I pop on here to post the occasional update, but I do apologize for my delay in responding to many emails. I used to live with my personal computer almost surgically attached to my fingers. I don’t anymore. And that’s a good thing. But it means that I didn’t notice many emails coming in over the last year or so on the account associated with this website. I have recently logged in and replied to as many as I could right away. Please keep them coming, and I will make a resolution to schedule some time to come to my website on a regular basis and stay in touch. Please also send me your Easter Sonata performances - I just made an events page for them. Even if it happened in the past, I can enter it as a past event to add to the record.
The Big Reason I stepped away from my personal computer was that I took a job in private industry about a year ago, as an analyst. It was an enormous personal and professional transition, and it wasn’t easy. But it has been wonderful. I ended up at a great company with a fantastic boss. I never knew just how many of the skills I learned in grad school and in my four years as a professor would come in handy in the corporate world. The post-ac career path can be incredibly rewarding, and I am glad I made the leap. I still stay in touch with my music/academic colleagues, and I am even still publishing occasionally. I am very grateful for the opportunities to keep contributing not only to Fanny Hensel’s continuing story, but also to keep contributing to the recognition of women in all walks of life and all kinds of careers.
More and more graduate programs are recognizing the need for education and coaching around post-ac options, and I believe that is a very good trend. Individuals with advanced degrees in pretty much anything demonstrate a massive amount of stick-to-itiveness, creativity, writing skills, public speaking skills, mentoring and leadership skills - the list goes on and on. And companies are looking for those skills. When anyone asks me (which they often do these days), I always say - go for that dream. Become the best musician you can be, the best writer, the best [insert humanities degree here] you can be. (And some sciences degrees too! Jobs don’t magically appear for STEM graduates, either.) But keep your options open, take some quantitative research and/or data science courses, plan for the future, and be aware of your own value and how to communicate it. Michelle Obama, in her autobiography Becoming, said it perfectly: