Doorway to College Blog

Stacey Jackson

Stacey Jackson has worked in the arts & culture and education sectors for more than ten years in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City. She currently serves as the director of venture growth at the nonprofit Leadership for Educational Equity, dedicated to local, regional, and national systems-level change to achieve educational equity for all students. Stacey graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in performance studies and holds a master’s degree in arts and cultural management from Pratt Institute.

Recent Posts

What Is Your Purpose?

Posted by Stacey Jackson

Apr 19, 2016 7:00:00 AM

First in a two-part series

What is your purpose in life, and how does your college education fit into that purpose? College admissions exams and the college application process may seem overwhelming right now. Your regular coursework and extracurricular activities may have you so busy that college is the furthest thing from your mind. Or perhaps your parents have their eye on sending you to their alma mater, an Ivy League school, or a certain state university, and you’re feeling double pressure from your social circle to decide what you want to do and where you should apply — as if being a teenager isn’t hard enough! Or maybe, like me when I was your age, you just don’t know what you want to do when you “grow up,” and the thought is nearly paralyzing you from making any decisions at all. 

This blog post will help you wade a little deeper into college and career planning with a few ideas for demystifying the process of finding your purpose. 

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Topics: career

Do I Need a Cover Letter? Check!

Posted by Stacey Jackson

Mar 3, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Err on the side of professionalism when applying for an internship or your first “real” job.

By Stacey Jackson

I recently agreed to provide a job referral for a friend. The opportunity to receive a referral — to have somebody on “the inside” vouch for you to a somebody who is in a position to hire you — is a true gift and is often key to getting your foot in the door for an exciting job or internship opportunity in a competitive market. My friend is terrifically talented, and I had absolutely no reservations about speaking on his behalf. On top of that, he has a positive attitude and a great work ethic. Why wouldn't I refer him?

Over the weekend, we exchanged information. I gave him the address and the contact person, and I offered to put in a good word after he had mailed his official application. We were both feeling warm and fuzzy when he dropped the bomb:

“Do I have to write a cover letter?”

YES! Yes, yes, yes! You absolutely, positively, always need to write a cover letter — especially if the recipient of your résumé has never met you. When I looked at him with my are-you-kidding face, he confessed that he didn’t know what to write.

I am always taken aback when bright minds are confused by standard business practices, but I shouldn’t be so surprised. Most colleges aren’t structured to teach students the business aspect of securing a job in their chosen career field. Wouldn’t it be great if colleges implemented mock interviews and offered classes in negotiation across the board? Until then, it’s up to you to cultivate best-practice techniques when applying for a job or internship.  

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Topics: cover letter, job search, career, employment, internship

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