Archive for June, 2017

Meet CrusaderIntern Taylor Moss’18

June 27th, 2017 by eklamm

Meet Taylor Moss’18 Summer Clerk at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo P.C.

Tell us about where you are interning and the kind of work you are doing.

I am interning at a law firm in NYC. I specifically work with cases for the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund (VCF), which is a government program that provides financial aid to those with illnesses and injuries from being around the World Trade Center after 9/11. This cause is close to my heart, as my dad was a first responder on 9/11. I admire his firehouse so much that I wear the number 74 when I play softball here at Holy Cross after his company, Engine 74. My role in the office mainly consists of calling and interviewing witnesses to prove our clients’ presence at the WTC site. Then, I write the affidavits for the witnesses to sign and give to the VCF. I love being able to have hands-on work that I can directly see the impact of. One of the most surprising aspects is that the injuries and illnesses are still happening every day, the effects of 9/11 didn’t just end on that day for those who were in the area, even if they were there months after the toxins still lingered. Working for something that I feel is so important and that I have a personal connection to has been really fulfilling.

Give us an example of how you have applied your academic learnings to your internship?

As an English major, I have done a lot of writing, which has definitely come in handy while writing the affidavits. My Creative Writing concentration taught me how to write towards a target audience. I’m really grateful that I know how to write clearly, succinctly and objectively because I’ve practiced it. There is also a lot of reading at the firm, whether it is going through cases or medical histories or reading the policies of the VCF in general. English has really prepared me to read analytically and quickly. I can now summarize large texts efficiently. Also, the legal jargon is nothing compared to when I read Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales for the first time.

What has surprised you about being an intern?

I was most surprised at the responsibility I was given. Being able to write actual court documents is not something I ever pictured myself doing! It is nice to know that I am trusted to work directly with clients and witnesses.

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

Last summer, I had a Trade Marketing internship at Scholastic, Inc. and as much as I loved it, I wanted to try another field before committing to marketing because I thought I wouldn’t really know if I liked it until I had something to compare it to. After this summer, I am more certain that I would like to go into marketing rather than law, but my time at the firm has taught me so much. For example, everyone has different roles that intertwine to help each client and seeing how that assembly line works has shown me just how important teamwork is in the workplace. I think my experience really helped my communication skills. We are in the age that I almost never had to talk to people on the phone, now I do it every day. It’s different than texting or being in person, but I’ve really started to learn the ins and outs of it. After each task I complete, I get more and more confident in my abilities and can feel myself growing. Most importantly, this summer I learned how important it is to work for a place or cause that means a lot to you. Working with VCF clients was always rewarding, no matter how difficult the task was. I’d like to continue to have that fulfilled feeling after each work day.

Any internship advice to pass on to other Holy Cross students?

Don’t be afraid to try something new. The point of an internship is to gain experience, and the best way to know if you like something is to try it. Even if you start working and find that the field isn’t for you, that’s okay! There’s still so much to learn that can be applied to other areas. Gaining work experience will help your overall growth, no matter what the field so don’t be afraid to go out on a limb! There’s always a learning curve, so don’t worry about not being good at something, everyone starts out at the beginning. Take time to know your coworkers, they can show you the ropes and always have the best advice because they speak from personal experience.

ALUMNI INTERVIEW: I Was A Computer Science Major, Now I Work In Cybersecurity

June 6th, 2017 by eklamm

 

Meet Reginald Woods ’14, Software Engineer at Sophos.

In one sentence, what does your job entail?
We are a cybersecurity company with products for communication endpoint, encryption, network security, email security, and other products that secure everyday devices.

 

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?

Senior year at Holy Cross I didn’t plan on attending the career fair.  I only went because a bunch of my classmates were going.  It was the best decision I ever made!  I connected with a peer that was in one of my computer science classes the year before, who spent her first year out at Oracle.  She passed my information along to the recruiter and I accepted a job at Oracle October of my senior year.  I knew Oracle was a good fit because I have heard so much about their college recruiting programs.  It prepared me for my career in software.

 

What were you involved in when you were on campus?

I was a Football player and involved in BSU, Working for Worcester, Holy Cross Cares Day, and BBC.  I performed in LASO and CAB events as well.  Great times.

 

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

Computer Science.  The skills I learnt directly applied to my career which is not the norm for Holy Cross.  I have classmates that have ventured into all types of fields.

 

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

Software development and Anthropology helped me relate to people in different cultures.

 

What advice do you have for students on campus today?

The best connections you can possibly make is your classmates.  Stay in contact with them because you will be able to work together and challenge each other to do great things.

A Career Path Into Marketing

June 5th, 2017 by eklamm

Finding your way into a career in MARKETING can be filled with mis-steps or big self-assured leaps. Taking advantage of opportunities at Holy Cross such as the Alumni Job Shadowing Program can help you make more steady steps. We interviewed Nerelly Checo who, after her experience shadowing ’99 alum and Senior Vice President of National Ad Sales at Music Choice, Tom Soper, is more confident in taking steps to pursue a career in marketing.

Here is what Nerelly and Tom had to say…

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

Nerelly: For this visit, I was assigned to shadow Tom Soper. After introducing myself and learning what his job entails, in addition to explaining my own future plans, he scheduled meetings with two of his colleagues in order to give me information that was more directly related to my future career plans. Through these meetings, I was able to gain useful and applicable information, especially considering both of these colleagues were minorities and also did not major in Marketing. This experience gave me confidence that I can actually pursue my future career, despite the additional obstacles I might have to face. After these meetings, I was able to sit in a staff meeting which Tom himself led. It gave me insight into what my experience would be like working with a team, in a professional setting.

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

Tom: The role of my team at Music Choice is to partner with advertising agencies and their clients to place video advertising across our TV, web, and mobile platforms.

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

Nerelly: I have always struggled with the idea of how to succeed in a Marketing career as a Psychology and Sociology double major. However, this visit in itself really provided me with the confidence that I needed to continue pursuing this career. I learned the importance of internships especially considering I am not a Marketing major. I also received information about how to “sell” myself and make myself stand out, despite my inferior marketing skills.

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?

Tom: Entering senior year, I knew that I wanted to find a job working in sales and/or marketing.  Through the on-campus recruiting process I was recruited by GE for a position in a 2-year sales and marketing leadership program.

GE was extremely strong in their training, and they taught me a lot about how to sell and how to market products.  I ended up working for GE for three years in Louisville, KY and Baltimore, MD and then my wife (Kim Smith Soper ’99) and I decided to move back to the New York area — where we grew up.

Media had always been a passion of mine and once in NY, I decided to take the skills I had learned at GE and apply them to this industry.  I worked at Disney for three years and I’ve now been at Music Choice for 10.

What were you involved in when you were on campus? 

Tom: Public service and community involvement were important to me.  I worked with SPUD all four years, eventually running the classroom reader program my junior and senior years. Like a lot of students, I also participated in the Appalachia service project junior year.  And of course, intramural sports were also (way more than they should have been) important for a group of us.

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

 Tom: I was an English major with an Economics minor. What I found extremely valuable about being an English major was that it taught you to take in a lot of information, to find the key themes in the text, and then to pull together a compelling argument to support your theses based on the texts – usually in a short amount of time. When you’re in college, you don’t have the perspective to understand how valuable this skill is and how you can apply it once you begin your career.

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

Tom: One, don’t be afraid to work hard. Holy Cross is known for its rigorous academic requirements and it helps prepare you well for when you’re thrust into the “real world” after graduation.

Two, keep your mind open when it comes to your career. The benefit to a liberal arts education is that you get exposed to many disciplines.  At 21 or 22 years old, it’s rare to know what you want to do with your career.

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

NerellyThe most helpful advice my alumni host shared with me is emphasizing the use of the Holy Cross alum network community. He really highlighted how essential it is to have those connections in terms of obtaining a successful future career. While this information is also emphasized within the campus, it was more effective for me hearing it from an alum and seeing how accomplished he was in his career because of these connections. Through the meetings he scheduled with his colleagues, I received information about internship programs and how to gain marketing skills on my own. This information was extremely helpful to me because I gained other sources, in addition to Crusader Connections, to find internships.

and some more advice from Tom…

After graduation, start working as soon as you can.   I tell this to every student who I work with through the alumni shadowing program – the first few years you’re working, you’re learning “how to work”.  Don’t wait for the perfect job, because you might not know what it even is yet.  Just start working and be open to future opportunities.

My Alumni Job Shadowing Experience at Massachusetts General Hospital

June 5th, 2017 by eklamm

Full Name: Maureen Hodgens
Class Year: 2019
Major: History
Shadowing Visit Site: Massachusetts General Hospital

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

During my visit at MGH, I was able to help pass out informational packets to new employees before my host alumni’s presentation, meet all four of his coworkers for half hour meetings to discuss their typical day and hear some of their advice, receive a tour of the hospital, and go out to lunch with my host and his coworkers at their favorite restaurant in the city.

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

After years of wanting to work in a hospital, I had really been losing hope in the medical field and this day sparked a newfound hope and motivation for me. Before this shadow experience, I had never been to MGH before, but I quickly learned that it is truly an amazing place, and maybe even one that I would be interested in working at in the future.  

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

My alumni host told me: “A career is not a prison sentence.  When I was in college, I always felt like the path I chose would be binding and inescapable, but it’s not.  You can always change your mind, even once you are hired as a new employee.”

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

I recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students because you don’t know if you like a job until you actually get field experience.  Most of the tasks my host alumni completed throughout the day were completely different from his job description.  It is also helpful to shadow for the day because you can feel what it is like to wake up and make the commute, what lunch in the city with coworkers is like, how a commute home feels, and what it feels like to come home after a “long day at work.” Until you actually take part in a day on the job, you can’t judge if the job is a right fit for you.  It’s better to spend one day experiencing a job that you don’t like rather than a month, year, or even more.  Even if the job you are matched with isn’t a perfect fit, you will absolutely learn something from your experience.  This program is a great resource for students who are unsure, somewhat sure, or completely sure of what they want to do in the future.  Everyone can benefit from participating in a program like this while at Holy Cross!

#CrusaderIntern: The Office of U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin

June 5th, 2017 by eklamm

Meet Mary Kate Vanecko #CrusaderIntern at The Office of U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin

What were you up to this past summer?

I spent my summer working on the Hill for my state Senator, Richard Durbin. I enjoyed the high-energy, purpose-driven environment of Washington and learned a ton about the behind the scenes work of our government.

Senator Durbin serves in leadership as the Democratic Whip, so he has two offices in the Capitol. As an intern, I assist with various administrative tasks in both offices. I answer phone calls from constituents, give tours of the Capitol and attend and write memos on legislative hearings. I have attended several hearings on public health, energy and foreign affairs and have enjoyed hearing experts from each field debate. It has been eye-opening to witness the legislative process from constituent concerns to the passing of a bill. Before the Senate went on recess, they were debating several bills on GMO labeling, Zika funding and gun control. I was surprised by how many constituents called into the office to voice their concerns to the Senator and how many groups came in to meet with staff to share their concerns.

What was your favorite part?

One of my favorite experiences was the intern lecture series where a variety of political figures gave talks to the summer interns. I heard from NASA Administrator Charles Bloden. Like many of the speakers, he started as a congressional intern then went on to be a marine and astronaut. In a political environment that is becoming increasingly polarized, he shared an inspiring story about looking back at earth from space and seeing so clearly how we are all one.

#CrusaderIntern: United Planet

June 5th, 2017 by eklamm

Hear from #CrusaderIntern Quynh Nguyen about her experience last summer at United Planet in Boston.

What were you up to this past summer?

United Planet is a nonprofit organization in Boston, MA that promotes international volunteerism for long-term (6+ months) and short-term (1-12 weeks) programs. I work as the short-term Program Advisor and I was in charge of general administrative tasks. These tasks include speaking to volunteer inquiries by phone and email, register enrollees with the Department of State’s Safe Traveler Enrollment Program, put together packages to send out to volunteers, etc. In addition to these daily tasks, I also was involved in longer on-going projects for the organization, including creating a PowerPoint to visually demonstrate volunteer statistics (how much percentage for each age group, which county is most/least popular, what’s the most common duration of stay, etc), accumulate and compose a list of resources for pre-departure training sessions, and speak to coordinators from each country.

I would say that my most important role however is acting as a first point of contact for potential volunteers. This requires me to know basic information about all of the short term programs in order to give people accurate answers.

What was your favorite part?

What I really enjoyed most about United Planet is how close the staff is. I felt welcomed on my first day on the job and have grown more comfortable with everyone. We are all really close in age so it’s much easier to get along. There is a Social Committee that plans events outside of work so it’s nice to get to know my colleagues outside of the office.

What surprised you?

What surprised me about this organization is the way that it’s a network of roles that all depend on each other. By this, I mean that each person has his/her own work that is different from other people’s, which comes together to form a functional organization.

Words of Wisdom from Alumni Working in Finance, Real Estate, Consulting and Accounting (Part II)

June 5th, 2017 by eklamm

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

“I’ve always felt that picking an accounting firm is a lot like picking the college you want to attend.   Visit the office, and you’ll know which one feels right to you from a people and cultural perspective.   I’ve been lucky to have spent my entire career so far in accounting firms that challenge me technically and professionally, while standing next to colleagues that are also good friends.”
– Allison Egbert Snyder ’98 | ACCOUNTING

“Be flexible! Real estate does not have a well-defined career path. In the early part of my career, I was part of an established corporate finance training program that provided a clear career roadmap. After eight years of working in corporate finance, I switched into commercial/corporate real estate and realized that the path is far less certain. There are many different disciplines within real estate (brokerage, corporate, legal, investments, development, architecture, etc.), so it is important to leverage your network and meet with as many people as you can to find the opportunity that is right for you. The Holy Cross alumni network is a great place to start.”
– Colin Blair ’00 | REAL ESTATE

 

“Consulting firms are looking for individuals who are great at solving problems, intellectually curious, and have a broad skill set. While you may not jump right into consulting, my biggest advice is to start in a career that will offer the opportunity to showcase these skills, and do a great job! You may also consider business school down the line – many of the larger Consulting firms hire from MBA programs (my path reflects this, having started out in investments and moving to Strategy Consulting following business school). One last piece of advice for when you get the interview – given the amount of teamwork involved, we’ll often ask, “would I want to work on a team with this person?” – be yourself and show your energy for the role – it will go a long way. ”
– Emily Toto Sweeney ’07 | CONSULTING

“Have your own North Star. Why do you want to get into [field x]? Prioritize against that reason, rather than getting the job itself. It helps everything else fall into place.

Know your story. Practice it. After a while it will become natural, because its you. And you’ll be telling it your whole life, so you may as well get comfortable.

Talk to a lot of people. People want to help people who help themselves, so prepare for those conversations. ”

– Jonathan Greenglass ’09 | FINANCE

“It goes without saying that I would definitely recommend taking advantage of all of the finance opportunities Holy Cross has to offer (i.e. finance boot camps, finance panel discussions, various clubs etc). It is through these opportunities that you learn some of the terminology and skills needed for a career in finance. However, honing the “soft” skills that you learn at Holy Cross is in my opinion even more important. Learning how to state your opinion concisely, explain a complex topic in a simple way, problem solve, think outside of the box and present to large audiences didn’t seem important at the time but has been invaluable to me during my time at J.P. Morgan. And thinking back, it wasn’t always in my Economics classes that I honed these skills – it was in my French classes, during my semester in Washington DC, my involvement in the Chaplains’ Office etc. All parts of a Holy Cross education help you develop those skills.

I spend my days advising, speaking to and meeting with some of the wealthiest people in the world. The “soft” skills I learned at Holy Cross are instrumental in my daily job. I continue to improve these skills every day at J.P Morgan, but I will honestly say that it was Holy Cross that gave me the foundational skills to succeed in finance and that will never be forgotten.”
– Elizabeth Sundheim ’13 | FINANCE

 

“Read up – there are multiple market overviews for a variety of industries that can start to broaden your understanding beyond the books.”
– Manny Mendoza ’15 | FINANCE

Words of Wisdom from Alumni Working in Finance, Real Estate, Consulting and Accounting

June 5th, 2017 by eklamm

Wondering what your day-to-day activities might be like if you work in consulting, real estate, finance, or accounting? Here are skills alumni use everyday, you may want to think about strengthening these 6 things …

“I spend most of my days talking or interacting with clients. These are clients that pay us for our expertise, but want a partnership with an accounting firm that is collaborative. Our liberal arts degree at Holy Cross provides us with the invaluable skill of communication.”
– Allison Egbert Snyder ’98 | ACCOUNTING

“All of (my daily) tasks require an attention to detail and an element of people management and influencing to properly convey your message. ”
– Colin Blair ’00 | REAL ESTATE

“Adaptability is key in consulting, whether it’s handling a last minute client request or completely shifting the direction of a project to deliver better value. ”
– Emily Toto Sweeney ’07 | CONSULTING

“Grit: Not everything that needs to get done is fun…”

– Jonathan Greenglass ’09 | FINANCE

“Being proactive. I always need to be 5 steps ahead of my more senior colleagues. It is through me being proactive that I have been given numerous opportunities early in my career and have gained a lot of trust from my team.”
– Elizabeth Sundheim ’13 | FINANCE

“Communication and critical thinking are by far the most important skills. After solving the issue at hand, persuasively communicating your work product is essential.”
– Manny Mendoza ’15 | FINANCE

ALUMNI INTERVIEW: I Was A Mathematics Major, Now I Work For The NFL

June 5th, 2017 by eklamm

 

Meet Brian Lockhart ’96,  NFL Network Originals Programming & Development, National Football League (NFL)

In one sentence, what does your job entail? 

I am responsible for developing long form content for NFL Media, from the idea phase for shows and series all the way through execution.

What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross? 

I found a summer job at a small production company in New York City between my junior and senior year to be close to my then girlfriend who was from New Jersey. Prior to graduating, and without a real plan for my future beyond a vague notion of grad school, I wrote a cold letter (no email!) to HC basketball alum Steve Anderson, (class of 1976) who was the Senior VP of Remote Production at ESPN. He responded and helped me get an interview at ESPN. (Important Note: Steve has remained a supporter and mentor throughout my career. His selflessness has inspired me to also mentor HC alums).

How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you? 

Initially, it was a horrible fit. I had quite possibly the worst production assistant job interview in the history of ESPN – after being asked the last three winners of the Vezina Trophy I asked the humorless hiring manager, “What’s the Vezina Trophy?”. But I persevered, eventually stopping the interview and making an impassioned plea highlighting my strengths as a college athlete who understood the nuanced narrative structure of SportsCenter highlights… And somehow I received and accepted a job offer during the haze of Cape Week. I started two weeks after graduation and have worked in sports television ever-since. Considering that I didn’t even know television was a career path, I would say this profession chose me. I did not choose it. Ignorance truly is bliss.

What were you involved in when you were on campus? 

Varsity basketball 1992-’96 and co-captain (’95-’96). Black Student Union Member

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

I was a mediocre at-best Mathematics major. Math had zero bearing on my career path, None. Zilch. Nada. It IS a fun fact to drop in the world of sports media to elicit strange reactions.

My mathematics degree did come in handy as an associate director at HBO Sports. I was charged with counting backwards to zero making sure we got on and off the air cleanly and didn’t hit video freezes on replays. Degree affirmed!

But Math wired me to be solution driven. I am a novice when it comes to corporate politics but I can filter out distractions and solve problems – they just happen to be creative sports-related problems. Knowing what I know now, I would have pursued a degree in religion and philosophy, striving to be a slightly darker but heftier version of Prof. Joe Lawrence.

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

Holy Cross instilled in me the love of learning. Instead of acquiring knowledge merely as a means to an end, I developed a thirst to grow and apply my Mt. St. James scholarship beyond the gates of HC.  Props to FYP (First Year Program).

As a naive seventeen year old freshman, the somewhat nebulous liberal-arts inspired question posed to our class, “How then shall we live?”

My answer: “Paycheck to paycheck”

I never seriously wrestled with this question while on campus but I didn’t forget it either. “How then shall we live?” didn’t resonate until years later – now I can’t escape it. That singular question relentlessly provokes me to make an impact – hopefully a positive one. Ultimately, it has gifted me more questions, dynamic experiences, earned values and occasional wisdom.

What was the question again? I am also good with budgeting. Thank you American Express.

What advice do you have for students on campus today? 

Know thyself.

Cease fighting everyone and everything.

Say yes – a  lot.

Collaborate.

Be a great teammate.

Give until it hurts then give some more.

Creativity is work.

Make it better.

Own your sh*t.

Enjoy the grind.

Ignore the mantras of others – know thyself. (That last answer may only be useful to my therapist).

Just in case you end up interviewing for a PA position at ESPN http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=24965