Alumni Job Shadowing: Alex Bonano ‘17

Name: Alexander Bonano
Class Year: 2017
Major: Latin American & Latino Studies
Minor: Global Health Studies
Shadowing Visit Site:  Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Describe your visit and what did you gain from the experience?

My visit to Vertex was definitely one of the best experiences I had and I am glad to have it had it as my first job shadowing experience through the College of the Holy Cross. As a student who took science courses, I felt completely at home. The entire building is decorated with a chemical theme; the walls had organic chemistry reactions on the walls, the couches had a periodic element pillows, and each floor of the building was a different “element.” Also, refreshments were served while I was waiting to be seen, which definitely made me feel welcomed. During my time at Vertex, I sat on three different meetings and I began to see what the Legal Counsel does and through this, I was able to understand the roles of the other departments of Vertex as well. From there, we had lunch and on Wednesdays they have an Indian vendor come. Sidenote, I love Indian food so my day was definitely made. At lunch, I spoke with my alumni’s co-workers and learned more about them and their experience working at Vertex. The conversation soon shifted into a semi-debate about knowing what is that one wants to pursue and if it is essential to always plan ahead and have concrete agendas. I really enjoyed conversing on this topic, as they all gave me really good advice on keeping an open mind, and not limiting myself from potential opportunities.  I then got a full tour of the building, and learned about the learning center that BPS (Boston Public Schools) utilizes for their science courses as a new initiative to incite more interest in the sciences. After that, it was time to return home and my host offered me a ride since she drives my way. All in all, it was an amazing experience and I am glad I did experienced it.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans/goals?

The experience allowed me to see that the Public/Global Health realm is super multifaceted and therefore allows one to hold a myriad of different positions and still contribute to the field. For example, my alumni host is a lawyer but the work that she does benefits the health of the patients who buy and take the medications produced by the company. So with that being said, it allowed to me to open myself more to the possibilities of different opportunities that could come my way. In thinking of graduate school, programs, I have found more interesting and unique programs that are not necessarily the “essential” degrees in Public/Global Health.

What is some helpful advice your alumni host shared with you?

After the conversation at lunch, she pulled me aside and made it quite clear that I do not need to know what I want to do before graduating. She gave her example of working first, and then realizing that she wanted to be a lawyer.  So with that being said, she wanted me to know that there is no race to get to the career that is meant for me. Just keep being open and taking opportunities and eventually I’ll get there. To end, I’ll offer this quote “focus on the roots and not the fruits.”

Why would you recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students?   

Definitely! It was an awesome experience and was helpful in reinforcing the career path that I’ve chosen.

Don’t Limit Yourself to Crusader Connections

We are at the time of the year where (almost) everyone is thinking about what their plan is for the upcoming summer of ‘16. Whether you plan on staying home and relaxing, or you are feeling really ambitious and want to relocate for a potential summer internship position, the sole thought of planning this far ahead is stressful, especially amidst Holy Cross coursework. I know from experience that a lot of students frequently refer to Holy Cross’ own career database, Crusader Connections, to read about new internship postings and to apply to those of interest. While Crusader Connections is a great resource and one that should continue to be used, there are other viable resources out there as well. It’s important to cast a wide net when searching for an internship. Employers do their best to market their opening to the widest audience; thus, some really valuable internships that don’t run through Crusader Connections appear on other internship & career databases.

I wanted to take the time to highlight other extremely useful career search databases to consider; as a physics major I leveraged a number of internship search resources when conducting my own internship search.  My professional interests lay more in research & development, a field that appears to be a bit more infrequently seen on Crusader Connections (compared to those related to finance, banking, law and medicine, etc.).  I’ve relied on sources like the Liberal Arts Career Network, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn to further hone my search to positions that suit my qualifications for a ‘worthy’ summer internship. I hope this post opens your eyes to the many resources out there, beyond Crusader Connections, that can also be instrumental in conducting an effective internship search.

          1. Liberal Arts Career Network (LACN)

LACN is essentially the same format as Crusader Connections, as it is a collaborative venture of 28 high selective liberal arts colleges (including Holy Cross) that promotes contact between students and employers through an all-encompassing, innovative database. The sole benefit of using LACN is that you will see a pool of different postings from many similar liberal arts institutions; presumably, students at these respective universities will have similar interests to you. Thus, you can count on finding something that aligns with your prospective career path by utilizing LACN (in addition to Crusader Connections). The best way to access the LACN database is by going to Crusader Connections and selecting the “JumpTo” feature in the navigation bar.

          2. Glassdoor

Glassdoor is an all-encompassing career search resource that gives a great perspective of different positions by listing the qualities, drawbacks, salaries and overall workplace environment, as depicted by current or former employees (and interns). Glassdoor prides itself on having more job listings than any other comparable career search database. Positions listed by employers are ranked on a 5-star scale; this is decided from the either positive or negative reviews from those with experience with that specific employer. I like Glassdoor because it allows you to create a profile very easily; you can list your interests and what you’re studying, so that Glassdoor will email you when positions are posted according to your specified credentials. With this, the search algorithm on Glassdoor is definitely user friendly; you can tailor your search based on position type – an internship, part-time, or full-time position, how much they pay, and the location of the specific job site. When you are ready to apply, the Glassdoor posting page will redirect you to the house for the application (usually on the company website, but sometimes through third parties like Taleo). I personally have applied to a few different internships through Glassdoor – I haven’t heard back from any yet, but because I applied to these I have received emails to let me know that similar positions have been posted. This is a great feature that really takes the load off of searching for new postings day by day; in fact, one of the really interesting data science internships I’ve applied to came to my attention from these ‘related postings emails.’ Glassdoor won’t flood your inbox either, so it’s definitely worth checking out. Also, if you enter Glassdoor through the link on the Career Development Center’s resource page, you’ll be able to view salary metrics without having to input your own.

          3. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is not only a great networking outlet, but also a valuable job and internship searching tool. If you are unfamiliar, LinkedIn is essentially a professional Facebook; you create a profile that depicts your professional interests and background (tailored with information that you would normally put on a CV or resume). LinkedIn also does a great job at keeping you up-to-date with those in your professional network (like if someone views your profile, or if they endorse the skills you list on your profile). At the top of the site’s main page, there is a search bar that allows you to search for people, jobs, internships, specific companies, recent publications, etc. If you are looking for a job or internship, you simply type in what you want, and then select the “jobs” qualifier at the side. Some postings allow you to apply directly through your LinkedIn profile, whereas others will redirect you to the company page to apply. This is a feature which I believe may go unnoticed by many college-aged LinkedIn users. It is not only a great way to display your professional side, but also an effective method of getting your applications out to many different employers.

I hope that my this brief list of alternative search resources is of use to you all! Good luck on your summer-planning endeavors; remember that, on top of these aforementioned resources, there are countless others to check out (some can be found on the Career Development Centers resource page). Don’t forget that Crusader Connections should be your #1 go-to; the Career Development Center does an incredible job of cultivating CC postings through #CHC (crusaders hiring crusaders), previous SIP sites, and recent alumni who now are full-time somewhere. Best wishes!

(Written by Kyle Huges)

Summer Internship Profiles: Emilia Froio’16

Full Name: Emilia Froioemilia

Non-Profit Organization: Homeless Not Hopeless

Position: Summer Intern

Location: Hyannis, MA

While looking for your internship, what services did you use at the Center for Career Development?

During my internship search process I used the Crusader Connections website to find my internship, and then attended the Center’s drop-in hours to meet with career counselors.

Are you involved in any of the COES clubs and/or programs? If yes, how did they help prepare you for your internship?

I attended the Women in Business Conference, which enabled me to think about what I wanted to do in the future.

What skills did you gain from your internship experience and how have they added to your professionalism?

During my internship I was able to gain a wide variety  of experiences, listed below are just some of them.

  • Assist in case management (Applying for Affordable/Section 8 Housing, EAEDC/Food Stamps, Transitional Housing Units, SSDI, SSI, etc.
  • Maintain an allotted budgets for the corporation.
  • Interview potential residents for transitional houses.
  • Assess and evaluate potential for success based on factors such as addiction, alcoholism, mental illness, domestic violence, etc.
  • Attend housing and Twelve-step functions.
  • Maintain donor database and follow up with donors.
  • Create newsletters, fundraising, and philanthropy projects.
  • Establish relationships with human service agencies in and around the community and maintain corporate records, community fees, and statistics.
  • Advocate for individuals who do not have the means to do so themselves.
  • Accumulate a plethora of data and indescribable feelings and emotions towards our homeless population on Cape Cod and the Islands.
  • Effectively adapt my communication skills and methods to a appeal to different groups of people.
  • Accumulate statistical data on those who have entered and left any of the four transitional  houses of HnH.
  • Assist in grant writing and grant works.
  • Research information regarding medications, mental illnesses, etc.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans / goals?

This experience further reiterated my future career goals/plans. Working with the HNH staff was one of the best experiences of my life, because of their commitment to make an impact. I believe that my experience at HNH was most definitely better than I had ever imagined. The overall mission of this organization works with homeless and formerly homeless population. This unique service acknowledges two populations and creates an atmosphere of hope and comfort. Being able to tell a resident that you have once been in their position is comforting and a method that I think works powerfully for the homeless on Cape Cod. I aspire to help those suffering from substance abuse issues, possibly even on Cape Cod.

What is one piece of advice that you would give to the future intern?

I would tell the future intern to go into this experience with an open mind and, most importantly, with an open heart. The individuals you will be working with and for are those who have gone through things you might not even be able to imagine. I have had experience in the addiction field which, helped me a lot during this internship. However, I do not think it is completely necessary that you need prior experience with this population to do great things for them. As long as you work to eliminate your own (unintentional and societally produced/inflicted) stigma towards those with mental illness, homeless, and substance abuse issues, you will learn more than I can put into words. Be open to new experiences and don’t be afraid to ask questions. The individuals you work with will become your family. They will mean more to you than you would ever have thought. You will be changed for the better, I can promise you that. As they say in AA, take things one day at a time. We’re all in this together.

Overall, what was your most exciting experience at your internship?

There isn’t one experience at HNH that I can say was most exciting. Every day at HNH was a blessing. At the end of 12 weeks, to be able to have a client, who has become a family member to you, tell you that she couldn’t have stayed sober for a day without you, is an indescribable feeling. Along with the excitement of client’s success, I was able to have a piece that I wrote on Vivitrol, a form of medication for those with substance abuse issues, published in the Cape Cod Times. It is true; I helped individuals find hope this summer. But not only did my work help them, they helped me. They shaped my future just as much as I shaped theirs. And for that, I am forever grateful.

Alumni Job Shadowing: Suji Yi’17

Name: Suji Yisuji

Class Year: 2017

Major: Economics and Chinese

Shadowing Visit Sites: Public Consulting Group (PCG) & Sun Life Financial 

Describe your visit and what did you gain from the experience?  

Both of my shadow days were amazing.  I experienced both companies in a different way, but still learned a lot both days.  At PCG, I followed Krysta who showed me what she does day-to-day in the office and I was able to shadow her to meetings and get a feel for what the office atmosphere was like.  At Sun Life, Mike and Beth prepared a schedule for me, where I had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with different people around the office (directors, human resources, different departments, students in their rotational program etc.) as well as shadowing the two of them for a portion of the day.  This helped me get a feel for what the office atmosphere and culture was like at Sun Life and how the different sectors work together.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans/goals?

Both fields are ones that I was interested in before but didn’t really know much about!  After my experience at PCG and Sun Life, my interests for both definitely grew!

What is some helpful advice your alumni host shared with you?

To take advantage of the resources offered through the Center for Career Development, alumni, and professors.

Why would you recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students?

It was a wonderful experience to meet Holy Cross alumni, and be able to shadow them in their specific industry. This opportunity showed me how a Holy Cross education translates in one’s professional career path.  Additionally, it was comforting to hear their stories about the job search and how Holy Cross prepared them for their current positions.

Alumni Job Shadowing: Catherine Leeber’17

Name: Catherine LeeberIMG_3763

Class Year: 2017

Major: Spanish

Shadowing Visit Site:  Manhattan Hunter Science High School

Describe your visit and what did you gain from the experience?

At Holy Cross we are consistently prepared for our future occupations. While we gradually become equipped to make the transition, we still have a lot of questions. During my visit to Manhattan Hunter Science High School, I was able to transition my point of view from college student to high school teacher. I shadowed Mr. Sinchi, a recent HC alumnus who is now a high school Spanish Teacher as well as head of the Spanish Department. I followed Mr. Sinchi’s daily routine and was able to learn about the community of his high school. I observed two Spanish 1 courses, Spanish 2, 3, and a university level class. In between classes I had the chance to chat with Mr. Sinchi about Holy Cross and both of our experiences, how it has changed, and how it has stayed the same. It is refreshing to see alumni that are so passionate about the college bringing that passion into their jobs. He even had a Holy Cross banner in his classroom! Beyond the benefit of observing a Spanish teacher I saw the true pride of an HC alum.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans/goals?

I was most influenced by Mr. Sinchi’s story of how he found himself at his current job. He was also a Spanish major and member of the Teacher Education Program during his time at Holy Cross, and gained his first teaching experience through the TEP at Worcester Public Schools. After graduating, he returned to New York City and taught at another high school before arriving to his current position. He advised me that as a teacher it is important to find the right fit, whether it is the first school you work at or not. As I begin my experience in the TEP and as a student teacher, it was helpful to hear his story. I was inspired by the relationship that he has with his students, and how he uses his Holy Cross education at work each day. As I begin student teaching I will keep his path in mind.

What is some helpful advice your alumni host shared with you?

My alumni host was not only able to teach me tactics he uses in his classroom but also advice for the future. He was able to demonstrate different ways to interact with his students to keep them engaged, and the proper amount of informality to incorporate in the classroom to become a “fun teacher” without getting out of hand. He also proved to me that a Holy Cross education is something that we can be proud of as we enter the workforce and it will help us throughout the process of acquiring a job.

Why would you recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students?

I would recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to every student at HC, because first hand experience is the best way to envision oneself in the workforce, no matter what the field may be. The best part about this particular program is the chance to shadow a Holy Cross alumni and being able to understand his or her background. The alumni also love to meet current students and are very inspiring!

Alumni Spotlight: Vivan Daly’13

Name: Vivian Daly

03f6ee1Graduation Year: 2013

Major: Environmental Studies & Studio Art

Industry: Energy Efficiency

Favorite Class: Environmental Political Philosophy with Professor Hess

Campus Involvement: Eco-Action, Residence Life & Housing, Oxfam America

College Internship/Work Experience:
Regional Environmental Council Intern, Department of Environmental Protection Intern, Oxfam America Intern (SIP)

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

It’s really hard to pick the MOST defining experience I had at HC, I know that my life would have been totally different had I not gone there. One great experience that I feel helped me professionally (although I didn’t realize it at the time) was my work with Eco-Action. I was able to lead initiatives on campus and a group of environmentalists, getting hands on experience in leadership and management. In the professional world it can take years for someone to have the opportunity to manage a team and there I was doing it in college.

What is one thing someone should be certain to do before they graduate?
Try a lot of things and see what you’re passionate about, go on retreats, join clubs, take new classes.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field?
This probably applies to every field, but learn from every role you have and be willing to step outside of your comfort zone. I began working at my organization in an Inside Sales role, never in my life had I thought I would be a sales person and while sales is not something I want to peruse long term I was able to learn so much in the role and refine my communication skills. Also, never be afraid to network, most people are so excited to talk to a recent grad interested in joining their field.

What skills have you found most useful in your professional life that you attribute from learning at Holy Cross?
Leadership. I always took advantage of different leadership workshops and roles in various organizations. The leadership skills I gained while at HC helped me jump ahead in my professional career.

What is the most important advice you could give a student on obtaining an internship or a job?
Apply to things you’re interested in and excited about. Not only will your enthusiasm and passion help you obtain positions, but you’ll be energized and excited to be working for your organization. Also, always send thank you notes!

Interview Tips

Blog Post: Interview Tips            

You get the email or call you’ve been waiting for. You got an interview! Now what?!

For many students the request for an interview can invoke both excitement and stress. This may be your first time in a professional interview setting. Have no fear! The Center for Career Development is here to help!

Follow these key tips when preparing for an interview:

  • Do your research! You must be prepared to articulate why you are interested in the industry, company, and role. In order to do that effectively, you should research as much as you can ahead of time. Spend time on the company’s website, look for articles / press releases on the organization, reach out to prior interns to talk to them about their experience. Gather as much information as you can so you’re able to demonstrate your knowledge of who they are, what they do and why you want to be a part of it.
  • Prepare your elevator pitch. Many times an employer’s first question may be “Tell me about yourself.” You need to have that answer ready to go. Tailor your response to your audience. What would that particular employer be most interested in hearing about? Discuss your background, experience, skills and why this role is the next natural step for you. The Center for Career Development can help you craft your elevator pitch. Stop in during drop ins or schedule an appointment.
  • Prepare and practice examples to highlight your skills. Take a critical look at the job / internship posting. What skills / abilities do they seem to be looking for? Then, identify examples from past experiences that demonstrate you possess those skills / abilities. Draw on all experiences! Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your examples.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice! Interviewing is a skill. The more practice the better! Use the Center for Career Development to help you prepare so you can wow those employers! We offer interview prep strategy sessions and mock interviews.

Our Interviewing Skills handout will provide more details and sample interview questions that you can use as you prepare. As soon as you get that phone call / email, reach out to the Center for Career Development to schedule a mock interview or interview prep session. We can be reached at 508-793-3880 or

Interviewing doesn’t have to be stressful or scary….if you’re prepared!!


Written by Julie Draczynski  

   Associate Director, Center for Career Development

Summer Internship Profiles: Raha Maalin’17

Full Name: Raha Maalinraha

Internship Company: BBDO

Internship Position: Account Management Intern

Internship Location: New York, NY

While looking for your internship, what services did you use at the Center for Career Development?  

I frequently visited the Career Development Center’s drop-in hours and attended their different programs. I went the ‘Internship Search’ workshop, which taught me more about the center’s different resources, such as the mock interview, which prepared me for my actual interview. Additionally, I attended panel discussions to learn more about prior interns experiences at different companies and scheduled appointments with counselors to see what kinds positions that I would be interested in. My utilization of the office’s resources definitely helped me secure an internship at BBDO.

What skills did you gain from your internship experience and how have they added to your professionalism?

My internship at BBDO taught me about how much work goes into the advertisements we see on the television, computers, and in magazines. I worked on both the Foot Locker Inc. and the American Red Cross accounts, and because these two account are so different I learned to quickly adapt my thinking skills when working on different projects for both accounts. I gave weekly presentations to my supervisors on consumer trends and analyzed social media data to better help our clients appeal to their consumers. My weekly presentations helped me strengthen my presentational and communication skills.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans / goals?

My experience at BBDO influenced my future career goals by teaching me more about myself. I learned that I really loved being in creative spaces and working with others, which are qualities I look forward to pursue in my future. Additionally, it solidified my goal to further pursue advertising. 

What is one piece of advice that you would give to the future intern?

Research BBDO’s different advertisements, know who their clients are, and understand their history.

Overall, what was your most exciting experience at your internship?
During my internship I was able to go on three advertisement shoots with the client. This was an exciting experience, because I was able to work with the production team to assist in production of the advertisement. 

Alumni Job Shadowing Program: Alexander Rojas’16

Name: Alexander RojasAlex Rojas3 (1)
Class Year: 2016
Major: History

Shadowing Visit Site: Hanover Insurance Group

1. Describe your visit and what did you gain from the experience?

My visit to Hanover served as opportunity to further explore the commercial insurance industry. In particular, my host, Annette Berry, served as an open forum to ask questions and offer insight, but also connected me with other alumni in different areas of insurance in order to obtain a fuller picture. This experience further strengthened my networking skills and solidified my interest in insurance.

2. How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans/goals?

Without a doubt, this experience reinforced my career goals and desire to build a career within commercial insurance. This opportunity allowed me to network with multiple Holy Cross alumni and obtain different perspectives of the insurance industry. Insurance is a necessary asset for all individuals and businesses where relationship building is key. I am drawn to a career where I can develop relationships with agents and brokers in order to deepen the presence of the company I represent in the market.

3. What is some helpful advice your alumni host shared with you?

Throughout the day, my alumni host shared various pieces of advice. However, the most valuable piece of advice she offered was not to discount any opportunity. While we may be fixed on a certain position or industry, it is still fruitful to apply to a diverse set of jobs because an unexpected position could become your favorite job. Furthermore, having an open mind and appetite for learning are valuable qualities for success in any job.

4. Why would you recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students?

Yes! Any student with a slight interest in insurance should precipitate in the Alumni Shadowing Program. From my experience, Annette was very open to creating a day of value for me outside of actuary (her field) and connecting me with other alumni in different areas of insurance, which was beneficial.

Landing a job or internship in Education

Spring semester is an important time for students who are interested in pursuing a career in education. Whether you are graduating in May and looking for full time employment or gearing up for your summer internship search the Center for Career Development is here to help. Below are a few important reminders specific to students interested in education.

To help you stand out when you pursue post-graduate teaching positions it is important that you demonstrate work experience with choldren. The summer is a great opportunity to work towards building the skills needed to work with kids of all ages. Consider applying to work as a camp counselor or at boarding school. You can also work as a nanny, tutor or coach.

If you haven’t done so already volunteering at local schools, after school or summer programs are other great ways to gain experience. So check out your local schools, youth centers or organizations that work with kids.  This is the perfect time to reach out to see what opportunities they offer.

Are you looking to teach in the public school setting but don’t have the experience or degrees? There are many programs that offer the opportunity to work towards a Master’s in Education while also gaining teaching experience. If this is of interest to you make sure to let us know when you meet with a counselor in our office.

Private schools also offer an opportunity to gain teaching experience without a Master’s level degree. Whether you eventually want to end up teaching in public schools or not, private schools offer great opportunities for recent graduates to gain work experience.

Our office offers online resources to help you learn more about the education field or help in your search for jobs and internships. Make sure to check out the following resources:

Crusader Connections-

Liberal Arts Career Network Internship Database- access this database using the “jump to” feature on your Crusader Connections home page

Spotlight on Careers-

Username: spotlightaccess  & Password: liberalarts2015

What to do with a Major In-


Don’t forget we are here to help with your search. Stop by Hogan 203 to schedule an appointment today!

(Written by Melisa Jaquez ’06 )