A Conversation With Jane Finn-Foley, Student Services Coordinator


Jane Finn-Foley photoJane, tell us in your own words about what you do here at HKS?

In my role as Student Services Coordinator, I have the pleasure of working closely with our student groups and student conferences as they plan events on campus. In doing so, I also collaborate regularly with other HKS offices such as Facilities, Room Reservations, Catering, and Media Services who work hard to support our student events. It’s quite the team effort.

Among my many other responsibilities, I supervise the use of all HKS study space, track HKS funded student travel, and serve as a resource for our students for any questions they may have or help they might need.  I manage the display screens in the Study and the Taubman Rotunda on which student groups, and HKS Centers and offices can advertise upcoming events and other helpful information.

I also oversee The Study, which is a great space on the second floor of Taubman for students to meet, study, socialize, watch TV, and enjoy some complimentary coffee or tea.  We also now have some toys and games thanks to the KSSG, and we welcome parents to bring their children over to play anytime.

 What is your favorite part of your job?

The nature of my job allows me to interact with the entirety of our student body which is really fantastic.  I’m consistently so impressed by our students, and one of the best parts of my job is that I get to learn so much about their interests, goals, and projects both here on campus and outside of HKS. I love that a question about booking space for, say, a student group event can quickly turn into a conversation about research that student did over the summer and her/his plans for a project or nonprofit that could bring positive change to an area in the world that is struggling. Knowing the dedication our students have and the real global impact they have makes me so proud to be able to support their endeavors here at HKS.

 Could you share an interesting story or unique encounter from your job?

One of the more unique aspects of my job is working with Melissa Wojciechowski, Senior Director of Student Services, and Harvard’s Global Support Services team (GSS) to help track our students’ travel. Many students travel abroad during school breaks for internships and to do research, and GSS monitors global events to ensure our students are safe and secure wherever they are. Student Services keeps a database of student travel as well, noting the risk levels of each country and working with students to ensure they have the important information they need from GSS. All students traveling with Harvard funding must register their travel with GSS, but we encourage anyone in our community who is traveling to do so, too.

When the Ebola outbreak began in West Africa, we had a number of students doing internships in Liberia.  As the outbreak advanced, my office worked closely with GSS to connect with our students there, and to ensure they were safe and able to leave the country as the threat level grew. It was a tense week but luckily all of our students were able to leave the country unharmed.

What would most students not know about your job or role here at HKS?

Whenever a student submits a room request, the approval process starts with me. I oversee study space at HKS and approve all events held by our student groups and conferences. Last year there were 14,219 student room requests submitted. As you can imagine, it keeps me pretty busy!