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.

No Summer Internship? No Worries. 5 Other Things To Do This Summer

April 28th, 2017 by eklamm

There’s no doubt that internships are an integral part of the job search process.  They give you a chance to explore career options before actually having a career and they help prepare you for the professional world.  Internships are certainly an important part of your resume and many employers will value seeing that you’ve had internship experience.  BUT… that doesn’t mean that internships are the only significant thing you can be doing this summer.  If you don’t have an internship, don’t panic!  There are numerous other exciting and enriching experiences that can help develop you professionally.  Check out this list!

Volunteer Work
As Holy Cross students, we know the value of giving back to the community.  Whether it’s lending a hand at a local church or soup kitchen, or a volunteer camp counselor position, community service is sure to be a rewarding way to spend your summer (and it’s a great resume builder as well!).

Summer Job
Just because you’re not on that 9-5 corporate grind doesn’t mean that a non-professional summer job isn’t a completely valuable summer experience.  Lifeguarding, babysitting, or serving up chocolate/vanilla swirls at your local ice cream parlor are all fun and productive ways to exhibit your excellent work ethic, add some employment experience to your resume, and make some cash (woo!).

Job Shadowing/Networking
Take advantage of your time off to reach out to people in fields you’re interested in.  Summer vacation is a great opportunity to chat with/shadow people in positions you are considering to get a sense of the reality of the job.  Use Holy Cross’ Career Advisory Network  to find alumni in related industries and send them an introductory email to begin networking!  HC alumni are always incredibly willing to discuss their work with students and potentially even show them around for a day.  Don’t hesitate to reach out!

Taking classes
This might be the last thing anyone wants to think about during time off from school, but summer vacation could be a perfect opportunity to take some classes!  Whether you want to make up a missing credit for HC or you are interested in learning more about a random subject that isn’t offered on the Hill, it’s never a bad idea to expand your mind and add some additional courses to your resume.

Traveling
Do you have an opportunity to travel this summer?  Take it!  Traveling is a fantastic way to gain new cultural experiences, and have a blast while doing so.  While this may not be an academic or professional way to spend your summer, exploring the world is an eye-opening and important experience that employers love to hear about.  Your travels can provide excellent talking points during interviews and definitely help to make you a well-rounded and cultured job candidate.

Clearly there are many different ways to avoid a summer slump.  While binge-watching Netflix may seem like a worthy endeavor, consider these ideas to have a productive, fulfilling, and exciting summer!

What Are Your Summer Plans? I Have No Plans And I Am ______

April 22nd, 2017 by eklamm

No matter how you filled in the blank the Center for Career Development can help you out, and, depending on how much effort you put in, the summer of 2017 could be your best summer yet! (or at least it can be your best effort at adulting)

What are your summer plans? I have no plans and I am PANIC STRICKEN.

Don’t be. Now, that is easier said than done, we know. For some panicking is a good first step to realizing you might have to put in more effort. Time keeps moving on no matter how much you procrastinate. Finals will be over and your dorm room will be packed up in a few short weeks. Sad, we know this too. But, in these few short weeks left on the Hill you can accomplish A LOT. For example, if you are panicking because you feel you do not have time to stop by our office during drop in hours (M-F 1-4pm & W 10am-12pm) with everything else you have going on we have a ton of resources available online. So plug in your headphones and watch a few videos, or evaluate your job search strategy.

What are your summer plans? I have no plans and I am ALREADY EXHAUSTED.

If you are feeling exhausted it could be because you are not setting yourself up for success. If your heart beats faster every time someone says “summer” and the image that comes to mind is your email inbox filled with “Thank you for applying, but sorry this position is filled”, take a deep breathe. First, congrats on applying to positions in the first place! Applying is a huge step in the process of landing a summer internship. Second, stop by our office or set up an appointment to meet with us and we can chat about what you have been doing and what we can change to land that dream job or internship.

What are your summer plans? I have no plans and I am OK WITH THAT FACT.

You have worked hard all year, you do deserve a break. Take time to adjust to being back at home and not having homework. BUT, remember, things lead to things. So, start doing things. The easiest thing you can do is log in to Crusader Connections and search for an internship or job. Right now there are over one hundred positions with deadlines this month alone. Your first application might be slow going. You have to get your resume in order and your cover letter tailored to the employer, but remember… things lead to things. Experience matters come this time next year when your resume could either be a skimpy double-spaced page or an impressive single-spaced, experience-filled page.

What are your summer plans? I have no plans and I am NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO TELLING MY PARENTS THAT.

Some advice if your parents are on your case about summer; do not make excuses as to why you do not have plans. Your parents want to see you succeed. More immediately they do not want to see you standing in front of the open fridge just staring at it every summer day. Why not spend your summer days riding a bike (apply by 5/5/17), or on an island (apply by 5/31/17).

ALUMNI INTERVIEW: I Was A Psychology Major, Now I …

April 10th, 2017 by eklamm

Thinking about a career in the arts/entertainment industry? Read on for an inside look at how your Holy Cross liberal arts education can lead to working in TV and Film.

Meet Alum Mike Dussault ’99, Creative Executive at The Tannenbaum Co.(CBS)

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

We are based out of CBS Studios and develop scripted TV shows for broadcast, cable and streaming outlets.

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 got my MFA in TV Production at Loyola Marymount University after graduating from Holy Cross. I interned for director Jay Roach while at LMU and that led me to my first job as an assistant at a talent agency. The entire TV and Film industries all run through the agencies and it was those connections that led to me ending up at The Tannenbaum Company where I’ve been for over 10 years. Agency jobs are long hours and low pay, but the exposure was invaluable for not only seeing what kind of company I wanted to move to, but also hearing about jobs when they opened up before anyone else. Really that year at the agency might’ve been more impactful on my career than getting my MFA.

What were you involved in when you were on campus?

Academics (obviously), Eucharistic Minister and ice hockey.

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

Psychology. I think this major was far more helpful overall than my MFA in TV Production was because it gave me a different perspective than most regular film school grads. It was especially useful as I got into developing scripts and working with writers on character and story development. I come at story problems from a different place than many colleagues.

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

Reading is maybe the most important thing I do at my job and being able to read critically, to break down stories and characters, is essential. All day, every day there are scripts and pitches to read and discuss with my co-workers. You must be able to quickly take something in and give constructive notes to writers to get projects in the best place possible before we pass material up the flagpole to our studio and networks. This is my favorite part of my job and I’d never be able to do it without the critical reading skills that were honed at Holy Cross.

Also being able to work hard and being unflinching in the face of inevitable setbacks were critical things I learned in my experiences on the hill.

What advice do you have for students on campus today?

There isn’t one way to do anything. Everyone has their own path. Find your passion and then find a way to immerse yourself in the companies and people who do it everyday. The more people you meet, the more people who know what your passion is, the more people who might be able to help you. Get as many new and different experiences as you can to help you stand out. Don’t get discouraged by those who find their passion or are more successful earlier than you. Stay the course and never be afraid to take big swings at big opportunities. And never ever let your failures deter you. If you’re not failing you’re not truly trying!

My Alumni Job Shadowing Experience: GOVERNMENT

April 10th, 2017 by eklamm

Full Name: Juliana Brandao
Class Year: 2017
Major: International Studies and Spanish
Shadowing Visit Site: MA State House

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

I had the wonderful experience of shadowing Christine Barber, the Massachusetts House Representative for the 34th Middlesex district. During my shadowing experience, I gained insight into Christine’s role as House Representative as well as some of the activities and events that occur within the State House. I attended several caucuses and meetings and had the opportunity to network with other people. The first event that Christine had scheduled was a presentation by the non-profit organization ABCD (Action for Boston Community Development) where I met the Operations Manager and the Deputy Director of Field Operations for ABCD. I have kept in contact with both of them and now have the opportunity to do an informational interview with the Operations Manager of ABCD.

I also attended the Progressive Caucus and the Women’s Caucus, both of which Christine is involved in. The Progressive Caucus was a great experience because I got to observe how the representatives coordinate meetings and speak with one another. They were speaking about topics that particularly interest me, such as health care reform, and it was fascinating to hear how they planned and discussed practical strategies to make sure that the meeting would be efficient and their goals would be heard. During the Women’s Caucus, representatives of different organizations that advocate and support women’s rights presented on their specific organizations, explained what impact their organizations have in communities across Massachusetts, and provided important statistics about women regarding sexual victimization and racism.

I was able to speak with Christine on a more personal level during lunch and in between scheduled meetings and events. I asked her about her career path and how she landed her position as State Representative. I learned about what experiences helped her gain the skills that her position requires her to utilize every day. It was comforting to speak about both of our experiences at Holy Cross since we share this college experience in common. At the very end of the day, she took me on a tour around the State House and I got to see both the House Chamber and Senate Chamber.

Overall, it was a pleasure to meet with Christine and learn about her role as State Representative. I found the experience fulfilling and eye opening. As a female student, it was both empowering and gratifying to shadow a female alumni working for the government and playing an active role in shaping public policy.

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

I gained a networking opportunity to speak with employees of ABCD. I also developed a better idea of what it means to work for the government, and more specifically, the State House. This experience increased my interest in public policy. Christine’s role is relevant to my interests. She works to protect and ensure the rights of her constituents, and she is particularly active in health care, housing, and women’s rights matters. It was wonderful to learn about what bills she is trying to pass and what bills she is trying to resist, especially during a time where there is a lot of political controversy. As a senior, this experience also made me reflect on the kind of work environment that I would like to be a part of, especially as graduation gets closer and closer.  

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

My alumni host gave me advice to try to enjoy my last semester at Holy Cross and break down my next goals step by step. As an HC alum, she understands the pressure of having to keep up with classes, participate in outside activities, apply to jobs, and have at least some down time. She encouraged me to try new things and not be afraid of getting stuck somewhere that I do not like since these moments can help us grow and realize what we are really interested in. She also mentioned that the Center for Career Development has really developed since she went to Holy Cross, and based on the information that I provided her on my personal experience, she thinks it is a great resource for students. Finally, she stressed the importance of networking because it is necessary for almost any career path that you take.

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

I would definitely recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students. It is both exciting and insightful to experience a part of an alumni’s career and see what they do on a daily basis. With respect to Christine’s role as House Representative, and I am sure this applies to other alumni as well, a lot of her work is relevant to changes that affect society, something I found quite meaningful during the visit. Most importantly, the shadowing program is great practice to put yourself out there and get over the hurdle of being shy or intimidated by the “real world.” Networking is key!

#CrusaderIntern: Brigham and Women’s Hospital

April 10th, 2017 by eklamm

Name: Elizabeth Buckley ’18
Organization: Brigham and Women’s hospital for the Genomes2People Research Program

What were you up to this past summer?

This past summer I am interned at Brigham and Women’s hospital for the Genomes2People Research Program. Genomes2People is a group that performs various clinical trial projects based around the risks and benefits that sequencing genomes for risk of illness will have on people. The project I have been working most closely with is the BabySeq Project. Genome sequencing is used to show the risk of various illnesses that a baby may have up to adulthood. The risks and benefits of knowing this uncertain information is studied among parents and pediatricians to better understand whether widespread genome sequencing should be used in the near future, for purposes such as personalized medicine.

I helped the research assistants with various tasks, such as updating online patient databases as well as editing and revising consent forms that are subsequently sent to be reviewed before being approved for use in the trial.

What was your favorite part?

I really enjoyed the opportunity to work in a job based around biology and academia. It has definitely opened my eyes to the type of work I can expect post graduation if I enter this field. I have also been able to decide whether working in a clinical trial program is what I would like to do in the future. There are many different jobs available in the lab setting, such as genetic counselor, research assistant, etc. I have been able to observe and help with various projects in each of these departments.

What surprised you?

I was surprised when I started working here that clinical research is so different from research in an actual lab. The group is small and everyone works in the same office space so everyone contributes to each overall project. Overall, I had a great experience with G2P and enjoyed the opportunity to experience working on such an interesting project and topic.

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

April 10th, 2017 by eklamm

Thinking about majoring in computer science? Read on for an inside look at how your Holy Cross liberal arts education can prepare you for a career as a software engineer.

 

Meet Regan McCooey ’16, Software Engineer at TripAdvisor.

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

As part of the TripAdivsor Vacation Rentals CRM, team, I build programs that gather data and identify potential email recipients of commercial and transactional emails.

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?

After my sophomore and junior years at Holy Cross, I interned at a bank as a software engineer. Originally, I thought I would end up working there; however, after my second summer, I realized that software engineering in finance wasn’t the right fit for me. I began to look into software engineering roles at larger tech companies. My family friend suggested that I apply to TripAdvisor. I interviewed in October of my senior year and was offered the job. I knew it was a good fit because the people seemed very nice and the culture was exactly what I was looking for. I also wanted to do more consumer facing software that would impact real people rather than just writing programs for the back office of a bank.

What were you involved in when you were on campus?

I played varsity golf for two years and was on the ski team. I participated in Big Brothers Big Sisters as a mentor, acted as an officer for the Math and CS Club, and was a teaching assistant for computer science.

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

I majored in computer science. The classes I took at Holy Cross inspired my love of programming, and helped me decide to pursue a career as a software engineer. When I took Compiler Construction, an upper level project course that involved a lot of programming, I knew that I wanted to be a software engineer.

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

Besides teaching me how to program, Holy Cross taught me to adapt and to teach myself the skills necessary to solve the new problems I encounter every day. The software industry is very fast paced. Things are constantly changing and you are expected to adapt and learn fast. Working in the industry is also very different than programming at school. Nevertheless, the various projects I completely in my computer science courses challenged me to face the problems in front of me head-on and to find creative solutions. My Holy Cross experience thus instilled in me the confidence to take on the new challenges I face every day at TripAdvisor.

What advice do you have for students on campus today?

I would tell current students that they should never feel unqualified or unable to do a job because they don’t have all of the qualifications listed on a job advertisement. Job postings usually have an intimidating list of qualifications, especially in the software industry. If a student meets even one of those qualifications, they should apply for the job. Holy Cross students should always feel confident that they will be able to learn the specific technology required on the job. Prior to starting at TripAdvisor, I barely knew the two programming languages that I now use everyday. After a few months, I easily got the hang of it.