Growing up outside of Boston in the rural town of Sudbury, Mary knew from an early age that she wanted to work in a field that allowed her to help people. But it wasn’t until she began the Master of Science program in Security and Resilience Studies that her path towards that goal became clearer.
Here is Mary’s Northeastern story…
“I became passionate about the field of resiliency because I’ve always been interested in helping humanity. The program provides opportunities to help in a way that isn’t social work, which is what my background has been in. Resilience is a new field that’s really exciting because there are so many things that you can do with it, from working in non-profits to creating a career in all levels of government.”
After working professionally for four years after graduating from college, the prospect of returning to academia and pursuing her master’s degree was daunting. However, Mary found that Northeastern’s focus on experiential learning was a great match for her professional goals. The security and resilience program in particular could give her the structure to explore different fields while focusing on her ultimate goal of serving the larger community.
The flexibility of the program allowed Mary to continue working full-time and attend classes in the evenings, on the weekend and online.
While Mary believes that public speaking will be a major component of her future career, speaking in front of others has been a major challenge for her.
She credits a group project she co-presented as part of the POLS 7704 “Critical Infrastructure Resilience” course with Professor Flynn with helping her break through that roadblock and gain confidence in her public speaking skills.
“Resilience is the ability to prepare for and adapt to changing conditions and understand and recover rapidly from disruptions. So, it’s important to build societal resilience and strength. Having worked with a vulnerable population, I want to help build individual resilience.”
Mary has been engaged with the Boston community through her work with Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Boston, where she has been a caseworker for the past four years.
She recommends that Northeastern students interested in volunteering their time with the Boston community tap into its wide network of organizations or join programs run by the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN).
Mary began the program in Fall 2016 and looks forward to working closely with the security and resilience faculty, who she calls “the top in the field.” While she continues on the path to her master’s degree, Mary is also looking forward to the “fun and interesting” part: honing in on her career path from the many options available in the field.
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