In May 2013, I joined EP’s Graduate School Fellowship Boston cohort for a 10-week summer placement with Boston Public Schools. From my first day to my last, my Fellowship was a steep learning curve, a chance to connect to with colleagues and make friends, and an opportunity to make an impact at one of the largest public school districts in the country – overall, an incredible experience.
Still on the fence about whether you should apply? Here are my top five reasons:
A fast-paced environment: EP Fellows complete critical-needs projects within a 10-week timeline. That means getting up to speed on the context of the project rapidly and executing with a short timeline.
During my Fellowship, I worked in Boston Public Schools’ Office of Individualized Learning with Deputy Superintendent Eileen Nash. Within the first few hours of arriving there, I started learning about autism services for students, a content area where I had very limited knowledge. That first day I visited multiple schools with a special education administrator and interacted with a district special education attorney, a special education teacher, and a parent of a student who was diagnosed with autism. By the end of that day, I had five pages of notes with observations and questions to inform my work.
- An opportunity to hone your project management skills: Completing mission-critical projects on tight timelines requires excellent project management skills. The EP Fellowship offers a unique opportunity to lead important work on behalf of students, and it tests every tool in your kit.
- A professional network that continues beyond the Fellowship: I’m still connected with the colleagues I built relationships with through the Fellowship. My cohort peers pushed my thinking, and I learned and developed more because of them. Nearly all Fellows cite the cohort experience as one of their favorite aspects of the Fellowship – and for good reason.
- Professional development workshops with opportunities for connection: Almost every Fellowship workshop includes a panel discussion with local leaders discussing important topics in education to provide valuable context and insight. In addition to the learning benefit, Fellows also connect with these leaders after the workshop to broaden their networks further.
- Ongoing career support: As an EP Fellow and Alum, you have access to the Exchange, a personalized LinkedIn-esque portal specifically designed for EP Fellows and Alumni, Strategic Data Project (SDP) Fellows and Alumni, and Broad Residents. There, you can build relationships with current and former EP, SDP, and Broad leaders, set-up informational interviews, and learn about education career pathways. Plus, EP offers its Alumni ongoing opportunities to connect about career planning both during and after the Fellowship.
Deepti Panjabi is an Education Pioneers Alumna from the 2013 Boston cohort of the Graduate School Fellowship. She chose to become an EP Fellow to enhance her education knowledge and make an impact in urban education at the systemic level. She currently works as the Director of Programmatic Support at OneGoal.