Friday Student Spotlight

Student: Ruby Huang, Sophomore, Harvard College

Position: Office Assistant

Ruby HuangAppreciation Note from Ruby's Supervisor: Ruby started working for us in September and I was amazed from the beginning when she started sending me work summary emails every day. I feel like this was quite a terrific new skill that I learned from her. It has been wonderful getting to work with Ruby, my true right hand, as she has been helping me do my work better and therefore also helping our entire department run better. I sure couldn’t have managed this busy year without her, especially as we didn’t have a full-time DA for over 3 months! I am also extremely grateful that I have been able to rely on Ruby to be my eyes and hands in the office on the days that I am working remotely. We are all extremely thankful that Ruby chose to work with us this year! Thank you all for sharing your journeys!


A Q&A with Ruby

What made you apply to your current job while being a student?

Ruby: The job listing had clear descriptions of job requirements and expectations, and fit well with my schedule.

Where did you find your job?

Ruby: SEO Job Database.

How have you been able to balance your schoolwork and work responsibilities? What are your personal keys to success and what challenges or hurdles have you encountered?

Ruby: Be communicative about your schedule and be honest about what works and what doesn’t! While you certainly need to be able to manage your time well, it also helps to remember that you can and should speak with your supervisor to work out your schedule together. As a FGLI student on campus, there are a lot of things I’m simply not experienced with or even know how to approach, so a lot of what I had to do in the beginning is adjusting to a completely new environment while balancing everything else that is going on in my life. Perhaps because I was not raised with a lot of resources and opportunities readily available to me, however, I operate with the belief that I have a lot more to gain just by taking initiative in most situations.

What does your typical day look like at work? What do you love the most about your position?

Ruby: My typical day at work is often very stress-free and productive! Upon arriving at the office, I take care of small daily tasks such as updating the bulletin board or maintaining the cleanliness of the kitchen area. After, I discuss with my supervisor Isaure our goals for the day and what deliverables I can accomplish by the end of my shift. These will often be newsletters, publications for department events, or website maintenance. Thanks to my job, I am able to quickly pick up a lot of new skills and be more flexible and creative in the ways I can support the department.

How does it relate to what you are learning at Harvard?

Ruby: It doesn’t, and that’s perfectly okay! I do my best to make sure that I can explore and gain new and eclectic experiences during my time at Harvard.

What has been the most rewarding part of your job? 

Ruby: Shoutout to my supervisor Isaure who is extremely supportive and is a huge part of why this job has been a great experience for me!!


Name: Madeline Bugeau-Heartt, Grad Student at HDS

Job Titles: Graduate Assistant & Writer/Editor

Appreciation note from Madeline's Supervisors: This year, the Office of Ministry Studies at Harvard Divinity School has had the unbelievable luck of hiring an AMAZING student to help us in our office. For multiple reasons, we didn’t decide to hire a student until the fall semester was well underway. We worried that we’d missed all the “good ones” But as luck would have it, there was a student who didn’t rush into a job. She wanted to take her time and not just take “a job” but make the right fit. THAT is our Madeline.
One co-worker described her this way:
Madeline always greets people with a smile and enthusiasm for whatever project we throw at her. She is willing to jump in with both feet, asks appropriate questions, checks in to make sure she is on the right track (she always is) and presents a thoughtful and well-organized final product. I always look forward to seeing Madeline and I can count on her for anything that needs doing. If I could clone her, I would!Madeline Bugeau Heartt

While another said:Madeline has been working with the Associate Dean for Ministry Studies to develop a tool that would assist students and their faculty advisors in the work of structuring pathways through the MDiv curriculum based on their respective vocational goals. Given the diversity and wide variety of interests represented by our student body, and the correspondingly vast array of academic and co-curricular possibilities offered through HDS, the task of designing a course of study and experiential education is quite daunting. In response to this challenge, Madeline is helping to create a series of MDiv “curriculum guides” that would organize the available resources according to various subjects of interest, vocational goals, or credentialing requirements. Madeline helped to identify the first set of subject areas and has begun painstaking analysis of the hundreds of courses offered through HDS each year, sorting those courses according to their relevancy for the various subject areas. Madeline has distinguished herself through the intellectual curiosity, wisdom, and diligence that she brings to this important project. The fruit of her work has the potential to transform the shape and quality of academic advising at HDS for years to come
When we hired her, I hoped she would have organizational skills because we’d recently moved into our physical space. In her time with us, she has managed to empty boxes and rethink our physical items – AND she has worked on two research projects AND she has created videos with our Field Ed program, a project we have talked about for years.
I still can’t believe how blessed we are to have had her with us this year. Her smile lights us up and her help is invaluable.
THANK YOU, Madeline!!!
Offered with deep gratitude and respect,
The Office of Ministry Studies


  A Q&A with Madeline

What made you apply to your current job while being a student?

Madeline: I applied for these two positions based on my level of interest in the job descriptions and the offices representing these jobs. I love to write and wanted to explore journalism through communications, and I had already met the Office of Ministry Team and was so impressed by them as a team, and as individuals.

Where did you find your job?

Madeline: I work two work-study positions at the Harvard Divinity School. I work both as a Freelance Writer for the Office of Communications and as a Graduate Assistant at the Office of Ministry Studies. I found these positions using the SEO Job Database.

How have you been able to balance your schoolwork and work responsibilities?

Madeline: It's not easy! I have been able to manage, and only out of necessity. If the question was rephrased as schoolwork/work/life balance, I would safe the "life" part has taken a backseat many times. I am so grateful to be here, and for the wonderful jobs I have here, but I undoubtedly have to work while in school and it can be overwhelming. The "one day at a time" mentality has been a lifesaver time and time again!

What are your personal keys to success and what challenges or hurdles have you encountered?

Madeline: I am grateful I've come to graduate school after having about a decade of "life" under my belt outside of academia. This has given me a little more perspective when facing challenges here at HDS in the sense that I feel better able to prioritize, and (occasionally) see what really matters. A blessing and a curse of mine is that I'm extremely good at time management, so I can fit a million things into the nooks and crannies of the day. I'm a workhorse and generally enjoy the work, though I often forget to leave space in the day...of which I believe there is a great deal of value and discovery (and dare I say relaxation?) I try to only "sign up" for things-- be it classes, projects, jobs, etc.--that I enjoy so that even if the going gets tough I can still unearth some of the original joy!

What does your typical day look like at work? What do you love the most about your position?

Madeline: In both jobs, I have a lot of the work that is independent, which I am grateful for. At OMS, I often have long-term projects going that I pick at throughout the week when I have time, then on Thursdays I am in the office where I touch base with the wonderful team there, do more tangible things around the office, and have meetings to catch up on said projects. As a writer with communications, much of my work includes interviewing individuals and then writing short pieces or features surrounding this information. There's a lot of editing involved too.

How does it relate to what you are learning at Harvard?

Madeline: Everything relates! Though journalistic and a different style than academic writing, I get to work on my writing/ editing chops at Communications. In interviewing folks I definitely feel I get to exercise my ministerial presence and talk to all kinds of people I might not have had the chance to otherwise. At OMS I feel so privileged to get an inside look at the inner workings of how to be a successful Mdiv student-- this is a real gift to be immersed in the information and amongst the people I need access to myself as a student.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? What lessons have you learned that you’ll take with you after graduation?

Madeline: As someone who needs to work additional jobs in order to survive as a student, I am grateful such wonderful jobs are available through the school that connects with my interests and who are run by such caring, impactful people.