My current position with City Year ends in June. I’m currently exploring post-City Year options, which City Year comically refers to as LACY (life after City Year).
I have started collecting a (so far very incomplete) list of options for myself here: post City Year options.
Update (12-3-12): I am indeed considering serving a second year with City Year as a team leader next year (but lots of other options are on the table, too)!
I need your help! Since I’m not exactly sure what I want to do next, I’m seeking input from everyone who is reading this about what to do next.
I’m looking both for suggestions of specific jobs or graduate programs you think would be a good fit for me AND also more general ideas about what you think I should pursue next both in the short term (next year) or in the longer term.
Please add your thoughts directly into the spreadsheet at the link above (google docs is magical) and/or you may contact me directly.
Please use your own knowledge of me in considering the types of things you suggest. If you think something would be a good fit for me, please suggest it!!
Here is some information about my current thinking (but if you have a good idea that doesn’t quite fit with this, still add it to the spreadsheet anyway!)…
1. I am interested in how people learn and specifically how people can learn to create innovative solutions to problems (problems of ALL kinds: math problems, structural poverty, etc.). I am interested in education research, practice, and policy in this area (and education policy more broadly). That being said, I think it is very unlikely I would ever decide to be a classroom teacher in a primary/secondary school ever again.
2. I am interested in systems, and models, and complexity (and designing systems–of all kinds–that are effective). Recently, I’ve been particularly intrigued by this course: https://www.coursera.org/course/modelthinking
3. I like economics.
4. I usually enjoy figuring out how to help people do stuff more effectively more than I enjoy actually doing stuff. (Where “doing stuff” is very broadly defined.) Update 11-20-12: Yes, operations research is an option.
5. I like math, but I have less actual expertise in math than most people who know me seem to think. I didn’t spend my time in college studying math deeply enough to set myself up to pursue a future involving lots of theoretical math. Also, I last took a stats class in high school, so I don’t currently have a particular expertise with stats or experience actually doing stats in any real context. However, that being said, I would definitely be able to pick these skills/understanding very quickly if necessary. My math background would also let me pick up other related fields very easily.
6. If I do end up doing non-profit stuff, I’d like to have some background and expertise in some particular academic area beyond “how to run non-profits.”
7. An ideal grad program will help me learn things that I am interested in, and that I wouldn’t be able to (or wouldn’t be motivated to) study otherwise. For example, as an undergrad, I minored in physics, which was interesting and which I would not have been able to learn on my own.
8. I can envision myself working in higher ed. (in a faculty or staff position), non-profits, other education policy kinds of things, etc. There are probably other things I could see myself doing, too.
9. I appreciate the ability to extend what I’m doing in a variety of different directions as I get bored with whatever my current focus is.
Please add your general thoughts or specific suggestions of grad programs or jobs to the spreadsheet!
For myself pelasnorly, before I did not get into formal mathematics unto well into my 20s but before then when I was a little boy, I liked puzzles. I remember being fascinated by woodblock and steel puzzles of every type. I remember being shown something that looked impossible at first but with the right methodology or solution became simple and led to a greater understanding. This I believe is what laid the foundation for abstract thinking for me to pursue theoretical physics in my adult life.