Full Name: Michael Morigi
Class Year: 2019
Major: Political Science, Economics
Shadowing Visit Site: GE Communications; Deirdre Latour (CCO of GE)
Describe your visit and what did you gain from the experience?
My visit was different than what I expected, but in a good way. When I was walking over to GE’s offices in Midtown Manhattan, I was expecting to essentially be following my host, Deirdre Latour (CCO of GE), for the entire day. If she was busy or working on sensitive topics, I expected to be attached to either her assistant or one of her team members.
In reality, Ms. Latour and her assistant scheduled a day that would turn out to be much more interesting. During my time at the GE offices, another Holy Cross sophomore and I spent one-on-one time with several young GE Communications employees from various divisions of the Communications team. During those informational Q&A sessions, we learned about their perceptions of GE and their work, and learned about how they navigated the post-undergraduate world.
Afterwards, Ms. Latour brought us to a GE 2016 recap and team-building workshop. From there, I got to see the full culture of the Communications team, and how various individual personalities interacted with each other.
When reflecting upon my shadowing day, I believe the real value-added was the exposure to another possible career path, a career path in which I can leverage my political science, critical thinking and communication skills. In addition, I finished the day with a better perception of GE itself.
How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans/goals?
I do not believe this drastically altered my career aspirations, but my visit did convince me that my political science and economics double major could be used in fields beyond just government or finance. Many of the employees I talked to during the visit had degrees in public policy or political science. Some even came from finance backgrounds. Regardless of major, it seems like as long as you are actually interested in the subject matter and can pitch yourself right, your choice of major is not as consequential as some people make it seem.
What is some helpful advice your alumni host shared with you?
Ms. Latour was unable to spend too much one-on-one time with us during our visit (she was dealing with high-level meetings during the morning and, in the afternoon, she was leading the workshop). However, a reoccurring theme amongst the employees was the importance of finding what you love to do, and their encouragement for us to try any opportunity that sounds interesting or potentially enjoyable.
Why would you recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students?
I would recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students for a few reasons. One is that it is a great networking opportunity. Do not expect to get some sort of miraculous internship offer, but instead think of this shadowing opportunity as an informational interview. By putting yourself out there in a true work environment, you have the opportunity to network with not only the alumni but also various co-workers. If you play your cards right, you may be able to leverage these relationships going forward.
Second, it is an invaluable opportunity to see if a specific firm or field is right for you. Going into this shadow program, I was unsure if I would get any value or satisfaction out of shadowing a communications team. However, I was able to gain first-hand exposure to not only how the communications department of a multi-national firm works, but also how a real work-place team functions and flows.