The word busy is an understatement when it comes to describing Alexandra Finney’s life, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Today Alexandra is a Senior Career Advisor in the Center for Career & Development at Roger Williams University, but her hectic lifestyle began during graduate school when she chose to pursue a Master of Education in Higher Education through the full-tuition fellowship program at Merrimack.
Alexandra was working on site for her fellowship during the day, taking classes at night and finding time to fit in homework somewhere in between.
“I remember being so busy that I did not have time to worry about being busy,” recalls Alexandra, who graduated with her master’s in May 2014. “I was also doing something that I loved and knew I was working toward a degree that would allow me to continue doing it. It is so exciting when you find your niche; being busy comes with the territory of graduate school.”
She decided to get her M.Ed. so she could use her B.A. in Psychology to counsel students, and Merrimack’s full-tuition fellowship turned out to be the perfect fit for her.
“Gaining hands on experience is crucial in order to confirm your interest in a particular field and it is crucial in order to be competitive in that field after graduation. Merrimack’s fellowship offered this opportunity, while at the same time not putting me in any debt. It almost seemed too good to be true,” explains Alexandra.
During her fellowship, Alexandra served as the first Career Advisor Fellow in the O’Brien Center for Student Success. She was also the Program Coordinator and Career Advisor for the Destination Exploration program, and was in charge of building and managing the Externship Experience, which offers short-term experiential learning opportunities for students.
“The thing I liked the most was the autonomy of this fellowship. I had the opportunity to pitch new ideas and was allowed to run pilots, which was an unbelievable learning experience for me,” Alexandra says.
Alexandra’s fellowship helped her confirm her future career goals of working in a career center and helping students figure out their futures. She was able to attain her dream job to help students find their paths and follow their dreams post-graduation.
“The college students I work with are on the cusp of starting their careers and independent lives. It is very exciting to help them get on a good track and pursue the dreams they have been working towards for the last 4+ years,” says Alexandra.
As for that pesky little word “busy,” Alexandra’s advice is to just embrace it. To future fellowship students, she offers this advice: “You will be busy, very busy. However, if you are dedicated to a life in higher education you will be busy throughout your career so you might as well get used it!”