Alumni Job Shadowing: Luis Perez’17

Name: Luis PerezIMG_4097

Class Year: 2017

Major: Physics

Shadowing Visit Site:  ?What If! Innovation Company

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

My visit allowed me to immerse myself into a very unique and interesting workplace setting. I did not know what to expect going into the visit, and I walked away equally impressed and amazed. ?What If! is an innovation company that partners with other businesses, to improve their production and workplace efficiency. From the office space, to the people at the site, I could immediately tell it was a special place. I shadowed Mike, a Holy Cross alumnus, he was extremely welcoming and engaging.

The day began with a tour of the space, and lunch. Then, it was followed by a walk through of the “innovation” process that the company prides itself on, as well as preparations for an upcoming trip with a client. I was able to see the inside workings of a company, I otherwise would never have known existed. I learned how what I am learning in class translates into the professional workplace. Through these experiences I was able to connection with professionals working in an industry I am interested in. 

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

As a Physics major, there are many applications for the skills my academics have given me. This experience showed me a real-world example for how my major can apply to a career. This was encouraging, and allowed me to not be as stressed and nervous about the future. Although I have a good idea of my future career plans and goals, it was good to see that there are other options available.

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

My alumni host was incredibly nice throughout the entire experience, and did a great job incorporating me into a stressful and busy environment. He told that I would find my path eventually, and not to worry too much about being uncertain for the future. He shared his own story with me, and how he ended up working at an innovation company. His path took a lot of different turns and he tried a number of different things before ending up where he is now. My host told me that uncertainty is a part of life, and that my background and education would lead me to a great place, even if it’s not especially clear to me where that is.
Why would you recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students?

I would recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program because there is essentially no downside to it. As a junior, I regret missing out on two other chances to shadow, because they would have been very valuable experiences. You can shadow someone, and get insight or form an opinion if you can see yourself in a similar workplace or line of work. If the job is everything you want, then that’s amazing; if it’s not, then at least you know before you commit to it full time and dedicate your studies to it. I don’t necessarily see myself at an innovation company, but I do appreciate the experience and loved having the chance to shadow Mike. It is also a good way to make connections, and meet people, which serves as good practice for any similar situation.

Alumni Job Shadowing: Ali Larkin ‘18

Name: Ali LarkinAli Larkin '18 CNN

Class Year: 2016

Major: Undeclared

Shadowing Visit Site : CNN

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

I visited the CNN headquarters in New York City. I spent the day learning about social media publishing and other news-related things with the Social Media team at CNN. Before this shadowing, I had no idea how jobs in social media worked and what they were like, so it was eye-opening to be thrust into one for a day – and even help shape posts that reach millions of people! I gained a more modern perspective on the hyper-competitive news industry, and how my interests coincided with the field.

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

While I’m still just a sophomore, the alum I shadowed has stayed in contact with me and has been absolutely amazing with helping me get contacts in the industry, apply to internships, and create an online writing portfolio. This experience really solidified my career goals; before my shadowing, I was on the fence about what I wanted to do per my long term career plans, but now I know that I definitely want to go into news and journalism.

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

The best advice that my alum gave me was that people, especially Holy Cross alumni, really want to help you. If you reach out, alumni are more than willing to support and advise you.

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

I would recommend it because sometimes what you imagine a job to be like is very different from how it actually is. In addition, the contacts you create and networking opportunities are invaluable.

Alumni Spotlight: Vannak Khin’15

Name: Vannak KhinVK

Graduation Year: 2015

Major: Anthropology and Classics

Industry: Refugee Resettlement

Favorite Class: Ethnographic Field Methods

Campus Involvement: Fusion, LGBTQ Chaplain’s Group, and SPUD. 

College Internship/Work Experience:

Summer 2013 internship at the International Institute of Lowell, Summer 2013 Center for Khmer Studies Fellowship, Summer 2014 Mellon Research, Sociology-Anthropology Department Work Study Student

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

Finding the right major and concentration,  studying abroad in Vietnam, and becoming more politically active on campus during my Senior year.

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

Find the right professors who believe in you and can inspire you.

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

I would advise anyone starting out in the field is to continue developing a critical lens of the field and be aware of the rising or falling political climate that comes with refugees, immigrants, asylees, and any other new Americans. It is certainly an amazing field to consider a career in, particularly in the way in which it is informed by academia, social justice, and social work, but it is also a very demanding and precarious field.

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

Holy Cross gave me very strong foundational skills in critical thinking, which I utilize every day in various capacities and environments. It has allowed me to think quickly, think deeply, and think effectively in terms of who and how I serve.

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

I would advise the student to really consider the extent and breadth of your own skills and experience, from Holy Cross and beyond. Without cutting yourself short and by being as honest as possible, you can promote yourself as a potential candidate with not only the necessary skills but also the potential to do much, much more.

Summer Internship Profiles: Lauren Reidy’16

Full Name:Lauren ReidyLauren Reidy2

Internship Company: Time Warner Cable Media

Internship Position: Human Resources Intern

Internship Location: New York, NY

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

I was in all the time for drop-in hours for resume and cover letter reviews, mock interviews, the online Career Advisory Networks, and used the wonderful women in Career Development as an invaluable resource in my internship search.

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

My computer skills improved the most, as a lot of my work took place using various web-based processing programs. I got way better at prioritizing and managing multiple projects, including several summer-long projects. I learned how to interact professionally and making sure that numerous requests were processed and handled in a timely and effective manner. I also put my research skills to work, and just tried to absorb as much of what I was doing and what others around me were working on in order to better myself.

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

I didn’t really have a distinct career path before this summer, only a nebulous wish list of things I liked to do and goals for a fulfilling career. After an amazing experience with TWC, I have decided to pursue a career in HR because it was everything I was looking for, even though while I was applying I had no idea it would be for me.

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

Stay calm. Your internship will probably not be exactly what you expected, and there will probably be some road bumps. Take a deep breath, work hard, and soak up everything about the internship experience.

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

Time Warner Cable runs a news station that covers local Manhattan news. On one of the days we got to go on an outing to see how the news station operated, listen to senior news executives and experience a different side of the TWC business. It was very cool and a very unique experience.