Simmons Taught Hannah Sieber '14 to Speak Up, Now She Teaches Students to be Confident
Simmons taught me how to speak up... Without that experience, I don’t think I would have had the confidence to go into CS professionally or to start a business.
“I had completely convinced myself that I was meant to be a teacher,” says Hannah Sieber ’14. Sieber, who double-majored in computer science and physics, offered SAT prep to high school students, as well as math and science tutoring. For students with executive functioning disabilities, she helped them with their classwork and created study plans. She enjoyed tutoring, so her career path seemed clear.
After graduation, Sieber taught physics and chemistry at the high school level. “I realized that I loved tutoring because I got to do one-on-one work with students and helped them gain confidence. As a tutor, you can be their cheerleader — but that’s hard to do in a classroom setting. It was not the same experience.”
When Sieber eventually left teaching, she found a professional position as a software engineer for a small startup in Boston and tutored students on the weekends. In 2020, that solo venture transformed into a small business, TriTutoring LLC.
As a tutor, you can be their cheerleader...
“Now I hire tutors,” she says. “We have at least one person on the team who is comfortable in every subject, anything from first grade to college.” Sieber is surprised to find herself as a small business owner. “I wanted to grow TriTutoring when it was just me — I knew it could be bigger, but I couldn’t manage the time commitment.”
Then the pandemic hit, and suddenly Sieber was working from home. Without the hassle of a commute or the demands of a social life, she found herself with more time on her hands. She completed all the paperwork to become an LLC and hired her first tutor in May 2020.
“So many people in my life encouraged me to do this,” says Sieber, “and that is what made it possible. They said: ‘you have this awesome thing going for you — it would be silly not to see what the next step is.’”
She frequently draws on her Simmons experience in her new roles. “Simmons taught me how to speak up. It helps me in my day job, where I’m the only woman on my team.” Having transferred to Simmons from a co-ed institution with a majority-male computer science department, Sieber fully appreciated the atmosphere at Simmons.
I want to help students to be their best selves and gain confidence.
“I gained such confidence by being in a department full of women,” she says. “We weren’t competitive. If you get stuck, someone else will help you — that is the expectation. And every student leadership position on campus is held by a woman, so there is no question that a woman can be a leader. Without that experience, I don’t think I would have had the confidence to go into CS professionally or to start a business.”
Sieber has a vision of growth for TriTutoring, within certain limits. “Right now, I know everything going on. I know every student’s parents and text them regularly — it’s a family. If we grew much bigger, that wouldn’t be possible. But I would like to see it grow a little more. I want to help students to be their best selves and gain confidence.”
She encourages current Simmons students to take advantage of the many opportunities that Simmons offers. “You want to have as many experiences as you can so you know you’re on the right career path. That said, you can change direction at any time,” she notes. “I was upset that I had been wrong about teaching, though now I am teaching in a different way. I see these as phases in my life — the teaching phase eventually led me to TriTutoring, because it helped me learn what I really wanted to do.”