Archive for May, 2017

ALUMNI INTERVIEW: I Was A Corporate Attorney, Now I…

May 3rd, 2017 by eklamm

Meet Ms. Maggio ’82, a 25+ year Beijing resident, former corporate attorney turned visual arts entrepreneur, and director of Pékin Fine Arts, a Beijing and Hong Kong based contemporary art gallery and art advisory consultancy.

What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross? How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you?

My decision to attend law school, become a member of the NY and MA bars and a corporate attorney, and prior to graduation from law school to intern summers in Asia; and finally, my decision to learn Chinese, spoken and written by attending first University of Hong Kong and after, Beijing Normal University, post law school. One learns and decides what is a good fit only after challenging oneself to go beyond one’s comfort zones.

What were you involved in when you were on campus?

Many things; studying, and also internships in Washington DC, including one summer internship in Senator Ted Kennedy’s office. I enjoyed learning about literature (tutorial on James Joyce; new approaches to mental illness through literature and art), feminism, and improved race relation causes.

What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions?

Psychology. I initially aimed at becoming a psychologist, then opted instead to go to law school. My psychology studies helped me in both of my careers as corporate lawyer and later as contemporary visual arts entrepreneur!

What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?

I learned how to get along with, and how to communicate with, people from different backgrounds and regions, and the importance of diversity not only on a college campus but also in one’s life work. I also enjoyed writing and feel Holy Cross gave me a strong foundation in essay and article writing.

What advice do you have for students on campus today?

Seek out the students coming from far away places, places you have never visited, and all students from near and far of ethnic, religious, and racial backgrounds not of your own. Take the time to get to know them and their stories, backgrounds and ambitions. Celebrate difference and diversity on a daily basis. Learn – really learn – a foreign language!

#CrusaderIntern: Prepare + Prosper

May 3rd, 2017 by eklamm

Name: Mae Hougo ’18
Organization: Prepare + Prosper

Prepare + Prosper is a free tax and financial services non-profit based in St. Paul, Minnesota. During the tax season Prepare + Prosper sets up free tax clinics all around the metro area, which people below a certain income can come and receive tax help from our trained volunteers. The organization also encourages people to see their tax refund as a “money moment.” Their refund could be used to set up a savings account for the unforeseeable emergencies in life.

What were you up to this past summer?

I am the outreach intern here at Prepare + Prosper. I am working with the communications staff to inform the community about Prepare + Prospers services, and a few specific tax credits. In Minnesota there is a tax credit for families with children in grades K-12 to write off the school supplies and materials they buy. The summer is the perfect time of year to encourage families to save their receipts. My job has been to contact the principals of schools in the area, as well as local organizations that might be having back-to-school events. I send the schools and organizations materials and information about the tax credit and our services.

I also work with on the Claim It Campaign, which is a state wide campaign informing the public about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC is a federal tax credit for low-income working individuals and families. This tax credit is the number one way to fight poverty in our country. I work with our Campaign Manager here at Prepare + Prosper in restructuring our materials so that they are useful, engaging tools for our viewers. I am also helping the organization become better connected with counties around the state in order to reach more people eligible for the credit.

What was your favorite part?

My favorite part of my internship was going into the community and sharing with people how our services can help them become more financially stable. Whether it is at a local shelter, or a veteran’s event, I enjoy the one-on-one time I can spend with members of the community. I hope that my doing so incentivizes more people to use our tax and financial services, which can allow them to get ahead.

What surprised you?

What has surprised me the most is how dedicated the network of volunteers is to Prepare + Prosper’s mission. I have been fortunate enough to attend a volunteer appreciation event. The volunteers dedicate so much of their time to this organization, and a lot of them donate money as well. They see how a tax refund can better a life, and continue to volunteer year after year.

My Alumni Job Shadowing Experience | Law

May 3rd, 2017 by eklamm

Full Name: Andrew Truong
Class Year: 2017
Major: Political Science and Spanish
Shadowing Visit Site: Cetrulo LLP

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

I arrived at Cetrulo LLP in the morning and met with Mr. Bryan Abramoske, an attorney at the firm and my alumni match. We first went to his office and discussed both what he does and what the firm does in general. Afterwards, we took a tour of the office and Mr. Abramoske was dedicated to having me meet employees all around the firm to give me as many different perspectives as possible, from paralegals to partners, and even a judge. I was able to meet various HC alumni that work at the firm as well, who all also shared their perspectives and advice about transitioning to life after graduation.

I feel that I was able to see many perspectives on what a career in law could look like, and what paths people had taken from undergrad to where they are today. This all helped show the various potential options that I could take. I also felt that I connected very well with Mr. Abramoske, who shared a lot of wisdom and advice with me, and even lent me a book he thought I’d enjoy reading. He offered to be a resource for me for any questions I might have in the future.

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

This experience definitely reaffirmed my future career goals of pursuing a career in law. By shadowing at Cetrulo, I was able to see and experience a mid-sized private law firm. I had previous experience working in nonprofit and small private firms, so this experience provided me with a different perspective and option of what my future could look like.

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

Some of the most helpful advice my alumni host shared with me was to keep an open mind regarding the future and career plans. Even if you have an idea of the path you want to take, things almost never go exactly as planned. So, while having a direction to move towards is good, being flexible and open to change on the path is good, because you’ll gain a lot of knowledge and experience in the process and will ultimately end up where you want to be.

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

The Alumni Job Shadowing Program is a fantastic opportunity for students of all grade levels. I participated in the program both my sophomore year and this past year as a senior and definitely found the experience worthwhile both times. By participating in the program you get to see and experience what a profession is like, what it entails, and what it is like to be in the position firsthand. You may get reaffirmation of a career choice that you’re looking into, or you might realize that a certain career is not what you want to do. Which is also just as, if not more, helpful. You might find an area or position you hadn’t thought of that you end up really liking and want to pursue afterwards. The more experience with and exposure you have to the real world, the better prepared you are to move towards your professional goals after undergrad. In addition, you get the opportunity to connect personally with another HC alum who wants to help you further yourself on your career path that can also serve as a resource beyond your shadowing experience.

Meet Physics Student Dan O’Brien

May 3rd, 2017 by eklamm

 

Name: Dan O’Brien
Class Year: 2017
Title: Research Assistant
Organization Name: Georgetown University

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

This position entails implementing hands-on research in a microtechnology lab.

What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross? How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you?

I originally intended to conduct research here at Holy Cross, but wanted to apply my physics degree to a research project in medicine. With this in mind, I applied to Research Opportunities for Undergraduates positions, and the lab that offered me the job conducts intriguing and progressive research in the field.

What were you involved in when you were on campus?

I participated in and served in leadership positions for the Society of Physics Students, and was a member of the Science Ambassadors. Additionally, I helped to found a student-run advising program for students in the sciences.

What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions?

As a physics student, I learned problem solving skills that will help me in any field in which I choose to use them. The physics faculty at Holy Cross opened my eyes to the importance of research in medicine, and I am thankful for the career lessons they have taught me.

What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?

Once again, the problem solving and time management skills are two “intangibles,” per se, that I use in my everyday work. In my research position, the skills that I aggregated in laboratory courses at Holy Cross were equally crucial.

What advice do you have for students on campus today?

Get involved, be real, and follow your passions.

My Alumni Job Shadowing Experience: Communications

May 3rd, 2017 by eklamm

 

Full Name: Michael Morigi
Class Year: 2019
Major: Political Science, Economics
Shadowing Visit Site: GE Communications; Deirdre Latour (CCO of GE)

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

My visit was different than what I expected, but in a good way. When I was walking over to GE’s offices in Midtown Manhattan, I was expecting to essentially be following my host, Deirdre Latour (CCO of GE), for the entire day. If she was busy or working on sensitive topics, I expected to be attached to either her assistant or one of her team members.

In reality, Ms. Latour and her assistant scheduled a day that would turn out to be much more interesting. During my time at the GE offices, another Holy Cross sophomore and I spent one-on-one time with several young GE Communications employees from various divisions of the Communications team. During those informational Q&A sessions, we learned about their perceptions of GE and their work, and learned about how they navigated the post-undergraduate world.

Afterwards, Ms. Latour brought us to a GE 2016 recap and team-building workshop. From there, I got to see the full culture of the Communications team, and how various individual personalities interacted with each other.

When reflecting upon my shadowing day, I believe the real value-added was the exposure to another possible career path, a career path in which I can leverage my political science, critical thinking and communication skills. In addition, I finished the day with a better perception of GE itself.

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

I do not believe this drastically altered my career aspirations, but my visit did convince me that my political science and economics double major could be used in fields beyond just government or finance. Many of the employees I talked to during the visit had degrees in public policy or political science. Some even came from finance backgrounds. Regardless of major, it seems like as long as you are actually interested in the subject matter and can pitch yourself right, your choice of major is not as consequential as some people make it seem.

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

Ms. Latour was unable to spend too much one-on-one time with us during our visit (she was dealing with high-level meetings during the morning and, in the afternoon, she was leading the workshop). However, a reoccurring theme amongst the employees was the importance of finding what you love to do, and their encouragement for us to try any opportunity that sounds interesting or potentially enjoyable.

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

I would recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students for a few reasons. One is that it is a great networking opportunity. Do not expect to get some sort of miraculous internship offer, but instead think of this shadowing opportunity as an informational interview. By putting yourself out there in a true work environment, you have the opportunity to network with not only the alumni but also various co-workers. If you play your cards right, you may be able to leverage these relationships going forward.

Second, it is an invaluable opportunity to see if a specific firm or field is right for you. Going into this shadow program, I was unsure if I would get any value or satisfaction out of shadowing a communications team. However, I was able to gain first-hand exposure to not only how the communications department of a multi-national firm works, but also how a real work-place team functions and flows.

ALUMNI INTERVIEW: I Was A Political Science Major, Now I…

May 3rd, 2017 by eklamm

Name: Payton Shubrick
Class Year: 2015
Title: R&D Lab Manager (Research and Development Lab Manager)
Organization Name: MassMutual
Major: Political Science

What does your job entail?

My role is to manage R&D activities for the company, specific to home office employees. What that means is I attempt to solve business problems leveraging emerging technologies as well as exploring technologies that could impact our industry in the next 12-18 months. What does that mean in plain English? I look for the return on investment a technology can offer. Can we save 2 million dollars be leveraging VR for training sessions as opposed to the current model of paying facilitators and having in classroom sessions?

How has your Holy Cross education contributed to your success?

My Holy Cross education has contributed to my success in many ways. At Holy Cross, I was able to grow – socially, intellectually, ethically, etc. I often find myself harnessing skills that I developed in both the classroom and student activities, like SGA and BSU, to propel me forward professionally. At Holy Cross, I was able to develop a greater sense of awareness of who I was as a person and how I can impact the world around me. With that mindset, you can rethink traditional business problems with many lenses to come up with a solution and then be able to present that idea in a well-written document or verbal presentation.

What skills are most important in your day to day work?

The most important skill in my work is being able to check, adjust, and pivot. Unlike traditional career paths with technology, you can come up with a solution and then discard the entire thing for something better because a smart algorithm can now be applied. This means you can’t grow too attached to one solution or one way to solve a problem. Everything is a fair game all the time and things change rapidly, so accept change early and fast to make life easier later.

What advice would you give to a Holy Cross student looking to enter your field?

Start studying trends in technology now. Virtual/ augmented reality, chatbots, algorithms, autonomous driving cars, artificial intelligence are real and going to change the world around us. In your day to day, life start to think about how things can simplify your life and delivery information before you know you want it.