JHU Networks: The Strength of Alumni Connections

Name: Michelle Tellock

Graduation Year: 2007

Current Town: New Haven, Connecticut

Programs of Study: Cognitive Science & Sociology double major

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With the economy in not-so-fabulous shape and lots of Americans looking for work, one big piece of advice being repeated ad nauseum to recent graduates and career changers alike is something along the lines of “take advantage of your network!” While I’m lucky to be in the sheltered world of law school for another year and a half before braving the “real world” of paid legal work full-time, I’m happy to report that my relationships and connections with other JHU grads has helped me to build strong personal and professional networks that I can turn to at any time.

By getting involved in a bunch of different activities during my time at Hopkins (most notably, the Woodrow Wilson Debate Council, the Undergraduate Admissions office, and Residential Life), I was able to meet a lot of fellow students from really diverse backgrounds who had personal and career goals MTellock01 as varied as one can imagine. As we’re now graduated (or graduating soon!), my friends and I have spread far and wide across the globe: some are studying in England, others are working with the Peace Corps in Africa, and more still are just a train ride away as they continue their schooling or take jobs in Washington, DC, New York, or Boston. Everyone is doing such different things – working for think tanks, writing computer code, doing medical school clinical rotations – but we all have common experiences that bind us together.

When I lived in DC – a particularly popular post-graduation destination for Hopkins alums – I was always running into people I knew on the street, while riding Metro, or at galleries and sporting events. The JHU Office of Alumni Relations also sponsors a lot of events for DC-area alums to meet and mingle, such as happy hours and outdoor excursions. Those events were really great opportunities to see lots of familiar faces and also discover who was new to the city, when I hadn’t already seen the news on Facebook.

Now that I’m in law school relatively far away from Baltimore, I still find myself surrounded by Hopkins grads. Besides the two other former JHU students in law school with me, one of my Wolman Hall 4E floormates from freshman year is a student at the med school and we pass each other on the street all the time. Of course, I also try to convince my JHU friends to come visit me in New Haven (one of them MTellock02 even got engaged in a burrito joint just down the street!), and having friends in lots of different cities all across the country makes for fun and relatively inexpensive getaways. I’ve been to Chicago, New Orleans, Las Vegas, an Albuquerque to visit Hopkins friends, and others joke that I practically live in Boston with a group of other JHU grads.

As I’ve started to think seriously about what kind of job I might like after graduation from law school, the Hopkins network has again shown its strength. During my summer internship this year, I met some JHU graduates in Kansas City, Missouri, and one of them offered to help me find a permanent job there if I wanted to stay in the Midwest. Then, when I was interviewing for positions for next summer, a number of the attorneys I was meeting with happened to have graduated from Hopkins, too; almost every one of them told me they were surprised by just how much the Homewood campus has changed since their time in Baltimore. One law firm associate and I bonded over our shared love for the cream of crab soup at Gertrude’s, the restaurant in the Baltimore Museum of Art on campus. In fact, I’m happy to report that in just two short weeks I’ll be back on campus for the wedding of two of my friends…and I’m hoping a meal at Gertrude’s can squeeze into the schedule!

Being admitted to Hopkins and choosing to enroll provided me with four fabulous years on the Homewood campus. I feel truly blessed that my connections with Hopkins have continued to grow, even as my classmates and I have largely moved away from Baltimore in order to pursue our own goals. Having a strong alumni network has helped me to feel as though no matter where I go, I’ll have the support of my fellow Blue Jays!

*** If you enjoyed this alumni blog entry then we recommend you check out Michelle’s other guest blog entries: Reflecting on the Application Process and Greetings from Washington, D.C. — and also her archived blog from her time as an undergraduate — Not-Quite-Daily Ramblings.***

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