Moving Up and Around Harvard

Are  you a new staff member interested in ways to move up and around at Harvard? Then this is the right place to start! Please use the menu below to quickly navigate to certain sections of the page. For a quick guide on  internal mobility, click here.


This Month’s Success Story: Amanda SpickardASPICKARD

Amanda has a very compelling and motivating story, which is no surprise due to her energetic and positive personality. Her career path started when she received her Bachelor degree in Philosophy; this is where she began to understand the power of building knowledge and discovery by working closely with others. She furthered this knowledge by interning within the Philadelphia court system, and soon after completed her Master in Public Policy at Johns Hopkins University.

From there, Amanda’s career took off. She started working as a Federal Policy Analyst within the US Department of Labor in Washington, DC, which allowed her to identify social problems and use her creativity and analytical mind to create and test solutions to such problems. By the time she left the Department of Labor, she was managing a very large portfolio of demonstration and legislative projects – this experience set her up for success in her next role at Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.

In her 7 years at Ohio University, Amanda worked her way up to the role of Senior Leader and Manager of the Government Development Group, honing in on her strengths and interests in applied research. She had found her passion and her calling. She worked diligently to create lasting relationships with both internal and external stakeholders, securing a substantial financial portfolio that was influential in funding the school’s research and executive education programs. She had landed many grants, contracts, and funds, and assisted in developing what was once a small institute into a multidisciplinary, degree-granting school. While Amanda is very humble about her success, it was through hard work, dedication, and passion that she found her dream job at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Amanda joined SPH in 2010 as the Senior Associate Director of Research Strategy and Development. At that time, the Office of Research Strategy and Development was a relatively new office in the school; this meant that Amanda would have the ability to come in and right away, leverage her strengths in strategy and problem-solving. This new undertaking wouldn’t be easy, especially with a weak economy and federal budget deficits. Throughout her 5 years here though, Amanda has spearheaded organizational and partnership development – to work with faculty and research professionals here at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and numerous funding agencies outside of SPH, to fund the research projects that support the mission of our school.

Amanda’s career has allowed her to truly develop her own expertise and enterprise in Research Strategy and Development, which we know she will continue to define through her hard work and success here at SPH!
Recommendations for Staff

  1. Find Challenges and Stretch your Skills: Since starting at SPH, Amanda has participated in many professional development trainings and courses (such as the Foundations of Leadership, courses at the CWD, and Platinum Presence). In addition to these more formal resources, there are also many informal ways to develop your skills further – through mentor-ship, networking, and many more. Amanda believes that it’s important to utilize these resources and truly challenge yourself to do so; the connections that can be made here are invaluable to success and long-term career growth and development.
  2. Forgive your Knowledge Gaps: Instead of focusing on perceived weaknesses or what you ‘can’t’ do, focus on defining your current role in a way that hones in on your skills and strengths. Looks for opportunities to develop those strengths, which will assist you in filling those gaps over time.
  3. Target your Goals: In choosing next steps in your career, assess opportunities and your personal trajectories. Identify where you are looking to go, and find ways to get yourself there. Also, be sure to identify what you don’t know (not only what you do know). This will allow you to ask key questions along the way and work on the areas that will make you a well-rounded contributor to your individual role and department, as well as the school as a whole.

What Do You Like Most About Working at SPH?

Amanda’s favorite part of working at SPH is the people. In her role, she works directly with faculty who are global leaders in science. She also works with staff of all levels — those that are the best of the best in their field. Amanda is inspired by these people, and also by her work. She takes pride in SPH’s projects and discoveries in science; she is driven by a core belief that two of the most direct ways to improve the world are by helping people apply their talents and securing the resources they need to maximize their contributions. That is undoubtedly why Amanda enjoys being a member of the team here at SPH!

Resource to You

Interested in learning more about Amanda and her work, or getting one on one advice from Amanda herself? Contact her directly via email!

How about You?

Interested in telling us your success story? Let us know by sending an email to

Archived Success Stories
Edward Martinez – Associate Director of Finance
Alex Garcia Rangel- Student Information Systems Manager
Li Su – Lab Director and Researcher
Jacquelyn Caglia – Assistant Director of Admin & Operations
Trina Weekes – Assistant Director of HRIS
Noman Siddiqi – Lab Manager
Daniel Beaudoin – Deputy Director of Facilities and Operations

Introduction to Career Movement
To start off there is one thing you should know: Career movement/progression is different for everyone.  There is no right answer, no shortcut and no guaranteed road map to your next role at Harvard.  Each job, department, field, and culture has it own set of written and unwritten rules to reaching the next level. Harvard is a very large and de-centralized organization, with over 30,000 employees and 100’s of departments varying in discipline, objectives and cultures. Knowing where to go and how to get there requires hard work, research, networking, and most of all, patience. While it may not be easy, there are some tools and resources to help you.

This page will address common issues and topics and will speak only in generalities. For specific guidance, we hope you will reach out to one of our contacts listed at the end of the page.


Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering A New Job or Considering  Taking on New Responsibilities

In any career path you choose, it is critical that you ask yourself the following questions:
1.  What motivates you in your current role?
2.  Do you feel your role, what it provides you, and the lifestyle you live, is sustainable?
3.  Does your current role and the path it is taking you, provide you with the work/life balance you need?
4.  Does your work have meaning to you? Do you feel that have impact in positive way?
5.  Does this field/position challenge you?
6.  Does this position utilize your skills and strengths?

The answers to your questions will not point you in any specific direction but they will be key factors in your decision to moving up and around at Harvard. Remember, you spend much of your time at work.

Taking Your Existing Job to the Next Level

Feel like you are in the right job but looking to take on more or do more complicated tasks?  Here are some ideas for you:

  • Open up the lines of communication with your supervisor. Set up a time to meet and discuss your future. See if there are any projects or new tasks that you can take on that will expand your current responsibilities. Make sure these tasks are challenging and are more complex in nature.
  • Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Make sure that you have the capacity to do more.  If you decide to take on new responsibilities, you will need to prove yourself and complete the tasks at the highest quality possible.  This will build credibility and confidence with your supervisor.
  • Find a mentor. Someone whose career path or current role is of interest to you. Find out what professional development opportunities they took advantage of. Ask them what worked and what did not work.

Have You Seen What is Available at the School and Harvard?
View current openings on the Harvard Employment website at

Apply directly through the website for any roles that you have an interest in and are qualified for. Make sure to submit a complete resume and cover letter. In order to formally be considered an applicant, you do need to apply online!

Trainings and Seminars Related to Professional Development
Harvard provides many workshops/seminars specifically geared towards career and professional development. For more information click here.  Here are some examples of courses that CWD provides:

  • Rock Bottom Basics of LinkedIn
  • Networking for Success
  • Informational Interviews 101
  • The Role of References
  • Career Roadmaps
  • Interviewing Skills
  • Your Strengths at Work
  • Creating Your Best Resume
  • Navigating Your Harvard Career

Other Resources Provided By Harvard
Job Function Guide – This guide is intended to provide you with an overview of the professions and sub-specialties that exist within the University. You can also find information regarding the number of employees in a given area.

Web Resources Training for Career Development at Harvard – Click here to go to the Captivate training that will walk you through all the resources can provide you regarding career planning and career transitions

“Watch and Learn” by the Center for Workplace Development

Whether you just have a couple of minutes or an hour to explore something new, these online presentations on benefits and HR topics will help you make the most of your time at Harvard — right from your desk or at home or anytime you have time.

Many of the recordings listed below require the WebEx Player to view. Click here to download the installation file for the player for PC / Mac. Once downloaded and installed, you can then download the recording and view it at your computer.

Examples of available sessions include:

  • Informational Interviewing: The Other Kind of Interview (recorded 8/8/13)    Information Interview Debrief Form
  • Cultivating Effective References (recorded 4/9/13)    Reference Handout
  • Development Conversations (1 hr, recorded 9/10/14)    Handout
  • Resumes from Scratch (recorded 4/10/14)    Resume Checklist
  • Do You Want To Be A Manager? (1hr, recorded 12/10/14)    Slides
  • Networking: Presenting Yourself in the Best Possible Way (recorded 6/2/15)    “Tell Me About Yourself” Statement Template

For Questions, Guidance or One on One Coaching? Contact an HR Partner or Recruiter.   Click Here to Find Your Designated HR Partner/Recruiter

Other Resources

The Employee Assistance Program
Need more help?  The Employee Assistance Program offers resources and tests for you to help you regarding a career transition.  Click here to get there!


Employee Referrals

Know someone who would be great for an open position at the School? Your referral would be greatly appreciated! Feel free to send us an email with the candidate’s resume along with details of an open position they are qualified for.  Email us directly  at .


A Career Development Initiative: Internal Staff Networking Sessions

Current Harvard staff (must have Harvard Staff ID) are invited to take advantage of new Networking Across Harvard: Informational Meetings at Local HR Offices, which will be held from 2-4 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month, January – May, 2016: January 21, February 18, March 17, April 21, and May 19. For more information and to register, please go to Managing Your Career.

You must sign up in advance by contacting the local HR office that you wish to meet with directly – see contact information here (a few areas do not require advance sign-up; please see the sign up information for details). You may attend one or all of these sessions by visiting different schools or central departments.

These sessions will provide participants with an opportunity to meet one-on-one with local HR officers to learn more about Harvard’s schools and departments, including key initiatives and work environments, in order to explore career interests, expand professional networks and be ready to strengthen and target future applications.

You are expected to prepare in advance for these sessions – please see this Preparation Checklist for details.