Bridget Brennan and I are attending to know one another by way of a analysis undertaking that we’re collaborating on for my establishment. In assembly Bridget, I used to be fascinated by her educational profession journey. Bridget is a Senior Content material Director at Hanover Analysis. Previous to her present management function, Bridget served because the Assistant Vice President for Tutorial Affairs at Stevenson College. Earlier than that, Bridget was a professor of English and Girls’s Research and division chair at Prince George’s Group Faculty. Bridget graciously agreed to reply my questions on her present function, her profession path, and her ideas about crafting a non-traditional educational profession.
Q: Inform us about your function as Increased Training Analysis Director at Hanover Analysis. What’s Hanover Analysis, and what do you do all day lengthy?
Hanover supplies customized analysis, analytics and grants help companies utilizing a subscription mannequin to round 500 school and college companions throughout the U.S. We do customized quantitative, qualitative, and secondary analysis associated to plenty of key areas of curiosity in greater schooling, together with educational program growth, advertising, enrollment administration, development, and funds. To place it merely, our job is to assist our companions make knowledgeable, strategic choices that help their mission and strategic targets.
Most days, I divide my time between working with school, employees, and directors at our greater schooling accomplice establishments, main a crew of content material administrators, and collaborating with researchers on our varied methodology groups. With our greater ed companions, the content material administrators and I assist to develop long-range analysis agendas and design particular person analysis tasks. Internally, I present steering and management to a gaggle of content material administrators who collaborate with very gifted researchers to assist form and information analysis
Q: What was the trail that introduced you from a professor and division chair to a tutorial VP, and now to your present function? Why did you transition out of working for a college, however nonetheless working in greater schooling?
I’ve all the time been pushed to grasp the “why” behind varied challenges, and I feel that curiosity has actually formed my profession path. After I was instructing, I typically discovered myself interested by how my college students’ experiences and struggles may mirror bigger, systemic points and the way my colleagues and I might work collectively to make larger-scale adjustments. That curiosity led me to develop into a division chair. Whereas serving as a division chair, I turned desirous about higher understanding institutional and extra common components that influence scholar success, which led me into educational administration.
The transition from working in academia to working at Hanover was actually the most important of my profession. Nonetheless, I couldn’t move up the distinctive alternative to realize a way more world understanding of the sector to which I’ve devoted my total profession. I used to be intrigued by the prospect to have the ability to assist all several types of establishments—group schools, enterprise colleges, giant universities, small liberal arts schools—deal with enrollment challenges, improve scholar success, and develop cutting-edge educational packages.
Q: These days, I’ve plenty of conversations with lecturers who’re interested by crafting a non-traditional educational profession. What recommendation do you could have for newly minted PhDs who’re considering of one thing completely different than the tenure monitor to launch, and people working for a school or college who’re interested by doing one thing completely different?
I feel for each teams, it’s necessary to grasp what drew them to a PhD program/greater schooling within the first place. Was it a eager curiosity in analysis? Mental curiosity? The will to grasp advanced subjects? In my expertise, there are various positions and corporations outdoors of upper schooling or which are greater ed-adjacent that present alternatives to have interaction within the sort of intellectually difficult work one finds in greater schooling. In my present place, I get to work with amazingly gifted and sharp folks, fulfill my infinite curiosity, and deal with advanced challenges, all of which had been drivers that led me to finish a PhD and work in greater ed within the first place.
I feel it’s additionally necessary to grasp that there are corporations, significantly people who work with educational establishments, which are in search of the sort of information and insights that come from being an business “insider.” My many colleagues at Hanover who hail from greater schooling use their distinctive views to assist form each our day-to-day work and the corporate’s strategic targets.