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!