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Ariel Axelrod-HahnAriel Axelrod-Hahn

Wellesley College
Clinical Mental Health Counseling MA
Health and Behavioral Medicine Concentration
Class of 2017


My name is Ariel, and I am a student in the Clinical Mental Health and Counseling Health and Behavioral Medicine Concentration. After earning my BA in Russian Area Studies in 2006, I worked in publishing, starting as an editorial assistant at the New England Journal of Medicine, and working my way up to senior editorial manager at a local startup where I managed editorial programs for brands such as IBM, Pampers, and Purina.

Management was not part of my career plan, but when it became clear that I was going to be in charge of others' welfare, I began reading about it-and I enjoyed implementing what I learned. For some of my peers, good management was about getting things done. I saw good management as the opportunity to create an environment in which those who answered to me could learn, grow, and do their best work, and I soon realized I wanted to do that as my full-time job, not just as an aside to project management.

Graduate school is a major and sometimes stressful life event-right up there with getting married, having a child, and being late on your taxes. My transition had a few bumps along the way, and I was happy to discover a strong support system here at William James College to help me along.

Sometimes the help you want is clear cut: I needed extra time to get back on my feet following a sports injury that led to knee surgery midway through my first semester. My teachers worked with me so I did not feel left behind when I crutched back into class.

Sometimes the search for resources contains a few more twists: I work as a writing tutor at the William James College Academic Resource Center, where I occasionally run into statistics, and that is a weakness of mine. I asked my advisor for help, and she put me in touch with the professor who teaches the research course. That professor sent me her lecture notes, and as of this writing, we are going to meet and go over her notes and my questions next week.

Whenever I want for guidance, I have received the help I need. Sometimes that means going over alternative diagnostic procedures with my teacher in adult psychopathology. Sometimes it means looking into alternative practicum sites with the field education director. Sometimes it means getting insight into sport injury recovery from the president, who also coaches soccer on the side.

If you knock on someone's door here, you will learn something. In the same vein, I hope you will knock on my proverbial door with any questions. If I cannot answer them, I definitely know people who can!