The True Grit Series


Enjoy the first installment of the OAR’s True Grit Series!
First-Year Dean Michael Martinez speaks candidly about his freshman year at Princeton, reflecting on his travails in Economics 101.

Leadership at Haverford – Get Involved!

Posted on: November 24, 2014

Hello Sophomores!

Hopefully you are preparing to have a restful and restorative Thanksgiving Break, spend a few days catching up on work/sleep/Netflix, and also check in on the “What Now?” tab of this blog, to make sure you’ve kept up with the many other offerings available to you throughout the year! Several wonderful leadership building opportunities within the Haverford Community are coming up pretty soon after you return that you (and/or your friends) might want to start thinking about!

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It’s A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

Posted on: November 17, 2014

If many of you are like me, you woke up this morning wondering when November happened. The countdown to the end of the fall semester has begun. I’m not talking months or weeks, but days! November can bring an overwhelming abundance of emotions. Stress, anxiety, fear, regret, just to name a few. And while I can’t promise you relief from these emotions, I can promise you resources that might help lessen the blow felt when the calendar turns from November to December.

Brace Yourselves

One of those resources is Continue reading

Expanded Hours for One-on-One Consultations at the OAR

Posted on: October 29, 2014

Between attending classes and labs, working at your on-campus job, and meeting with professors, it can be a challenge to squeeze in much else before 5 p.m.

At the OAR, we’re always adapting our services based on student feedback. You asked, we listened — beginning next week, the OAR will offer late afternoon and early evening consultations to better accommodate students’ busy schedules. We’ll also hold walk-in hours for those students who haven’t scheduled an appointment.

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Mentors. How Many of Us Have Them?

Posted on: October 27, 2014

This post originally ran on February 24th, 2014. 

Isn’t it a bit presumptuous for organizations and companies to demand you include at least THREE references with your internship or job application? At least?? Do they assume you have a team of people, on speed dial, sitting around, waiting to sing your praises – every time you chase down an opportunity?  Some even require they be professors or administrators with whom you’ve had “regular one-on-one contact”. Between homework, studying, working, being awesome and hanging with friends, when exactly are you supposed to cultivate lasting relationships with faculty and others on/off campus? Moreover, how do you make these relationships feel real? Comfortable even? Comfortable enough to feel assured in requesting a reference or letter of recommendation?

Answers to such questions have nothing to do with the questions and everything to do with Continue reading

‘Free’ Stuff: Using Haverford’s Resources

Posted on: October 24, 2014

By Ellen Reinhart ’15

Hi sophomores!

I’m Ellen Reinhart, one of the student bloggers. When I look back on sophomore year, I remember realizing that I had access to more “free” stuff than I may ever have in my entire life. As Haverford students we get access to free counselling from Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) whenever we choose – all we have to do is make an appointment and sign one piece of paper. We have incredibly Continue reading

Explore Careers Up Close and Personal with an Alum: Apply for an Externship

Posted on: October 20, 2014

By Kelly Cleary and Amy Feifer

Every day at the Center for Career and Professional Advising (CCPA) we talk with students who are trying to figure out what career they want to pursue after graduation. Figuring out which career paths would be a good fit for you requires research and self-reflection.  My simple advice for exploring careers is to read about careers that interest you, watch and talk with people who work in those fields (through a job shadow or informational interview), and try them out yourself through an internship, volunteer experience, or a job.

The CCPA’s Extern Program is a terrific experience that gives students a chance to Continue reading

Major Dilemma?

Posted on: October 13, 2014

Many of you will be spending time with family, friends and relatives over Fall Break and Thanksgiving.  I suspect that some may be dreading being asked, “So, what are you going to major in?”  To be followed in many cases by, “And what are you going to do with that?”  What follows is a bit of thinking and writing I have been doing on the subject of the major that hopefully can provide you with some ammunition with which to answer with confidence!

What follows is much longer than the typical blogpost.  Blogs came into existence long after I became a dean.  Think of this as an ancient form of blogging, and feel free to spend as much or as little time with it as you wish.

Good luck with those inevitable questions, and have a great Thanksgiving!

**The following are the insights of a dean who has advised college students for the past 35 years about the question of advising for the major.

Declaring a major is Continue reading

Get Ready to Study Abroad!

Posted on: October 6, 2014

Hi Sophomores!

Today’s post for you is a joint article, written by Rebecca Avery and Natalia Banfi. Rebecca is the Coordinator of International Academic Programs on campus, and Natalia is the Student Assistant Coordinator with the Office of Global Affairs. Both of us are study abroad success stories: Rebecca studied abroad in London for a semester as an undergrad, and Natalia, who is an international student from Italy, studied abroad in Fall 2013 in Shanghai, China.

Rebecca (on the left) and a friend in front of Westminster Abbey

Rebecca (on the left) and a friend in front of Westminster Abbey

Natalia (on the right) and her sister on the island of Elba

Natalia (on the right) and her sister on the island of Elba

First things first, start thinking if a semester or academic year overseas is right for you. Here are some important questions you should ask yourself:

1. When would I go, if I did study abroad? (Fall/Spring? Full year program?)
One of the keys to studying abroad involves figuring out the best time during the school year for you to go. Sometimes, majors, minors, or concentrations involve a particularly crucial course that is available in one semester, and students are encouraged to plan their study abroad experience around this course. This is also true for sports (with active seasons), committees, and other clubs/jobs on campus. Talk to your advisor, your coach (if you play a sport), or other students with similar commitments to see how they consider study abroad. If you plan ahead, you CAN study abroad!

Other things to factor in are family commitments during the academic year, like weddings or important graduations to attend. You should also check out the academic calendar year of the country where you are considering studying. For example, in Germany, the fall semester runs through February. Check out our Program Descriptions to see the program start and end dates for each program.

2. What do I want to gain by going abroad that I couldn’t gain at Haverford?
Consider why you’d want to be traveling abroad, and what you want your goals to be. Can you accomplish your goals in the same way at Haverford as you would while abroad?

Here are some ways that study abroad can transform and positively impact your college career. Which of these are important to you?

  • Language immersion
  • Fulfill language requirement in one semester (at some of the programs)
  • Specific courses (i.e. Nordic studies in Sweden)
  • Practice independence
  • Take a break from the routine, while still furthering your academic studies
  • International work/abroad experience
  • Studying abroad has significant career benefits, and will make you stand out in an interview

3. What kind of experience do I want?
The abroad programs available to Haverford students are diverse, and the kind of program that is best for you will not necessarily be the same as your friends’. Explore the Factors to Consider section of our FAQ to learn more about the different kinds, and also consider what each individual program may bring to the table– our Program Descriptions will include that information. Some programs may involve an international internship component that is integrated into the curriculum (so you’re going to school and interning at a company/organization), others promise a fully immersive language component where you can test your language skills every day. Others involve an intense single-course of study for students who are interested in delving into a single academic interest, or fulfilling a language requirement with courses in the host culture’s language.

4. How can I finance study abroad?
Just under 50% of all Haverford students who studied abroad last year are on financial aid. Studying abroad in certain countries is more expensive than in others.  If you would like to compare costs of living check out: There are many resources available to make the trip more affordable, and remember that your Haverford financial aid travels with you! Some students are even eligible to receive an airfare refund for purchasing plane tickets through their financial aid package with Haverford.

Stop by the study abroad fair on Saturday, October 25 from 1:00pm-5:00pm in the first floor hallways of Stokes. You can meet with representatives from programs on our approved list and ask them any questions you have or share your concerns.

We will also be having another information session on Wednesday, November 19 at 6:30pm in Stokes Auditorium. The Office of International Academic Programs is also very excited to be sponsoring Study Abroad Conversations, a series of discussions and presentations given by students who have studied abroad in the past about a specific topic they learned while overseas. Keep an eye out for these talks throughout the semester- they will be a great way to learn more about the culture of a specific country that you may be interested in studying abroad in.

Make an appointment with Dean Mancini or stop by Chase 213 to talk to me and pick up some program brochures and check out the incredibly helpful black binders. Write down all of those concerns/worries that you have, and let us help you sort things out. Remember, we are here to help you with the process, and there are tons of resources for you to use- all you have to do is ask!

Oh, the places you’ll go!