Graduate Assistant Blog - Tanya Trivedi

Graduate Assistant Blog - Tanya Trivedi

By Tanya Trivedi

I am a pre-service teacher in the Masters of Science in Education program at Northwestern University, and I will be teaching secondary English and Economics once I graduate. I also work at the MSEd House and for President Schapiro’s special project called the Distinguished Secondary School Teacher Award. And before June this year, I had no idea this would be my life today!

I was raised in a middle class household in India and immigrated to the United States at the age of thirteen. I attended a public high school in Joliet, then studied Economics and Comparative World Literature at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and started my career as a trainee at a large regional bank in downtown Chicago. After my one-year training and experience rotating between several business-banking offices in the "Chicagolandarea, I was placed at the downtown Chicago location where I worked for two more years. I then worked at a start-up as a credit analyst in downtown Chicago itself and subsequently transferred to a global bank where I worked for an additional year. While working in the finance industry, I formed genuine relationships, learned about the intricacies that make a career in that industry worthwhile, and learned more about my place in the world. When I did not see myself finding fulfillment as I proceeded in my career as I was, I revisited my plans.

In my spare time, while working in finance, I joined an online class to earn a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification. I daydreamed about moving to other countries and dedicating my life to teaching. While working on the practicum portion of my certification, I felt energized by the transfer of knowledge between the students and I, and the very spirit of the classroom. I started taking classes at NU during Spring 2019. I took only one class so that I could continue my full-time job. I admired being in an environment with peers and educators who were clear that they wanted to be lifelong learners and found themselves most fit for academic settings. I felt certain that if I could thrive in that setting.

In Summer 2019, I made the final decision to begin working as a graduate assistant while pursuing my Masters. Needless to say, this summer was a drastic change in my professional and personal life. I have started to learn new skills from scratch, reminding myself that it won’t happen overnight, and certain that I’m in it for the long haul. My drive to Evanston looks very different than my every day CTA train to downtown, the scenic historical campus has replaced the site of high-rises on the Financial District, and the smiling faces of staff at the MSEd house have replaced my previous colleagues in downtown. The way I introduce myself has changed, as I’m officially a career-shifter now. I seek new ways to find meaning in this transition, and I am thrilled as I conclude my third quarter at NU. The idea of teaching in a high school one day is invigorating as I explore new methods to motivate adolescents with my peers every week. It has been quite a journey finding my way to the MSEd House, but it all makes sense. I am grateful that I am entering the educational ecosystem as I take each class, bend my mind in new ways, and with every day I spend supporting the MSEd program. It is all very meaningful and enthralling work!

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Master of Science in Education School of Education & Social Policy

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