The members of the Class of 2013 left the campus headed for various opportunities, including internships and graduate studies. Many of them headed straight into full-time jobs.
Next adventure: Founding resident teacher, Unlocking Potential Academy, Dorchester, Mass.
“Unlocking Potential, an education nonprofit organization, has started two middle schools, and the Dorchester, Mass., academy is its first elementary school. My position as a founding resident teacher will give me the opportunity to live my dream. The academy has so much to offer in a vastly underperforming school district, and as this will be my first time teaching in a turnaround school, I expect it will be a challenging, rewarding and enormous learning experience. I had two internships in Chiang Mai during my semester abroad in Thailand. The first was teaching English to special needs students at the Kawila Anukul School, and the second was working with H.I.V.-affected children at the Grandma Cares Partnership Program. At each placement, I was put into classrooms with little or no explanation from the teachers about the students, and I became the primary English teacher. I quickly learned how to think on my feet and how to differentiate instruction for all kinds of students.”
Next adventure: Software engineer, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, Laurel, Md.
“My position as a software engineer for the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab is really a dream come true. During the internship I had with the lab last summer, I was able to create something new and unique through software every day. I look forward to being able to do so again. I didn’t know what I wanted to study before I came to Wheaton, but I figured it out pretty quickly: I chose both computer science and psychology after taking the introductory classes my first semester of freshman year. I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in software engineering because I was enjoying my computer science classes so much, and Professor Mark LeBlanc’s ‘Artificial Intelligence’ course really sparked my interest in the field as a whole. Computer science and psychology intersect quite nicely in the field of artificial intelligence. Having an understanding of how the brain works and the process by which we learn can serve as a model for teaching a machine to learn. It helps me create new pieces of software and ‘sculpt’ them to perfection.”
Next adventure: Nuclear power officer candidate, Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program
“I took Professor Xuesheng Chen’s ‘Classical Mechanics’ and ‘Electronic Circuits’ courses during my sophomore year. Little did I know that she would be the one who would influence my decision to join the Nuclear Propulsion Program. That course was my first real experience with hardware. I found it fascinating, and it made me more interested in the electrical engineering aspect of the physics major. I’ll begin my work with the Navy by going to Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I., for 12 weeks. Then, I’ll attend Nuclear Power School for six months in Charleston, S.C. After that, I’ll participate in Nuclear Prototype, which is a six-month program in Charleston, S.C., or Ballston Spa, N.Y., that involves working at a nuclear reactor. Finally, I’ll head to submarine school in Groton, Conn., before being assigned to a submarine. Being an officer on a nuclear submarine will not only allow me to work with some of the most advanced technology the U.S. has to offer, but will also provide me opportunities to travel and stay physically active in a position that has a competitive salary in the civilian engineering field. I worked as a software engineer at a defense security company last summer and this past winter, and had originally accepted a postgraduation position there last August. I was able to witness some incredibly impressive military technology while I was there, but I realized I wanted to pursue a more active engineering position instead of staying in a behind-the-scenes desk job.”
Next adventure: Teaching English at the American Home, Vladimir, Russia
“I arrived at Wheaton having studied French for seven years and felt like I needed a change. As soon as I stepped into my ‘Beginning Russian’ language class, I immediately knew that I had found my major. I also fell in love with Russian literature during Professor Francoise Rosset’s ‘Russian Folklore’ course, which led me to the language and literature major within the department. I studied abroad in Russia for a month last summer at the Bard-Smolny summer language intensive program in Saint Petersburg. I also received a Mellon Honors Thesis Grant to visit the country and conduct research this past January through the American Friends of Russian Folklore. The American Home is a learning institution that is well known for its English and intensive Russian language programs. I worked with my two advisors while applying to the Home.”
Next adventure: Research assistant, orthopedics research lab, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
“I’ll work as a research assistant in a lab that studies hydrogels, which can act as replacements for articular cartilage. Cartilage is a tissue that doesn’t regenerate once it’s damaged, and there aren’t many effective replacements for it. I’ll be responsible for making the gels and testing their physical properties, as well as preparing papers and posters for conferences. The Filene Center at Wheaton has been an integral part of developing my professional repertoire of networking, interviewing, and creating résumés. During my sophomore year, Dean Alex Trayford suggested that I shadow a doctor and gain insight into the medical community. Dr. Eric Berkson, Wheaton’s athletic training physician, allowed me to shadow him in his clinic and during surgeries, as well as conduct some of the research at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Sports Performance Center, which he directs. Wheaton is all about opportunities. They’re hidden in every faculty, staff member, and student on campus.”