Meet Alumna Ariel Baker ’18, Program Manager, New England Blacks in Philanthropy

Name: Ariel Baker

Class Year: 2018

Title: Program Manager

Organization Name: New England Blacks in Philanthropy

1. In one sentence, what does your job entail? 

Creating a narrative shift in the way that the Black community and Black wealth is seen inter-communally and at large.

2. 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?  

I was connected to my current employer by a Holy Cross alum Jerome Daye ‘08, who is a mentor of one of my close friends that I also met a Holy across. I decided this role was for me because I knew it was a fantastic starting point in my career and a way for me to explore numerous fields that interested just by the very nature of the position. My organization is a bit of a start up, so I have been deeply entrenched in the operations of the organization as well as the more “client facing” aspects, such as events, networking on behalf of the org etc. I have been able to learn what experiences I enjoy and don’t, in order to continue shaping what exactly I would like my career trajectory to look like. 

3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?

Rhythm Nation Step Team


Inter House Council
Work Study

Study Abroad 

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

Sociology. I have always been a “systems“ and “theory” person and understanding society from a sociological lens was just a natural fit for me. I am obviously extremely passionate about the way the Black community in particular functions in American society and when I had the chance to work for an organization with a mission like ours as well as to work for and be mentored by a Black woman this early in my career I jumped on the opportunity. 

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

1) Be firm in your approach but never to the point where you are difficult to work with. No one likes a know it all and as a new graduate you have to understand that you will not know much of anything actually. Approach all opportunities with an open mind but also with the confidence that graduating from an institution like Holy Cross has provided you. 

2) Never stop learning. There will always be something that you don’t know. 

6. What advice do you have for students on campus today?

Try everything at least once. If you have your eye set on one career path I encourage you to try the complete opposite (ex: hard sciences try something more creative and vice versa), just for the experience. You really never know what is out there for you so don’t limit yourself especially right now when you have so much support from Holy Cross.