Career Planning Center Alumni Spotlight: Elizabeth Heston

Name: Elizabeth HestonElizabeth Heston

Graduation Year: 2009

Major: English and History (Double Major)

Industry: High School English and History Teacher, History Department Chair

Favorite Class: Medieval England to 1216 with Professor Attreed and Poe’s Haunted World with Professor Sweeney . The great thing about Holy Cross is the different teaching methods of every professor and both of these professors helped me to form my own teaching strategies, while also teaching me some of the most interesting content I have ever studied!

Campus Involvement:

Campus Activities Board (CAB), Co-Chair and Executive Board member

Purple Key Society, Member

Campus Ministry, HAYES retreat leader and Mass Greeter

Appalachia Service Trip, Participant and Leader

Leir Luxembourg Program, Participant

SPUD (Nativity School),  Tutor

College Internship/Work Experience:

Religious Studies Department, Work Study Student

What were some of the most defining events/opportunities/aspects of your time at Holy Cross?

The resources available to Seniors were absolutely critical in getting me where I am today. The post-graduate volunteer fair was where I discovered the PACT program that placed me at my current school and was an important event in helping me figure out my future. The resume help from the career planning office was also especially important. In a similar way, the advice I got from my academic advisors Professor Bizzell and Professor Conley was really essential in helping me learn how English and History can work together both in my learning and in my teaching.

What is one thing someone should be certain to do before they graduate?

It may seem broad, but get involved! The more involved you can be with the life of Holy Cross, the better! You will have a lot of time in the future to sit behind a desk or watch TV in your room, but the opportunities for involvement that Holy Cross offers are truly once in a lifetime. Leadership positions in student groups, lectures from experts in their fields and service trips are not going to be as available once you graduate, so be sure to use your time in college wisely. Also, go to Lessons and Carols at least once before you graduate, you won’t regret it!

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field?

Teaching can often feel overwhelming; lesson planning, classroom management, and keeping up with grades are only part of the profession. My advice would be to use your resources; teaching is not a solitary endeavor and you can learn so much from your peers, department heads, administration and online resources. Teachers are part of a larger community and sharing resources can save time and effort.

What skills have you found most useful in your professional life that you attribute from learning at Holy Cross?

Being a teacher goes beyond just facts and figure, the profession is also about being a leader and role model for your students. Holy Cross taught me the morals and values that I promote in my own classroom and try to apply to my own life as a model for my students. The leadership skills I learned through my involvement in clubs at Holy Cross also helped to teach me how to effectively handle a classroom. Finally, the ultimate value I learned at Holy Cross was the importance of the “education of the whole person”. That Jesuit Charism is what motivates me to see teaching not just as a profession but as a calling.

What is the most important advice you could give a student on obtaining an internship or a job?

Build up connections, then wow them in the interview. In the competitive job market of today, there is often very little that separates you from many other applicants. A connection through friends, family, or even Holy Cross can work wonders in pushing your name ahead of the pack. Once you get that push however, you are on your own and that is an important understanding to have. The next step is to approach you interview as a final exam, that means you have to study/prepare, know yourself well, and put your best foot forward to pin down the job!

Alumni Spotlight: Abaigeal Healy

Name: Abaigeal Healy

Graduation Year: 2011ah2

Major: Psychology

Minor: Studio Art

Industry: Investor Relations, Business

Favorite Class: Psychology of Complex Thinking

Campus Involvement:

Pre-Business, Member

Women in Business, Member

Co-Chair of the Communications, Advertising and Marketing Club (“The Agency”)

Study Abroad, National University of Ireland, Galway

Career Experience:

FTI Consulting, Inc. –Manager, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications

FTI Consulting, Inc.-Senior Associate, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications

FTI Consulting, Inc.-Coordinator, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications

EMC Corporation-Associate, Marketing Development Program

College Work/Internship:

Holy Cross Summer Internship Program: The Geppetto Group, Account Management Intern, New York City

Holy Cross Summer Internship Program: VIACOM, MTV International Media Networks, Social Responsibility Intern and Blogger, New York City

Holy Cross Crusader: Feature Writer

Holy Cross Work Study: Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery

Holy Cross Work Study: Music Department Marketing and Design

What were some of the most defining events/opportunities/aspects of your time at Holy Cross?

Besides meeting some of my very best friends on Mulledy four, one of the most defining aspects of my time at Holy Cross was solidifying my major in psychology with a minor in studio art. This was a unique combination that provided me an opportunity to explore the full extent of my liberal arts education. One day I would be discussing the evolution of behavior in Beaven Hall and the next day I would be in the dark room developing film in the studio. This combination allowed me to experience many different types of learning as well as provide me with an opportunity to interact with a diverse group of people and personalities. Two of my proudest moments at the college came near graduation where I was inducted into the Psi Chi National Honor Society while simultaneously showcasing my senior art portfolio in the Millard Art Center.

What is one thing someone should be certain to do before they graduate?

If you have the opportunity, go abroad. And do not be afraid to go for a whole year! I spent a year in Galway, Ireland and the amount of traveling I was able to do over the course of the year was life changing. Because of my abroad experience, I developed an openness and awareness of diversity across a range of cultures and business markets. Now working in a global company, I cannot imagine not having the experiences that I did living internationally. It also opens you up to a whole new group of friends. Some of my closest friends today are those who I studied abroad with.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field?

Say yes to every new opportunity that comes your way. I came across my career in investor relations by helping to put together an analyst day at EMC. I knew very little about the Company’s analyst and investor base but became very intrigued by the profession through the process. I eventually made a switch from marketing to investor relations.

What skills have you found most useful in your professional life that you attribute from learning at Holy Cross?

My professors and mentors at Holy Cross would always encourage me to reach out to the alumni community for career advice and internship opportunities. Although it was sometimes intimidating then, I was pleasantly surprised by the responses I would receive. Today, I am continuously expanding my network as a business professional and always seek out Holy Cross alumni at business events and company socials. It is always fun to connect with fellow Crusaders!

I also attribute a lot of my success in career to the multi-tasking skills I learned at Holy Cross. Between classes, extracurricular activities, community service, friends and campus life, it was always a balancing act to get everything done. In my current role, juggling many things at once is one of my strengths and necessary to drive value in the organization I’m a part of.

What is the most important advice you could give a student on obtaining an internship or a job?

Be persistent, yet polite. Unless you are very lucky, no one will hand you an internship or job. You must have the confidence to be in control of your own opportunities. Every position I have landed in my career has been a result of what I call ‘professional persistency’. Always, always follow up!


As the year winds down…

Although it’s hard to believe, winter is finally behind us and we can look forward to the (short lived) spring season on the Hill. With this passage of time comes the hopes & worries for the coming future, namely in the form of summer plans. As a sophomore and an intern in the Career Planning Center, I have come up with a few points of advice for students who are either stressed or confused (maybe even both) about what’s to come with regard to summer 2015. These tips originate from my own personal strategies and from what I’ve heard in the office, whether it be from students or career counselors.

  1. Prioritize
    • Of course this is kind of a no-brainer, but with the combined stress of finals season and the closure of many application deadlines, successful prioritization of tasks becomes pivotal. Take a step back and ask yourself; how would you like to spend your time this summer? This may not be an easy question to ask, but it is a necessary one to at least bring up if you want to take initiative and close out the rest of the year right.
    • If you are looking for an internship and haven’t had much luck yet – keep searching!! Even if you don’t find one for this summer, you’ve increased your awareness of the opportunities out there and have also probably improved your application materials. This will only benefit you in the long run!
    • I came into this semester with the hope of having a concrete plan for my summer by midterm season, and as of April 1st, 2015, I still have no idea what I’m doing. It definitely isn’t ideal, but I have created a bunch of plan b’s and c’s for the summer, and you should do the same thing!
  2. Stay open-minded
    • As I just said, it’s important to be open to advice and constructive criticism in the internship search process. Be open to multiple possibilities, and try not to obsess on one potential summer opportunity.
    • Creating backup plans will ease your mind and ultimately give you something to lean on if your initial plan doesn’t work out. For example, if I don’t find an intern position, I will work in my hometown and take classes at a nearby college to set myself up for an easier junior year.
    • Things like taking classes elsewhere, volunteering, shadowing alumni or finding some kind of interesting summer program to participate in will definitely benefit you, so don’t be dispirited if you don’t find an internship.
  3. Make use of your resources
    • Since the year is quickly coming to a close, the stresses of finding something to keep yourself productive this summer are increasing rapidly. At Holy Cross, there are a bunch of people and places to confer if you are in need of an outside opinion or advice concerning a plan that you may have.
    • The Career Planning Center (Hogan 203) should be your first stop if you are in the search process for an opportunity this summer (or anytime for that matter). A simple visit to drop-in hours (M-F, 1-4pm) is guaranteed to be helpful, regardless of how far you are in the process of preparing application materials.
    • Know that it never hurts to apply, even if the deadline seems like it may be too close or if you think you don’t fulfill the position’s requirements. You never know what a specific employer is going to think about you!
  4. Utilize ‘free’ time
    • If you are reading this, it is probably after Easter break so I just hope what I’m about to say applies to you. When you are relaxing at home, devote a couple of hours a day to researching positions or sending out applications! General productivity can’t hurt, especially when you have the time off from attending classes and taking care of immediate assignments.
    • Don’t stress yourself out though; Easter break is a time to spend with family and get off campus for a bit. Nonetheless, taking care of extracurricular tasks like internship applications during this long weekend would definitely be beneficial.


The year has flown by, and it will be no time until you reflect back on reading this blog post sometime in late May or June and reflect on how much it taught you (just kidding, maybe not … who knows). If you feel inspired or have any questions then I hope you find your way to the Career Planning Center sometime ( if you haven’t already ) to familiarize yourself with the office and what it can provide you!