Rounding out our team, please welcome Assistant Director Lucas Harty.
KJ: Lucas! We are so happy you are here. Let’s start with a bit of background – tell us about your professional path so far.
LH: I’m glad to be here! My experience has primarily been in higher education. I actually toyed with the idea of law school after I finished my degree at Boston College, and I spent my first year out of college working at a law firm in my hometown of Buffalo, New York. It was fantastic experience, but it helped me realize that my passion was to work in the higher education space. So I decided to pursue my master’s in education at the University of Pennsylvania where I focused on globalization and internationalization in higher education. This interest brought me back to Boston to work at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts University) where I spent three and a half years in the admissions office before joining HLS this summer.
KJ: You are one of three admissions team members who attended Boston College for undergrad. Why do you think Eagles like working in HLS admissions?
LH: BC graduates are curious and discerning, two characteristics that are essential to admissions work. So I think it makes a certain amount of sense that a few of us Eagles have found our way across the river to the J.D. Admissions Office.
KJ: So far, what are the biggest differences between working at Fletcher and working at HLS?
LH: The class profile skewed more international at Fletcher, by design. As a school of international affairs the school tries to enroll a class that is representative of the entire world, and around 40% of the student of the student body comes from outside the US. As a result, recruitment travel had a much more international focus, and we had to develop an understanding of international grading methodologies for transcripts from around the world. While we still have a strong presence of international students here at HLS, international transcripts are definitely easier to parse thanks to the LSAC CAS reports.
KJ: And what is the same?
LH: The passion and drive of the students. I would say both Fletcher and HLS students are highly motivated change-makers, eager to leave the world a better place than they found it.
KJ: I’ve found that each year in admissions involves a whole variety of experiences – from traveling for recruitment events to reading files to convincing admitted students to choose your school. What is your favorite part of the admissions cycle?
LH: I really do love the travel and recruitment season. There’s nothing more energizing than presenting up in front of a whole room of passionate and engaged people. The brief conversations that typically follow these sessions also stick with me.
KJ: How many files do you estimate you have read in your career?
LH: Probably at least 3,000.
KJ: We begin interviews soon! What is one of your favorite interview questions?
LH: I think we can learn a lot about someone’s values, interests, judgement, and thoughtfulness by the choices they make, and how they make decisions. I’m reminded of my favorite quote (and book series) from Harry Potter — “It is our choices that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” I like to ask about especially difficult decisions, big or small, that someone might have made. The reflections to questions of this type can reveal really useful insight.
KJ: OK, now I am going to turn the tables on you: What’s a difficult decision you’ve made and how did you come to that decision?
LH: A couple years ago I had the opportunity to move back to my hometown for a job opportunity. The prospect of being closer to my family was incredibly tempting, but the job would have sent me down a pretty different professional path. After grappling with the pros and cons I ultimately chose to stay here in Boston so I could continue to grow and engage with my interests. I’m grateful I chose to stay and push myself outside my comfort zone.
KJ: As part of your job, you run this blog. What is your favorite blog post, and why?
LH: I think I’m going to choose a broad category here. The “Student Voices” section of our blog is written entirely by current students, and these posts are always deeply informative and insightful. Our students come from such a diversity of lived experiences and have so many different passions and interests. It’s a constant reminder of our exceptional community at HLS.