Meet Alum Benjamin Howe ’96, Audit Manager at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Name: Benjamin Howe

Class Year: 1996

Title: Audit Manager

Organization Name: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Office of Inspector General


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

Audit managers supervise a team that conducts performance audits of VA programs and operations. 


2. What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross? 

I moved back to New England from Washington, DC in 2002 and was looking for federal opportunities in the greater Boston area. During that search, I identified the Government Accountability Office as an opportunity I was interested in pursuing because of its innovative professional development program. I have been conducting performance audits ever since.


3. How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you?

While auditing can be done on your own, I also enjoy the opportunities to work closely in teams. I also appreciate that this work requires professional skepticism, objectivity, and good oral and written communication. 


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

I worked on the Holy Cross newspaper and yearbook.


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

I was a history and Spanish major. After college, I completed my Master of Public and International Affairs at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) at the University of Pittsburgh. While I was completing my degree at GSPIA, I interned for different government organizations. I later moved to Washington and started my federal career on Capitol Hill.     


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

I developed strong research and writing skills during my time at Holy Cross that have served me well during my career.


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

I would recommend volunteering with professional organizations in your prospective career field. By becoming a member of the Boston Chapter of the AGA, I have built strong professional connections while positively impacting my community. I have also taken advantage of the leadership opportunities offered by the Chapter to show my leadership skills as a young professional. As a student interested in a financial management career, I would highly recommend taking advantage of the opportunities AGA offers. In addition, students can join the group for free!