For some seniors, graduation doesn’t mean saying goodbye

Set on continuing his education at GW, senior Eric Daleo was offered an opportunity he couldn’t refuse: work for the University and receive financial aid for graduate school.

Daleo, who will pursue a master’s degree in history and public policy, is one of several graduating seniors who will make the transition from GW student to GW employee next year.

“I was going to go to law school; I had my heart set on it, and then the Office of Alumni Programs offered me help with tuition for a master’s degree in history and public policy,” Daleo said.

Another senior, Josh Hartman, will most likely work in the Spirit Programs department. In early April, Hartman said he saw internship listings on the Student and Academic Support Services Web site and talked with officials about the possibility of working at GW.

“Right now I’m not sure what my position would be, probably something along the lines of a graduate assistant for Spirit Programs,” said Hartman, who will be studying higher education administration next year.

Hartman, who served as the Program Board’s parties chair this past year, said while he is looking forward to receiving financial aid to help pay for his graduate studies, he is especially excited to be given a “great opportunity” to help GW.

“It will be great to see the University from a different perspective than just the undergraduate student side,” he said.

Peter Konwerski, assistant to the SASS senior vice president and GW’s executive director of partnerships, said many different departments across campus offer part- and full-time jobs that often provide a free graduate class per semester and an hourly wage.

“We generally get a good quality and diversity of people applying for these positions,” said Konwerski, adding that each position often has its own qualifications and job description.

Konwerski also oversees the Presidential Administrative Fellows program at GW, which each year allows several students to attend graduate school at GW for free in exchange for working in a University department.

This year, seven seniors will become PAFs while also receiving stipends and an hourly wage.

“We’ve gotten in the last five years 78 or more applicants per year and we pick about seven people,” Konwerski said. He added that the highly competitive program is open to all graduating seniors who have completed 60 credit hours at GW and have a 3.0 GPA.

Konwerski said the fellows have the chance to work in a number of different University departments.

“A big thing is the applicant’s commitment to GW … (we want) people who are willing to work hard to improve the University,” Konwerski said.

Fiona Conroy, who served as president of the Panhellenic Association last year, will be working at Student Judicial Services as a PAF next year.

“Judicial aspects are the most interesting and most trying, and if you want to pursue a career you have to deal with those harder and more political aspects,” said Conroy, who said she will pursue a master’s degree in higher education administration or political management.

Jenny Rosenthal, who majored in political communication as an undergraduate, said she wants to work with GW’s special events department and help organize CNN’s “Crossfire,” a political talk show broadcasted live every weekday from GW’s campus. Rosenthal said she applied to the PAF program after learning about it from a friend.

“It’s an amazing leadership program – for me it goes so much further than just getting my grad school paid for,” she said. “I think it’s really going to supplement my education and take it further than any other job would.”

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