Karen Hogan won’t officially receive her degree in Aquatics Management from Salem State University (SSU) until May, but the Lynn Classical graduate has already launched her career.
Hogan, whose name is synonymous with Lynn high school swimming, is working at the world-famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in a full-time, pool management position.
The 22-year-old daughter of John Hogan and Patricia Hogan, Karen was enrolled in the Sport and Movement Science Department and specialized in Aquatics Management. She completed her academic requirements in December and will receive her degree at the commencement ceremonies in May.
At the MIT Pool, Hogan has numerous responsibilities including scheduling, overseeing the lifeguard program, administering swimming skills tests and orientation sessions, and interviewing prospective employees. She administers swim tests to MIT students who are required to pass it in order to graduate.
“I love my job,” said Hogan, who started in January. “I feel very fortunate to obtain employment right out of college, especially knowing that a lot of people haven’t been able to move into jobs following graduation.”
Hogan participated in two interviews for the job before being notified in November that she was the successful candidate for the entry-level position.
“I feel I’ll be able to learn a lot in this job about event planning, programming, and management,” said Hogan. “It’s a very busy facility with a lot of programs.”
Hogan said that the Salem State curriculum prepared her well for her career and that she developed some excellent connections at the university.
“My advisor, Robin Benton, was really helpful and she’s the one who told me about the job opening at MIT,” said Hogan. “My direct supervisor at MIT graduated from Salem State with a degree in Aquatics Management.”
While a student at Salem State, she and three classmates taught at a Special Olympics coaching clinic for prospective coaches. She competed for the SSU swim team for two years before the program was disbanded.
Hogan was a four-year swimmer for head coach Denise Silva and assistant coach Christina Colella in the Classical program, specializing in the 100-meter butterfly and the 200-meter individual medley.
“My coaches at Classical were very helpful and you could tell that they love coaching and helping the kids,” said Hogan. “They were enthusiastic and really motivated the team.”
Hogan knew during high school that she wanted to pursue a career in aquatics. She became a certified lifeguard in 2006 and was re-certified in 2009. She worked as a lifeguard at Revere Beach for the last five summers, serving as head lifeguard for four.
“I made sure I used a lot of sun block and I always made sure I told my lifeguards to put sun block on because it’s really important to take care of your body, especially when you’re in the sun for 40 hours a week,” related Hogan.
Hogan’s family is well known in the Lynn swimming community. Her two sisters, Katie and Krista, also competed for coach Silva in the Lynn Classical swimming program. Katie, an SSU Class of 2010 graduate, is a physical education teacher and assistant swim coach at Lynn Tech. Krista, a Class of 2010 graduate of Classical, is a student at North Shore Community College. Their father, John, was a standout high school swimmer at Classical and is an assistant coach at Tech while their uncle, Fred, is the head coach of the Lynn English girls basketball team.
“My father really inspired me a lot with his dedication to the sport and his involvement with our swimming for the Killer Whales at the Lynn YMCA where he was our coach,” said Karen. “When he was in school, he used to swim for the Beverly YMCA and he’d bike from Lynn over to the Beverly Bridge to the Beverly Y for swim practice. My father’s been a great coach for a long time and Katie, whose only 15 months older than I am, and Krista, are great sisters.”