Meet Alum Michael Cole ’16, Community Relations Coordinator

Name: Michael Cole

Class Year: 2016

Job Title: Community Relations Coordinator

Organization Name: Office of Mayor Thomas McGee, City of Lynn


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

As Community Relations Coordinator for Mayor McGee, my job is to manage all questions or concerns residents have and to connect them with the appropriate resources or city department.


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?

One event that connected me to my industry and my first employer after graduating from Holy Cross was Working for Worcester. Through Working for Worcester, I established a relationship with Tim Garvin, CEO of the United Way of Central Massachusetts, which led me to my first job after graduation as a Community Relationship Manager at the United Way. I decided it was a good fit for me because I knew the work being done within the non-profit/political sector had a direct impact on people’s lives every day. The entire process of Working for Worcester, from the planning stages to the annual Build Day, provided me with a glimpse into what that would be like to work in an industry that directly impacts it’s community on a daily basis. Working at the United Way allowed me to further see the importance of this kind of work being done every day throughout Worcester. Even though I have moved on from the United Way, I still work in a position with the goal of positively influencing our entire community.


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

On campus I was a Kimball Captain, involved in Working for Worcester as the Director of Site Development and a Site Manager, Study Abroad in La Coruña, Spain, SPUD, Spring Break Immersion, Club Golf, Intramural Basketball and Soccer.


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

I was a double major in Political Science and Spanish. In my current position, I have the unique opportunity to be utilizing both of my majors in my job. Not only do I gain experience working in a mayor’s office from a political science perspective, but the City of Lynn has a large Spanish-speaking population as well. Every day I am speaking Spanish to residents over the phone, in the office, or publishing the Mayor’s social media posts in both English and Spanish.


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

Two of the most important skills I developed at Holy Cross are the ability to multi-task and to analyze large amounts of information on a variety of subjects from multiple angles. These are incredibly vital in being able to effectively communicate the takeaways from my conversations with residents or other colleagues back to either the Mayor or fellow staff.


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

I would advise today’s students to first and foremost, appreciate all the time you have at Holy Cross, nothing in the real world compares to our Holy Cross experience. Also, it is ok if you are uncertain about exactly what career you want to pursue. I know I, along with many of my friends, walked across the graduation stage unsure of what our futures would hold, but Holy Cross will prepare you to figure things out along the way. Follow your passions, be open to new challenges, embrace different ideas and never stop learning.