickly.
8. Were there mentors who helped you achieve your goals?
Aside from the cooperating teacher I was paired up with, I also had a seminar professor at the college who would oversee most of the lesson plans I performed in the classroom, as well as conduct weekly meetings that helped guide me along the way.
9. How did the economic situation in the country influence your career decisions?
Since the economic crisis, the education field has been hit pretty hard; however, it didn’t affect my future career choice. I would rather ride out the storm for a career I love, than be miserable doing something I despise every day for the rest of my life.
10. What motivated you to pick your current career?
I like to think that childhood education chose me. After trying a few different majors in college, I realized that I’m not the type to be sitting in an office every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. I love the energy and non-stop pace of being an elementary school teacher. It’s also one of the most rewarding jobs that you can ever work, which at the end of the day isn’t such a bad thing after all. #