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Julia Eger, Harvard College Class of 2014

I’m going to be honest here: when I started at Harvard, I thought my position as a counselor-in-training at my childhood summer camp was more or less the epitome of an internship. Global health, green construction, and marketing were foreign terms to me as a freshman, and I was so taken aback when my Harvard friends started discussing their summer internship plans that I wasn’t sure where to look for answers. Conveniently, that was about the time I started working as one of two marketing and social media assistants at the Office of Career Services. When I began, the idea of an internship search was daunting and foreign. After my first few hours in the office in September, my perspective already began to completely transform.

Julia Eger, OCS Marketing & Social Media

Julia Eger, OCS Marketing & Social Media

Looking back on my first year at OCS, I have come to understand what many students, like my freshman self, often don’t realize: just how many opportunities are available to us here at Harvard. Events – panels, receptions, career fairs – take place every day and cover what seems like a limitless scope of options. As a blogger for many of these events, I can personally say that they were more informative and interesting than I could have imagined, always broadening my horizon of fields that I had ever thought to pursue. Besides the obvious highlights of my work here – like standing face-to-face with Mark Zuckerberg at the Facebook event this past fall, or getting to eat Eritrean food and listen to stories about experiences in Africa in March – each event has taught me something new. Attending these events not only brought upon new knowledge and perspectives on what’s out there, but taught the importance of searching for what is out there.

Mike Schroepfer and Mark Zuckerberg at Farkas Hall

Mike Schroepfer and Mark Zuckerberg at Farkas Hall

I’ve learned this year that OCS is always the place to go first. The staff is well-informed, well-connected, and well-versed: they know what it’s like to be a student looking for a job, internship, or fellowship—or a study abroad or research opportunity— and they’ve seen a case like yours before. Reassuringly, my interactions with them proved that the advisers wanted me to succeed as much as I wanted to, making the search less of a chore and more of an explorative project.

Welcome to the Office of Career Services!

Welcome to the Office of Career Services!

I’ve come a long way since my naïve days of thinking OCS was only for upperclassmen; there is something for everyone here. Stop by during office drop-in hours at 54 Dunster Street in your first weeks at Harvard. Introduce yourself to the advisers, peek around the office. Of course, you’ll be back later — to get help with your resume, seek more information on summer options, or attend a workshop or information session. But with a campus as expansive as ours, knowing where to start is half the battle. There’s so much to learn, and OCS warmly opens its doors to you.


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Gene Corbin, Assistant Dean of Harvard College for Public Service

Over 500 students are devoting their summer breaks to serving others and tackling critical social issues through amazing experiences funded by public service organizations at Harvard College.  Such opportunities abound and include:

Additionally, many students apply to the Office of Career Services for fellowships or grants to fund their own public service pursuits – including projects throughout the world made possible by David Rockefeller International Experience Grants.

Although only a drop in the bucket of the good work students are doing this summer, below are three examples:

Tyrell Dixon is a rising Senior from Baltimore.  Thanks to the Center for Public Interest Careers, Tyrell is working at the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Justice Department in New York City this summer. Through interacting with clients, shadowing attorneys,  sitting-in on court cases, and forging his own personal relationships with clients and attorneys, Tyrell is experiencing first-hand the way the law impacts individual lives.

Rising Senior Tyrell Dixon

Julia Konrad is a rising Senior from New York City.  She received a Director’s Internship from the Institute of Politics (IOP) to work for the US Department of Education in Secretary Arne Duncan’s Office.  Julia is having an unbelievable summer helping plan many important events – including the 30th Anniversary of  Title IX where she brought people together to celebrate this landmark amendment for gender equality including Secretary Arne Duncan (the slightly taller person next to Julia in the photo).


Meredith Arra is a rising Sophomore from Georgia.  She became involved in public service immediately upon arriving at Harvard College – beginning with the First Year Urban Program.  Meredith is devoting her summer to teaching 6 and 7 year-old youth in the Phillips Brooks House Association’s (PBHA) Chinatown Adventure Camp – one of the 12 camps in PBHA’s Summer Urban Program.  She’s focusing her efforts on healthy living and nutrition to combat obesity.

Teaching at the PBHA Chinatown Adventure Camp

Rising Sophomore Meredith Arra teaching at the PBHA Chinatown Adventure Camp

All of the above programs represent not only a chance to serve others, but also the opportunity to benefit from life-changing relationships and experiences.  Every fall, I have countless conversations with students who have new insights about themselves and what they want to do with their lives – including many students who return motivated to pursue a public interest career.

More information on the opportunities Tyler, Julia, and Meredith pursued, and many more, can be found by clicking the summer opportunities tab at  I, along with the other staff members in our public service organizations, look forward to helping all students at the college pursue these exciting opportunities!

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I hope everyone in the States had a relaxing Fourth of July! I skipped out on the fireworks this year because of the potential rain in Boston. Regardless, Boston fireworks are pretty amazing–the Boston Pops Orchestra as well as many famous people come to perform (this year, Jennifer Hudson and the Dropkick Murphys were just two of the several featured acts). I’m almost certain that the whole event is nationally televised. A few friends of mine went to see the fireworks and told me that it had only rained for about 10 minutes, so I might have missed out, but that’s alright with me. There’s always next year!

Harvard Summer School is in full swing and the Yard is bustling with people. Annenberg Hall (which is exclusively for first-year students during the regular semester) is the only dining hall that’s open during the summer session. From experience, I’ve found that during the summer it becomes extremely crowded past 5:30 pm, so a group of us proctors have shifted our summer dining schedules. We eat dinner at 4:30 pm (i.e. as soon as Annenberg opens). We’re usually the first ones in, and often out by 5 pm. But no one has called us crazy just yet…

It isn’t just my eating habits that change over the summer–I also like studying in different settings. I’m usually in my room or in a library during the school year, but one of my favorite parts about being on campus during the summer is that I can really spend as much time as I would like studying in other places. I’ve been doing work in my favorite tea shop, Tealuxe, as well as in Starbucks (there are so many in Harvard Square, all within walking distance of each other). I love studying in cafes because it feels much more relaxed than a library. I also love people watching. However, I wouldn’t recommend studying in a coffee shop if you’re scrambling to get work done for a deadline that’s coming up. I find that the relaxed environment is most conducive to getting work done when you aren’t stressed out. Personally, I like to read in cafes, but to each his/her own, right?

Beth and Scott studying in Starbucks!

In addition to my gig as a Proctor, I’ve started working at a hospital in the Longwood Medical Area, which is a medical campus in Boston with several of the area’s best hospitals and medical facilities. Longwood is about a 20-30 minute bus ride from the College campus, and there’s a shuttle called the M2 that’s free for Harvard students. I just finished my first week, and I’ve learned an unbelievable amount already. The doctor that I’m working with is brilliant and one of the leading experts in his field. However accomplished he may be, he’s incredibly humble and passionate. I love meeting his patients because they all love him and thank him to no end. All of the other people I work with are also super nice and a lot of fun to be around…being in the hospital doesn’t feel like work. Just being in the clinic for this week has been quite the experience and is helping me realize that I can definitely see myself as a physician. I think that’s why interning somewhere is a crucial part of the learning experience before stepping onto any path after college. Volunteer and intern experience gives you a glimpse into what life would be like in a certain career, and allows you to see whether the profession may or may not be for you. So useful!

I’m off to enjoy my weekend, but should have a fun post coming up: I’m coaching the Harvard Volleyball camp starting tomorrow. I’ll keep you all updated!

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Rachel Brown, Psychology Concentrator in Adams House, Class of 2012

Sitting in my summer office in the Holyoke Center and overlooking Harvard Square, I can’t help but observe the energetic activity of all of the people outside. I think about what the Square looks like during different parts of the year—in the fall when the students cross Mass Ave in their commutes from the River Houses to the classrooms just a few minutes before (or after) the hour, in the winter when the density of people significantly decreases, mirroring the decrease in temperature, and in the spring when all-too-eager students wear shorts on sunny days despite the not-quite-warm enough weather. However, I will have to wait to see that again because it is summer now, and Harvard Square is packed with summer school students, tourists, and the year round residents, all seeming to share two common affinities: the new two-storied Starbucks and the new Pink Berry—both perfect for warm summer days.  During the summer, I have found the atmosphere at Harvard to be entirely different than that of the school year, and so I have decided to reflect on two of those differences.

First Day of Work for my Harvard Internship

The first and most noticeable difference is the change in my lifestyle as I exchange my textbooks for business casual pumps and shift gears from Harvard student to Harvard employee. I am working at the Advising Programs Office which oversees programs geared toward advising sophomores and incoming freshmen. During the summer, we are preparing for the arrival of the freshmen by assembling course suggestion guides, coordinating the faculty advisers and matching freshmen with upperclassmen peer advisers. During the school year, 5:00 pm usually marks the half way point in my day as I am finishing up softball practice, eating dinner and settling in for a night of school work, but 5:00 pm during the summer means the end of the work day and the start of a relaxing and fun evening. From September-May, most weekends are filled with school related events including attending athletic events, competing for my softball team and doing homework, but during the summer, I’ve found very different ways to stay busy. So far, I have visited my roommate’s house in Maine, seen the Chihuly exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, shopped at the Haymarket Farmer’s Market, visited Revere Beach for the Annual Sand Sculpting Competition and seen several other parts of Boston. So yes, weekends still fly by way too fast, but I’ve traded in my football foam finger for a Charlie card to explore the city.


Weekend Trip to Maine with Friends

Another significant difference involves my athletic commitments. In addition to working Monday through Friday from 9:00-5:00 in the APO, I am also training for the Varsity Softball team to prepare for my senior season. Four mornings a week, I join the “Summer Dawgs” group in the Palmer Dixon Strength and Conditioning Center for agility training, conditioning and lifting. The group contains athletes from various teams, all committed to excelling on our respective fields/courts/rinks/etc. It is hard not being in the physical presence of my teammates not only for some weight room enthusiasm but also for the camaraderie that naturally builds up during the year, but our e-mail chains help to keep us motivated and connected despite our temporary separation. For the summer, I turn to this new group of Harvard athletes to inspire me to work hard, and if there is one thing I’ve learned, it is that I, a softball pitcher, will never beat a women’s hockey player in a race.

Trip to Boston Public Gardens with my Roommates

Harvard Square is different during the summer—it is missing most of the student population that resides here for 9 months of the year, but it hasn’t lost its energy. For those that are still here during the summer, we get to experience Harvard in a new way, perhaps in professional settings or perhaps by transitioning away from our typical student lifestyle and enjoying different adventures that Cambridge and Boston have to offer. I am looking forward to carrying these new experiences and my new outlook into my senior year, but until then I will try to survive the heat and humidity as I anxiously await the return of the upperclassmen and the arrival of the bright-eyed freshmen, eager to start the next phase of their lives.

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