An Update on the Class of 2014
Each year Wellesley’s Office of Institutional Research conducts a survey of graduating seniors to learn of their next steps and longer-range plans, as well as some of their views of their just completed education.
According to the springtime survey, 66 percent of graduating seniors planned to work full-time in the fall and another 12 percent planned to work part-time. Half of these job seekers (50 percent) had at least one offer by graduation, which is above the national average of 47.9 percent reported by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Follow-up surveys typically reveal employment figures for recent grads going up by the end of the summer.
Nineteen percent of the just-graduated purple class were entering full- or part-time graduate/professional programs: Of those, 47 percent were in pursuit of master’s, 24 percent doctoral, 11 percent medical, and 13 percent legal degrees, and 8 percent other. Most 2014 seniors who planned to work this year also anticipated eventually obtaining graduate degrees.
Eighty-two percent of job holders and 84 percent of those pursuing graduate degrees reported that they would be continuing in areas related to their undergraduate work; and 64 percent said that three or more faculty members knew them well enough to provide references. Sixty percent talked with alumnae in planning for the coming year, and nearly all found their advice helpful.
Our labeled photo from Commencement Day represents a random sampling of what members of the Class of 2014 are up to after graduation. We identified a few faces in the crowd, and e-mailed them to ask what they are doing. At the diverse organizations where they now bring “the Wellesley Effect” that Sue Wagner ’82 spoke of at Commencement, these women hold roles as teachers, administrators, students, researchers, interns, analysts, and more.*
Some of these freshly-minted graduates jumped right into their next gig, like Asha Ayub, who tells us, “Hours after commencement, I moved into a sublet in Jamaica Plain and began working at the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission in downtown Boston that Monday—classic Wendy style, never skipping a beat.”
Others took a moment or the summer to regroup or explore a little, like Shira Bleicher, who spent the summer traveling in Eastern and Central Europe with Wellesley friend Emma Rackstraw ’14, before starting work as an associate consultant at Putnam Associates, a strategy consulting firm to the pharma and biotech industries.
Still others squeezed in a shorter-term internship or job before beginning something new, like Joy Das, who has been interning at the Migrant and Immigrant Community Action Project in St. Louis, Mo., but will move to Denver, Colo., in the winter to begin working for the Federal Emergency Management Agency through its AmeriCorps program, where she’ll help with disaster response efforts across the country. Alex Lopez-Vila worked as a private client associate for Bernstein Global Wealth Management before beginning her next career step into advertising. And Hailey Lee wrote more than 50 stories for Crain's Chicago Business as a reporting intern before starting as a news associate at CNBC.
As they head out in the world, Wellesley's influence on them and their affection for it go with them. Of respondents to the senior survey, 86 percent were satisfied with their Wellesley education and 71 percent would recommend the College to a high school student. Seventy-nine percent felt that they had obtained real benefits from attending a women’s college, and there was near universal satisfaction with the teaching and the faculty's availability.
Then there are the less statistical reflections. Laura Bruno, who is in the professional development program at State Street, says, "I'm loving my job and new colleagues, but definitely missing those hours-long Tower brunches."
Ayub looks back most fondly on her Residential Life and Orientation experiences, saying, "I still hear from my [House Council] first years (2017) on a regular basis. Reslife was such an important community and leadership opportunity for me." While architecture grad student Naureen Mazumdar sums it up with, "What do I miss about Wellesley? I miss everything. Literally."
Community looms large in what graduates value about Wellesley. "I miss the community at Wellesley so much--especially my fellow student leaders," says Bleicher, but concedes, "I am enjoying my nights and weekends without homework though!"
Interns and Fellows
Among the many internships and fellowships received by Class of 2014 graduates, we note a few.
Fulbright Scholarships went to Christine Keung ’14, who goes to China on a research grant and to Sophia Mo ’14 who is in France as an English teaching assistant. Keung will travel to Xi’an, China, and explore rural communities on the Loess Plateau, looking at issues of rural immigration and waste infrastructure, as varying degrees of industrialization and urbanization affect these villages in different ways. The interdisciplinary nature of her project is inspired by her Wellesley studies, she says. Mo will teach English at a local high school. She also plans to lead an extracurricular “oratory arts” club to involve her students in speech, debate, and drama.
Audrey Wozniak ’14 received the prestigious Thomas J. Watson Fellowship for 2014-15. The fellowship supports her research on musical cultures in China Indonesia, Azerbaijan, Czech, and Hungary. “Right now,” she writes, “I am in Hong Kong (about to go to Urumqi) taking lessons and performing on both violin and erhu (Chinese two-stringed fiddle), working with local composers and musicians, and writing a blog.” She deferred grad school and after her Watson year will attend the London School of Economics for a master’s program in politics and communication.
Hannah Stone ’14, last year's Katharine Malone Scholar, is currently serving with the Philadelphia Health Corps, part of the National Health Corps at one of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health's ambulatory health centers. She tells us, “I am a Patient Assistance Program advocate, so I help patients who are uninsured or lack prescription coverage enroll in patient assistance programs offered through pharmaceutical companies. These programs provide medicine at no cost to eligible patients. I serve in South Philly, and I love working with the patients and the staff at the health center. I'm learning a lot about the nuances of health care in America, and I'm a huge fan of Cedar Park, my neighborhood in West Philly. I still plan on applying to medical school to enter in the fall of 2016.”
*Called out in the Photo
Those labels are small, so here are the graduates we spoke to, listed alphabetically by last name. You can view a larger (PDF) version of the photo too.
Asha Ayub (individual major in health & society studies): Special assistant to the chief of staff, Massachusetts Health Policy Commission
Rebecca Barnard (American studies): M.B.A./J.D. student, The Ohio State University
Shira Bleicher (biochemistry): Associate consultant, Putnam Associates
Laura Bruno (Italian studies and mathematics): Senior associate, State Street
Joy Das (political science): Intern, Migrant & Immigrant Community Action Project
Safaya Fawzi (political science): Staff, YMCA of America via AmeriCorps Public Allies Chicago program
Alexa Keegan (French and psychology): English teaching assistant, TAPIF
Hailey Lee (international relations/economics): News associate, CNBC
Alexandra Lopez-Vila (economics and Spanish): Private client associate, Bernstein Global Wealth Management; next career step: advertising
Naureen Mazumdar (architecture and art history): M.A. in architecture student, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Ace Wang (peace & justice studies and psychology): Brand planner/creative strategist, Arnold Worldwide
Audrey Wozniak (East Asian studies and music): Research and travel, Watson Fellowship