Meet an Alum: Beth Gallagher

November 8th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Beth Gallagher is the Director of Community Involvement for AON Corporation, headquartered in Chicago.  According to her bio, she is responsible for “managing the day-to-day operations of the AON Foundation giving programs, which include grants, sponsorships, business unit charitable contributions, disaster relief and employee matching gifts.  In addition, Beth oversees employee volunteer programming at the firm.”

But–as Beth put it in a phone conversation–she “never would have guessed that a job like this existed,” when she first arrived in MAPH in 2001.  At that point, she had one year of professional experience under her belt, and thought that she was on a path toward writing education.  Though she took classes in pedagogy, Beth now says that it was her job as a docent at the Smart Museum and other coursework at the University that “broadened my thoughts about education.”

She began thinking about working in fundraising.  But by the time the 2002 class graduated, the job market had collapsed.  “It wasn’t as bad as this,” she said, talking about the context of her first attempts to find employment in comparison with the current economic conditions.   After graduation she worked as an executive assistant at Youth Outreach Services before ultimately landing a gig there in development.  She has been with AON Corporation since 2006.

Beth said she looks forward to speaking with MAPH students diverse opportunities in a corporate setting.  She will be speaking at tonight’s Career Core event.

Meet an Alum: Anna Piepmeyer

November 5th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Anna!

Anna Piepmeyer graduated from MAPH in 2007.  She thought she had a pretty clear idea of what came after the Program.  “Like most people, I had assumed it was a PhD and that I’d be an English professor,” she told me during a phone conversation.  Anna spent the first half of the year thinking “I was going further on.”

Today, you’ll find Anna working as the Program Director for Open Books, a Chicago-based non-profit organization.  She characterized the group as “a business-minded non-profit.”   Open Books uses proceeds from its retail bookstore in conjunction with donations and a network of volunteers to provide literacy programming for Chicago school children.

In her current role, Anna oversees four different programs under the Open Books umbrella–all centered on the provision of one-on-one attention for students in various areas of reading and writing.  In the “Adventures in Creative Writing” program, for example, students are encouraged to write from their own experiences.  “We’re all about students exploring their own lives,” Piepmeyer said.  Characterizing the scope of these experiences, she added that stories range in content from ” Six Flags to gang violence.”  Programs take place on-site, and according to Anna, over 3,000 students have been to Open Books on field trips this year.  The organization also sends volunteers to eleven area schools to give students the opportunity to work closely on their literacy skills.

Speaking of how to decide what to do after MAPH, Anna said, “There are a lot of other things you can do using your degree in interesting ways.”  She highlighted that networking and starting early are keys to being successful in getting a job after graduation.

Anna encourages current MAPH students and alums to check out Open Books.  The store has 50,000 used books, and proceeds go toward funding the organization.  More information can be found at Open Books’ Website.

Meet an Alum: Introduction

November 5th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

As many of you know, MAPH will graduate its FIFTEENTH class in June 2011!

We have more than 1,500 alumni, a huge number of which live, work, and in various ways pursue the species-being life right here in the Chicagoland area.

But regardless of  geographic location, we want to hear what you’re up to–especially if you are interested in sharing stories with this year’s MAPHers and your fellow alumni.  As Mentors this year, Amelia Pace-Borah and I will be conducting regular interviews with long lost alums (along with some usual suspects who we are fortunate enough to hear from more often) and post them here.

We hope that this will be a way of keeping in better touch, and giving you all an opportunity to reconnect with UChicago during this big year for MAPH.

Cheers,

A-J and Amelia

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