Laura Dean

Laura Dean

A.B. '10
Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality
Laura Dean

I’ve always been one of those people who likes to lay out a plan. Upon starting at Harvard in fall 2006, I fancied myself a history concentrator and took off after that pursuit.  It was engaging for a while until I developed two aspirations: to deepen the scholarly perspective of my historical studies and to find a community that actively fostered feminist philosophies. Enter WGS. Studying feminist scholarship in my varied WGS courses, I found that I was able to complicate and enrich my love of history. This new layer of critical analysis gave me a valuable perspective in the wide range of English, history, government, literature, and even life science classes I took. For me, WGS was a community that was not just supportive and motivating but also thought-provoking and uniquely focused on the questions that engaged me.

Once I finished studying archival historical material and writing about American gender history as an undergrad, I planned to work in health policy in Washington DC and apply to medical school. I did both of those things and then ended up interning at the White House, for the National Economic Council. Without the benefit of Economics 10, I got a crash course in economic policy, and I had the chance to bring my own expertise to the table, contributing to economic policy for women and families. Inspired by my time in public service but eager to serve on a more individual and person level, I planned to start medical school last August. Then, my path took a different turn, and I got hired by the White House speechwriting office.

Today, I sit in the West Wing and contribute to all aspects of the President’s speechwriting operation. It is an enormous privilege and a remarkable experience. I look forward to using the research and writing skills I’ve honed here in my future career as a medical writer once I go to medical school (one of these days!). And I will always carry with me the philosophical foundation I built in WGS, asking complicating questions, challenging myself and others, and being an active player in changing the world around me.

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