Tag: Brielle Ruscitti

Embracing Winter in Boston!

Brielle Ruscitti, MS GHPM/MA SID'24 Headshot

Brielle Ruscitti, MS GHPM/MA SID’24

Now that the semester is over, we all get to enjoy a break from academics, and for me, that means taking some time to explore more of the Boston area and check out the places I’ve saved over the semester. The only problem is now the days are short, and cold. Luckily, as Brandeis students, there are a number of museums and other places we can visit with a discount.

One of my personal favorites is the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, while Brandeis does not offer a discount, if you present your student ID, you will receive a discounted admission. This museum is easy to get to as it is centrally located by a few public transit stops. There is also a great Netflix documentary about the largest heist that happened at the museum. This museum is not your typical museum and I highly recommend you check it out yourself.

Up next is the Museum of Fine Arts: the museum is large, but beautiful and I recommend you visit, maybe even twice.  Not only is the MFA conveniently located as well, but it is just a short walk from the Gardner Museum.  As Brandeis students, admission is free with your student ID. The MFA has great rotational exhibits and is a great place to spend a rainy day, or any day.

A couple other options to check out are the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum as well as the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation. I have not been able to go to these museums yet, but they have great reviews and offer discounted admission with your student ID.

I also recommend checking out some of the seasonal activities, like ice skating, winter markets, winter outdoor dining or walking around to view the festive decorations and lights. While these activities do not necessarily have a student discount, some of these options are free, a great way to embrace the season and try something new.

Lastly, winter is the season to be cozy, and feel productive while watching your favorite movies, baking, and enjoying time with family. I definitely recommend checking out your local library and finding a good book to enjoy while the weather is less than favorable, this is one of my favorite winter activities, especially if it includes freshly baked cookies. This time is a way to spend our days doing new things and being away from our classes is a great time to recharge and rest before the next semester begins.

The Summer Internship, Part Two

Brielle Ruscitti, MS GHPM/MA SID'24 Headshot

Brielle Ruscitti, MS GHPM/MA SID’24

In my last post, I started talking about how I was starting my summer internship search, and now I will update on how the process is going and what other steps I have taken. I previously mentioned the importance of the Heller School’s resources, specifically career services.  Over the past couple of weeks, I have met with career services to talk about how to strategize my internship search, resources available and had my resume and cover letter reviewed.

Having a reviewed and ready to go template resume and cover letter is extremely useful for when I find an internship that I would like to apply to. I can easily customize my materials to fit the job description and confidently submit my application. I have been using Handshake and LinkedIn most frequently to find positions applying to ones that I am most interested in.  I have learned that using filters on Handshake can be really useful for searching for specific position types, durations and paid vs unpaid opportunities. LinkedIn is useful for looking at specific organizations you are interested in that are hiring and even tells you how many other applicants there are. Additionally, remember to keep your LinkedIn profile updated, this is not only a great way to keep track of your accomplishments but also LinkedIn is great for networking. One of the biggest takeaways that I have had so far is that every organization tends to have a different hiring timeline, so some agencies and organizations might be hiring spring intern and some might be looking for summer interns. Make sure to take your time and realize that some of the positions you might be looking for aren’t being hired for yet.

Another great resource that I have explored is information session and events that Heller is hosting. Information sessions, specifically about the practicum search is a great place to get your questions answered. I attended a session last week hosted by Mary Poor and learned so much about what previous students have done for their practicum, and what is required for the Heller school, such as forms, and visa information, if applicable. Additionally, there were a number of resources shared at this event that I am definitely going to be using going forward in my search. This event was also super helpful as there were current and previous students present to talk about their practicum experience, and share what finding and completing the practicum was like.  If there are any other events that are like this in the future I will be sure to attend.

In my next post, I will be sharing some interview tips and reflections on some of my interview experiences, so stay tuned!

The Summer Internship Part One

Brielle Ruscitti, MS GHPM/MA SID'24 Headshot

Brielle Ruscitti, MS GHPM/MA SID’24

We are about halfway through the semester and while spooky season is fun, the spookiest part is starting my search for a summer internship. As a student in the dual degree (Sustainable International Development and Global Health Policy and Management), students must complete a summer practicum, which essentially is an internship. Students in this program are responsible for findings their own summer employment. In this and future posts, I will take you through how I am beginning my search and how the application process goes throughout the semester. I hope that for future readers this makes the process easier to understand and maybe gives you a place to start your own plan and internship search.

Step One: Look into the resources available and get familiar with them. Heller has an incredible resource in its staff which help students not only search for their practicum but also help develop your application materials such as your resume and cover letter.  I been using resources such as Handshake and LinkedIn which can help you begin to get an idea of types of internships, deadlines, and different companies and organizations to work with.

Step Two: Gather and update your application materials. I started this week by dusting my cover letter and updating it to use for an internship application and made sure my resume was up to date. This makes the application process much easier as your materials are ready to go, and I can easily add position specific information to my cover letter and resume to make sure my application is submitted on time. I also made sure to reach out to previous or current professors to see if they can write letters of recommendation. This is especially important because you want to make sure they have ample time for what they need to write.

Step Three: Begin the search. This is the most daunting part: there are so many to look through on a number of different websites and platforms, the whole thing becomes overwhelming almost instantly. So far I’m using a couple different strategies to make the searching less overwhelming. I started by checking both Handshake and LinkedIn for a set amount of time and used a specific set of filters or search terms to find positions that I would be interested in. I make sure to save the positions I am interested in so I can set time aside later to apply. I have also signed up for some newsletters, both from Heller and other organizations, that post internship openings. I read those carefully and look into the organization hiring to ensure I want to apply. This process has just started and I am sure I will have feedback for myself.

My search and applications have just begun, so stay tuned to read as my process continues.

A Letter to My Future Self (to read upon graduation): Brielle Ruscitti

Brielle Ruscitti, MS GHPM/MA SID'24 Headshot

Brielle Ruscitti, MS GHPM/MA SID’24

Dear Future Brielle,

You’re graduating from Heller with two degrees in two years, congratulations! How does it feel? Did you get to experience all you wanted during your time at Heller? I hope you found a balance between the two degrees and have been able to fine tune your passions. I’m happy to see you figured out the practicum and a master’s final project, all the worrying and planning paid off. I hope you were able to participate in meaningful service in your community and find research you were passionate about. I hope you enjoy graduation and a renewed sense of accomplishment, maybe take some time off and celebrate! I hope that you still enjoy going out to try new restaurant recommendations.

I have so many questions I hope you can answer. Where are you headed next? Are you going to be living abroad, or staying in Boston? Are you starting a new job? If yes, are you going to be working for a non-profit, an NGO or maybe a research institute? If not, are you considering more education? Well, I hope that more school is not plan A, but maybe something in the future. I hope you’ve found a job that fits you, your skills and passions, and that you’re excited to start. Maybe you even have a bit of time off between graduation and starting your career.

Outside of your career, what are your next life steps? I hope you’ve been able to travel while still in school and that if you’re headed into a career, it will lend to a similar life style.  Whatever next step you’ve chosen, I know that you’ve made the right choice. Also, I really hope you’re still planning to get a dog or a cat, if you haven’t already, in the near future- hint, a graduation gift to yourself!

I hope during this time that you think back to your undergraduate graduation and know how much uncertainty and doubt you have overcome to get to this moment and that everything has worked out exactly as it should. I hope you took time to learn new skills, try different classes, maybe test out a new hobby and took time to just be present. I hope you take time to appreciate all the support and love you have received during this time and thank your family and friends. Once again, congratulations and I hope you know you’ve made Brielle of 2022 proud.

Love,

Past Brielle

Hello Heller! Brielle Ruscitti’s Acceptance Story

Brielle Ruscitti, MS GHPM/MA SID'24 Headshot

Brielle Ruscitti, MS GHPM/MA SID’24

Throughout my undergraduate career, I planned to go to medical school. I studied biology, shadowed doctors, participated in research but when it came time to study for the MCAT, I hit a wall. Through my undergrad, I realized that becoming a physician wasn’t the path for me and that my passions lay other places. I had developed a passion for fostering social change, worked with global health non-profits and had completed international development research projects. I had my own version of a quarter life crisis and scrapped my medical school plans.  After some thinking, graduate school was my new plan, and I was specifically looking at social impact MBA programs, which indirectly lead me to Brandeis. I knew I wanted to be on the East Coast and through the classic Google search, I stumbled upon Brandeis, starting reading about Heller and, not too long after, started my application.

At the time, I had recently graduated and was working as a third grade teacher, trying to make plans for the next year. I remember trying to plan ahead when I would make the move to Boston, if I were to be accepted, but was concerned I was planning for something that wasn’t guaranteed. I’m sure you can imagine that I was counting the days to when my admissions letter was going to be released, and I quite literally did: I estimated that it would come on Valentine’s Day, a Monday, and with the two hour time change, my letter should come by three pm… I told myself that was the best case scenario.  Three o’clock passed and I hadn’t received an email. After repeatedly checking my inbox, I headed out to my afternoon duty to help with student pick up and other end of the day activities.  At this point, I assumed that I would hear later and casually checked my email heading back to my classroom. That’s when I saw it: “There has been an update to your portal” and my admissions decision had been released.  Since running isn’t allowed in the hallways, I walked as fast as I could to my computer to check my portal and anxiously checked my letter and read that I had been admitted. I told my co-teacher first, because she was right there.  All I said was “Oh! I got in!” She laughed, shook her head and congratulated me. I laughed and quickly called my partner to share the news and messaged a few other family members.

My immediate feeling after reading my letter was relief. I felt like I knew what I would be doing, where I would be going, and that I could start planning for my future. My partner and I planned to move to the East Coast together and my acceptance cemented our plan – 30 hour road trip, here we come! After I processed what happened, I realized I could start finalizing plans and getting excited. I was excited for my future, the program and my Brandeis experience.

I had applied to other programs in the area, but knew that the Heller school was my top choice. The dual degree program design and field practicum would give me the opportunity study, gain experience, and fine tune my passion and knowledge before starting my career.  We are now about a month into school, and I know I made the right decision. While it is just the start of my time at Heller, I am excited for all that is to come!

The Summer Internship Search: Waiting for the Right Position

Brielle Ruscitti, MS GHPM/MA SID'24 Headshot

Brielle Ruscitti, MS GHPM/MA SID’24

As I wound down last semester, I foung myself much busier than I have been, and this has left me much less time to search for internships and plan ahead for next semester. However,  I had started to notice that some of the companies I was interested in working for, or positions that I am interested in, are not being hired for.  As I have refined my search and determined what I am looking for in an internship, I am finding it a bit harder to find positions that I am interested in applying to. I think it is important to find an internship that will be a value add to your experience, help you build new skills and enjoy your work. I have seen that some companies are still hiring for spring internships, which is good to know for future reference. I have started a couple of habits while I am waiting for positions to be posted and wrapping up the end of the semester, headed into the winter break.

Save searches, job posts and more on LinkedIn

I have mentioned previously that saving searches, key terms and jobs that you are interested in can be beneficial for your internship process. I have been able to identify quite a few companies that I would be interested in working with, and set alerts for when they have new job posting available. This is my way of creating curated opportunities to look through from my own network and this has generally made searching feel less overwhelming. I also make sure to follow the companies on LinkedIn so I can stay up to date on other posts and events.

Be patient and use the time for your benefit

 Having more time will give you more time to revise your materials, and even create multiple drafts based on the different positions you are applying. This can save you time when you are applying because you know your materials are ready to go. Also, you are able to prepare for interviews through the Heller Career Center, where you can schedule mock interviews and brush up on your skills.  While I haven’t done a mock interview myself, I highly recommend getting as much interview practice as you can, especially if you wish to improve your interview skills.  Another idea I am considering, is attending in person networking and job or internship fairs. As more events return to in person, I think this is a great way to work on networking skills, meet potential employers and meet other people who are passionate about the same thing as you. Most importantly, you can also take this extra time to relax, rest and focus on your studies, which always come first.

Remember, the right internship will come along, and you will be ready!

Wishing everyone a restful break and a happy new year!

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