Changing course, changing careers

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Sarah Brubeck, now 28, spent most of her life wanting to be a newspaper reporter. “I dreamed about writing for The New York Times, breaking stories and changing the world with my writing,” she says.

Sarah went to Indiana University, where she studied journalism, wrote for the student newspaper and interned at numerous publications. “I even traveled to London to participate in a journalism study and internship program,” she says. Sarah’s dream seemed within reach when she received the editor-in-chief position of the Indiana Daily Student her senior year. After college, Sarah landed a job working at the Valley News, a newspaper in New Hampshire. “I lived in a tiny town, a plane ride away from my family and a bus ride from my boyfriend,” she says. But after years of dreaming, Sarah did it … she was finally a working reporter!

Just a few years in, however, she grew tired of the daily grind that came with her dream job. “I worked long days, often 10 hours or more, and it just became too much,” she says. At one point, Sarah saw a counselor about her stress, who promptly said it seemed like she was already burned out (even at her young age of 26). “So I shifted,” she says.

Pursuing a true passion … and a new career

The idea of teaching had always lurked in the back of Sarah’s mind, but she was afraid of the unknowns that come with starting a new career. Can I afford to go back to school? Can I live without a steady income for the time being? Do I have the appropriate skills it takes to teach?

But Sarah pushed her doubts aside and moved to Boston, where she enrolled at Boston University to earn her teaching degree. She got a part-time job working as a high school English and math tutor while she was completing her own studies. Tutoring reassured Sarah that she was making the right move. She loved it!

Today, Sarah works as a student teacher and is attending grad school to get her master’s degree in Teaching and Curriculum. She’ll work with high school students once she graduates in 2018, but also plans to get her middle school certification in the next few years.

Even though she had to take out more student loans for grad school, she was able to move her undergrad student loans from Indiana University to an income-based repayment plan. This allows Sarah to afford to live on her teacher's salary while still staying current on her loans. 

As busy as she is, Sarah now feels confident with her life and career path. “A student recently asked me why he had to learn Algebra, and I told him, ‘I’m not teaching you to do Algebra … I’m teaching you to solve problems.’ Once, I thought I’d change the world with my writing, but now I am through my students,” she says with a smile.

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