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York College alum ‘living the dream’ as a storyteller working at Harvard

Adam Zewe stands in a window with a building in the background.

Adam Zewe has always been a storyteller. When his elementary school didn’t have a school newspaper, he started his own — printing copies from his parents’ computer to hand out in class.

So, it was no surprise when he joined The Spartan, York College of Pennsylvania’s student newspaper, as a first-year student at the College. He later landed a job as a cub reporter at a community newspaper in Delaware. What was a surprise was where his passion for storytelling would take him: out of journalism and into what he now calls his “dream job” as a communications manager at Harvard University.

A huge leg up

It was by total chance that Adam first learned about York College. He was browsing through a book about Pennsylvania colleges and decided to turn to the last page. He liked what he read about the school. It was small, but not too small and far away enough from home in northwestern Pennsylvania to feel like he’d really be away at school.

After a tour of the campus, he liked York College even more. Not long after, he was presented with an offer he couldn’t refuse. After competing in a writing and speaking competition, he was presented with a full-tuition scholarship. It was a no-brainer. “I graduated from college debt-free,” he says. “I feel so fortunate I didn’t have to deal with any of that.”

The full ride didn’t just ease stress while he was in school. It allowed him to follow his passion to a small newspaper after graduation. Young journalists don’t bring home big paychecks, but a lack of debt meant he could take a lower-paying job without fear of not being able to pay back loans. Unlike many of his friends, he didn’t have to move back in with his parents or compromise on his dream. “I got started on my career right away,” he says.

Getting his start

Adam majored in Economics and Finance, but continued to pursue journalism outside of the classroom. He was a first-year student when he joined The Spartan staff. By the time he was a junior, he was Editor in Chief of the paper. “Having that experience was really life-changing for me,” he says.

In their tiny office at the radio station, he and his staff discussed big ideas and debated stories. “I may not have changed the world,” he says, “but I changed me for the better because of that experience.” It was that experience, he says, that helped land him an internship at the York Dispatch and then his first real job as a reporter at the Hockessin Community News in Delaware. “For me,” he says, “it was a dream come true.”

The shifting dream

Adam spent five great years in Delaware before the family paper was bought out. As he watched cuts come down the pike, he decided it was time to get out. Adam left journalism behind — but he didn’t leave storytelling.

He moved into communication, working first for a dental school in Maryland before landing his current job at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “It blows my mind the things people here are doing and how it’s going to change the world,” he says. “To be a part of that in my own small way is exciting and fun.”

He’s still telling the stories he thinks are important, still digging deep into topics and exploring new ideas. And because there’s so much going on at Harvard, he never gets bored. “I learn something new every day, whether I want to or not,” he says.

He’s worked at Harvard for four years now, and he’s never been happier. “Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has something interesting to tell and teach you,” he says. “I’m living the dream.”