Interviewing Michael O’Brien ‘23 On His O’Hare Fellowship at America Magazine

By: Ashwin Prabaharan, Peer Career Assistant
November 29th, 2023

On November 20th, Holy Cross had the opportunity to interview alum Michael O’Brien. Michael recently graduated in the spring of 2023, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English. He served on the Spire as a writer and ultimately became Editor-in-Chief. He now serves as an O’Hare Fellow at America Magazine. Michael walked me through the application process, his research on the Fellowship, and his experience thus far at the Magazine. 

While attending the Silent Retreat at the Joyce Contemplative Center, Michael remarked that he came upon a magazine placed for reading, which coincidentally was a copy of America Magazine. “At that point, I didn’t have a job lined up for post-grad life as I went into the second semester. I had just worked at NBC the summer before so I was considering returning there. But I remember picking up a copy of the magazine, figuring that it was Jesuit-based since it was at the JCC. But as I flipped through it, I was really inspired by the work the magazine covered.” As a fellow, Michael takes part in a daily morning prayer held in the office that seeks to represent marginalized people who do not have a voice. While NBC will always be an opportunity for corporate journalism to turn to, the mission of America Magazine spoke volumes to Michael’s personal ambition to give back to the Jesuit community while working within his professional goals. 

When discussing the application process, he noted that the application for the Fellowship required 4 writing samples, in which he used two articles he had written for the Spire articles. He then used two articles he had written for the Staten Island Advance newspaper while an intern in their office. The application also asked for two recommendation letters and two rounds of interviews. Additionally, Michael was asked to pitch three potential story ideas that he could begin working on if he were selected for the position. 

On a day-to-day basis, Michael discussed how he and other fellows are placed on three cohorts or working teams. Michael has been assigned to work with the Dispatch, Video, and Social Media groups. The Dispatch team works on hard news stories, covering editorials and current events that come into the Magazine’s coverage. The Video and Social Media teams work on creating and managing the Magazine’s external content, using social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms. “It’s been giving me a very well-rounded approach to journalism especially today when the main focus of many journals and publications is on digital content. Writing is important and a crucial part of journalism but it is a multi-faceted field, and I’ve seen a great deal of it as I help produce video content for YouTube or for our podcast. It’s been giving me a great background and foundational experience before I venture into my next career.”

Entering the Fellowship program, Michael expected his work to mainly pertain to writing and following relevant news stories. “But it’s been great to dip into the many different pools of work we have here and branch out into things I may not have considered before. This type of work can give me that professional leg up during the application process for future positions in the field too.” Michael remarked that his favorite part of his work so far has been the unfettered scope of the Magazine’s work into every sector of society, not just limited to the Church but rather into many different fields that we would not consider to be in the purview of the Catholic world. “We just covered a story on a pop music video that was filmed in a church here in Brooklyn, while writing on the progress of sports in Catholic colleges around the country. The thing that surprised me the most about the fellowship has been the opportunity to work with so many things I’m passionate about and how they interact with the Church and the faith.” 

Giving advice to Holy Cross students on similar career opportunities, Michael emphasized the Spire in developing his writing and journalistic skills. “When I wrote my first article for the paper in my freshman year, I never envisioned myself being the Editor-in-Chief, but it’s all about taking that first step with anything you’re passionate about. If you’re at Holy 

Cross and you’re passionate about sports media, go start a podcast talking about the field. If you’re interested in politics, start a blog talking about it. Doing something is the first step in achieving your goal in the field of journalism.” Given that Holy Cross does not offer a journalism major, Michael notes that the Spire is something to practice writing for while working under the campus umbrella. As Chief, he was able to track the work of his writers and see their writing abilities improve as the year progressed. Michael also notes that Holy Cross would be the perfect place to begin a career in Catholic media where groups like Campus Ministry can help make those crucial connections in the industry. 

We would like to thank Michael for speaking with us as he embarks on this wonderful opportunity with American Magazine. We are very confident his insights into the field of journalism will prove invaluable for Holy Cross students considering a career in it. Everyone here on Mt. St. James wishes Michael the very best in his new position and in his future professional endeavors!

Meet Alumna Ganiyat Karimu ’23, Medical Assistant at Boston Sports and Shoulder

Name: Ganiyat Karimu

Class Year: 2023

Organization Name: Boston Sports and Shoulder Center

Title: Medical Assistant

 

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

My role as a medical assistant is to assist our orthopedic providers in patient treatments such as steroid injections, brace fitting, extremity casting and much more.

 

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 found Boston Sports and Shoulder Center through an email listing on Holy Cross’s Health Professions Advisory email. I decided to sit in on their informational session to learn more about the role and quickly realized that this role would not only be a great opportunity to gain clinical experience , but it would also give me an opportunity to explore a new specialty in medicine. Furthermore I realized that what I wanted the most out of this experience was to learn as much as I can before beginning a professional path into nursing. After the detailed informational session and further interviews with BSSC I realized how supportive the practice is in the learning experience of their medical assistants and instantly knew that the role would be fitting for my desires in employment.

 

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

While I was a student on campus, I interned as an event coordinator with both the Black Student Union (BSU) and the Caribbean African Student Assembly (CASA). I also worked with the Office of Advancement as a student philanthropy ambassador.

 

 

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

I graduated with a major in Health Studies and a concentration in Africana Studies. I believe that this gave me an insight to public health and has constructed how I approach my role in the clinic. My background in public health gave me key insights to many disparities that we see in health care. This altered my perspective and respectively influenced me to switch from a career as an OBGYN to a career as a certified nurse midwife.

 

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

I believe that a skill that I developed during my undergraduate experience at College of the Holy Cross was public speaking. I endured many opportunities to develop these skills with many oral presentations and presenting at the annual academic conference. This allows for me to have confidence when speaking to patients and providers around the office.

 

6. What do you hope to pursue after this role?

I have recently been accepted into nursing school, so after this role I plan on enrolling into nursing school to achieve my RN licensure and continuing to obtain a specialized degree to become a certified nurse midwife.

 

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

Do not procrastinate! Take a hold of opportunities when they present themselves to you and have confidence that you are capable of performing in such opportunities.

Meet Alum Tremayne Garrett ll, Medical Assistant at Boston Sports and Shoulder Center

Name: Tremayne Garrett ll

Class Year: 2023

Title: Medical Assistant

Organization Name: Boston Sports and Shoulder Center

 

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

Definitely hard to put our position into one sentence but as a medical assistant we facilitate and guide a smooth and efficient clinic day through tasks such as intakes, fitting patients into DME, informing the providers of the patient’s status that visit and keeping them on time as much as possible.

 

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?

Coming into the career center with Cameron helped me discover this position but the info session and meeting the people who work there actually helped me realize that I would enjoy this job and benefit from it as well. 

 

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

I had multiple jobs on campus such as being a peer mentor, an office assistant in OSI, a lighting assistant in the PAC, I was a member of a few MSO’s on campus, and for two years I was a huge part of the passport program in the summer. 

 

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

I was a psych major on the pre health track and this allowed me to have a broad search in job opportunities, which can at times help but also make it harder because there are so many options and I’m sure you are aware of by now choosing a career path throughout college can be very tough.

 

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

My adaptability being a student of color at a PWI I was exposed to many different cultures and people that I may have otherwise not interacted with if I went to another institution.  Another skill that I gained or sharpened was my networking ability. Throughout my years at HC I was able to expand my group of friends resulting in me not being afraid or timid to speak to anyone which translates to speaking to my coworkers and patients and be myself doing so. 

After this role I hope to pursue a Physical Therapy degree. 

 

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

Some advice I would give any student from first year to seniors is get connected to the staff and faculty on campus as they might be a great resource for gaining a job after college or pass along information that can help you figure out what it is you truly want to do. Also, even though it feels like a ticking clock you have time to figure things out even after college is finished so don’t feel defeated if things are not going according to plan just yet. Stay the course and continue to take steps towards that goal.

Meet Alumna Suzanne Vitt ’98, Mental Health Clinician at Baystate Counseling and Wellness Center

Name:  Suzanne Vitt

Class Year:  1998

Title:  Mental Health Clinician

Organization Name: Baystate Counseling and Wellness Center

 

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

My job entails providing individual therapy to adolescents and adults as we work towards reaching their identified goals and reduce symptomatology of their mental health symptoms.  

 

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?  

At the time of graduation, I had a few ideas in mind of where I thought I might be headed career wise, but I needed to have some actual job experiences to help me narrow down where I wanted to focus.  After studying abroad my junior year, travel was very top of mind for me so my first job was for EF Educational Tours in Cambridge which offers tours to many different countries to high school students and their teachers.  I enjoyed the perks of travel that were included as part of the training and made some like-minded lifelong friends in this experience.  After a couple of years there, however, I missed the work I had done in the past in more human services type of work and moved on.  I then was a volunteer teacher through an Americorp program teaching middle-school at a very small private Catholic school for girls in Dorchester for two years.  That experience made me realize my interest lied in working with people individually and to look at root causes of problems.  I got very interested in racism and its impact in my time living and working in Dorchester, which led me to a Master’s in Social Work.   As a social worker, I have worked in high schools providing therapy, hospital emergency departments providing crisis evaluation, a residential program for girls, as well as individual therapy.  I have enjoyed the flexibility of a social work degree to work in a variety of settings. 

 

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

While on campus I volunteered for Abby’s House and Mustard Seed.  During my junior year abroad, I volunteered at a women’s center in Brighton, UK.  

 

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

I was an English major.  I did consider for awhile teaching English at the high school level and even considered getting into publishing, but ultimately, my drive to work helping others won out, and I went for my MSW.  

 

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

I definitely think empathy for others is something that grew for me at HC especially with all the volunteering I did, and is something that I use everyday in my work with clients.  I was exposed to a lot of different people in my volunteering experience and in my time abroad which has helped me to connect with all kinds of people in my work.  

 

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

My biggest piece of advice is to use the alumni network to connect with people in your desired field.  It is an invaluable resource.

 

Meet Alumna Elizabeth “Beth” Morse Luoma, Ph.D. ’09, Director, Center for Teaching and Learning at Sacred Heart University

Name: Elizabeth “Beth” Morse Luoma, Ph.D.          

Class Year: 2009

Title: Director, Center for Teaching and Learning

Organization Name: Sacred Heart University

 

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

I direct a university center that provides academic support for students (e.g. tutoring, writing support, classroom learning assistance) and professional development for faculty and staff (e.g. workshops on effective and inclusive teaching practices). You can find out more at http://sacredheart.edu/ctl.

 

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?

The way I found my first job after Holy Cross was quite unplanned! I originally planned to apply for graduate school immediately following Holy Cross. I became a bit unsure (the Ph.D. is a long time!), so decided I wanted to explore some work experience first. During the fall of my senior year, I attended a junior/senior networking session in the Hogan Ballroom. There I met an alum who had a friend who was hiring a research technician. Though the purpose of the event was not to find a job, one email led to another and before I knew it, I was interviewing with my future boss, Dr. Jay Bradner, at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. I learned so much from Jay and my other Dana-Farber colleagues during the time I worked in the Bradner lab. I was able to build on the skills I had learned as a research student in Rob Bellin’s lab to explore small molecule drug discovery in tissue culture models, resulting in three peer-reviewed publications. Ultimately, I knew I wanted to teach at the college level, so I did end up applying for graduate school and earning my Ph.D. in cell biology from Yale.  

 

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

I was involved with SPUD (Student Programs for Urban Development) as an ESL (English as a Second Language) tutor, Science Ambassadors – a wonderful science outreach program for local schools, Biology Student Advisory Committee, playing flute in the 7PM Mass Contemporary Music Ensemble, and many retreats and programs through the Chaplains’ Office (Manresa, Magis Program, Spiritual Exercises, Alternative Spring Break). I did summer research in the lab of Nobel Laureate, Craig Mello, and co-taught a summer institute for Worcester Public School teachers with my advisor, Rob Bellin.

 

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

I was a biology major with a biochemistry concentration and a member of the Honors Program. I knew upon entering Holy Cross that I wanted to be a biology major. I spent 8 years of my career working in various research labs, primarily focused on studying how cells attach to their environments via membrane proteins. Looking back, the two most common threads of my career have been science and education. Following my Ph.D. in cell biology, I worked as a STEM Education Program Director, Assistant Director of Women’s Health Research, and Assistant Director of Faculty Teaching Initiatives (all at Yale University). I am now Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Sacred Heart University. Though my current role no longer has me working at the lab bench, I use my scientific thinking and reasoning skills every day, from interpreting the research literature to project management, to “help teachers to teach and learners to learn” as my team likes to summarize our work. My core identity as a scientist helps me apply the science of learning and evidence-based practice to the work we do and to build relationships with our STEM faculty and students at Sacred Heart.  

 

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

I truly believe I was able to make the career transition I did from laboratory scientist to higher education leader because of the well-rounded liberal arts education I received at Holy Cross. I so value the wide variety of courses I was able to take, from social psychology to ballet, entomology to a religious studies seminar called “Purity & Filth.” Having exposure to so many ways of thinking helped prepare me to take on a role working with faculty and students from across disciplines, and to think broadly and interdisciplinarily about teaching and learning trends in higher education. I am also deeply grateful for how Holy Cross taught me to write across disciplines, preparing me to publish in both science and education for a variety of audiences.    

 

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

I can’t say I would have predicted when I graduated from Holy Cross 14 years ago that I would someday be directing a Center for Teaching and Learning. Each of my career steps were inspired by something “sparkly” that caught my eye on the periphery of what I was doing. For students on campus today, I would say certainly follow your current passions, but also don’t be afraid to explore something new and unexpectedly exciting that appears on your radar, now or in the future. These little sparks in our peripheral vision can potentially open entirely new worlds and possibilities to us, but only if we’re willing to turn our heads to look.  

 

Meet Alum Graydon Hewitt ’21, AVP, Credit Underwriter, Franchise Finance at M&T Bank

Name: Graydon Hewitt

Class Year: 2021

Title: AVP, Credit Underwriter, Franchise Finance

Organization Name: M&T Bank

 

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

I manage credit underwriting and portfolio management for Commercial Banking customers in the Franchise Finance space.

 

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?  

It took time for me to learn about Commercial Banking. I had been looking for internships in different areas throughout my junior year. After hearing more about the industry, I was drawn to it for its emphasis on building relationships with customers and its purpose to provide financing to help achieve business goals. Commercial Banking also offers a good work-life balance and involves financial statement analysis which I am comfortable with. 

I was fortunate to find a role that was virtually based out of my hometown in Boston after not knowing what the outcome of COVID-19 would be (I interned in the Summer of 2020). M&T Bank (formerly People’s United Bank) also had a development program that enabled those interested in pursuing a full-time position to build a good foundation before rotating through a couple areas of the Commercial bank.

I had the opportunity to work in Franchise Finance at the end of the development program. The timing worked perfectly as the Franchise group had an open position for an analyst. I enjoyed hearing about the support the group provides for large franchise customers (think owners of Wendy’s, Taco Bell, or Dunkin’ restaurants) and the strength of the team.

 

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

The Finance Club was key to my initial interest in finance. In the Fall, I learned about different areas of the finance space and hear from alumni panels and in the Spring, we were given a finance-related project and the opportunity to participate in a Mock Superday with HC alumni.

Outside of finance, I played the violin in Holy Cross’s Chamber Orchestra which performs regularly throughout the year, including a trademark performance for Lessons and Carols every Christmas season with the Holy Cross Choir.

 

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

I majored in both Mathematics and Economics. Mathematics, firstly, for my natural inclination towards numbers and equations, and Economics, secondly, for understanding how the global economy and the world in general worked and included numerical applications too. 

I knew I wanted to find a career that involved at least some level of numerical analysis, and my Economics courses and the Finance Club naturally made me want to pursue careers in Finance. Commercial banking specifically utilizes some of these skills as well as some of the other skills I learned in classes outside my major(s).

 

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

The group projects I worked on at Holy Cross helped me work with people of different skill-sets and ways to contribute. In addition, presenting or answering questions in classes prepared me for presentations and conversations I have today with people in more senior roles here at M&T Bank.

 

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

Although I majored in Mathematics and Economics, I continue to rely on my ability to write succinctly and persuasively. My advice, therefore, is no matter what your area of focus is, continue to improve your writing where you can as you navigate your classes and post-graduate roles in the future.

Don’t Know Where to Start?

by: Pamela Ahearn, Manager Employer Partnerships, Center for Career Development

Last year the Center for Career Development (CCD) surveyed Holy Cross about their own career development journey and engagement with the office. In response to the question, “What causes you the most anxiety when you think about making a decision about your future career?,” the resounding response from students across all class years was “I am not sure where to start.” The second most common response was, “I am afraid I will make the wrong decision.”

How about starting by creating or updating your resume? *It’s easy and the CCD staff enjoys helping students craft their resume. Just stop by Hogan 203 for Drop-in hours M-F from 1-4 p.m. One of our Peer Career Assistants or a professional staff member will help you get started or tailor your existing resume to a specific job or internship you are pursuing.

Want to know more about possible career options after Holy Cross? Spend some time reviewing our online resources like the CCD on Demand video series “Industry Insights.” In these short videos, Holy Cross alumni share their experience and expertise in a particular field. Don’t see the industry you are interested in exploring? Let us know what industry you would like to learn more about by completing this Google Form. We will do our best to identify alumni in that industry, conduct an interview and upload a video.

Join a Career Community! The Center for Career Development has created Career Communities so you may explore and engage with careers that align with your interests, strengths, values and goals. Joining a Career Community will connect you with your peers, alumni, employers, and faculty who will support your pursuit of success and help you connect your Holy Cross experience and your liberal arts education to your professional pursuits after you graduate.

Additionally, you can explore the HC Network where you can connect with thousands of Holy Cross alumni who have volunteered to answer questions about their industry, their career progression, as well as how they have articulated their liberal arts education to prospective employers. You’ve heard the term networking but what does that really mean? Networking is the process of building and maintaining relationships with people in a job, organization or career field that interests you. Through conversations with networking contacts you can learn about their day-to-day responsibilities, the skills and knowledge required to succeed in the role and current trends in the industry. Networking conversations with alumni can help you gain clarity as well as build your professional network.

Does networking scare you? Do you feel uncomfortable contacting someone you don’t know to ask them questions about their career? You are not alone. Many students are paralyzed by the thought of reaching out to a stranger and asking for help. This is completely normal. Just remember, Holy Cross alumni are known for their desire to help Holy Cross students. Chances are, they received help from alumni back when they were in your shoes.

In terms of making the wrong decision, here’s the thing, your first job will likely not be your “forever job.” Your first job will allow you to gain experience & skills and better understand the world of work. To help make an informed decision about what you might want to do after graduation, 1) join a Career Community, 2) research industries, 3) consider an academic internship or a summer internship to explore a specific career path, 4) network with alumni (and others), and 5) attend CCD events to learn more about careers.

The Center for Career Development staff are prepared to answer your questions, help you make a plan, direct you to additional resources, and allay your fears. The sooner you start acting on your career pursuits and interests, the sooner you will develop an action plan. Remember, your career journey is unique to you and is not typically a linear path, but rather a winding road of possibilities and adventures.

Meet Alumna Dr. Sarah Boehm ’11, Associate Director for Education and Outreach

Name: Sarah Boehm

Class Year: 2011

Title: Associate Director for Education and Outreach

Organization Name: Center for Nanoscale Science, Pennsylvania State University

 

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

I manage the educational and professional development portfolio for a large materials research grant that consists of roughly 20 faculty and 35 graduate students and postdocs.

 

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?  

With both the encouragement of Holy Cross faculty and the knowledge of career opportunities that a higher degree would afford me, I decided to pursue a doctorate degree in Chemistry. In graduate school, I attended the American Chemical Association’s Leadership Development Institute where I met a future colleague at BASF who introduced me to the company and their Leadership Development Program for new PhD scientists. This connection helped me to gain acceptance to the rigorous program that consisted of three 8-month rotations across the US in various roles. One of my rotations involved technology scouting and university collaboration development in Boston, where I learned about roles in academia for scientists outside of the lab. This experience ultimately reinforced the fact that I enjoy working in the academic setting and led me to seek out opportunities to utilize my skills beyond industry. Networking and relationship building led me from one position to the next, directing me to my current role where I find fulfillment mentoring students and inspiring the next generation of scientists.

 

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

Cheerleading, Chemistry research, Chemistry lab teaching assistant, Physics Workshop tutor, Physics grader

 

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

I was a chemistry major with a physics minor. As an undergraduate I was fairly certain that I wanted to work as a scientist and learned that obtaining a PhD would provide me with the career growth opportunities that I was interested in. I truly started to explore my options in graduate school where I learned about the varied roles PhD chemists play in industry, academia, policy, government, and beyond. Having a degree in chemistry expanded my options and allowed me to shift careers from industry to academia because I have the critical thinking, communication, and analytical skills necessary to be successful.

 

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

Holy Cross was a safe space for me to learn to ask for help. It’s not always comfortable and it takes confidence. In all my roles since graduating I have needed to gather resources and identify collaborators to build effective teams. I recognize that I need help in areas outside of my expertise and bring in people with varied and complementary skill sets to round out the team. Building confidence in my own abilities is also key to feeling comfortable acknowledging my limits and knowing when to ask for help.  

 

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

There are three main components in any job, internship, or graduate research lab – your boss, your work/project, and your coworkers. Before committing to any new endeavor, assess how you feel about each component. Will you be supported by your boss? Will you get along well with your coworkers? Will you enjoy the work? I suggest that you should feel positively about at least two of the three to be happy and successful in that role.

Meet Alumna Sara Guay ’22, Research Technician at Massachusetts General Hospital

Name: Sara Guay 

Class Year: 2022 

Title: Research Technician 

Organization Name: Massachusetts General Hospital 

 

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

 I work together with post-doctoral fellows to conduct experiments related to breast cancer therapeutics and diagnostics. 

 

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? 

My mentor, Professor Findlay, helped me connect to the science industry by guiding me through an independent research project. During my last year on the Hill, a primary investigator from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) reached out to the biology faculty in search of prospective graduates interested in becoming research technicians. I learned this job was a good fit for me by talking to an alumnus of this MGH lab, who also happened to be an alumnus of the Findlay lab. His emphasis on the health of the workplace community convinced me to accept the offer. 

 

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

I was involved in undergraduate research with the Findlay Lab where I acted as a research mentor for first years. I aided students as a peer tutor in both Biobuddies and the Writer’s Workshop. As an upperclassman, I served as the Co-President of Students of Color in STEM (SOCS). I also enjoyed participating in the Spring Break Immersion Program as a volunteer during my first and second years. 

 

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

I was a biology major with a concentration in biochemistry. I became interested in careers involving research and medicine by studying these disciplines. 

 

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

Reading and understanding primary scientific literature is a skill I developed at Holy Cross that I use in my work. 

 

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

Do not be afraid of taking a gap year before you matriculate into a professional program. These past 9 months, I have had the space to examine myself and shadow scientists, medical doctors, and physician-scientists. The decisions I make for my future have become informed and clear thanks to this concrete foundation. Additionally, it is important to consider to what extent your identity will be connected to your job. How important is it to you that your profession reflects who you are? People fall somewhere on a spectrum between living for their work and working to live. I believe happiness can be found anywhere on this scale as long as you know what your values are.

Meet Alum Jonathan White ’96, Managing Attorney at Jordan & White, LLC

Name: Jonathan White 

Class Year: 1996 

Title: Managing Attorney 

Organization: Jordan & White, LLC 

 

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

My job entails transforming the lives of our clients who come to us seeking something better through the legal services we offer and fostering the best firm culture for my team to grow and enhance themselves. 

 

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 accidently found myself going to law school after Holy Cross. I really wish I could say it was by design or that I always knew that I wanted to be an attorney, but that just would not be true. But I learned it was a good fit for me about halfway through my first year as I watched many of the students around me struggle. I found that my experience as a student-athlete at Holy Cross set me up for success by providing the exact skill set I needed to make my way through law school. With that confidence, I was able to focus on what I was studying and absolutely fell in love with it. 

 

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

On campus, my focus was on the hockey team, which then led me to community service opportunities with my teammates. 

 

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

I double majored in Classics and History. Studying law just seemed like the next logical step from there. 

 

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

Without hesitation, I know that the smaller class sizes I had in the Classics and History departments developed my ability to speak in public with confidence. Similarly, the Socratic method that my professors had so often used developed my ability to communicate my thoughts and ideas clearly. These are the main skills I employ daily with my team, my clients, and my colleagues, as well as the chief skills in my marketing efforts. 

 

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

My advice for students on campus today is to never let fear decide your fate. Everything you want lives on the other side of fear and 90% of the things we worry about never transpire.