Toya Hall is an Instructional Recruiter for Uncommon Schools Network. She has worked as a certified elementary teacher and manager in Title I schools for the past five years. She holds a Masters in International Education from New York University and a Bachelors in Political Science and African American Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to her graduate studies, Toya was a 2013 Teach for America corps member in Houston, TX where she taught third grade (mainstream) and fifth grade (Two Way Dual Language Program). As a classroom teacher, she worked closely with her peers to develop and implement an inclusive curriculum to achieve student success.
Current Job: Instructional Recruiter, Uncommon Schools
How did you find your previous position?
I was able to find my previous position at BlackFem, Inc. as Lead Curriculum Writer through my IE network. A fellow colleague forwarded the job listing to me from an online database. After reading BlackFem's mission statement along with the qualifications for the role I decided to apply.
What advice would have for current students job searching?
Job searching can be a lengthy process thus I have 3 pieces of advice as current students applying. First, tailor your cover letter and resume to every job you apply for. Identify the verbs and soft/technical skills in the job description and explicitly address them in your cover letter and resume. If you spend time on the details, companies notice and it pays off in the long run. Second, utilize all your resources - NYU professors/advisors, IE colleagues/alumni, Wasserman, etc. Your network can assist you in all aspects of the process. For example, Wasserman assisted me by reviewing my cover letter and resume, preparing me for interviews, and providing me with the tools to negotiate work benefits. Lastly, it is ok if you become frustrated through the process. Instead of suppressing your frustration, give yourself time to feel those emotions by journaling or discussing it with friends who are going through the process with you. Chances are your friends might be feeling similarly and you can support each other.
In what ways did the IE program help prepare you for working?
One way the IE program prepared me for my previous role was by expanding my knowledge of various world perspectives. I was able to incorporate this knowledge and create inclusive curriculum units for schools. With IE as my foundation, I critically analyzed current financial narratives regarding economic gaps between demographics internationally. This allowed me to create curriculum that highlighted these gaps and execute BlackFem’s mission—to close the economic generational gaps for minorities through a feminist lens.
What was your most influential experience in the IE program?
My most influential experience in the IE program was building relationships with faculty, staff, and fellow colleagues. The bonds I established and cultivated allowed me to take advance of NYU sponsored opportunities, both on domestically and internationally. Through these networks, I was able to gain insight on various perspectives in IE, strengthen my leadership skills, and develop my interest in diversity efforts in our field. These connections I formed will transcend my graduate career and I am grateful for this.