Ellie Hylton, '13
Winner of the Sophia Freund Prize established in 1964 to be awarded annually to the highest ranking undergraduate as determined at the final degree meeting of the Faculty. The award will be made to that student graduating summa cum laude who has the highest grade point average.
What have been some highlights of your Sociology experience these past four years? Writing my senior thesis -- and working with my thesis adviser -- was definitely a highlight. I learned a lot by having a one-on-one learning experience with my adviser, Jackie Hwang, and by having the freedom to take my research in whatever direction I wanted. In addition to my senior thesis, I will always remember taking Sociology 24 with Professor Beckfield (Social Inequality) my sophomore year. I got a great foundation in that class, reading some of the key texts on social stratification that I later referenced in my junior tutorial and my senior thesis. Another major highlight of my experience was taking The Wire class with Professor Wilson. That was the best class I have ever taken at Harvard. The course format -- a 2-hour seminar/discussion, structured around our submitted reading responses for the week -- was extremely engaging and fun, and I had some of the most exciting conversations I've ever had in a Harvard course in that class.
What are your post-grad plans and did sociology play a role in helping you select your job? I will be working at Abt Associates, a research and consulting firm in Cambridge, MA. My interests in social policy research (which I developed through my time in the Sociology Department) definitely guided my job decision. I will be able to work on qualitative and quantitative research projects at Abt this year, and I'll hopefully apply all the skills I learned over the past 3 years!
June 2014 Update - Ellie has accepted a position as an Associate in the Emerging Leaders Program at The Nielsen Company in New York.This is a rotation program, where she will be doing media and market research.
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