Name: Sarah (Tagg) Palmieri
Class Year: 2008
Title: Sr. Advisor, Federal Program Manager
Organization Name: Dell Technologies
1. In one sentence, what does your job entail?
As a Federal Program Manager, I lead programs supporting the Federal Services business at Dell – primarily focused on enabling our Services Sales and Online portfolios.
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 didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do when I graduated. I had majored in English because I enjoyed that subject, not because I had a particular career path in mind. I applied to various jobs during my senior year through the Career Planning Center and ended up accepting a Sales position at a publishing company. I knew Sales was not what I wanted to do long-term, but it was a way to get my foot in the door and gain some experience. I spent 5 years at that company, making a couple lateral moves until I found the area I was interested in – project management. At this point, I also realized I was more interested in the tech industry than publishing. So, I left for a position as a project manager for a website translation company. I stayed there for a year and a half and eventually ended up at EMC Corporation, which was later acquired by Dell. I have been at Dell for about 8 years now and am very happy in my current role.
3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?
Summer Internship Program, SPUD, Women in Business
4. What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions?
I was an English major with a minor in Philosophy.
5. What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?
Critical thinking is fundamental to my role as a Program Manager. I need to be comfortable with ambiguity and changing priorities every day. I use my best judgment to make decisions on my programs to have a positive impact on the business. Communication and interpersonal skills are also key to success as a Program Manager.
6. What advice do you have for students on campus today?
Take advantage of the Holy Cross network and the Career Planning Center. Attend as many career events as you can – you may learn about career paths you never knew existed. If you don’t know exactly what you want to do upon graduating, that is OK! Find an area that aligns with your interests and get some experience. You can always try something new if it doesn’t work out.