Heather Marie Vitale '08
"Stay positive; it may seem tough right now, but the right opportunity will come along soon."
Were you an undergraduate or graduate student or both?
Why did you decide to come to Emerson?
I knew in my gut from the first moment I stepped foot on campus that it was the right place for me. It had the best program, and the students seemed really happy and supported in their studies.
How is Emerson a part of your life today?
I am a regular participant in all things alumni (especially GOLD); I follow Emerson news; I stay in close contact with Emerson friends; and helping current students better afford to attend school is one of my top philanthropic priorities.
Describe a favorite Emerson memory.
Working with 30 of my peers on Alternative Spring Break in 2008. We banded together to raise money to go to communities in Mississippi and Washington, DC to make a difference for a week. It all made us stronger, wiser, and more caring people, and I cherish the memories of the week. I'm glad that I gave up a traditional spring break to have that opportunity.
Tell us about an "Emerson Connection."
In 2009, I joined a women's career club started by Emerson alumna and friend Colleen Bradley-MacArthur. Here we support one another in our quests for personal and professional development. My fellow club members gave me advice on networking, interviewing, and moving on to my next job. I in turn can give advice from a recent graduate's perspective. It has proven to be an empowering experience, and I never would have joined if I hadn't met and befriended Colleen through young alumni events.
If you are currently working, what is your title and how would you describe what you do to a current undergraduate?
Staff Assistant, Taubman Center for State and Local Government at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. I support the heads of the center by keeping them organized, on topic, and grammatically correct.
Describe a notable achievement in your career.
Editing and researching Triumph of the City by Edward Glaiser.
Emerson achievement: Being named Emersonian of the Year in 2008!
What are your goals for the future?
I want to return to school for a master's in public policy and then hopefully on to law school to focus on human rights and social law.
What advice do you have for incoming students?
Get involved early and often. Do as many internships as you can. Have fun.
What advice do you have for recent graduates?
Stick with it. Network as often as you can. Stay positive; it may seem tough right now, but the right opportunity will come along soon. And even if it doesn't seem like the right opportunity, it might be the perfect stepping stone to what you really want.