Summary of The Report on the Class of 2011

A look at the Report on the Class of 2011 shows that Holy Cross students follow many different post-grad paths. The Report provides a basic overview of the professional lives of young alumni in various industries, graduate school and volunteer opportunities. For underclassmen, seeing the range of  opportunities available after college can help inspire one’s own professional discernment. For seniors, it’s just nice to know that the majority of young alumni turn out alright. =)

Hopefully for everyone, the Report makes it clear that the Holy Cross liberal arts education is pertinent to pretty much anything and everything!

Interested what your former classmates are up to? Some highlights…

1. Employment by Industry: 2011 Crusaders are working in a variety of industries. Financial Services is the most popular industry, representing nearly 20% of the class; Health Care and Education represent sizable portions as well.  What does this mean for you? There are young alumni in almost every field who you could use as resources for networking and gathering more information about potential careers.

>> Looking for a job? Check Crusader Connections often to see what new opportunities may be available. And don’t forget about the Career Advisory Network and the Holy Cross Alumni Community to connect with alumni to learn more about their positions and how you can succeed in them as well. <<

2. Starting Salary Profile: Worried about paying back student loans, affording rent and paying for groceries? The average salary for the class of 2011 was $46,652, up from $44,140 the previous year, representing a 5.4% increase.  Likely it is a sign of a recovering economy, which is good for you! Additionally, Holy Cross has a lead on the national averages.

3. Graduate School: Looking to advance your education? 15.2% of the class of 2011 enrolled in graduate school full time, down from 26% in 2010. (This is likely due to the growth in the economy, allowing more people to enter the workforce.) The most popular programs of study are Law School and Professional Masters.

>> Interested in graduate school? Visit the Office of Distinguished Fellowships and Graduate Studies or speak with a graduate studies adviser in your department (each department has one!). Career Planning can still assist you in preparing a cover letter and resume or helping you with interview preparation.<<

4. Volunteer Programs: Holy Cross students try to live out the mission of “Men and Women for Others” even after college. In 2011, 7.4% of the class participated in full-time volunteer programs, the most popular of which was the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.

>>Looking to volunteer? The Chaplain’s Office and some of the Career Planning’s online resources like<<

5. Post-Graduate Fellowships & Awards: 3.4% of the class of 2011 were awarded post-graduate fellowships.

>> Interested in applying for a fellowship or grant? Visit the Office of Distinguished Fellowships and Graduate Studies. Career Planning can still assist you in preparing a cover letter and resume or helping you with interview preparation.<<

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Bottom line? Holy Cross students are talented, and no matter which post-grad path(s) you decide to take, there are resources at the College to prepare you to be your most successful.

Alumni Guest Post: Kevin Leggio ’11

Today’s Alumni Guest Post comes from Kevin Leggio ’11, who, from his  work in Human Resources has some tips for successful interviewing.

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Kevin Leggio ’11

Major: Psychology; Italian; Pre-Business
Industry: Human Resources/Organizational Development

Congratulations! You are now entering into one of the more challenging aspects of the “real world” and you aren’t even in it yet: getting an entry-level job.

Not to fear. Getting an entry-level job isn’t  the easiest thing, but it’s not impossible either. Even if you feel you don’t have the “E word” (Experience), you would be surprised at how relevant and transferable your Holy Cross education is when it comes to finding a job.

In my current entry-level job, I interview candidates for various positions and work directly with a corporate recruitment department, giving me some insight into the do’s and dont’s of interviewing for jobs.

Based on my experience, here are some helpful tips for landing a good entry-level job and for being successful in the “real world” after Holy Cross:

1.    Network. I know you hear this all the time, but trust me, successful networking can do wonders for you personally and professionally. You have a sea of alumni who are willing and able to lend a helping hand and seemingly unlimited resources to connect you to people all over the world. Whether it’s looking up alumni in a particular field and finding out what entry-level compensation is for that position, or setting up an informational lunch to discuss how an alum got into their field and advanced their career, you can’t go wrong with simple networking. It’s not always going to result in a job, but understanding the field can sure can help you get ahead. (Plus, a free lunch doesn’t hurt here and there… especially when first starting out.) Moreover, you never know when your network will give back to you. (Spoiler alert: see #5.)

2.    Sell yourself. The job market is still pretty competitive and although many companies are hiring, they are looking for someone who can come in, learn fast, and be a team player. What better than a Holy Cross student?! Coming from an institution that embraces these key elements, you have an advantage… so use it! When interviewing, make sure that you highlight experiences in your Holy Cross education and elsewhere that show these qualities.

3.    You don’t always have to know everything. Specific job knowledge is not always expected in an entry-level position—you are not required to be a subject matter expert. However, the potential and capacity to learn the job over time is important.

Although it can be difficult to start at the bottom again, help yourself out by researching the fields and companies that you are interested in to find out as much about the industry as you can. Look into educational resources, get some books (the “Dummies” series are like Spark-notes for the real world) and tap into any alumni resources that you can to get internal information (again, networking!).

4.    Use your “non-negotiables.” Employers look for prospects who have not only the intellectual bandwidth to learn the job, but the interpersonal skills to be a successful and invaluable member of the team. Employers sometimes call these “non-negotiables,” or soft skills that are expected and required for new employees and can’t always be taught on the job. Some employers don’t mind the time investment that it takes to train a new employee on job knowledge, but it is difficult to teach soft skills in the work place. Luckily for you, with an average class size of about twenty, Holy Cross has pretty much conditioned you to speak in public and interact with others… so make sure you emphasize these talents.

5.     Never burn a bridge. This goes back to networking. Landing interviews is not always an easy task. However, when you do have an interview, make sure that you always get contact information and follow up. Also, even if you don’t get the job or a call back, treat your interviwers as part of your network. Don’t do anything that can hinder you from using them as a contact in the future.

I’m where I’m at today because I was referred to an agency by an employer who rejected me. I inquired with the first employer as to why I didn’t get the position and asked if they had suggestions or resources that they could provide me with so that I could pursue an entry role in that field—and they did.


6.     You are the interviewer too. When you are interviewing you are not only being interviewed by you are doing the interviewing. You are trying to see if the company would be a good place for you. If it seems like you’d be happy and can grow there, then it’s probably a pretty good place to start gathering some of the “E word.”

Happy Job Searching!

Crusader Connections: A Crash Course

Looking for a job or internship? Your first place to look should be Crusader Connections, the Career Center’s online recruiting portal. Students may use this system to apply for full-time employment and internship opportunities.

There are dozens of internships and jobs available on Crusader Connections for students of all class years and majors. According to Pamela Ahearn, Director of the Summer Internship Program, “Employers are reaching out to our office daily to advertise their open positions. They are specifically targeting Holy Cross students for these opportunities.” While some positions are restricted to specific class years or to the  Summer Internship Program, many are not.  Search the site to see what opportunities may be of interest to you!

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Directions for using Crusader Connections

The URL for Crusader Connections is:

Note: Your password to log in to Crusader Connections is not the same as your Holy Cross Novell password. When you log in for the first time you will need to use the password automatically generated by the system and sent to your email. If you forgot this password or require a new one, send the Career Center an email at and we can provide you with one.

Build your Profile

– Click on My Profile tab in top navigation bar, complete required fields, and choose Save Changes & Continue
– Click on Personal and update contact information, class year, etc . Save changes.

– Click on Academic and update.  Save changes.

– Click on Privacy Settings and update (Choose ‘yes’ for faster notifications of job postings.)

Upload Necessary Documents (resume, cover letter, unofficial transcript, etc.)

– Click on My Documents tab in top navigation bar

– Click on Add New at the bottom of the page

– Enter a document title in the Label field

– Click on Browse button, select a file to upload and then click the Submit button

– Repeat  steps 1-3  for over documents

Apply for Job

– Click on Jobs/Internships tab or the Employers tab in the top navigation bar.  (For fewer results, choose Crusader Connections Jobs)

– Use the Keyword search

– Click on the Apply button

– You will be directed to find your Necessary Documents in the drop-down

– Highlight the appropriate name and Submit the required documents

– A green screen will appear to indicate that you have successfully applied to the job.

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Interested in applying for a position you found? Stop by the Career Planning Center‘s drop in hours, M-F 1-4pm to have your required documents checked out!

How to Use Easter Break to Advance Your Career

Easter break is one of gems of Holy Cross: how many other schools do you know which get almost a whole week off? The weather is finally good (usually), the semester is almost over (finally), and it’s the perfect opportunity to start advancing your career (say what?!).

That’s right.

Think about it, none of your friends will be home for the week and there’s a finite number of times exploding Marshmallow Peeps in the microwave is exciting (approximately the same number as Peeps you have). Take advantage of this free time to do a little career advancement!

Some ideas:

Search: Still no internship or job? There are dozens of internships available on Crusader Connections right now waiting for you! According to Pamela Ahearn, Director of the Summer Internship Program, “Employers are reaching out to our office daily to advertise their open positions. They are specifically targeting Holy Cross students for these opportunities.” While some internships are restricted to students in the Summer Internship Program, many are not. Search the site to see what opportunities may be of interest to you!

Job shadow: Real people don’t have the week off. Maybe you hit it off with a local HC alumnus you found in the Career Advisory Network or your mom’s coworker’s husband’s best friend has what sounds like your dream job–ask if you could shadow them for a day. There is no better way to learn if you’ll like a job than to try it out!

Volunteer: Still having withdrawal from your Spring Break Immersion Trip? Volunteering is a great way to spend your free time. Food pantries and soup kitchen always need extra help around the holidays, but think outside the box about opportunities which could play off your interests. Environmental Studies concentrator? Join in restoring a park for a day. Love to draw? Create some cards for a nursery home. Check out for more ideas.

Clean up Your Resume: …You do have one, right? If so, take some time to edit it and make sure your most amazing achievements and interests are listed. Don’t have one? Write one! You’ll need it eventually. Use this easy-to-follow guide and don’t forget to bring it by Career Planning after break for some one-on-one advice.

Reward: After all of your hard work, you deserve to take a break with your family and to relax with some Cadberry Eggs, Starburst Jelly Beans or Marshmallow Peeps!

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