Meet Alumna Kat Rosenthal ’13, Project Manager, John Moriarty & Associates

Name: Kat Rosenthal

Class Year: 2013

Title: Project Manager

Organization: John Moriarty & Associates, DC

 

1. In one sentence, what does your job entail? 

I manage the financial and manpower requirements to build buildings

 

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

A series of failed attempts at finding my passion lead me to start throwing darts at the wall to find a career. I wanted something that had a team component, as I missed playing sports so much. I connected with someone from high school who worked for a large general contractor in Boston who then pointed me in the direction of another general contractor. I reached out for an unpaid internship and was hired as a paid intern. Three months of interning lead to a full time job. Six years later, I now run my own project and still love what I do.

 

3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?  

Varsity softball, President of ABiGaLe/Allies (now Pride), Physics grading and tutoring, and a Pub Rat 🙂

 

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

I studied Physics with a Concentration in Women’s and Gender Studies. I knew I did not want to work in a lab forever after a few summer internships. Physics taught me how to collaborate and problem solve; I knew that whatever I did for a living had to let me critically think and work with a team.

 

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

Most definitely teamwork and creative problem solving. Construction is a very big field with a lot of different specialties. As a general contractor, we work to learn a little about a lot, working with the experts (designers and engineers) to make a building. It involves working as a team and problem solving as a group. So many times I know only high level details, but my ability to think outside the box to solve a difficult constructability issue is very helpful!

 

6. What advice do you have for students today?

Do as much as you can while you’re still at Holy Cross. Try everything you can. Get outside of your comfort zone. Do not worry so much about your grades. Instead, work hard, maintain a good reputation, and create great and long standing relationships with professors, staff, and classmates; that will pay off so much more in the long run.

Meet Alum Oswaldo Subillaga ’16, Medical Student, Alpert Medical School of Brown University

Name: Oswaldo Subillaga

Class Year: 2016

Title: Medical Student

Organization:  Alpert Medical School of Brown University

 

1. In one sentence, what does your job entail?  

As a fourth year medical student, I am in the midst of residency interviews (for general surgery!) and completing clinical electives that will help me to become a well-rounded surgical resident.

 

2. 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 was able to shadow two wonderful surgeons at UMass Memorial Medical Center through the academic internship program at HC. While I already had an interest in medicine, that experience introduced me to the world of surgery which is ultimately the field that I plan on pursuing.

 

3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?  

While at HC, I was a RA, peer mentor, admissions interviewer, co-chair of LASO, and SPUD volunteer.

 

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

My major was political science and I also did my premedical requirements knowing that I wanted to go into medical school after college.

 

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

Having to argue for a point of view in a short essay at HC has helped me to convey information accurately and concisely in both clinical and non-clinical scenarios. Surgeons, in particular, like brevity.

 

6. What advice do you have for students today?

Take advantage of the mentorship opportunities at Holy Cross and maintain those connections even after you leave the hill. Oh, and pay it forward.

Meet Alumna Sabrina Gross ’02, Virginia Department of Education

Name: Sabrina Gross

Class Year: 2002

Title: Coordinator of Complaints and Special Projects in the Office of Dispute Resolution and Administrative Services

Organization Name: Virginia Department of Education

1. In one sentence, what does your job entail?

I oversee the complaint dispute resolution process as required by the Individuals With Disabilities in Education Act and manage many teacher and school administrator professional development projects related to special education laws and regulations. I really enjoy my job.

2. 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 always knew that I wanted to work in education, but I wasn’t sure in what capacity. I obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and my father made me complete the teacher certification program at Holy Cross so that I was an employable upon graduation! Ha! I completed the program to teach social studies but began teaching special education because of my degree in psychology. Teaching special education led me to working in children’s mental health for quite a few years. My experiences encouraged me to pursue a law degree so that I could work in children’s policy. Now I work in special education investigations and compliance.

3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?

I was on the education student advisory committee, colorguard, and BSU. I also wrote a proposal to reignite the semester away program to an HBCU. I attended Hampton University for a semester.

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

My degree was in psychology. I think working children’s mental health gave me a whole child approach to reviewing many of the complaints we receive and provides me with a unique perspective when working with other government agencies in providing guidance on policy and policy implementation.

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

I think the Holy Cross motto “men and women for others” has led me to understand the importance of public service and giving back.

6. What advice do you have for students on campus today?

College is an opportunity to explore many varied interests. Take classes that peak your curiosity, join many co-curricular activities, study abroad, and get involved in the Worcester community.

Meet Alum Freddie Santana ’11, College Persistance Counselor, KIPP New Jersey

Name: Freddie Santana

Class Year: 2011

Title: College Persistence Counselor

Organization Name: KIPP New Jersey

1. In one sentence, what does your job entail?

Provide specific guidance, advising, social and financial support to help a caseload of primarily first-generation college students pursue their college degree.

2. 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?

While at Holy Cross I decided to take an Educational Psychology course that really aligned to my interests. I had some success with the course and as a result I developed an interest in education and its impact on low-income communities. Prior to this class, I only knew that I wanted to work within low-income communities but was uncertain about how that might look for me. I began taking a bunch of education and multi-cultural courses to broaden my knowledge of the underpinnings of education in America.

I guess my interest in education as a Latino drew some interest from the wonderful folks at Teach For America who happened to randomly find me one day while I was enjoying a Peanut Butter Protein smoothie at Cool Beans and they got me to apply. A few weeks and 3 interviews later, I received an offer to join the 2011 Corps in Metro Atlanta. With professional football looming in the shadows I took the leap of faith and decided to start my career as an educator.

The process of learning/deciding if this field was a good fit for me is my favorite part of the journey. I learned how important it is to periodically evaluate each phase of your career and to seek alternate opportunities within your field of interest to ensure you get a holistic view of the work before considering a career change. There is a great quote I heard once that goes something like this: “Maybe the journey is more about uncovering who you are not so that you can make room for the person you were always meant to be.”

3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?

Varsity Football – Big Brothers Big Sisters Liaison – Multicultural Peer Educator – Latin American Student Organization

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

I majored in Sociology with a concentration in Africana Studies

Sociology allowed me to learn more about communities as a whole and what things impact a community’s overall health. It gave me a holistic view of how different entities like education impact a community and its people. Because I developed this foundational knowledge I felt better positioned to enter the field and make an immediate impact versus going into a totally unfamiliar field and trying to figure it out as I go.

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

One of the biggest skills I developed while being at Holy Cross was the importance of preparation and its correlation to success. I came into Holy Cross with poor academic habits and learned quickly that preparation is the great equalizer.

The second skill I developed was how to network effectively. I attended all networking career banquets, alumni events and met with a lot of professors during my time at Holy Cross. All of which allowed me the opportunity to listen, learn and practice effective networking strategies.

6. What advice do you have for students on campus today?

Maximize your time on campus by getting involved: connect with peers, faculty, and alumni often, join clubs and other organizations on campus that might be aligned to your interests. Allow yourself the opportunity to meet people that you normally wouldn’t engage with… there is power in learning different perspectives.

Practice and develop strong routines and habits. Figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. Create an organization system that works for you and use it with fidelity. You’ll be thankful once you jump into your career and already have these things in place.

Meet Alumna Maggie Moriarty ’20, Financial Services Consultant, EY

Name: Maggie Moriarty

 Class Year: 2020

 Title: Financial Services Consultant-Staff

 Organization Name: Ernst & Young

 

1. In one sentence, what does your job entail?

Every consulting project is very different, but overall my job entails working with financial services clients (banks, wealth management companies, and insurance companies) to offer them beneficial solutions, additional support, and guidance on tracking and completing either long-term or short term projects that enhance their company.  

 

2. 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 first three years at Holy Cross I always thought I wanted to go to law school, but after attending career fairs and networking with my HC Alumni network, I started to research more about the consulting industry. After further networking I was able to set up calls with HC alumni who worked for Ernst & Young, and ultimately landed an interview and the job. I knew consulting was a good fit for me because similar to being a lawyer, a consultant has several clients and projects throughout his or her career, so he or she is continuously learning and getting up to speed on different subject areas. The ability to transition from project to project greatly appealed to me, especially during the early stages of my career. In addition, I knew I wanted to work closely with others to achieve certain goals and deadlines. Being in constant communication with team members from within my company and/or the client company was appealing to me.

 

3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?

At Holy Cross, I was a member of the women’s lacrosse team, a member of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, a member of Holy Cross for a Cure, and a member of the pre-business program.

 

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

I majored in Political Science and thoroughly enjoyed learning about current events, policies and the law, as well as creating materials in either presentation or paper format on these topics.  I knew I wanted to take those interests and combine them with my interest in business. Consulting seemed to be a great fit for me because of the opportunity to explore how different policies effect the requirements and decisions of financial institutions, as well as the opportunity to communicate large amounts of information to an audience in an effective and concise manner.

 

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

The ability to synthesize large amounts of detailed information into big picture ideas/trends and time management/organization.

 

6. What advice do you have for students on campus today?

Continue to work hard and explore different activities and opportunities on campus that are outside of your comfort zone!  

Meet Alumna Lilse Rodgers McKenna ’11, Founder of Lilse McKenna Inc

Name: Lilse Rodgers McKenna

Class Year: 2011

Title: Founder

Organization Name: Lilse McKenna Inc

 

1. In one sentence, what does your job entail?

As the founder of a residential interior design firm my job entails everything from reviewing architectural drawings and overseeing contractors, to drawing furniture plans, designing furniture and scheming rooms, to managing the orders, timelines, and installations for a project. 

 

 

2. 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?  

 

During my senior year at Holy Cross I had big plans to go to law school.  At the time I thought that it would be the most logical and practical fit for me, and I took the LSAT class offered at Holy Cross to prepare for the exam.  We were encouraged to take study breaks in between practice tests, and I found myself filling that time with interior design magazines like House Beautiful, Veranda, and Architectural Digest, and countless design blogs.  

After taking the LSAT and starting to pull together my applications for law school I realized my heart wasn’t in it.  Since long before the LSAT I’d enjoyed reading about and discussing interior design with my grandmother, and she and my mother both believed I had shown some innate talent in decorating. My Mom had often suggested I pursue it as a career, but I had the impression that most successful designers had degrees in interior design or a lifestyle that enabled them to open a firm “for fun.” 

After graduation I applied for jobs in advertising and marketing, but nothing really felt like the right fit.  In a moment of frustration with the job search process I googled the phone number for the office of my favorite interior designer at the time and asked if they needed an intern.  They asked how soon I could start.  

Within the first week of the internship, I knew I’d found the right career fit for me in interior design.  Suddenly all of the knowledge I’d accumulated about interior design throughout my life, which I’d long thought was useless and just a hobby, had real value.  I also started to see the opportunity to put another interest of mine, business and entrepreneurship, to use.  I come from a family of entrepreneurs, and just as my knowledge of interior design had been somewhat subliminal, so too was my understanding of work and business through the lens of an entrepreneur.   Having an understanding of how entrepreneurs think and operate gave me a leg up as an intern, and later an employee, of small business owners.  I soon found out that neither a degree in design nor a large trust fund were necessary to start a successful interior design business. 

 

 

3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?

I volunteered at Dismas House, was a club chair for the Comunications, Advertising & Marketing Club, and interned for the Public Affairs office.  

 

 

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

I was an English major and I think my creative writing classes gave me some insight into how much I enjoyed creative work.  The time I spent working on the assignments for those classes flew by, even when the assignments were difficult.   

 

 

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

While I was at Holy Cross I learned to be very disciplined about my time because I found that the school work load would sneak up on me if I wasn’t consistently setting aside time at the library.  In my industry it is very easy to be distracted by the creative part of the job and put the paperwork on the backburner.  Unfortunately that is probably the quickest way to go out of business, so in life as in school I try to set aside specific time dedicated to the paperwork.

 

6. What advice do you have for students on campus today?

Trust your instincts when it comes to your future.  Don’t force a career choice, or any choice for that matter, solely because it appears to be the most pragmatic.  If it doesn’t feel right it isn’t, and you should take the time to find what is right for you.  Also, pay attention to what interests you, even the things you think of as silly hobbies or the curiosities you take for granted.  Today more than ever there is value in being an expert in a specialized field, so why not take advantage of that?

Meet Alum Michael Pettinati ’13, Data Scientist, Biofourmis

Name: Michael Pettinati

Class Year: 2013

Title: Data Scientist

Organization: Biofourmis

 

1. In one sentence, what does your job entail? 

I develop algorithms using large datasets to improve upon and support patient health.

 

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

I went to graduate school for a PhD following holy cross. I attended Ga Tech. I spoke at length with my academic and research advisors (professors Royden and king) about this decision. I had the opportunity to visit these schools upon acceptance and interview with the professors I would be working with. It was these visits that cemented that I wanted to be at ga tech.

 

3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?  

I was involved in the recruitment office my freshman year, and. I worked in food services my first year on campus. I provided tutoring through the computer science department when I was at holy cross. I was a TA and RA for the computer science department as well. I participated in research over the summers with Professor Royden. I was also a member of the honors college and did a senior thesis with professor Royden.

 

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

I was a double major in mathematics and computer science. My work at holy cross was the foundation for my graduate school work, which lead my first job in industry.

 

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

Holy cross gave me a solid foundation as a programmer, and I write scripts everyday at my job. Also, Holy Cross gave me my first experience doing research. I learned to approach problems from different angles. I understood how to ask questions that have value, learn what has been done to answer those questions and do the work to help answer those questions.

 

6. What advice do you have for students today?

Although it’s very cliche, I think it’s important to know that failures are only the end if you let them be. There is no single assignment, test, denial, etc. that prevents you from continuing to study and work on things that interest and excite you.

Meet Alumna Emma Skumurski ’21, Environmental Scientist at CarriageHouse Consulting

Name: Emma Skumurski

Class Year: 2021

Title: Environmental Scientist

Organization: CarriageHouse Consulting Inc

1. In one sentence, what does your job entail? 
I am an environmental scientist at CarriageHouse Consulting Inc, where I collect environmental samples for petroleum product-related companies and then provide these companies with written analytical reports.

 

2. 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?    

This opportunity came to me in a totally unexpected manner!  A fellow Holy Cross classmate and friend passed along the employment opportunity to me. I am so grateful she did! I then followed a very planned path of researching the company and sending a tailored application.  Ultimately, I learned that Carriage House would be a great fit for me by reaching out to Holy Cross alumni at the company.  The alumni gave me great insight into the positive, exciting, and professional working environment fostered at Carriage House.  However, a majority of my job search did follow a very defined plan of attending networking nights, inquiring about informational interviews, and scheduling job searches with my professors and Shirley!

3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?  

The beauty of Holy Cross is the depth of the opportunities that are available. I had the honor of being on the Division 1 field hockey team. I was a  grocery shopper for the Chaplain’s Office, a greeter with Liturgical Ministry, a leader and participant in the Spring Break Immersion Program, a Big Sister in the Big Brother Big Sister program, and a tour guide with admissions. I loved the diverse opportunities that Holy Cross had to offer, they allowed me to grow in ways I never could have imagined!

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

I was a Biology Major with an Environmental Studies Minor – the variety of classes enabled me to widen my horizons and broaden the opportunities available to me in the environmental field. I came into Holy Cross thinking I wanted to be a National Park Ranger and my eyes were opened to so many different and emerging fields!

 

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

One of the amazing skills I learned at Holy Cross that aids me as an environmental scientist is my ability to work with others and conduct creative problem-solving. Being in a very dynamic and hands-on field, my ability to think on my feet and to adapt my expertise to still collect clean samples has been a valuable resource.

6. What advice do you have for students today?

You all got this! Have some faith in yourself and do not be afraid to reach out to alumni!  A great resource can be contacting your prior classmates and learning about their experience transitioning into the workforce. Above all else make sure you help others realize their dreams as you are realizing yours!

Meet Alum Brian Beaton ’16, Law Clerk, Covington and Burling LPP

Name: Brian Beaton

Class Year: Holy Cross, 2016

Law school: Harvard Law School, J.D. 2021.

Title: Law Clerk

Organization Name: Covington and Burling LPP (Washington, D.C.)

1. In one sentence, what does your job entail? 

I handle the typical work of a first-year lawyer interested in litigation; specifically, I work with teams representing various clients as either defense or plaintiff’s counsel, and write briefs in support of our positions and prepare our clients for the various stages of a legal proceeding.

2. 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 support system at Holy Cross was integral.  My first job after Holy Cross and prior to attending law school was at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. I talked about my options with so many professors, who helped me think about my career interests and how working for the government and in D.C. would help me pursue my goals. I was a political science major at Holy Cross, and the advice I received from professors and classmates alike on how to navigate DC and the benefits of public service clarified that working for DOJ was a great fit. And, I participated in the Washington, D.C. semester as a second-semester junior in 2015, which offered an incredible introduction to D.C. and the world of government, politics, and law.

3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?

I was a member of the Student Government Association, first as a Senator and then as a member of the co-Presidents’ cabinet my senior year. I also participated in SPUD, worked with migrant communities in Worcester through the CBL office, and hosted radio shows with WCHC. I spent my entire junior year off the Hill, first in Peru and then in Washington, D.C. working for the Organization of American States.

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

I was a political science major with a concentration in Latin American and Latino studies (now Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean studies). Though I was already interested in government and politics before I chose my major and concentration, my coursework and interactions with professors in and out of class reaffirmed my interests and helped me to think through how to transform them into a career. Further, I credit the academic rigor of these courses with teaching me how to more effectively communicate, think through difficult problems, and work within teams. I truly think I would not have the critical thinking and writing abilities that are vital to my work today without the education I received at Holy Cross.

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

Much of my work consists of writing–whether that entails submissions to federal court, communications to clients, or discussions within the firm. Holy Cross helped me to foster my writing abilities, both as a science and as an art. I particularly appreciate the efforts of Professors Denis Kennedy and Loren Cass, who often sat down with me to talk about writing and how to get points across in an effective manner. Good writing is so important to so many professions, and I encourage every student to take advantage of the opportunities to write and learn from the best at Holy Cross.

Second, I was forced to work through ambiguity at Holy Cross, whether through written assignments or discussions in and out of class. Often, the legal issues I deal with today do not have clear answers and require clear, nuanced assessment.  I learned to approach these types of problems both analytically and with broader perspective, and that has been vital to my work.

6. What advice do you have for students on campus today?

First, enjoy the time you have to really explore your interests without the external pressure of work or other obligations. Holy Cross is a special place, and college is a special time. You are in a community of learners, and a place built to foster your academic advancement and development as a well-rounded citizen. Take advantage of the fact that you are surrounded by fellow students experiencing the same growth and professors who want you to achieve career and personal fulfillment. And go easy on yourself. Though it’s not always clear in the moment, you will look back on the advancements you’ve made not only as a student, but as a person ready to more fully engage with the world, by the time you leave the Hill.

Second, be confident in the skills and education you will receive from Holy Cross. I’ve often had moments of self-doubt (particularly as a first-generation college student), whether in my initial job at DOJ, or as a law student at Harvard, or as a young lawyer at a large law firm. Do not be intimidated by the name of the institution or the people within it. You are prepared to take on the challenges you will encounter in these places, and the sooner you realize that, the sooner you will find the opportunities for growth and the people there who will invest in your development. You will be ready by the time you leave Holy Cross.

Meet Alum Declan Foley ’15, High School Counselor, St. John’s Preparatory School

Name: Declan Foley

Class Year: 2015

Title: High School Counselor; Track and Rugby Coach

Organization Name: St. John’s Preparatory School (Danvers, MA)

1. In one sentence, what does your job entail?

I support students both with navigating their adolescent worlds and realizing growth by intentionally getting to know the individual over four years across life-related, academic, and college application domains.

2. 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 senior year of Holy Cross, I attended Boston College for two years of grad school, and through networking found my first counseling job which I did for one year before going to my current position (also counseling). It was one flavor of personal relationship that got me in the door to education (something I never thought I’d do), and it was realizing that I loved fostering intentional relationships that have since kept me there. Though I knew I wanted to generally go into something psych-related, I didn’t know what, certainly not education, and it was the first year of work where I 1) learned an incredible amount and 2) realized this was one way of fulfilling the insatiable feeling of ‘wanting to serve others.’

3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?

Many good things with even better people! I spent a good amount of time in SPUD, ending my HC tenure as a SPUD Intern with Marty Kelly’s guidance. I was on the SGA Senate, played rugby my freshman year, conducted psychology research with Prof. Richard Schmidt, and was the Alpha Sigma Nu President among other things. That said, I treasure most the moments spent with my friends, from Cool Beans coffee trips to the average night’s hang in Carlin 216.

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

Knowing I wanted to ‘help people’ (like so many of us!), but not really knowing how to aim toward that end, I ended up being a double major in Psychology and Sociology. This was, in my mind, the perfect complimentary conversation between two disciplines that interrogate the human experience in ostensibly different ways. Emerging from HC, I knew I wanted to commit to grad school to focus this interest, but what actually informed my career decision the most was retroactively looking back on what kind of involvement fulfilled me over my time at HC (i.e – mentoring experiences), and finding a position that centered on the ability to be in right relationship with others.

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

It may sound corny, but the Liberal Arts knack for encouraging thought from diverse perspectives, as well as the emphasis on what you should give attention to stands out when I need to address a novel situation that requires quickly and succinctly coming to a conclusion involving many stakeholders. Additionally, the Jesuit concept of presupposition – where you assume the very best and most charitable interpretation of someone’s message / perspective – affords the ability to remain patient, humble, and understanding of others’ opinions in efforts to find a compromise, critical in counseling.

6. What advice do you have for students on campus today?

When it comes to career discernment, it’s a simultaneously simple and yet wildly complicated Jesuit concept: find what you are good at, what brings you joy or fulfillment, and consider how you can serve the world with this joy. Honestly, even more important in the short-term, when it comes to life on the Hill, make the most of spending time with the people you love and care about and don’t ever let that fall to the wayside, because it’s those memories that are the ones you’ll cherish and remember when you come home from that fulfilling job, looking for energy.