Our Approach to the Dual-Career Process as Summarized by a Harvard Faculty Partner Transcript

OMAR ALVAREZ: Hi, everyone. My name is Omar Alvarez. It is a pleasure to be part of the MPG Dual Career Event. I work as a senior sponsored research administrator at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University. And I'm happy to share my story with you. I have a background in chemical engineering and worked for the oil industry. 

When I moved to Boston, my spouse was already appointed as a Harvard faculty. I started studying English as a second language, then pursuing a master's degree program in management. This was between 2011 and 2014. As I advanced with my studies in Boston, my interest in pursuing a higher education career increased. After completing the master's program, I knew I wanted to explore possibilities in that direction. 

But I didn't have a clear picture of what exactly I was looking for within administrative higher-ed jobs, how to connect with the higher-ed community to explore potential job opportunities, and how to present myself in terms of interview skills, resume presentation, et cetera, especially when one comes from another country that may have a different approach to this. In 2014, my spouse and I learned about a Harvard event called Finding an Administrative Job at Harvard, a workshop for partners and spouses. We attended this event. 

It was there when I met Elizabeth Ancarana. This event completely changed my job search strategy, as it provided essential steps and tips for a successful job search within higher-ed. Through the Office for Faculty Development and Diversity, Elizabeth provided significant support, a key to enhance my career and professional pursuits, and more importantly for easing the path into the Harvard community. The support included meeting with an advisor with expertise in career transition, interviewing, resume-writing, LinkedIn profile, and other resources. 

The support also included connecting with the Harvard community through informational interviews and identifying a specific job opportunities, department, and unit for potential applications based on my background, skills, and professional interests. With this process, I obtained my first two positions at a Harvard unit called LASPAU, whose mission is to connect and strengthen collaboration with universities across Latin America. And then, my third position, my current position, in sponsored research administration at IQSS. Thank you.