City Year Boston (CYB): What first attracted you to City Year?
Will Eger (WE): I did City Year after high school, and was drawn to it for a couple of reasons. First, after high school, I wanted to learn more about what work was, and try to get a sense of what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. How could I go to college to learn about my career without knowing what I wanted to do for the rest of my life? City Year helped me figure out what I was interested in--and wasn’t—for my post-college career. Second, in my family, there has always been a push to give back to the community and to find ways to help people. City Year and other AmeriCorps programs provide opportunities to serve communities in need.
CYB: What is the proudest moment from your service year?
WE: At CYZYGY, my team won an award for “Best City Heroes Program.” Our team instituted new initiatives like a parent advisory board, and recruited a record number of applicants and team leaders all while providing a high-quality service learning and leadership programming. Having someone on stage read our accomplishments and say we were the best in the country was a highlight not only of my service year, but also of my professional life.
CYB: Describe your transition from City Year to your current career.
WE: From 2008 to 2012, I went to college at Harvard--just up the red line from where I lived in Dorchester! After Harvard, I did Teach for America for a couple of years, teaching high school math in Philadelphia (right down the street from City Year Philadelphia’s office)! After teaching in Philly, I moved back to Boston and I’m now working in the education practice of a management consulting firm called Parthenon. We work with school districts and nonprofits around different strategic issues they are facing, identifying what areas need the most the most support, and determining how they can have the biggest impact.
CYB: What do you love most about your job?
WE: I work with a great group of people, but other than that I love that no two days are the same. There are always new challenges, clients, projects, and teams, and we’re constantly rotating through different permutations of interesting and impactful work focused on improving the American education system.
CYB: How did City Year prepare you for this position?
WE: In so many different ways! First, being around likeminded people who want to make the American education system work better, as well as learning jargon and about issues, was incredibly valuable. Second, my job is very team-based and City Year helped me see how valuable a high-functioning, well managed team can be. I had a great Program Manager who brought together such different working styles and personalities. And third, I still do a readiness check before walking out the door– it reminds me to not leave without a belt at least once a month!
CYB: Why did you choose to reconnect with City Year?
WE: Part of it was moving back to Boston. Being back in the city reminded me of what a great corps year I had and how much my City Year has impacted and improved my life. Several of my best friends are from my corps year and still live in Boston, and moving back has reminded me of how grateful I am to City Year for bringing those people into my life. Wanting to give back as an alum in whatever ways I could has helped me re-engage as a member of the Alumni Board and in other ways as well.
CYB: What is one of your personal primary goals for the City Year Boston Alumni Board?
WE: I’d like the Alumni Board to help corps members during their professional and personal transition into alumni. City Year alumni are leaders in many different fields, and creating a unified support network for each other (and also for education at large, whether they are in education or not) can have, I believe, an outsized impact on the country.