Sarah Collins

Sarah Collins

Director of State Policy and Innovation


EPIC

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
I went to college without any idea why, it just felt like college was what I was supposed to do.
I realized what I really loved was making art, being creative, and being around creative people.
So I dropped out of college and traveled around making art.
I got a job at an awesome arts nonprofit. I realized I could be an "artist" in any job.
I decided to go back to college so I could be a leader in an arts nonprofit or work in arts policy.
I rocked college the second time around, and was offered a place in a public policy grad program.
I had an internship in DC with the National Endowment for the Arts researching arts education.
In DC I got into ed reform, and got the job I have now - "creating" change in public schools.
Keep following my journey

Education

High School
Bachelor
Bucknell University
Graduate
Political Science and Government, General
Bucknell University

Career

Director of State Policy and Innovation

I work to improve public education so that all students are prepared to live, learn, and work in the 21st Century.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Education
Government
Being Creative

Day to Day

I never really have a typical day. Some days I'm traveling across the country to give a speech about changing education. Some days I'm running focus groups with students to better understand the challenges they face in school. Some days I'm doing research and writing papers. I spend a lot of time working with clients - people in state education departments, school districts, and nonprofits - planning projects with them. Emails, meetings, brainstorming sessions, drawing ideas on a whiteboard.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Communication, both written and oral, organization, and collaboration. A genuine passion for the Work, with a capital "W." A creative approach to problem solving. An insatiable curiosity.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Build your research, communication, and organization skills. You can do this in the context of the classes you take - but you have to OWN the learning. Sometimes the subject matter of the classes might not seem relevant to your goals, but the skills you're building are. A good place to hone and apply these skills to something real is with an internship. School districts, state departments of education, and nonprofits are all looking for someone who is passionate and curious and eager to learn.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:

graduate
Graduate
Education or Public Policy

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Parents:

"You're a good artist and all, but you're too smart to just be an artist. You should go to college so you can get a real job."

Challenges I Overcame

My parents