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Alexandra Collins Mathwig, doctoral candidate in the History of Art and Architecture

“A number of the speakers touched on the importance of finding passion for what you do. Careers in administration can be taxing at times, but they are ultimately worth it if you focus on the tangible outcomes of your time and effort.”

How did you hear about the BEST program? What made you want to apply?

I heard about the BEST program from a former participant who found it to be a very rewarding experience, a sentiment I share after completing the program myself! I became even more interested in applying after attending the Graduate Career Options Conference (GradCON) in 2014, which introduced me to the possibility of pursuing an administrative career after grad school.  

How has or how will this program help you in your career or studies after Brown?

By introducing us to administrators from across Brown's many divisions, the BEST program showed us the many opportunities that are available to someone interested in higher education administration. By meeting these administrators and hearing their personal career narratives, I was able to get a sense of what such jobs entail, including their hardships and their rewards. Ultimately, it was through hearing these stories that I made the decision to pursue a career in administration after grad school, rather than the traditional academic path I had originally envisioned when I started at Brown. The BEST program helped me to both recognize and articulate the many ways in which my studies at Brown have provided me with the skills necessary for such a career. 

Who was your administrative sponsor and what did you learn or enjoy about working with him or her?
My administrative sponsor was Janet Blume, Senior Associate Dean of the Faculty. Dean Blume was very encouraging and willing to share advice gleaned from her experiences transitioning from the role of professor to administrator at Brown. 

What piece of advice provided by the speakers resonated most with you?

A number of the speakers touched on the importance of finding passion for what you do. Careers in administration can be taxing at times, but they ultimately worth it if you focus on the tangible outcomes of your time and effort — whether that is simply helping one individual student or developing a campus-wide program to enhance the University's mission, or, as in the case of the BEST program, introducing graduate students to a new career path!