Graduation Year: 2013
Major: English, with a Creative Writing Concentration and Pre-Med
Job: Marketing Operations Assistant at Scholastic
Favorite Class: It’s hard for me to choose just one! I really enjoyed the upper level English classes I was able to take, particularly the seminar I did on Jane Austen. I also loved my courses focusing on 19th century British literature and all the Creative Writing classes. I had an opportunity to take Screenwriting and learned so much more than I ever thought I would about movies. I have to say Biology as well, just because it was always a passion of mine.
Campus Involvement: Student Health Awareness Peer Educators (SHAPE), Running Club, Sigma Tau Delta, SPUD
College Internship/Work Experience (if you were in Summer Internship Program, Academic Internship Program,other programs): I participated in SIP and did an internship with Nickelodeon for a TV show on Nick Jr. called “Team Umizoomi.”
What were some of the most defining events/opportunities/aspects of your time at Holy Cross?
Without SIP, I am not sure I would have ever moved to New York City. That program definitely shaped my life because I had the opportunity to try something completely new, and it was incredible. It gave me the push I needed to reach outside my comfort zone. From that point on, I knew I was going to New York after graduation. I knew I wanted to do something with education and children, and it ultimately led me to where I am today.
What is one thing someone should be certain to do before they graduate?
Make sure you have your resume ready to send out to potential employers. I would suggest also writing as many cover letters as you can and to take advantage of Career Planning. Have people read your resume and cover letters to get feedback. Before you know it, you’ll be sending out so many of these and you’ll want to feel comfortable and confident. The same thing also goes for interviews. Practice definitely helps! Go to networking events and look at the Career Advisor Network (it’s not so easy once you’ve graduated!). Even just talking to people about what they do might help you narrow down your own interests and aspirations.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field?
Keep an open mind. Any position in publishing, whether it’s editorial or marketing, will teach you so much about the industry. If you’re not sure where exactly you want to be, just apply to everything and go from there. There’s so much opportunity for movement in publishing, and you can really do anything (online game design included!). If you can, try to find a mentor in another department. Their insight and advice will be so valuable to you. Learning about the industry from their perspective will not only broaden your understanding of publishing, but it will help you discover what you might ultimately be interested in.
What skills have you found most useful in your professional life that you attribute from learning at Holy Cross?
Project management is a huge part of my job, and I learned that just from juggling my own homework, activities, and personal life at Holy Cross. Because the course load and studying consumes so much of your time, you have to prioritize and make room for meetings, events, and time with friends. I feel comfortable keeping track of deadlines and schedules at work because I used that type of organization every day in college.
You also interact with alumni and professors so frequently at Holy Cross that you grow accustomed to speaking and writing professionally. I did not feel as intimidated once I started looking for a job because I was so used to corresponding this way.
What is the most important advice you could give a student on obtaining an internship or a job?
Someone once told me, “Don’t stress too much. You will get a job.” I definitely stressed, but they were right. It did happen, and it will happen for you. It might take a while, and sometimes you’ll feel frustrated and scared, but don’t give up. Also, don’t be afraid to say no to a job offer if it doesn’t feel quite right for you. You might apply to so many different jobs and go on so many different interviews, but remember that you’re also looking for a good fit for you. If something just doesn’t feel like the direction you want to go in, it’s ok to wait and try for something else. It’s also ok if you have no idea what you want to do. Any position you end up taking will help lead you to your dream job.