Meet Alumna Meghan Hanlon ’19, Audit & Assurance Senior @ Deloitte

Name: Meghan Hanlon

Class Year: 2019

Title: Audit & Assurance Senior

Organization Name: Deloitte & Touche

 

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

My job entails auditing public and private companies to provide reasonable assurance that their financial statements are presented fairly, in all material respects.

 

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? 

 During my time at Holy Cross, I was able to connect with each of the Big 4 Accounting Firms through the on-campus career fairs, the Women in Business conferences, and on-campus networking events and interviews.  Through this exposure, I learned the difference between public and private accounting and decided I was interested in pursuing a career in public accounting.  I thought it would be interesting to learn about all aspects of multiple clients.  I interned at Deloitte during the summer going into my Senior year.  I worked on three engagements during my internship in three different industries: Life Science & Health Care, Education, and Energy & Resources.  After my internship, I decided I wanted to pursue a career in Audit in the Life Science & Health Care industry. Now in my third year at Deloitte, I can confidently say I made the right choice about the firm and industry I chose.  I am constantly learning about new accounting areas and transactions through my role in Audit & Assurance.  Additionally, I have learned a tremendous amount about the development of drugs, the FDA approval process, and the impact that these companies are making on the lives of patients.

 

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

While on campus, I was a Tour Guide and Tour Guide Coordinator, a Working for Worcester Site Manager, a Tutor at Nativity School of Worcester, and a member of Autism Awareness.

 

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

 I was an accounting major at Holy Cross.  I knew I wanted to go into an accounting role, whether it was at a public accounting firm or at a company.  Through the various networking opportunities on Campus, I decided I wanted to work for a Big 4 Accounting Firm after graduation.  My professors were extremely helpful in the decision making process and gave insights to their experience working at Public Accounting Firms.

 

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

While at Holy Cross I developed my writing and communication skills through the non-accounting major courses that I took. I use communication skills while talking to clients and teammates each day.  Additionally, Holy Cross taught me how to articulate my thoughts in a concise manner, which helps me to explain issues I encounter to my teammates, managers, partners and clients.  Furthermore, Holy Cross taught me how to stay organized with my class materials and study schedule.  A large part of my job is project planning and management, so organization is a valuable skill.

 

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

Utilize the Holy Cross alumni network to learn about various industries, experiences and opportunities.  Holy Cross Alumni helped me decide what I wanted to pursue for a career, while I was still in college, and the alumni network remains relevant in my post-graduate life.  I am constantly making connections with Holy Cross alumni at Deloitte and at other companies.  The Holy Cross Alumni network is an invaluable resource that we are all lucky to have connections to and I plan to stay connected to many alumni for the rest of my life.

Meet Alumna Helen Tucceri ’15, Senior Software Engineer at True Fit Corporation

Name: Helen Tucceri

Class Year: 2015

Title: Senior Software Engineer

Organization: True Fit Corporation

 

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

In my role as a Senior Software Engineer on True Fit’s Retail Shopper Experience Squad, I am responsible for all of our different integrations including standard JavaScript, iOS/Android, and API based integrations on retailer sites and connect the end user with our backend services to provide fit and style recommendations.

 

2. What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross? How did you learn/decided it was a good fit for you?    

After graduation, I knew that I did not immediately want to continue with graduate school, so I put my resume out there and started studying for the first Actuarial exam. A recruiter who came across my resume contacted me about a “Web Engineer” position at a company called True Fit. I decided to give it a shot and got the position. Once I started working there, I knew I found the right place because my coworkers were so supportive of my continued growth and learning and were always willing to help me out when I needed guidance. I loved the fast paced startup environment and grew from Web Engineer to Software Engineer to Senior Software Engineer over the past five years.

 

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

Throughout my time on campus I was involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Science Ambassadors, Habitat for Humanity, giving tours for the Admissions office, and Dance Ensemble.

 

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

I majored in Mathematics and minored in both Computer Science and Italian. My math background had me interested in becoming an actuary, which is why I started studying for the exam after graduation. I was also interested in Software Engineering because of my CS background. I decided to go for it when the recruiter contacted me about the position at True Fit, assuming I could fall back on a career as an actuary if it wasn’t for me. I ended up loving it and am so glad that I took the risk and tried something new.

 

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

One part of my Holy Cross experience that has benefited me both in and outside of work is study abroad. I spent a year studying in Bologna, Italy and was able to learn so much about communication, working with others from different backgrounds, and embracing new ways of thinking. These communication skills that I gained during that year help me to communicate with coworkers both inside and outside of the Engineering department as well as with clients. I was also able to participate in summer research with Professor Hwang, during which I learned a great deal about building web applications. This was a great experience that taught me that it’s ok to learn as you go and to not give up even when presented with a problem that you may not know how to solve immediately. This resilience and love of learning has been extremely helpful to me as a software engineer at a growing startup where the pace is fast and learning on the job is required.

 

6. What advice do you have for students today?

One piece of advice that I would give is that it’s ok to not know what’s coming next. Be open to any and all opportunities that present themselves to you. Even if you try something and find that it’s not what you love, you’re still one step closer to finding what you DO love!

Meet Alumna Nicole Falan ’20, Post-Baccalaureate Fellow at the National Institutes of Health

Name: Nicole Falan

Class Year: 2020

Title: Post-Baccalaureate Fellow

Organization: National Institutes of Health

 

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

I am a post-baccalaureate fellow at the National Institutes of Health and I research how to prevent medication-induced hearing loss, which affects millions of people globally.

 

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

I knew I wanted to start my professional career in scientific research when I was performing research in Professor Alexis Hill’s neurobiology lab. By working in the lab during the school year and participating in the Weiss Summer Research Program, I discovered my passion for scientific investigation. Knowing of my strong interest in research, Professor Alexis Hill was the first to tell me of the NIH post-baccalaureate IRTA fellowship and encouraged me to apply. The Center for Career Development and the Office of Distinguished Fellowships and Graduate Studies provided helpful feedback on my application and held mock interviews with me. My educational background in chemistry and neuroscience, recommendations from professors, and the reputation of the Holy Cross science department all contributed to my success in obtaining the position at the National Institutes of Health.

 

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

I was heavily involved in the Best Buddies, Holy Cross Wishmakers, and Big Brothers Big Sisters clubs while on campus.

 

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

My interest in science led me to major in chemistry and minor in neuroscience. My passion for neuroscience led me to perform research in Professor Hill’s neurobiology lab and my positive experience from the lab helped me to determine that I wanted to go into scientific research following graduation.

 

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

At my current job, I use many skills that I learned and cultivated while at Holy Cross, such as the critical-thinking skills I used in my chemistry courses, and tangible skills such as confocal microscopy that I learned in the Hill lab.

 

6. What advice would you give to current students? 

My advice for students to take advantage of the many opportunities that Holy Cross offers. Find a mentor on campus or from the alumni network that works in the field you wish to enter following graduation. Professors and alumni are generally very happy to assist you and they can provide crucial knowledge, guidance, encouragement, resources, and opportunities that will greatly progress your career.

Meet Alumna Alisson Klaiber ’05, Legal Advisor to the Commission at Virginia State Corporation Commission

Name: Alisson Klaiber

Class Year: 2005

Title: Legal Advisor to the Commission

Organization Name: Virginia State Corporation Commission

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

I advise the Commissioner on legal matters and defend the Commission in appellate court.

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’ve wanted to be a lawyer since I was eleven years old, so I went to law school right after I graduated from Holy Cross.  My first job after law school was with the law firm of Hunton Andrews Kurth, in their Energy & Project Finance Group. I am a dual citizen of France and the United States and fluent in both French in English. I was hired by the firm to help with Project Finance transactions all over the world. However, it was 2008 and the world financial crisis occurred. Project Finance is a risky investment so lots of the work paused or ended.  The firm asked me to pivot and assist in matters before the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which regulates energy and hears cases on all types of energy matters here in the United States.  I realized doing this work that I wanted to be back in the courtroom. A few months later, I was laid off along with all the junior attorneys in my practice group due to the financial crisis.  Upon hearing about me at a luncheon and after seeing my resume, Florida Power & Light Company invited me to come assist in their rate case, a case in which a utility asks its regulator to increase its electric rates, i.e., your bills. It was an opportunity for me, as a young lawyer, to be in court but still work with numbers, engineering and the more technical issues that I like. After that case concluded, I returned to my home in Richmond, Virginia.  I realized while working in Florida, that working for the Virginia State Corporation Commission, the body that regulates utilities in Virginia, would offer me an extraordinary opportunity to be in the courtroom regularly early in my career. I joined the Virginia State Corporation Commission, the body that regulates utilities in Virginia in 2010, after a brief period working at the Virginia Attorney General’s office. I spent a decade trying energy cases on behalf of the Office of General Counsel at the Commission, until last Spring when the Judge asked me to be her personal legal advisor.

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

I joined the debate club, tennis club, and international students club. I was a peer counselor and spent some time volunteering with the Campus Activities Board.

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

I was a double major in International Relations and Economics, with a concentration in French. I could not have practiced energy law without my background in economics.  I use my degree in economics daily. My degree in international relations has helped me navigate state government.

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

Majoring in economics was tough for me.  A Justice of the Supreme Court once told me that to become wiser, you must pursue that which is difficult.  During my sophomore year at Holy Cross, he told me to stick with my economics major despite some mediocre grades.  I took his advice and my grades eventually improved. I’ve kept that advice throughout my entire career.  When I don’t understand something, I figure it out.

The second skill is the 1-3 sentence elevator pitch.  For example, for career purposes, be able to say in 1-2 sentences who you are and what you’d like to become.  Keeping this elevator pitch fine tuned helps me stay focused on the big picture and what I want to accomplish in my career.

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

My advice is to stay focused, but to be open to different paths and the unexpected. Many times, I’ve seen interns turn down great opportunities because such opportunities did not concern the type of law they wanted to practice.  While it is good to stay focused, be open to what the world offers you, you never know what you might learn or who you might meet if you keep an open mind. If I had stuck to my career path the traditional way, I would not have had such a fulfilling and successful career.

Meet Alumna Cassie Lo ’08, Assistant Professor of Education at St. Thomas Aquinas College

Portraits of GCU Assistant Professor of Education Cassie Lo taken on May 14, 2019 at the campus in Lakewood. / Russ DeSantis Photography and Video, LLC

Name: Cassie Lo

Class Year: 2008

Title: Assistant Professor of Education

Organization Name: St. Thomas Aquinas College

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

I am a professor on the tenure track, so I teach four classes per semester, advise students at both the master’s and undergraduate level, serve on committees, and conduct research.

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 had always wanted to be a high school Journalism teacher, but I wanted to have some experience in the field of journalism first. I was lucky enough to intern at Good Morning America in Washington, D.C. thanks to Holy Cross’ Washington program, and that led to an internship at CosmoGIRL! magazine in New York City the summer after my junior year at HC. Upon graduation, I had planned to return to that magazine, but I graduated into the recession and many magazines and newspapers shut down. I started freelancing and eventually decided that moving into education would be a better fit for me. I was hired as an English and Journalism teacher in February 2009 and was lucky enough to stay in that role until I started my doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania in 2014. I love working with students at both the high school and college level because every day is full of exciting and rewarding challenges.

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

I was the Features Editor of the newspaper, a Resident Assistant for three years, a big sister at the Boys and Girls Club, I worked as a tutor at the Writing Center, and I founded an on-campus journal called The Advocate. As an ALANA student, I was also involved with many ALANA events on campus.

 

 

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

 I was an English major and I was in the Teacher Education Program. The TEP allowed me to become a certified teacher, which set me up for a successful career in education. After my experience in the Teacher Education program at Holy Cross, I knew I wanted to work in a similar program at a university one day. That goal eventually led me to pursue my doctorate after teaching at a high school for six years.

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

 Holy Cross taught me to be empathetic and open-minded. I am an advocate and support system for my students because of the kind and supportive faculty members I worked with at Holy Cross.

 

 

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

 Try to step out of your comfort zone and take a chance. If you want to be a part of a club or organization that is not yet on campus, start it yourself! Holy Cross is a great place to get involved and really discover what you want to pursue in the future. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to alumni who are in careers that interest you. My friends and I were connected with amazing HC alumni over the years who have been so helpful with everything from work to health advice. Our network is full of proud alums who are happy to help!

Meet Alum Chris Hodgens ’17, Audit & Assurance at Deloitte & Touche LLP

Name: Chris Hodgens, CPA

Class Year: 2017

Title: Audit & Assurance Senior 2

Organization Name: Deloitte & Touche LLP

 

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

As a public accountant, I investigate client financial data to evaluate its validity on behalf of the Board of Directors and Company Shareholders.

 

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?

When I arrived at Holy Cross, I did not have accounting on my radar at all. By the time second semester of my first year rolled around, I had made friends with several people in my Montserrat class/cluster. Through these friends, I had heard great things about Prof. O’Connor’s Financial Accounting class and decided to register – and the rest is history as they say.

 

 

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

I was an active member in campus ministry, SPUD, and also worked in Dinand.

 

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

Accounting. I was lucky enough to major in a subject that has a somewhat predictable pipeline to public accounting. Through my accounting professors (shoutout to Prof. O’Connor, Baldiga, Teitel, and Sandstrom!) and the Center for Career Development, I was provided with ample opportunities to network with professionals (and HC alumni) from the “Big 4” public accounting firms.

 

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

Without a doubt, the amount of writing that I did in all of my classes was hugely beneficial. Many people think “accounting” and assume that I work in a dimly lit room with a calculator – not so! The audit profession (and accounting in general) requires a high degree of analysis into what the numbers really mean to the different stakeholders – so communicating that information is key. In fact, a large portion of my day is comprised of sending emails to clients, communicating the status of work to my direct superiors and to clients, and drafting memos to substantiate identified risks, understanding of the business, etc.

 

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

I would encourage everyone to start thinking about life post-college early on – attend the career fairs, alumni/industry panels, etc. Have conversations with your professors – many of whom started their careers in the industries/topics they now teach about – to get some additional perspectives. For my accounting major friends, make it a point to attend recruiting events and introduce yourself to campus recruiters from Deloitte and the other “Big 4” accounting firms. Each firm has leadership programs for sophomores to attend and get a feel for the culture at each firm – be sure to apply to these. These programs often lead to an internship offer for the following summer – so it pays to start building these relationships early.

 

Meet Alum Efrain Lozano ’19, Production Assistant at NFL Network

Name: Efrain Lozano

Class Year: 2019

Title: Production Assistant

Organization Name: NFL Network

 

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

As a production assistant at the NFL Network’s Original Content department, my job is to compile footage and media for all projects from the very beginning of the script. Once footage is compiled, it is shared with producers and editors who put everything together to create the final version of the project, which is what ends up going on air on the NFL Network channel or through our various social media channels.

 

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

I had the opportunity to take a class called filmmaking in Spanish with Professor Bridget Franco, this inspired me to get interested in storytelling. From there, I became an intern, through the Academic Internship Program, in the athletic department with the marketing and live production team. Thanks to this and to a Holy Cross alum, I was able to land an internship with the NFL’s Original Content department here in Los Angeles.

 

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

Through the internship with the NFL, I noticed that they treated me as part of the team and not just any other worker on the network. I was given responsibilities and the trust to run projects that helped with my experience. I was brought back as a seasonal production assistant to the same department, and from there I just felt this is what I wanted to do for a very long time.

 

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

I was one of the founders of HCF1RST Scholars. I was also part of LASO, SGA, and the athletic department marketing and live broadcast team.

 

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

I was a Spanish major. Besides the filmmaking class, my major had nothing to do with the Media or Production industry. However, attending a liberal arts institution definitely helped my case.

 

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

Effective Communication Skills: Attending a school with small classes, you constantly need to be communicating and sharing with professors and your peers. This is CRUCIAL at the NFL, we’re in constant communication with each other at all levels, so you need to communicate well and effectively.

Organizational Skills: With my specific role, I need to keep track of tons of footage and sometimes we even need to find footage from back when the league started in 1920. In order to use our time wisely with our editors, we need to keep everything as organized as possible for the projects to run smoothly.

 

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

Even if there’s no specific major for what you want to do in the future, take advantage of attending a liberal arts institution and find things that interest you, don’t just focus on a specific major but on something you really enjoy.

Also, take advantage of your alumni network!! Thanks to a Holy Cross alumni I was able to land my internship at the NFL, and now I am here full-time. So network and build connections with the HC community.

Meet Alum Daniel Walsh, Chief Architect of Container Technologies at Red Hat

Name: Daniel Walsh

Title: Chief Architect of Container Technologies

Organization: Red Hat

 

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

I am chief architect of container technologies at Red Hat, which means I lead a group of Operating System engineers who write code to control what third party applications do on an Linux computer system.

 

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

I was heavily involved in the Holy Cross Band, Member of Big Brothers/Big Sister.  Performed in ACT Alternate College Theater, as well as senior Play. Went to multiple religious retreats. (5 days no talking). Lots of intramural sports (Basketball, Touch Football)

 

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

Math Major, I wanted to go into Computer Science, but Holy Cross did not offer the major at that time.  I also took course at WPI through the consortium.

 

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

I was a horrible writer when I got to Holy Cross, and really felt like I would fail out of some writing courses, but the professors worked with me and got me to the point, where I was passable.  Now I write (blog) prolifically and am well known in the computer security world for my communications skills. I don’t believe I would have been as successful if I had gone to a technical college.

 

5. What advice do you have for students today?

Enjoy your college experience. If you have a non-technical background, don’t assume you will not be able to work at a high-tech company.  Most of the employees at the top technical companies need to be able communicate.  Sales, marketing, human resources, documentation, management, customer support, legal and hundreds of other jobs require read/writing skills.  Even software engineers need to document their software, and explain how to use it. It is my belief that a liberal arts education, teaches this fundamental skill.

Meet #CrusaderIntern Seryna Warren ’22

Name: Seryna Warren

Class Year: 2022

Intern Title: Human Resources Project Manager

Organization: Seaside Sustainability

 

1. Tell us about where you interned over the summer and the kind of work you are doing.

Over the summer, I remotely interned at an organization called Seaside Sustainability based in Gloucester, MA. At Seaside, I was a Human Resources Project Manager, where I handled internal communications between staff, and worked to prioritize the mental well-being of the employees. In this position, I managed projects pertaining to mental health and community well-being, such as workshops and newsletter programs. At Seaside, I also worked as a Green Consulting intern, where I collaborated with a team on the development of a sustainability consulting program and contract to use in collaboration with schools to help them work towards more sustainable campuses. At this internship, I also received the President’s Volunteer Service Award, an award given to interns who complete a certain amount of volunteer hours.

 

2. Give us an example of how you have applied your academic learnings to your internship?

I was able to apply so much of my academic learning to my internship. As an Environmental Studies major, I am able to go into depth in a plethora of different disciplines during the academic year, from the humanities to the hard sciences. During the summer, I was able to carry over all I had learned while involved in the ENVS program to my internship. I was able to apply my knowledge of the hard sciences, such as biology and chemistry, to the brainstorming and developing of consulting areas. I also was able to utilize my knowledge from my course on environmental perspectives to prioritize ethics in the consulting program as well.

 

3. What has surprised you about being an intern?

What had surprised me about being an intern was how much I was actually able to contribute to the organization. Upon starting the internship, I had the misconception that I would only be able to contribute so much, as someone with minimal experience. I totally was. wrong. During my internship, I felt as though my ideas and thoughts were well heard and included in the work that was going on, leaving me with the feeling that I had made such a strong contribution to the teams that I was on.

 

4. How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans / goals?

This experience helped me to establish a few ideas that I have for my future. To look more positively, as a Green Consulting Intern, I was able to establish a curiosity about sustainability consulting that I continued today with my participation in the Pothos Project here at HC. I also learned through this internship that I hope to have a more active position in a career. All of my internship was done behind a computer screen, which was great as I was able to work with people all over the world, but I also found that it was not the type of work setting I hope to have in my future career. I also feel as though my internship showed me the opportunities to work in nonprofit organizations, which is another career path I hope to look more into.

 

5. Any internship advice to pass on to other Holy Cross students?

My best advice when looking for / doing an internship is to make meaningful connections through networking. Over the course of my internship, I was able to meet and network with some amazing individuals. This skill of networking continues to help me today with my current internship (different from my summer internship), as well as within my career search.

Meet Alumna Christina Lindberg ’11, Associate at Miner Siddall LLP

Name: Christina Lindberg

Class Year: 2011

Title: Associate

Organization Name: Miner Siddall LLP

 

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

I represent individuals and corporations in a variety of civil and criminal matters in state and federal courts.

 

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

I knew I wanted to attend law school by my junior year. Through the SIP Program, I found a summer internship with JP Morgan’s intellectual property law department. I took an LSAT prep course on campus during my senior year and consulted with my professors about my plans. At my next internship, I explored criminal law as an intern with the Committee for Public Counsel Services. To find my first position out of law school, I went through the typical on campus interview process and I was happy to secure a position as an associate at a law firm in Boston.

 

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

I enjoy the variety of litigation work. I spend a substantial amount of time researching and writing motions, but I am also in court or in depositions regularly. With each new case, I learn about new industries and how the law applies to the particular facts of my case.

 

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

I was involved with an SAT tutoring program and an afterschool tutoring program for younger students. I was also a staff writer for the student newspaper.

 

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

As an English major, I spent a lot of time reading, researching, and writing. I knew I wanted to continue that in my career through litigation work.

 

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

My professors at Holy Cross always gave constructive feedback and pushed me to think outside the box. I try to use that same creative thinking every day when I’m brainstorming arguments and writing a brief.

 

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

Take advantage of the strong Holy Cross alumni network. Over the years, alumni have been a great resource for me. Don’t wait until you’re applying for a job. Reach out to alumni when you find their career path or current position interesting. A quick thirty minute chat is a great way to get to know someone and make a new connection.