I arrived at Yale unsure of my future after having taken a year off after graduating from Middlebury, where I was an assistant football and baseball coach. Curious about the historicity of religion and the legitimacy of my beliefs I felt that Yale could provide me with the means to challenge everything I ever knew about faith-a concept that had intrigued me for quite some time. I knew early on in the program that, despite my enrollment in the M.Div. program, ministry was not going to be my career choice. The great mix of academics, skepticism, and my own changed beliefs pushed me away from that field towards something that had little to do with religion. Through the process I came to be more critical of religion, of faith issues, and eventually disassociated myself completely from organized religion, which may have surprised some of my classmates and/or family. But I think it was only for the better.
As an Admissions Counselor at Middlebury I travel the country visiting high schools and attending fairs as an outlet of information about my undergraduate alma mater. And while Yale didn't directly prepare me for this job through coursework, etc, the public speaking, writing, and overall communication skills honed at Yale are an intricate part of this job, and my three years in the M.Div. program set me off on the right foot when I accepted this position. Moreover, being able to think critically about various issues, especially when reading applications, perhaps is the greatest gift Yale has given me.
Academia is a great life: nice hours, interpersonal relations, relatively low pressure environment, and the sense that the college, university, or other institution is collectively working towards a common goal. I've seen most every state in the country in only a few years on the job, and have met some unbelievable people. Consider it a permanent version of the Supervised Ministry program! In any case, while I don't see myself doing this job long-term, it is a wonderful opportunity to be in the public arena and hone the skills necessary to be a success in any career field.