Alumni Job Shadowing Program: Manuel Alvarez ’20

Meet Manuel Alvarez ’20 who participated in the Alumni Job Shadowing Program at the Boston State House


Full Name: Manuel Alvarez

Class Year: 2020

Major: Spanish/Latino Studies

Shadowing Visit Site: Boston State House

1. Describe your visit and what did you gain from the experience?
For my job Shadow Visit, I had the wonderful opportunity to shadow Anne Ziaja. Anne is the Executive Director of the Senate Office of Education and Civic Engagement. Before I speak of my experience at the state house, I wanted to emphasize how great Anne is. Without her, I do not think that my experience at the State House would have been as amazing as it was. As soon as I met Anne, she greeted me with so much energy and excitement which made me feel very welcome to be at such a prestigious place.

Throughout the day, we attended two very interesting and important meetings. We started our day by attending a proposal for The Delegation of Federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. Here I heard Secretary Matthew Beaton, whom works in the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, speak of water pollution in Massachusetts. We also attended a hearing to pass a legislation for hunting law. During the hearings, all of the state senators gather to debate about passing a certain law. I was able to see many, if not all of the Massachusetts Senators in one single room. Anne made sure I meet as much as I could.

My favorite part of the shadow visit was when Anne took me to Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz office. Senator Chang-Diaz is the first Latina elected to the Massachusetts Senate. She is also The Senator of my district in Boston which is the South end! Here I was able to meet Nathanael Shea who is the Chief of Staff and is also an Alumni of HC as well. With the help of Anne and Nathanael, I was offered a summer internship in Senator Change-Diaz office. This was definitely the highlight of the Shadow!

2. How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans/goals?
After college, I would like to work in the field of international affairs concentrating in a Humanitarian area. Although this experience is not related to my future goal there is a connection. I believe that they both have a goal to insure development, health and protection for the greater good. The people at the State House work together for the citizens of the common wealth. This experience also influenced me to keep up with what is going on in the state politically.
3. What is some helpful advice your alumni host shared with you?
From Anne, I learned that I should not be scared to show who I am. With the help of Anne, I was able to meet and connect with so many people. She made sure I was able to introduce myself, ask questions and also speak of my interest with as many people as I could which is very important in such environment. She influenced me to not be afraid of introducing myself in a very proud and professional manner. As a college student, it is essential that we make as many connections as possible for future references such as internship and job opportunities.

4. Why would you recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students?
I would definitely recommend shadowing at the State House because there are many opportunities here no matter what your interests are. It is a great opportunity to learn about what is going on in state today. You can also meet and hear about experiences from many alumni of Holy Cross. I was very surprised to have met so many HC graduates. They were more than happy to speak of their work and collegiate experience.