Jonas Clark '04
What is your current job?
I'm a resident dean of freshman at Harvard, who is currently on leave to attend business school for two years. At Harvard, a resident dean is responsible for approximately 425 freshman, monitoring their academic progress, and helping with any social, personal, or "life" issues which might arise. I oversee a residential staff of 14 people and serve on a number of committees and boards around Harvard College.
Why did you choose this profession?
By accident, really. I was in graduate school at Harvard and ended up working with undergrads while there. I really like being part of a residential academic community and working with such talented undergrads.
What more do you wish to accomplish in your professional career?
While I've loved working with individual students, I'm increasingly interested in some larger footprint issues and am hoping to make in impact in those. College access and affordability is probably the biggest one and I'm hoping that a short detour through business school will give me some more skills to help tackle that problem and to think creatively and entrepreneurially about it.
Tell us about a decision or change you made that turned out to be a positive career move.
Oh gosh, most of my career has happened serendipitously and I've never really been one of those 10-year plan sorts of people. I think the most important thing is to like what you are doing and to take pride in your work, no matter how big or small it might be.
How has Haverford influenced your professional career?
I think the values are something that you carry with you particularly if you work in education. I've been a big advocate of honor codes in large part because of my experience at Haverford. I think that wearing your values on your sleeve and being up front about them - even when it seems a little corny at times -- is a really important thing for an organization or a community.