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Andrew Hanson
Andrew Hanson

Andrew Hanson

Strada Education Network

Indianapolis, IN USA

"Ultimately, the question is: do you have enough skill to contribute something that's valuable to others? And, I think we all do."

Career Roadmap

Andrew's work combines: Writing, Non-Profit Organizations, and Problem Solving

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Day In The Life

Senior Research Fellow

I lead and manage large research projects, author white papers, op-eds, and blogposts, and conduct speaking engagements.

Skills & Education

Here's the path I took:

  • High School

    Beaver Dam High School

  • Bachelor's Degree


    University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • Bachelor's Degree

    Economics, General

    University of Wisconsin-Madison

Here's the path I recommend for someone who wants to be a Senior Research Fellow:

Bachelor's Degree: Philosophy

Learn more about different paths to this career

Life & Career Milestones

My path in life took a while to figure out

  • 1.

    I applied to my first choice college too late into my senior year, got waitlisted, and ultimately ended up in a guaranteed transfer program where I attended a community college for two years.

  • 2.

    I worked 40+ hours every week for my first two years of college. I struggled to balance school and work. I failed a class my sophomore year, which put my transfer in jeopardy.

  • 3.

    I took 18 credits the second semester of sophomore year while working full-time to ensure my transfer went through. My life sucked that semester, but I survived, and my transfer went through.

  • 4.

    My financial aid didn't come through my junior year, and I had to take out a loan from my stepfather, which I paid back by maxing out a credit card. I had to work a lot and budget to pay it off.

  • 5.

    In my senior year of college, I applied for and was accepted by Teach For America, which changed my life by giving me access to a network of brilliant, driven professionals in the education industry.

  • 6.

    Spent two years as a teacher in the Saint Louis Public Schools, I struggled in a high-stress environment that did not match my introverted personality, but persisted through my two-year commitment.

  • 7.

    I transitioned from the teaching profession to a career as a higher education researcher by making a cross-country move and casting a wide net with many opportunities on the table.

  • 8.

    I got lucky, working under the tutelage of brilliant economists at Georgetown University, picked up technical skills (statistics, programming, policy analysis, data viz), and developed as a writer.

Defining Moments

How I responded to discouragement


    Messages from Family:

    What are you gonna do with a philosophy degree?

  • How I responded:

    A philosophy degree is one of the best forms of preparation for a career that involves generating new knowledge or information.

Experiences and challenges that shaped me

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  • As a first-generation college student, I had to learn how to navigate cumbersome financial aid processes and balance school work with paid work. I sought help from my financial aid office and my friends, but ultimately I adopted a survival mentality.

  • Attending community college for my first two years allowed me the freedom to work full time in order to afford school. I also relied on financial aid and it occasionally wouldn't come through on time. I've maxed out credit cards and dealt with debt.