Alumni Profile

Erin Connor

Teacher at Blackstone Valley Prep, RI

What are you doing now? Are you where you imagined you would be in your career at this point in your life prior to graduating, or did things work out differently than you planned?

I am living in Providence, RI and teaching 3rd grade at Blackstone Valley Prep in Cumberland, RI. I actually am where I imagined myself, teaching in a classroom full time and I'm loving every day of it. 

 

What made you choose St. Mike's?

I chose SMC because of the great community it had on campus. I loved that everyone lived on campus all four years and that people worked together to form a tight knit community. I also chose SMC for its great education department. I loved that we started teaching practicums our first year. 

 

What was your most memorable experience at St. Mike's?

I spent a few minutes thinking about this and struggled to choose just one experience. I have had so many with some amazing friends. One night that does stand out is Senior Prom. It was something I learned about as a first year and looked forward to it throughout my years. Having a night with the senior class altogether was great.

 

Who was your favorite professor, or a professor that influenced you in a significant way?

Professor Buldoc taught a few of my sociology classes. He gave so much insight during my senior capstone and really put things into perspective through his lessons. From my experience in capstone I am constantly reminded to lead a meaningful life. I cannot say enough about how great of a professor and person he is. He went above and beyond for his students and is a gem of the St. Mike’s faculty. 

 

How did you come to be where you are now?

I applied to be a corps member with Teach for America and was accepted. Upon acceptance, I was placed in Rhode Island where I was hired at my current job. 

 

What made you decide to apply to Teach for America?

I decided to apply for TFA because of my involvement with the DREAM mentoring program through MOVE. The mentees we worked with were from diverse backgrounds and many were refugees. This helped me see the importance in diversity and the value in cultural awareness. From my experience with DREAM I knew I wanted to work in a diverse area that had high need for quality educators. TFA's mission is to do just this, bringing high quality educators to areas of high need as well as fighting for educational equity, another issue I am passionate about as an educator. For these reasons I decided to become a corps member. 

 

What was it like adjusting to the 'real world' after graduating?

Leaving the St. Mike's community was harder than I thought it would be. Suddenly living an hour or more away from my closest friends was quite the adjustment at first. I've learned a lot about what it takes to make it in the real world. Thankfully, St. Mike's set me up for success with my career. 

 

Where do you think you would be right not if you had not gone to Saint Michael's college? How would your life be different?

I would hope that I would still be teaching elementary school. However, I'm not sure I would have applied to be in Teach for America. I was inspired by the DREAM mentoring program, which is part of MOVE. My involvement with DREAM showed me how important diversity is and I applied into Teach for America to be a part of a diverse community.

 

What would you say to current seniors who will be graduating soon?

Start applying for jobs early. You won't get the first job you apply for. Be prepared for a learning curve. Keep your friends and family close. Enjoy every minute of campus and the lifestyle St. Mike's offers. 

 

 

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