Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Day Job

I work at Harrrr- vard,
I work at Harrrr- vard,
I work at Harrrr- vard.
(like you care).

Specifically I organize web conferences on public policy topics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. I speak frequently with high-profile leaders over the phone, and the conversations go like this:

"Mr. Ambassador, are you there?"

To which they usually answer, "Yes," and then begin talking to the important people on the call.

Truthfully it's satisfying work and we cover a range of topics like human trafficking, emergency evacuation, conservation, drug courts, etc. View any of the recordings and you can hear me welcome the audience, then say, "I'd like to turn things over to our moderator."

My boss is Steve Goldsmith (the politician, not the cricketer) who, besides being the former mayor of Indianapolis, has the distinction of being one of the only prominent Republicans at the Kennedy School --- hold your applause. His liberal staff generally forgive that he advised George W. Bush during the 2000 campaign, because his politics don't come into play in the nonpartisan work we do here, and no one doubts that he is pragmatic, forward thinking and well-intentioned.

Working at Harvard doesn't make me rich but it's pretty sweet. Between holidays, personal days, snow closings and vacation we get about 7 weeks off, and the benefits are great. Pocket change for gym membership and extension school classes, solid health plan and library access (where I do most of my writing).

There's also lots of stuff going on here, all the time. I've killed many a lunch hour sitting in on great seminars about national security, politics and the press, and of course the current presidential race. Some of it's over my head and/or boring but most of it's pretty engaging even for a layman like me. Check here for some of the more prominent people that come to speak --- my clumsy tenacity won me a handshake with Mayor Michael Bloomberg (story for another post).

I collaborate with a lot of influential people, and hopefully I can leverage that if my book gets published. The people I have an actual rapport with are not senators and governors but they do talk to governors... and lots and lots of other people. Unfortunately, every other colleague they have has written a book. But fortunately, none of those books are a gritty, first-rate work of fiction.

1 comment:

Monica said...

that sounds like a pretty cool job. The benefits are pretty good too.