Alumni Job Shadowing: Colleen Naber’18

April 29th, 2016 by rimaal17

Name: Colleen NaberColleen Naber

Class Year: 2018

Major: Political Science

Shadowing Visit Site:  Natixis Asset Management (Tracy Fagan Duffy ‘84)

Describe your visit and what did you gain from the experience?

During my visit, I met with my alum as well as other notable HC alumni at Natixis. When I arrived, I first had an informational interview with my alumnus. She asked me to tell her about myself and what I’d hoped to gain from my visit. I then had the opportunity to meet with the CFO, who was also a Holy Cross graduate. I also had the chance to meet with the in-house counsel as I had expressed an interest in going to law school eventually. Lastly, I got to attend the Women’s Leadership Conference. I was very grateful for the opportunity as I was able to solidify my interest in finance. I also got the opportunity to network with experienced financial professionals who gave me meaningful career advice and provided me with important insights into the world of Asset Management.    

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans/goals?

I am interested in the field of finance, so this experience connected to my future career goals, because I was able to see the typical day in a job in the financial sector. Furthermore, it allowed me to see the types of people I would want to work with. These people were passionate and cared about one another. They laughed when in meetings, but were serious when they wanted to me. They made me feel welcome and a part of the company even when I was just a shadow.

What is some helpful advice your alumni host shared with you?

The best advice I received was to always be willing to do the grunt work. She said that while working her way up the ranks she was always the first person to offer to do the photocopying or grab her boss a coffee. This made her appear indispensable and willing to do anything for her job, which she explained is what she looks for during the hiring process now.

Why would you recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students?

The Alumni Job Shadowing Program  exposes students to a variety of career choices, so in just one day you can narrow down your career interests. Furthermore, it allows for the opportunity to network, so when applying for jobs and internships you already have exposure to the company and a friendly face to advocate on your behalf (assuming you made a good impression on your alumni)!

Alumni Job Shadowing: Delaney Fell’16

April 18th, 2016 by rimaal17

Name: Delaney FellDelaney Fell

Class Year: 2016

Major: Psychology

Shadowing Visit Site: Burson-Marsteller

Describe your visit and what did you gain from the experience?

I spent a very busy and interesting day at Burson-Marsteller.   I was able to tour the entire office.  Throughout the day, I had the opportunity to sit in on several meetings with my alumni host.  Through these meetings, I was able to experience daily life at the company.  My alumni host also arranged for me to sit down with several of her colleagues.  These colleagues came from different departments and had different duties, giving me a good idea of the many roles available in the company.     

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans/goals?

I had always thought of PR to be an interesting and exciting career choice.  However, I based this off a rather abstract idea of what I believed PR entailed.  As a result of my day at Burson- Marsteller, I now have a concrete understanding of the world of PR.  I am now seriously considering PR as a career goal.  

What is some helpful advice your alumni host shared with you?

My alumni host was remarkably encouraging.  She assured me that with hard work and quality communication skills, one can succeed.

Why would you recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students?

I would definitely recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to a student from any year.  Through this program, students receive a firsthand look into an industry of interest as well as the valuable advice of Holy Cross alumni.  

Alumni Job Shadowing: Bridget Collins’19

April 12th, 2016 by rimaal17

Name: Bridget Collins IMG_0134

Class Year: 2019

Major: Undeclared

Shadowing Visit Site:  Milford GI Associates

Describe your visit and what did you gain from the experience?

I shadowed Dr. Daniel Donahue, a gastroenterologist at Milford Regional Medical Center, both in his office and at the hospital. In his office he briefed me on his schedule and how he went about interviewing his patients. He briefed me on each patient whom he was to meet with and I was allowed to observe the patient interviews. After meeting with about twelve patients we went over to the hospital where I was allowed to view some procedures. I watched as Dr. Donahue performed two colonoscopies and an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography or ERCP. This procedure was done in the operating room and I had to put on scrubs to observe.

I really enjoyed this experience and I was happy to be able to observe both in the clinical and the hospital settings.  

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans/goals?

This experience reaffirmed my plan to become a physician as I could really see myself in the role. I also really enjoyed the dual nature of Dr. Donahue’s specialty because I enjoyed splitting the time between clinical and procedure based practice.

What is some helpful advice your alumni host shared with you?

Dr. Donahue shared some advice that he learned in medical training. He said that sometimes as a practitioner you have to stand in awe of your patient’s pain. Because if you view patients as problems to be solved and you do all you can it is easy to get frustrated when the patient isn’t responding as you want them to, but sometimes the best way to comfort someone in that position is to accept their pain and empathize with them.

Why would you recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students?

I would recommend the program to others because you get the opportunity to see what a real day is like and you come out with a better understanding of the job and a better idea if you can see yourself doing that every day.

Interview Tips            

April 7th, 2016 by rimaal17

You get the email or call you’ve been waiting for. You got an interview! Now what?!

For many students the request for an interview can invoke both excitement and stress. This may be your first time in a professional interview setting. Have no fear! The Center for Career Development is here to help!

Follow these key tips when preparing for an interview:

  • Do your research! You must be prepared to articulate why you are interested in the industry, company, and role. In order to do that effectively, you should research as much as you can ahead of time. Spend time on the company’s website, look for articles / press releases on the organization, reach out to prior interns to talk to them about their experience. Gather as much information as you can so you’re able to demonstrate your knowledge of who they are, what they do and why you want to be a part of it.
  • Prepare your elevator pitch. Many times an employer’s first question may be “Tell me about yourself.” You need to have that answer ready to go. Tailor your response to your audience. What would that particular employer be most interested in hearing about? Discuss your background, experience, skills and why this role is the next natural step for you. The Center for Career Development can help you craft your elevator pitch. Stop in during drop ins or schedule an appointment.
  • Prepare and practice examples to highlight your skills. Take a critical look at the job / internship posting. What skills / abilities do they seem to be looking for? Then, identify examples from past experiences that demonstrate you possess those skills / abilities. Draw on all experiences! Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your examples.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice! Interviewing is a skill. The more practice the better! Use the Center for Career Development to help you prepare so you can wow those employers! We offer interview prep strategy sessions and mock interviews.

Our Interviewing Skills handout will provide more details and sample interview questions that you can use as you prepare. As soon as you get that phone call / email, reach out to the Center for Career Development to schedule a mock interview or interview prep session. We can be reached at 508-793-3880 or

Interviewing doesn’t have to be stressful or scary….if you’re prepared!!


Written by Julie Draczynski

Associate Director, Center for Career Development

Alumni Job Shadowing: Khorally Pierre ‘17

April 5th, 2016 by rimaal17

Name: Khorally Pierre Khorally Pierre

Class Year: 2017

Major: English/Spanish Pre-Law

Shadowing Visit Site:  O’Neil & Hauser PC

Describe your visit and what did you gain from the experience?

My visit was surprisingly life changing. Not only did I learn the variety of documents that lawyers potentially use on a daily basis when preparing for cases, but I also learned more than ever that practicing law is my calling and should be used to become a woman for others.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans/goals?

After returning to campus from abroad, I began to doubt whether or not I wanted to pursue a law degree. But the experience made me realize more than ever that this is the kind of work I would like to do in the future. The level of hard work it takes to become a lawyer was reinforced, but as I observed how the firm works to help those in need, I realized that I was once a client to an immigration law firm and would like to further advance my studies in order to help those that are potentially like me.  Even though my host had not had her mind set on going to law school at my age, she told me that it was one of the best decisions she had ever made and had grown in abundance because of it: both in her private and professional life.

What is some helpful advice your alumni host shared with you?

My host advised me to not be afraid to follow my heart throughout my journey in law school. She told me that there are a variety of things that lawyers end up doing. This gave me hope that having a law degree will not necessarily mean that I will be sitting behind a desk for the rest of my life.

Why would you recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students?

I most definitely would. It has opened my eyes to the industry and has given me a strong motivation to pursue my dream of studying the law.

Alumni Job Shadowing: Luis Perez’17

March 21st, 2016 by rimaal17

Name: Luis PerezIMG_4097

Class Year: 2017

Major: Physics

Shadowing Visit Site:  ?What If! Innovation Company

Describe your visit and what did you gain from the experience?

My visit allowed me to immerse myself into a very unique and interesting workplace setting. I did not know what to expect going into the visit, and I walked away equally impressed and amazed. ?What If! is an innovation company that partners with other businesses, to improve their production and workplace efficiency. From the office space, to the people at the site, I could immediately tell it was a special place. I shadowed Mike, a Holy Cross alumnus, he was extremely welcoming and engaging.

The day began with a tour of the space, and lunch. Then, it was followed by a walk through of the “innovation” process that the company prides itself on, as well as preparations for an upcoming trip with a client. I was able to see the inside workings of a company, I otherwise would never have known existed. I learned how what I am learning in class translates into the professional workplace. Through these experiences I was able to connection with professionals working in an industry I am interested in. 

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans/goals?

As a Physics major, there are many applications for the skills my academics have given me. This experience showed me a real-world example for how my major can apply to a career. This was encouraging, and allowed me to not be as stressed and nervous about the future. Although I have a good idea of my future career plans and goals, it was good to see that there are other options available.

What is some helpful advice your alumni host shared with you?

My alumni host was incredibly nice throughout the entire experience, and did a great job incorporating me into a stressful and busy environment. He told that I would find my path eventually, and not to worry too much about being uncertain for the future. He shared his own story with me, and how he ended up working at an innovation company. His path took a lot of different turns and he tried a number of different things before ending up where he is now. My host told me that uncertainty is a part of life, and that my background and education would lead me to a great place, even if it’s not especially clear to me where that is.
Why would you recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students?

I would recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program because there is essentially no downside to it. As a junior, I regret missing out on two other chances to shadow, because they would have been very valuable experiences. You can shadow someone, and get insight or form an opinion if you can see yourself in a similar workplace or line of work. If the job is everything you want, then that’s amazing; if it’s not, then at least you know before you commit to it full time and dedicate your studies to it. I don’t necessarily see myself at an innovation company, but I do appreciate the experience and loved having the chance to shadow Mike. It is also a good way to make connections, and meet people, which serves as good practice for any similar situation.

Alumni Job Shadowing: Ali Larkin ‘18

March 14th, 2016 by rimaal17

Name: Ali LarkinAli Larkin '18 CNN

Class Year: 2016

Major: Undeclared

Shadowing Visit Site : CNN

 Describe your visit and what did you gain from the experience?

I visited the CNN headquarters in New York City. I spent the day learning about social media publishing and other news-related things with the Social Media team at CNN. Before this shadowing, I had no idea how jobs in social media worked and what they were like, so it was eye-opening to be thrust into one for a day – and even help shape posts that reach millions of people! I gained a more modern perspective on the hyper-competitive news industry, and how my interests coincided with the field.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans/goals?

While I’m still just a sophomore, the alum I shadowed has stayed in contact with me and has been absolutely amazing with helping me get contacts in the industry, apply to internships, and create an online writing portfolio. This experience really solidified my career goals; before my shadowing, I was on the fence about what I wanted to do per my long term career plans, but now I know that I definitely want to go into news and journalism.

What is some helpful advice your alumni host shared with you?

The best advice that my alum gave me was that people, especially Holy Cross alumni, really want to help you. If you reach out, alumni are more than willing to support and advise you.

Why would you recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students?

I would recommend it because sometimes what you imagine a job to be like is very different from how it actually is. In addition, the contacts you create and networking opportunities are invaluable.

Alumni Spotlight: Vannak Khin’15

March 3rd, 2016 by rimaal17

Name: Vannak KhinVK

Graduation Year: 2015

Major: Anthropology and Classics

Industry: Refugee Resettlement

Favorite Class: Ethnographic Field Methods

Campus Involvement: Fusion, LGBTQ Chaplain’s Group, and SPUD. 

College Internship/Work Experience:

Summer 2013 internship at the International Institute of Lowell, Summer 2013 Center for Khmer Studies Fellowship, Summer 2014 Mellon Research, Sociology-Anthropology Department Work Study Student

What were some of the most defining events/opportunities/aspects of your time at Holy Cross?

Finding the right major and concentration,  studying abroad in Vietnam, and becoming more politically active on campus during my Senior year.

What is one thing someone should be certain to do before they graduate?

Find the right professors who believe in you and can inspire you.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field?

I would advise anyone starting out in the field is to continue developing a critical lens of the field and be aware of the rising or falling political climate that comes with refugees, immigrants, asylees, and any other new Americans. It is certainly an amazing field to consider a career in, particularly in the way in which it is informed by academia, social justice, and social work, but it is also a very demanding and precarious field.

What skills have you found most useful in your professional life that you attribute from learning at Holy Cross?

Holy Cross gave me very strong foundational skills in critical thinking, which I utilize every day in various capacities and environments. It has allowed me to think quickly, think deeply, and think effectively in terms of who and how I serve.

What is the most important advice you could give a student on obtaining an internship or a job?

I would advise the student to really consider the extent and breadth of your own skills and experience, from Holy Cross and beyond. Without cutting yourself short and by being as honest as possible, you can promote yourself as a potential candidate with not only the necessary skills but also the potential to do much, much more.

Summer Internship Profiles: Lauren Reidy’16

March 1st, 2016 by rimaal17

Full Name:Lauren ReidyLauren Reidy2

Internship Company: Time Warner Cable Media

Internship Position: Human Resources Intern

Internship Location: New York, NY

While looking for your internship, what services did you use at the Center for Career Development?  

I was in all the time for drop-in hours for resume and cover letter reviews, mock interviews, the online Career Advisory Networks, and used the wonderful women in Career Development as an invaluable resource in my internship search.

What skills did you gain from your internship experience and how have they added to your professionalism?

My computer skills improved the most, as a lot of my work took place using various web-based processing programs. I got way better at prioritizing and managing multiple projects, including several summer-long projects. I learned how to interact professionally and making sure that numerous requests were processed and handled in a timely and effective manner. I also put my research skills to work, and just tried to absorb as much of what I was doing and what others around me were working on in order to better myself.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans / goals?

I didn’t really have a distinct career path before this summer, only a nebulous wish list of things I liked to do and goals for a fulfilling career. After an amazing experience with TWC, I have decided to pursue a career in HR because it was everything I was looking for, even though while I was applying I had no idea it would be for me.

What is one piece of advice that you would give to the future intern?

Stay calm. Your internship will probably not be exactly what you expected, and there will probably be some road bumps. Take a deep breath, work hard, and soak up everything about the internship experience.

Overall, what was your most exciting experience at your internship?

Time Warner Cable runs a news station that covers local Manhattan news. On one of the days we got to go on an outing to see how the news station operated, listen to senior news executives and experience a different side of the TWC business. It was very cool and a very unique experience.

Alumni Job Shadowing: Alex Bonano ‘17

February 29th, 2016 by rimaal17

Name: Alexander Bonanoalex b

Class Year: 2017

Major: Latin American & Latino Studies

Minor: Global Health Studies

Shadowing Visit Site:  Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Describe your visit and what did you gain from the experience?

My visit to Vertex was definitely one of the best experiences I had and I am glad to have it had it as my first job shadowing experience through the College of the Holy Cross. As a student who took science courses, I felt completely at home. The entire building is decorated with a chemical theme; the walls had organic chemistry reactions on the walls, the couches had a periodic element pillows, and each floor of the building was a different “element.” Also, refreshments were served while I was waiting to be seen, which definitely made me feel welcomed. During my time at Vertex, I sat on three different meetings and I began to see what the Legal Counsel does and through this, I was able to understand the roles of the other departments of Vertex as well. From there, we had lunch and on Wednesdays they have an Indian vendor come. Sidenote, I love Indian food so my day was definitely made. At lunch, I spoke with my alumni’s co-workers and learned more about them and their experience working at Vertex. The conversation soon shifted into a semi-debate about knowing what is that one wants to pursue and if it is essential to always plan ahead and have concrete agendas. I really enjoyed conversing on this topic, as they all gave me really good advice on keeping an open mind, and not limiting myself from potential opportunities.  I then got a full tour of the building, and learned about the learning center that BPS (Boston Public Schools) utilizes for their science courses as a new initiative to incite more interest in the sciences. After that, it was time to return home and my host offered me a ride since she drives my way. All in all, it was an amazing experience and I am glad I did experienced it.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans/goals?

The experience allowed me to see that the Public/Global Health realm is super multifaceted and therefore allows one to hold a myriad of different positions and still contribute to the field. For example, my alumni host is a lawyer but the work that she does benefits the health of the patients who buy and take the medications produced by the company. So with that being said, it allowed to me to open myself more to the possibilities of different opportunities that could come my way. In thinking of graduate school, programs, I have found more interesting and unique programs that are not necessarily the “essential” degrees in Public/Global Health.

What is some helpful advice your alumni host shared with you?

After the conversation at lunch, she pulled me aside and made it quite clear that I do not need to know what I want to do before graduating. She gave her example of working first, and then realizing that she wanted to be a lawyer.  So with that being said, she wanted me to know that there is no race to get to the career that is meant for me. Just keep being open and taking opportunities and eventually I’ll get there. To end, I’ll offer this quote “focus on the roots and not the fruits.”

Why would you recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students?   

Definitely! It was an awesome experience and was helpful in reinforcing the career path that I’ve chosen.