Harvard Graduate School of Design | Architecture
Hometown: Harare, Zimbabwe
Anne Stack works for the Griffin Financial Aid Office, where she works at the front desk, and has been an employee since fall of 2016. Her roles include helping prospective and current students, as well as their parents, and helping to answer their financial aid questions—either on her own, or getting them in touch with someone in the office who can.
"It is engaging and dynamic work, where you get to help people realise that Harvard is a financial feasibility for them,” Anne said.
Anne works more than one job on campus; she is also an usher at Sanders Theatre. Total, she spends 16-20 hours a week at the two jobs. Both of the jobs drew her for the same reason—contact and communication with others, and a change of pace from the quickly moving, high-demand environment of the Grad School of Design, where she is a third-year pursuing a Masters of Architecture.
"The Griffin Office in particular requires great people skills when helping parents that often are stressed and unsure of what they should be doing,” she said, adding that, the job requires “a lot of communication and mediation.” It’s helped her learn “how to interact with people when they can be at their wits end or super stressed with confidential matters. It requires them to trust you and for you to trust yourself.”
Improving these skills have also helped her as a grad student. “These skills have helped in my Architecture presentations and with how I communicate my ideas. After all you are designing for people and both these jobs have exposed me to a diverse demographic that gives you alternative insight compared to your norm,” she said.
When she isn’t working, Anne is involved in several organizations on campus, including the AfricaGSD, GSDCF, Women in Design (WID), and the HGCF (Harvard Graduate Christian Fellowship) which meets monthly. She also likes to attend events and conversations that GSD organizes, through art installations, panels, and speakers on campus. Even with all of these involvements, both of her jobs have strongly contributed to giving her a more rich experience at Harvard.
"Sanders has given me an access to culture that I am sure I would not have taken time to do otherwise.” she said, reflecting on the diverse performances and events that happen frequently at the venue.
"It has been diverse and engaging. Both jobs have shown me a side of Harvard that I would not have experienced if I had stayed in the bubble of the GSD. It seems trivial but [as] small [a] thing as having to walk across to Brattle street from Quincy helped me discover Gutman and the Ed School Cafe,” which most of her classmates “have no idea” are there. She said that, for the most part, all of her colleagues are from different schools at Harvard.
"I would not have met them or been exposed to their programs without the jobs,” she said.