ALUMNI INTERVIEW: I Was A Corporate Attorney, Now I…

Meet Ms. Maggio ’82, a 25+ year Beijing resident, former corporate attorney turned visual arts entrepreneur, and director of Pékin Fine Arts, a Beijing and Hong Kong based contemporary art gallery and art advisory consultancy.

What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross? How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you?

My decision to attend law school, become a member of the NY and MA bars and a corporate attorney, and prior to graduation from law school to intern summers in Asia; and finally, my decision to learn Chinese, spoken and written by attending first University of Hong Kong and after, Beijing Normal University, post law school. One learns and decides what is a good fit only after challenging oneself to go beyond one’s comfort zones.

What were you involved in when you were on campus?

Many things; studying, and also internships in Washington DC, including one summer internship in Senator Ted Kennedy’s office. I enjoyed learning about literature (tutorial on James Joyce; new approaches to mental illness through literature and art), feminism, and improved race relation causes.

What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions?

Psychology. I initially aimed at becoming a psychologist, then opted instead to go to law school. My psychology studies helped me in both of my careers as corporate lawyer and later as contemporary visual arts entrepreneur!

What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?

I learned how to get along with, and how to communicate with, people from different backgrounds and regions, and the importance of diversity not only on a college campus but also in one’s life work. I also enjoyed writing and feel Holy Cross gave me a strong foundation in essay and article writing.

What advice do you have for students on campus today?

Seek out the students coming from far away places, places you have never visited, and all students from near and far of ethnic, religious, and racial backgrounds not of your own. Take the time to get to know them and their stories, backgrounds and ambitions. Celebrate difference and diversity on a daily basis. Learn – really learn – a foreign language!