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

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

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