Thea Hogarth '11
What is your current job?
I currently work in product development at a children's media company called Little Pim. We produce an educational foreign language video series for kids between the ages of 0 and 6, and my main role is to coordinate the creation of ancillary educational products like flashcards and lesson plans for teachers.
(Of course, working at an ed tech start up, I do a lot of other things too! Lately, I've been helping write a lot of marketing copy and contributing posts to our social media pages.)
Why did you choose this profession?
I wish I weren't the kind of person who says this kind of thing, but I think this particular job chose me. I joined the Little Pim team as a part-time office assistant last fall while I was looking for language-education-related jobs.
My prior teaching experience in the US and abroad coupled with my enthusiasm for foreign language learning and the company's mission ultimately allowed me to join the team in a creative, full-time capacity.
What more do you wish to accomplish in your professional career?
Oh, so much. I'm not sure I'll spend my entire career in children's educational media, but I definitely have a strong interest in language education and Little Pim is providing me with a completely different perspective on that area.
Ultimately, I think I'd like to end up working in a more academic environment, but hey, I'm young! Now's the time for me to be working at a fast-paced startup.
Tell us about a decision or change you made that turned out to be a positive career move.
At this point, the biggest change I have made is in my outlook: to be flexible. It's dangerous to sit around and think that the perfect job or opportunity will fall into your lap, but at the same time, you don't want to be too granular about the kind of job you want.
Being open-minded is what brought me to Little Pim. Until I started working at Little Pim, I had mainly been applying for teaching positions and other jobs at schools, but the company's product was related to my interests, so I gave it a shot. I never would have imagined that I'd be working in product development, but here I am. Saying yes to one opportunity, led to another bigger (and more surprising) opportunity.
How has Haverford influenced your professional career?
My major in Comparative Literature definitely sparked a larger interest in languages, which has evolved into an interest in bilingualism and biculturalism. Even thinking back on my thesis topic, I can see how I was grappling with questions of language an identity that I still think about in some of the research I do now.
Working with the Hurford Humanities Center at Haverford also taught me a lot about independently organizing creative endeavors which is coming in handy now as I organize teams of freelancing creatives for various projects.