Tuesday Student Spotlight

Name: Ahab Chopra '21

Job Title: DCE Teaching Support 

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

I fell in love with teaching in high school and spent many evenings at my local middle school holding both classes and homework sessions for students. When I entered college, I knew I wanted to continue teaching and became a Calculus Course Assistant during my sophomore year. In this role, I realized that the old saying “the best way to learn is to teach” had more truth to it than I previously thought. After teaching calculus for one year, I transitioned into a teaching fellow position for CS50, after which I joined the physics department, where I am currently teaching a course on electricity and magnetism.

Where did you find your job?

I found this job through the department.

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?

Although it is never easy to balance a heavy course load with work responsibilities, I have found that the easiest way to manage this schedule is to choose a job that interests me. Even though it might take me hours to prepare classes and grade exams, I find myself excited after I finish working, rather than drained.

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

Arguably the best part of teaching is that the questions and problems are always changing. While the content is always variable, a typical day for me often involves teaching concepts, working with students in office hours, and grading exams.

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

One of the wonderful aspects of the sciences is that they are all connected in some way. For example, neuroscience builds on chemistry, which is based in physics, a field that is reliant on math. Although I am not teaching a neuroscience class this semester, I am constantly making new connections as I teach physics.

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

The most rewarding aspect of my job is undoubtedly meeting and helping students as they grapple with, and finally understand, difficult concepts in the classroom. As I think about life after graduation, I hope to continue to find opportunities that are meaningful both to me and to others.

 

 

Name: Christina Bouri

Job Title: SEO Coordinator

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

I have multiple on-campus jobs and I was drawn to each of them for different reasons. I would like to develop my workplace skills before graduating and my on-campus jobs gave me the opportunity to do so. I am able to organize my work schedule around my academic schedule. At one of my jobs, for the Student Employment Office, I work with amazing individuals who constantly remind me of their appreciation for my contributions. This healthy work environment makes me more aware of the possibility of balancing a job and my studies. I am also grateful for the opportunity to be able to work with individuals who motivate me.

Where did you find your job?

I found my jobs at the Student Employment Office, the Middle East Initiative, and the Radcliffe Institute on the SEO jobs database. The SEO jobs database made the application process swift and easy.

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?

Balancing my schoolwork and work responsibilities is certainly stressful but nonetheless rewarding. I follow a daily schedule that is organized into three planners. The first planner is dedicated to my class schedule and work shifts. I highlight the class or shift as soon as I complete it. My second planner is dedicated to my class assignments. Finally, my third planner is a daily to-do list on my phone that I use to remind me of chores, etc. Though this busy schedule has challenged me both emotionally and physically, I find it rewarding because of the self-discipline I have acquired. Overall, my personal keys to success are effective time-management skills, a diligent work ethic, and a clear end goal – which makes the momentary hurdles worth it in the end.

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

My typical day at work involves a quick email or video call with a colleague or employer. We go over the tasks to be completed for the day. Before and after my shifts, I will be in class, office hours with professors, or studying. My planners have proved to be useful in progressing between homework, classes, and shifts. I love the ability to work with wonderful individuals who prioritize my responsibilities of being a student and check in on me to ensure that I am not overwhelmed, and staying up-to-date with my class assignments.

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

My on-campus job at the Middle East Initiative (MEI) relates to what I am learning at Harvard because I am exposed to various talks and seminars on the Middle East. I appreciate this position for its academic supplementation to my studies, as well as the important skills it has taught me for graduate school. Overall, all three of my jobs have taught me effective communication and time management.

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

The most rewarding part of my job, specifically at the Radcliffe Institute, is the opportunity to be able to gain research experience. The Radcliffe Institute has been an enriching experience and I am grateful for the mentorship that has been provided to me thus far. After graduating, the lessons that I will take with me include a work-study dynamic, effective workplace communication, time management, a robust work ethic, and the ability to recognize when I need to take time for myself to maintain my mental and physical health. The latter is one of the most important lessons I will take with me.