Monday, August 30, 2010

Back in Cambridge...

The name of this blog is no longer factually correct (sad!), as today marked the first day for me being back in Cambridge. “Shopping days” started today; I’m in the midst of deciding upon classes for the semester, what my PAE might look like, what my PAC (policy area of concentration) should be, running between meetings for the school’s newspaper and the Women and Gender Caucus (WAGC), of which I’m proud to be a co-chair. Leaves very little time to breathe, much less think…

This summer, much like today, went by in a blur. My goals for the summer were to gain a better understanding of the private sector, figure out what consulting really is, explore the gender “space” more fully and to (of course) take advantage of New York. I think I can safely say that I feel I accomplished each of these goals—to the degree to which they can be accomplished within a short, ten-week period. Kennedy emphasizes being “tri-sector” fluent; this was my first professional experience (besides a brief stint at a law firm) working with the private sector, even if it was from a nonprofit standpoint. Our clients really believed in what we were doing as an organization and wanted to make their employees’ experiences better.

Consulting continues to be an interest—although I have to say, I like the approach that Catalyst takes; it’s specific, it’s mission-oriented and it’s targeted at clients who will really implement the changes recommended. My project on Latin American women and ERGs was also a great learning experience—I feel like Catalyst will use the project as they move towards a more global vision. I even have it taped—to be watched later this year

My exploration of gender policy issues will continue throughout the year; I’m so excited to be co-chairing the WAGC and really looking forward to a new Kennedy course, entitled “Closing the Global Gender Gap.” As for my final goal, of fully taking advantage of New York: you could live there your entire life and never run out of things to do. I would LOVE to return and “check off” things that remain on my bucket list. I never made it to Ellis Island, for example. I didn’t stand in line for Shakespeare in the Park tickets. Next time…(hopefully??).

I’m so grateful to WAPPP for the opportunity to have come here. It truly could not have happened without the generous financial support and the serious commitment of the staff at WAPPP to making the student experience better. Thank you!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

If I can make it here...

Friday was my last day at Catalyst…which means summer is coming to an end. I can’t believe how quickly these past ten weeks have flown by; I am certainly not ready to go back to school! Thinking about all that is ahead—from classes to the PAE to the (gulp) job search--is enough to make my head spin and my heart palpitate.

I was incredibly fortunate to have such supportive colleagues and to have made friends with so many great people at Catalyst. This support and encouragement was one of the reasons I was able to fashion my own project—which I delivered last Thursday to Catalyst staff. In addition to my tangible work product, my actual presentation was filmed---something to look forward to watching (and critiquing) in the weeks ahead. Let me know if you want to see the results—I am definitely proud of the final product and hope that Catalyst will use my work as they become more globally focused (rather than their traditional lens on U.S./Canada).

My hope is to remain connected to Catalyst, hopefully through work on the PAE. One of the suggestions I had for a potential topic is to develop a more comprehensive advocacy strategy for the organization—my fingers are crossed on this project, as it would combine both my passion and my skill-set for an organization I truly believe in.

This coming Friday I will be packing my bags and heading home to Boston. While I am definitely excited to see friends and family (and indeed, will spend Saturday celebrating my Dad’s 60th—happy early birthday, Dad!), I will really miss New York. There’s just so much to do here—food, drink, museums, art galleries, culture and history (although I unfortunately never made it to Ellis Island), free concerts, lovely parks, great boutiques, close beaches—and so many great organizations doing important and meaningful work. I’ve also loved being close to my sister for the summer—I haven’t been able to spend as much time with her since we were in high school and living in adjoining rooms.

Hopefully, this is so long—not goodbye. I would love to come back here (especially to Brooklyn!), potentially after I graduate in May of 2011. Until then…wish me luck 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Street lights, big dreams all looking pretty

Another week (or two) in pictures.

Happy hour with Catalyst co-workers

My sister Kathryn perusing the fish market at Chelsea Market

HKS friends Jason and Kwame at the fundraiser Kwame organized for Harlem Children's Zone (amazing, Kwame!)

And of course, a summer in New York isn't complete without a (few) trips to the beach...Georgetown and Sea Isle City go together like a perfect smoothie.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of...

Apologies for this moment of self-aggrandizing, but I’m pretty excited about this: on Sunday (well, Saturday, here in NY), I had my first letter to the editor published! It’s in this past weekend’s NYT Magazine, and it was in response to the front-cover article from two weeks ago, "the New Abortion Providers," by Slate Senior Editor Emily Bazelon. Sadly, someone stole my copy of the NYT (I'm going to start leaving passive aggressive notes in my building; I've had more copies stolen this summer than I've actually been able to read), so I haven't actually seen it in print. Still, I am pretty excited about it--it's been a goal on my bucket list for a while now.

If you have not yet read the original article, I strongly URGE you to do so and to let me know what you think. I think it is pathetically sad that after finishing it, my first thought was that the next time I will read about any one of these courageous (women) doctors, it will be because they’ve been murdered by an extreme anti-choicer.

Also, take a look at the letter-writers’ names. Notice anything unusual? Out of seven letters, five writers are female. And the only one that wrote in frustration with the so-called “culture of me” that choice provides…was male. Thoughts?