Candidate Perspective: College Senior, Erika
The start of the school year can have many college seniors wondering what they will do after they graduate (and how they’ll have time to get a job).
Don’t fret! EA is here to help.
Have you ever considered teaching or working in schools in another capacity, like admissions? We know the prospect of finding a job after graduation can be daunting, especially as you are juggling classes, a thesis, work-study, extra-curricular activities, and a social life.
Read below to hear about Erika’s experience with EA last year as she looked for her first teaching job in an independent school. Congrats again to Erika, who is currently a Middle School Teaching Fellow at Gilman, part of the Independent School Teaching Residency program at the University of Pennsylvania!
Senior year came around much more quickly than anticipated, probably due to the quarter system at Dartmouth. I felt like I hadn’t taken a moment to breathe, and there was always so much going on. Luckily, I knew exactly what I wanted to do post-graduation: teach. But, I had no idea how many different opportunities existed and what it would take to land a teaching job. I had received three job offers to teach in major cities before the beginning of my senior year. Somehow none of them felt like the dream job, and I became discouraged as to whether or not the perfect fit existed for me. After speaking with friends who had already graduated and were now teaching, they recommended I reach out to Educator’s Ally. I applied on a whim, not knowing what to expect or how much help I’d receive. Soon after, I connected with my Placement Manager who shared with me the ins and outs of the job search and in turn, I shared with her what fueled my interest in teaching.
I began exploring all sorts of teaching jobs because my Placement Manager encouraged me to broaden my initial search. She gave me the confidence I needed to pursue job opportunities I would not have otherwise considered. I was most interested in schools that supported their teachers to attend graduate school, and EA tailored the job openings they sent to me to match that desire.
I began having conversations with four different schools at first, which seemed pretty overwhelming as all positions were incredibly competitive. I was unsure of how to best navigate the various interview phases; however, my Placement Manager supported me at every turn. She helped prep me for interviews while simultaneously increasing my confidence and my sense of self. Furthermore, she advocated on my behalf with each school and helped to negotiate the best possible offer.
My Placement Manager was not just a liaison; she was truly my ally; encouraging me to commit to a school that was the best fit for me.
After approximately five or six months, my search came to a close. I landed my dream job with a private day school that supports their Teaching Fellows in attaining their Master’s in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. Without the help, support, and many conversations with my EA Placement Manager, I would not have been able to tackle the many challenges of such a competitive process.
Written by Erika Cabrera, Penn Fellow, Gilman School