Nina Mitukiewicz ’15 double majored in psychology and women’s studies at Clark, then went on to earn a master’s in macro social work. Her role as a division manager at The Petey Greene Program keeps her connected with Clark as she oversees the University’s partnership with the organization. We caught up with Nina to learn more.
When did you graduate, and what did you study at Clark?
I graduated in 2015 and studied psychology and women’s studies. I wasn’t involved in super-traditional things; I experienced a lot of personal growth at Clark and started the process of figuring out who I am as a young adult. Club-wise, I was in OPEN and AKOG — All Kinds of Girls — which was a mentoring program for girls ages 9–12 in the Worcester area.
Where are you now? What have you been up to?
I’m still living in Massachusetts with my wife, whom I met at Clark. I went to graduate school to get my master’s degree in macro social work, which involves making broad systems change using methods like public policy work or community organizing. For a while, I’ve been thinking of a career in criminal justice and prison reform; all of my master’s-level internships were in this field. Now, I’m working at an organization called The Petey Greene Program, which provides educational support to currently and formerly incarcerated students. It took me a while to get here, but I’ve always imagined myself here.
What about hobbies? Do you have any new or developing ones?
A hobby I’m trying to dive back into is reading for pleasure. Now that I’m out of school, it feels good to be reading for fun again. I recently bought a skateboard that I’m excited to try out. I got it to try something a little different than I’m used to, and to test myself and my skills. It is something I’ve been thinking about for a while — and I finally did it!
Do you have any “adulting” tips or advice you can share with your fellow Clarkies?
My biggest tip is that no one has anything figured out. We all figure it out as we go. And this is potentially a bit cheesy: Self-care is really important. Part of that is knowing your limits and what you are able to take on — and what you are not. Take it easy on yourself; let yourself sit on the couch and watch TV if you need to. Do what you need to do to stay sane in this crazy world.
Do you have any career advice for recent Clark graduates?
As I’ve gone through a few professional experiences I’ve realized the culture of the workplace — the people you work with, the organization’s values — are important and can have an impact on how much you like your job or the work you are doing.
And it’s all right to not know exactly what you want when you graduate. I didn’t know what I wanted even when I graduated with my master’s degree. Be open to the fact that you can try out a career and figure out that’s not what you want. That’s OK.
How do you stay involved with the Clark community?
In non-COVID times I go to campus once a year to have the feelings of nostalgia again and see how things might have changed. My biggest daily connection to the Clark community is the people I met on campus. The Petey Greene Program has a partnership with the University, which I oversee, so I get to regularly talk and work with current Clark students — that’s a special part of my job.