Career Planning Center Alumni Spotlight: Anthony Russo

Name: Anthony RussoAnthony Russo

Graduation Year: 2014

Major: Political Science

Industry: Currently a Jesuit Volunteer, planning to pursue a career in higher education

Favorite Class: Either “Power and Protest” with Professor Chubb or “Liberation Theology” with Professor Eggemeier

Campus Involvement: Varsity Swim Team, Student Government Association, Gateways Orientation, Summer Study Abroad – Kenya, Manresa Retreat, Tour Guide, Spring Break Immersion

College Internship/Work Experience: Summer Internship Program: Gateways Orientation Program Coordinator, Academic Internship Program: Office of Student Involvement

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

One of the most defining opportunities of my time at Holy Cross was participating in a Summer Study Abroad program to Kenya. This month-long program opened my eyes to many global realities, and allowed me to learn about Kenya’s development through simultaneously participating in a community based learning internship in a preschool in the Kibera slum and engaging in related coursework. This opportunity really fostered in me a desire to see and understand the world around me, from a local to international level. Not only does Holy Cross provide opportunities to see the world from new lenses, both through classes and experiential settings, there are also countless ways through which to take a step back and learn more about yourself and others, such as through retreats. Finally, one of my favorite aspects of my time at Holy Cross is the sense of community that manifests itself in every aspect of campus life, and which I continue to see as an alumni!

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

Experience a way of life other than your own! Whether that’s in another country through Study Abroad or a “Maymester”, on the Spring Break Immersion Program, or right in Worcester, I’ve found that my most meaningful learning comes from having experiences through which to view society and the world, applying different lenses I have learned in my courses.

What advice would you give to someone preparing to graduate, or a recent graduate?

Don’t be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone. This is such an exciting time; consider any and all options that are available to you, even if it means moving to a completely new location! There is so much to learn, and pushing yourself outside out of your bubble now will expose you to new opportunites, and you may find yourself doing something or living somewhere you may have never previously considered. Also, no matter where you are, take time to learn about the people you are working with. There are so many cool stories out there, and you never know what you may have in common with someone. You will also learn about resources and opportunities you may have never known existed.

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

Holy Cross taught me to always question what’s going on around me. This may mean taking a closer look at the best way to execute a project you’ve been assigned, even it’s something that’s “always” been done the same way. You are bringing unique experiences and knowledge to a position – use them in whatever ways you can! In my work this year at an alternative high school for 18-26 year-olds, this approach has also allowed me to continue to critically question structures in our society, and the norms that are too often simply accepted. In addition, the connectedness and collaboration that is found at Holy Cross, whether in coursework in seemingly different areas, or between a course and a leadership position (and the list goes on and on), is something I appreciated in my four years on the Hill, and also allows me to find connections in an array of opportunities in my professional life.

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

Don’t do it all on your own! Ask questions – whether of mentors, family, or friends, and definitely during interviews! You never know what you might learn, and also, in processing your thoughts with someone else, you may look at things in a whole new way. Also, in your search, give answers that are true to yourself, and highlight what makes you unique. Trust in your experiences, and don’t be afraid to share them!