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PIETA BLAKELY

Graduating Class: 1985
Current Position: Data Management, Evaluation Systems, and Policy Consulting at Blakely Consulting, LLC
Current Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Education / School 1: Boston University, Harvard University, Brandeis University
Yesterday, I was a Realtor. Not just for the day. I have been a Realtor for two years. Ever since the sinking financial services sector turned me out of the safety of nine-to-five employment, I have enjoyed the relative freedom of a Real Estate Agent: interesting customers, remarkable properties, and lots of quality time with my car. Before I became a Realtor, I was in Mutual
Funds for five years. I calculated daily values for a while, prepared financial statements, built databases. Very boring! Ecole Bilingue did not prepare me for boring. Now lunch is
often a smoothie in the cup holder on my way to a meeting. This sure beats a sandwich at my desk, I tell myself.

Between clients, I started teaching a class, then two classes, and finally, this semester, five. I am no longer a very good Realtor. I use my time at the office to grade midterms. While driving to appointments, I am designing exercises for my class, not listing presentations for my clients. One would think that a person persuasive enough to convince a roomful of undergraduates that Accounting 1 is a fun class would be able to persuade someone to buy a condominium. However, as much as I love Real Estate, the satisfaction of making a deal does not come close, for me, to the satisfaction of seeing someone learn. The delighted and relieved expression of a person for whom the obscure has become clear, the shouts of triumph and congratulations as a team solves a difficult problem, and voices raised in emphatic discussion over a team exercise – are all things that the satisfied handshakes of buyers and sellers can not approach. So, I have made a decision that at the end of the month, I will no longer be a practicing Realtor.

I have been teaching in some way or another since high school, tutoring, and then assistant teaching as an undergraduate at Brown. While I was working in the Financial Services field, I volunteered as an English Tutor and Software Instructor at YMCA Training, Inc, a job-training program. When I found myself unemployed, I used my free time to volunteer there almost every day. Eventually, I joined the staff part-time, to design and teach an Accounting Support Curriculum. This led to a position as an Adjunct Professor at a two-year college and a position teaching
college preparatory courses to older youth at Cambridge’s Community Learning Center. Many of my students attended school in other countries. My Haitian students notice that I do my
subtraction in French. I admire the ability of my Russian students to divide in the European style.

While I’ve been living in Boston, I’ve obtained my Masters Degree. Now, with an academic career in mind, I am researching PhD programs in Finance. I like the topic – I just don’t like the work environment. Almost 20 years after I graduated from EB, I’ll be starting school again.
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