A Day in the Shoes of a SIPA Student

What is a “typical” day like for a SIPA student?  Carrie Dorn offers her perspective . . .


When I first informed my friends about my acceptance to SIPA, they gave me a lot of unsolicited advice and some of it turned out to be very useful.  I was advised to pack in all of the rest and relaxation that I could get before the school year started by catching up with acquaintances and family members, organizing my house, reading some non-fiction, seeing the newest movies, and taking a vacation. Being the type of person who has always had a busy schedule, I didn’t imagine that the life of a student would be much different from my work life.

But, now that I am at SIPA, I pass this wisdom on to you.  Life at SIPA is busier and more exhilarating than you can anticipate.  Between classes there are lectures attend, cover letters to write, and networking to be done.  At night there are socials to go to, documentaries to watch, research to gather, and group presentations to practice.  The days of a student are long, the homework never-ending, and always learning opportunities not to be missed.

Here is a snapshot of what my day looked like on a fairly typical Tuesday in mid-November . . .

Wake up at 6 am and brew some coffee.  Feeling awake!

Read and respond to emails and proofread a paper proposal to be handed in tomorrow.  Running late!

Power walk to my 9 am class, Advanced Generalist Practice and Programming at the School of Social Work.  Today’s topic is integrating qualitative and quantitative data for comprehensive asset-needs assessments.  Meet with my group after class to discuss interviews and edits for our project, determining the strengths and needs of individuals reentering the East Harlem community after incarceration.  So much to be done!

Report to SIPA’s Office of Admissions and Financial Aid for work at 11:15 am.  Talk to prospective students on the phone and in person about the impressive work that they’re doing and their future career goals.  Extraordinary applicants!

At 2 pm, meet with a fellow student and plan for our upcoming conversations with administrators about the inter-school coordination of dual degree programs.  Advocating for improved processes!

Stop by the Office of Career Services to schedule an appointment to review my resume with a counselor.  Find out the dates and times of upcoming New York City Career Panel sessions.  Filling up my planner!

Report back to the Office of Admissions for the afternoon hours to assist in filing and answering questions about the admissions process by email.

Go to the 6th floor computer lab to print out materials for tomorrow’s classes and chat with friends.

At 8pm go to the Brazil Trip information session to find out about SIPA’s Spring Break Trip to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.  Pizza dinner provided!

Get home around 9:30 pm, finish up homework and plan for tomorrow.  Jump into my comfy bed at midnight and fall asleep.  Dream until the alarm goes off tomorrow morning!