Why do some staff
members also enroll as students?
SARAH KRUSE QUESTIONS her sanity on a daily basis.
Marc Cosentino spends every Sunday holed up in his office. Bill
White saw less of his kids.
They are part of a small group of Kennedy School staff
members who, for two years, pull double duty: they continue working
full time at the school while also enrolled part time in the MPA
Combining a rigorous graduate program with jobs that
are equally as rigorous Kruse is director of events in the
External Affairs Office, Cosentino is the associate director of
Career Services, and White is director of the Forum has its
obvious challenges. Long days, little down time, stress, and missed
social activities both at home and school. Still, the positives
definitely outweigh the negatives, they say.
Im having a ball. Im looking at
the school with a whole new perspective, says Cosentino, whos
in his first year. Ive never felt closer to the school
than I do this year.
Its so stimulating, White says of
the program. He graduated in 2003. An added advantage is having
an inside view of the Kennedy School. You know who the professors
are and which courses are good to take.
For Kruse, who is also a live-in proctor in one of
Harvards undergraduate houses and will graduate in the spring,
one of the best perks is having an office on campus.
It gives me a quiet place to work on papers
on the weekend. Since I live in the dorm, it can be hard to concentrate,
she says. Last year especially. I had a very small suite and
lived on an active hallway, so between the noise and the interruptions,
I wrote every paper in my office.
Perhaps the most enticing reason to pull double duty
is Harvards tuition assistance program: it covers 90 percent
of the cost of classes.
You almost put yourself at a disadvantage if
you dont get a degree here, with the tuition assistance,
So what advice does this trio have for other staff
members considering the plunge?
Dont procrastinate! I was the classic
student who wrote papers at 1 a.m. the night before they were due
when I was in college, Kruse says, But that doesnt
work when youre working and going to school.
White says to make sure you look over the syllabus
carefully. If a course doesnt excite you, its
not the right one for you.
Id say just do it, says Cosentino.
Its a life-changing event.