“So what are you going to do after graduation?”
That is the big question. As a senior at Notre Dame, the year is a bit of a blur. Luckily, the chaos of this year provides us with some pretty special memories. More specifically, senior year is the time we get to celebrate our friends receiving dream job offers and acceptances into top-notch graduate programs.
Instead of just telling you the stats on where my class is going in the fall, I thought it would be interesting to let my friends share their own stories. In this series, you’ll be able to learn about what Notre Dame seniors are doing after graduation, how they came to this decision, and some fun facts about their ND experience.
Meet Maggie. She’s a History major with minors in Poverty Studies and Business Economics who proudly hails from Detroit, Michigan. Her ability to make the Notre Dame community feel like a family is unrivaled, always caring for others. This strong sense of compassion drove her toward a career in teaching with Notre Dame’s own ACE program after graduation.
What is your favorite Notre Dame tradition?
The Keenan Revue! I might be biased because my favorite ND boys live in Keenan but they really put on such a well-done, witty, hilarious show.
What is your favorite place on campus?
Hands down my favorite place on campus is 203 Walsh Hall! I lived in the quint with four girls that I didn’t know very well but who became some of my very best friends. The incredible community in Walsh has been one of my favorite parts of my Notre Dame experience.
What kind of clubs or activities are you involved in at Notre Dame?
For my first three years, I was involved mostly in Walsh, as a member of the Welcome Weekend team and eventually Hall Captain. I loved being a part of the Walsh community and getting to know all of the freshmen!
Can you tell us a little about your study abroad experience?
I spent the spring of my junior year at Trinity College in Dublin. I come from a very Irish family so it was so incredible to have a chance to live in the center of Dublin and spend a little bit of time with my relatives. I loved my Dublin study abroad experience mostly for the people that I met. The program is the perfect size (usually about 50 people) so I became incredibly close with certain people but still got a chance to know everyone in the group. Also, Ireland is stunningly gorgeous so that was an added bonus!
If you could relive any day at Notre Dame it would be __________.
If I could relive any day at Notre Dame, it would be the night that my friends and I spent the entire night walking around campus during syllabus week junior year. We ran through Stonehenge and Hesburgh Library’s reflecting pool. Then we swam in the lake and walked around campus until the morning. It was so much fun to just wander campus at night with no one else around but some of my best friends.
Can you tell us a little bit about your post-graduation plans?
After graduation I am going to be a part of ACE 24! The Alliance for Catholic Education is a two-year teaching program at Notre Dame. I will spend the next two summers on campus learning about how to be a good teacher and then I will spend the school years teaching at a Catholic school in one of 33 possible cities.
What are some quick facts about ACE?
I will graduate from ACE at the end of two years with a Masters in Education from Notre Dame. ACE teachers are only in Catholic schools. I don’t know what city I will be in yet but I will find out where in a few weeks (I’m dying to know!!!). I requested to teach middle school social studies. ACE also has a program for principals and other school leaders called the Remick Leadership Program as well as several other education initiatives.
What made you want to follow that career path?
For my poverty studies minor I have taken several classes on education. One in particular, Social Inequality and the American Education System, sparked my interest. We learned in that class all about how incredibly influential a good education is in a child’s life and how stratified our education system is currently. I have always wanted to make an impact in the lives of people who weren’t born with the same blessings as I was and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that teaching is one of the most direct ways to do this.
Did you know what you wanted to do before coming to Notre Dame?
I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do when I started at Notre Dame. I knew that I liked history so I took a few classes that I liked so much I decided to major in it. When I heard about the poverty studies minor, I was immediately intrigued and I haven’t been disappointed by a single class I have taken for it. I think the best way to find out what you want to do is to listen to what interests you and explore new things.
How do you think Notre Dame prepared you for this role?
I don’t think that anyone is ever really ready for the first year of teaching but I do think that Notre Dame has prepared me to handle challenges with resilience. My professors have pushed me to work harder than I ever thought I would need to. I also think that my experience analyzing information and presenting an argument in my history classes is a skill that will be incredibly useful in my preparation for teaching and in the classroom.
Has there been anyone at Notre Dame that had a big impact on your career choice? (professor, rector, friend, etc.)
The person who most influenced my decision to go into teaching is my older sister. She graduated from ACE this past summer and now teaches middle school in Chicago. I saw her go through the challenges of her two years in ACE but I also witnessed how much her experience shaped her. She helped me realize that sometimes the most difficult experiences are the most worthwhile and this is what I hope to get from ACE!
What advice do you have for a current high school student that wants to be in your shoes in the future?
My advice for any high school student who wants to come to Notre Dame is to follow your passions. As I history major and a future Catholic school teacher, I have faced many moments of questioning my decision to take this path. While most of my friends are going off to lucrative and prestigious jobs in the business world, I will be taking a much less glamorous path. But I find satisfaction in the thought that I will be changing people’s lives, up close and personal. So, my advice is to listen when your brain tells you something is interesting and to make sure you take a path that lights a fire inside you.