Alex Gordon

Alex Gordon
STEM Scholar Coach with the Schuler Scholar Program

Landing the job

The Career Development Center convinced me to sign up for a Handshake account, and my current position immediately popped up as something I might be interested in. I applied right away during fall semester and went through a couple of rounds of phone and video interviews. They flew me out for an in-person interview in December and offered me the position just a few days later!

Daily tasks

I work at a high school in a Chicago suburb. I meet with about 30 students on a weekly basis, something like six meetings a day. I like to think that my primary responsibility is to convince my students that math and science don’t have to be scary (because reader, they really don’t!). As a Scholar Coach, I do a combination of mentorship, tutoring, enrichment, and whatever kind of STEM (or non-STEM!) related support a student might need. We also do after-school programming to work on developing positive academic mindsets, habits, and strategies. We bring the students on neat field trips to museums, theaters, symphonies, apple orchards, and more! Working directly with the students is by far the best part. High schoolers are hilarious.

Mac takeaways

Macalester is where I developed my love for science outreach and informal science education. At Mac, I ran public observing nights on the telescope and hosted an astronomy-themed talk show on WMCN. Math and science are awesome and I learned that as a scientist I have the responsibility to share my joy with others. What I love more than anything—more than doing science—is talking to regular people about science, and getting them excited about something they didn’t realize they could get excited about. Now, I get to have a unique and personal relationship with students where I do exactly that.

Spare time

I’ve made a bunch of friends with the other Scholar Coaches in my program. We do trivia together every Thursday! I also don’t live too far from my childhood home and family in Chicago, so I’m able to visit often. I go to concerts. I go for runs. I’m just living my life, happy to not be doing homework every night.

Advice for current seniors

Start writing your honors thesis earlier than I did! Or you will be miserable!

November 14 2018

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