Meet Alumna Meg Ayers ’17, Transaction Manager at CBRE

Name: Meg Ayers

Class Year: 2017

Title: Transaction Manager

Organization Name: CBRE

 

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

I manage global real estate portfolios for large corporations.

 

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 was an industry I was familiar with through family and family friends. I attended real estate panels at HC and leveraged my connections and reached out to Alum in the industry to facilitate conversations about what working in Commercial Real Estate was like. I learned it was a very fast paced business which is what I was looking for. After realizing I thoroughly enjoyed talking with everyone I met I decided to pursue an internship in the industry to decide whether or not it was something I wanted to do for a living.

 

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

I played on the women’s lacrosse team, participated in the pre-business program, and was an active writer for GoHolyCross.com as well as HerCampus.com.

 

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

I was a psychology major and participated in the pre-business program. I really enjoyed my classes and professors in the psych department but through my participation in the business program I realized I wanted to take a corporate career path. I think majoring in psych made me realize I wanted to be in an industry that was client facing and relied on constant interaction and problem solving.

 

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

I think HC puts a big emphasis on using the alumni network both in school and when you graduate. When I was looking for an internship and determining what type of industry I wanted to pursue it was really the honest conversations with different alumni that helped shape my path. Now being on the other side I continue to seek out and connect with HC grads in my work and love to give advice and feedback to HC students looking to learn more about the industry.

 

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

Talk to people! I had no clue what I wanted to do after school but was able to connect with lots of great people who gave me perspective on different career paths. Be open to different industries to learn what you might like and dislike.

Meet Alumna Caroline Ambrose ’19, Production Assistant at MSNBC

Caroline Ambrose ‘19

Title: Production Assistant, All In with Chris Hayes

Organization Name: MSNBC

 

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

I manage the show’s social media accounts, create clips to publish online, and coordinate the show’s on-air graphics.

 

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 the summer before my senior year at Holy Cross, I landed an internship at NBC Nightly News through an HC alumna who was a senior digital producer there at the time. I had always been interested in digital media, and I found that I really enjoyed the intersection of social media and journalism. I loved how each day offered a new and exciting opportunity to tell a story. I also loved the collaborative and supportive environment that NBC News fostered.

After my internship, I stayed in contact with HR and some of the people I worked with at NBC News, and I  leveraged those connections to interview for the position that I have now.

 

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

Writer’s Workshop, Study Abroad, Digital Transgender Archive, Admissions Senior Interviewer/Greeter, Class Gift Committee

 

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

As an English major, I knew I wanted to pursue a career where I could exercise my creativity and fulfill my interest in story-telling. This left me with a lot of options, but it also helped narrow down what I did NOT want to do.

 

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

I think my liberal arts education at Holy Cross encouraged me to approach the unfamiliar with openness. As a Production Assistant, I’ve had to learn a lot of new skills on the job, and I think HC taught me how to be comfortable with tackling those new challenges head on.

 

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

Take advantage of the resources the Career Center has to offer! I had the counselors look over all of my cover letters and resumes, and scheduled plenty of mock interviews with them throughout my time at HC (including when I was abroad).

Meet Alum Nicholas Harper ’18, Business Analyst

Name: Nicholas Harper

Class Year: 2018

Position: Business Analyst

Company: College of the Holy Cross

 

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

As a Business Analyst, I work with the HC Advancement department’s data for a variety of applications, such as analysis and reporting, to improve the efficiency of and generally help support the department.

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

During my time on campus, I played with the varsity baseball my freshman year and then club baseball my sophomore, junior and senior years.

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

I graduated Holy Cross with a double major in mathematics and economics. Economics pushed me towards pursuing a career in the financial services, which I fully intend to do after finishing my fellowship here at HC. Mathematics opened my eyes to the power of statistics and modeling data, which are hugely influential in decision-making. I plan on attending graduate school for computational finance, which is a fairly natural combination of these two fields.

4. 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?

After meeting with Deb Paquette, she advised me to apply for the role in the Advancement department. Once I met and interviewed with a few people I knew that it was a place that I would have fun working at and would be able to develop a variety of skills at. Those feelings have been vindicated as I am having a great time here at HC and am learning so much that I know will be extremely helpful once I go to graduate school and in jobs after that.

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

The most important skill my Holy Cross education imparted on me is to be a sponge for information. Most of what I do in my work and what I hope to do in the future I learned on the job, so being able to pick up new topics, software, etc. for the particular job I am doing has been extremely helpful. While at Holy Cross I also learned to be confident in sharing my opinions or insights, something that I think a lot of people are afraid to do but which is necessary to be productive in any working environment. Being able to speak up and share my ideas, even if they are wrong, was critical for me in developing the confidence to present and stand behind my work.

Meet #CrusaderIntern Meghan Donahue ’21

Name: Meghan G. Donahue

Class Year: 2021

Position & Company: Yale School of Medicine Alzheimer’s Disease Research Unit (Intern, Research Assistant)

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

This summer, I interned at the Yale School of Medicine Alzheimer’s Disease Research Unit where I was trained to function as a full time Research Assistant, and support the functioning of multiple Alzheimer’s clinical drug trials. I had the opportunity to interact with patients presenting a wide array of cognitive abilities on a daily basis as I took their vital signs, performed EKGs, drew their blood, and administered some cognitive testing. I became adept at retrieving the major medical history of potential trial participants, and collaborated with a panel of medical professionals as they assessed these factors and other clinical measures leading to a diagnosis.

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

As a psychology major with a health professions career track, I frequently integrated my academic learning into my day to day responsibilities.  One specific example of how I applied my classroom learning to my internship focused on the techniques necessary to process blood labs that were drawn in the office .  The challenge of balancing a centrifuge and pipetting contents from a vile utilized skills that I have practiced during my Chem and Bio lab periods.  Having had this academic experience, I felt calm and confident when handling these blood samples, and competently transferred the contents from my very first assignment onward.

3. What has surprised you about being an intern?

Something that surprised me about being an intern was how easy it was to grasp new workplace concepts, and apply what I have been learning in the Holy Cross classroom to real life applications. While many students find the meticulous detail of courses to be an annoyance at times, questioning if they are even pertinent to the functions of a future career, I was able to connect many bigger picture concepts to my coursework at Holy Cross.  My knowledge of psychology, cognition, memory, biology, chemistry and anatomy and physiology made my transition at Yale this summer fairly seamless and smooth. 

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

Since I am planning for a career in healthcare, what better opportunity than to be trained at a world-class medical institution in an arena that focuses on a disease that has impacted millions globally?  Not only was I able to log some of those coveted patient contact hours required for any PA school, but I was also able to practice some of the basic medical and interpersonal skills and techniques that I will be using for the rest of my professional life. 

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

My internship advice would be to identify what you want, and then try to get it.  Just because a Holy Cross student has never had an internship at a site that interests you, do not be afraid to strategically reach out and see if they would be amenable to the idea.  If you are able to secure a HC funded stipend, you are also in a position to market yourself as “free” to them.  I was the first non- Yale undergraduate student to intern at the ADRU.  I was so fortunate to secure the funding from Holy Cross, and then successfully tap into the HC alumni network to help me navigate the process, identify decision makers and share advice.  I would not have had the amazing ten-week internship that I had this summer if I had not figured out how to make a compelling “ask”.  If I can do it, so can others.

Meet Alumna Alyssa Trometter ’08, Deputy Director, External Affairs

Name: Alyssa Trometter

Class Year: 2008

Title: Deputy Director, External Affairs

Organization Name: Clinton Foundation

 

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

Driving forward best practices in supporting student entrepreneurs, identifying and sustaining our higher education partnerships, focusing on internal team dynamics, and people management.

 

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 came to the Clinton Foundation back in 2015 as a postdoctoral fellow through the Mellon Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies Public Fellows program. The year my Doctorate was conferred, the Clinton Foundation had been selected to host a Public Fellow, I interviewed, and they selected me.

 

I discovered this postdoc during the throes of grad school. Quite honestly, I was having a bit of an existential crisis, as I couldn’t picture myself in the often unpredictable and ungratifying slog of post- PhD job searching within academia. Alternative career paths post- Doctorate always resonated with me, part of the reason why I worked for the US State Department during my PhD, nothing against academic but I knew my skills could transfer to the outside and they sure have! My stint at State gave me a glimpse into life in public affairs and I was hooked.

 

My first employer (pre- grad school) was actually Holy Cross, can you believe it?! I was a tour guide and senior interviewer throughout undergrad at HC, so when a job opened up in Admissions it made perfect sense in my mind to apply. I had the best first job out of college, I really think that my admissions road warrior life prepared me for my current career, which is very much external facing with lots of different personalities. I also lead our enrollment processes for the Clinton Global Initiative University now, so very much wear my admissions hat still!

 

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

Besides tour guide and senior interviewer (see above), I was also a member of the women’s rowing team and a summer and fall OL.

 

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

I was a History major and created my own concentration in Indigenous Studies. In every place I have worked (including academia), I have valued and (thankfully) have found strong, female leaders. Aligning myself with women, who believe in, advocate for, and fundamentally support other women, has proved paramount to my professional development. Being a History major at HC brought me my first female mentor and ultimate role model- Professor Gwenn Miller. If you haven’t taken a class with her, do yourself a favor and register straight away!

 

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

Talking to President Clinton about the Jesuits certainly comes in handy around the office. In all seriousness though, the ability to synthesize a large amount of information and distill it down.

 

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

Choose bridges not walls.

Meet Alumna Mary (O’Connor) Kimball ’12, School Psychologist

 

Name: Mary (O’Connor) Kimball

Class Year: 2012

Title: School Psychologist

Organization Name: Silver Lake Regional Middle School

 

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

I evaluate students’ needs in order to help them access the curriculum at school.

 

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 had an interest in psychology, but was unsure of which specialty. After Holy Cross, I became an admission counselor at a college in my hometown and started to realize that I was more interested in helping a student define his/her own level of success and how to get them there. I contacted Holy Cross Career Planning Department and they recommended that I reach out to alumni who were in the School Psychology career path. One of the alums responded to my email and we quickly established a great mentor relationship.  I was able to learn a lot about the field through phone conversations and meetings with Dan that truly helped me to understand the career. Through these conversations, I felt like this was a great fit for me. Our conversations have continued through my graduate school search, graduate school, internship, and now in my career.

 

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

When I was on campus, I was actively involved in Campion House, specifically with the retreats and as a Head Eucharistic Minister. I participated in the Admissions E-Board and was a Greeter in the office, and was involved in SPUD. I also helped to coordinate the first ever Dance Marathon on campus, which was such a special experience!

 

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

My major was in Psychology, and I was able to take a few classes in Education, as well, which led me to my interest in School Psychology.

 

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

I think the major skills that I developed and strengthened at Holy Cross were time management and problem-solving. These are the two skills that are necessary in my career as a school psychologist every day as there are multiple timelines to follow for evaluations, behavior plans, special education programming, and crisis situations that require my attention.

 

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

College is an important time in your lives to strengthen your skills and figure out your identity. Try not to be nervous if you are unsure of what you want to do. Even though I liked school psychology, I had two jobs after college before I followed my heart and started my graduate school program.

 

Meet Alumna Jackie Ford ’91, CFO, America’s Test Kitchen

Name:  Jackie Ford

Class Year:  1991

Title: Chief Financial Officer

Organization Name:  America’s Test Kitchen

 

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

I analyze the financial and operational metrics of the company to guide the strategy.

 

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 was an eco/acctg major at HC and so I went into public accounting initially and stayed there fore 10 years.  My first job after that was at a client which I landed through networking.   It was a good fit because the company and the people were already known to me.

 

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

Sports information office,  Resident Assistant, Purple Key Society

 

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

I began my career in public accounting.  I choose the smallest of the big firms at the time because I wanted to work with smaller companies.  It was amazing to work with small and middle market companies as I got to work with so many companies each year and see so many different industries.

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

Meet or speak with as many people you can to find out what you want to do to launch your career.  In launching your career you might consider any of all of the following:  where you want to live, what industry you want to focus on, a specific role or function, big company, small company, or start-up.  You first job is your opportunity to test the waters.  Ask people what they do all day and try and figure out if that interests you.  Networking is very very important to your success so start now.

Meet Alumna Carley Buckley ’18, Administrative Executive Assistant

Name: Carley Buckley

Class Year: 2018

Title: Executive Administrative Executive Assistant

Organization Name: Steiner Studios

 

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

I provide administrative support to the CEO and hands-on office support to staff as well as act as a liaison between the productions on site and our facility.

 

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 all started with an internship hunt for my New York Semester during the fall of my junior year. I knew I was interested in the Arts and Entertainment Industry, however, I was having a difficult time finding an internship. An opportunity at Steiner Studios presented itself at the last minute and I was able to stay in the NY program. As an intern in their Stage Operations Department, I worked with multiple productions and assisted with everyday tasks such as setting up lunch areas and maintaining fire lane codes. The internship introduced me to the behind-scenes part of the industry that I previously knew nothing about. Steiner Studios has given me the opportunity to learn and grow in this industry that I’ve been fascinated with for so long. The internship and the connections I made during that time helped me the most when looking for jobs after graduation.

 

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

I was very involved in the music scene around campus. I was a part of College Choir and Chamber Singers as well as Fools on the Hill. Junior year I formed my own band, “No Protocol” and performed at campus events and participated in Battle of the Bands. Being involved with these groups allowed me to pursue a passion of mine as well as apply what I was learning in my music classes into practice. I was also involved in the Admissions Office as a Tour Guide and then as a Senior Interviewer. As my time at Holy Cross came to close, I found it exciting to see and meet the next generation of students and share my experiences as they began theirs.

 

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

I was an English and Music double major. I enjoyed reading and analyzing epic poems and operas that influence our literature and music today. The double major overlapped many times throughout my courses of study. For example, my 18th Century Poetry class had Martha Redbone perform her compositions using lyrics from William Blake’s poetry. Watching my majors intertwine made me realize what I do and how I do it with my majors is all up to me.

 

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

My interactions with people, both coworkers and clients, happen every day. There is never a slow point in the day where I can hide behind my computer. Therefore, my communication skills is one of the most important skills I strengthened at Holy Cross. I encounter a variety of personalities so it is important that I communicate in a clear, concise, and respectful way in order to assist our clients. Critical thinking is another important skill I use on a daily basis. Whether I need to track down a package that was lost in the mail or conference rooms are overbooked, quick problem-solving can help keep a situation from turning into a disaster.

 

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

Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy. Taking on an internship that wasn’t expected at the time eventually led to my first job out of college and I’ve made some great friends and colleagues in the process. During my internships and throughout Holy Cross, I made some mistakes but what was important was my ability to learn from them and keep moving forward.

Meet #CrusaderIntern Karina Ramos ’20, Lab Technician Intern

Name: Karina Ramos

Class Year: 2020

Internship position: Intern- Lab Technician

Employer: Proveris Scientific Corporation

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

This summer at Proveris, my main duties included running experiments for the Senior Applications Chemist and Senior Field Scientist in the chemistry laboratory. Specifically, the company’s focus is in advancing the aerosol and nasal spray technology industry, so the majority of my time was collecting data off the instrumentation and analyzing it using custom software designed by the company. Not only was I working within my immediate team, but also spent much of my time communicating and deliberating with the engineering, sales, and manufacturing teams. These wide range of duties allowed me to have a holistic understanding of the inner workings that is the pharmaceutical industry.

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

Just before I began my internship, I took Analytical and Instrumental Chemistry. In this course we learned how to read scholarly journals by meticulously studying currently published works and modeling common practices in our own papers. This skill of reading with intention allowed me to become more efficient and confident in my ability to read papers that at first seem too complex to understand. Some of my duties this summer included doing research on past literature in the field to further develop methods for more efficient data collection. My confidence in reading peer reviewed journals and gathering a consensus of the paper’s findings made me a valuable asset in the method development step in conducting experiments.

3. What has surprised you about being an intern?

I have been pleasantly surprised at how eager my department was to allow me to troubleshoot issues in the instrumentation and software on my own. Also, within the first couple of weeks working full-time, I was grateful enough to receive some projects that I could effectively work on myself. Working for a smaller company gave me more autonomy in day to day tasks that lead to working on customer projects independently and with confidence from my supervisors. I am thankful to be given so much responsibility at the intern level.

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

This experience allowed me to expand my network not only into the Holy Cross alumni network, but also into the pharma industry. Working in industry instead of research (which is what I have only been exposed to) has given a good insight to what a routine looks like working for pharma.

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

Network with alumni at the beginning of your junior year so they keep you in mind when applications come out in the spring! Also apply to a variety of different fields in different locations around the country.

Meet #CrusaderIntern Adeline McCullough ’21, Animal Husbandry and Family and Youth Education Intern

Name: Adeline McCullough

Class Year: 2021

Internship Position: Animal Husbandry and Family and Youth Education Intern

Internship Employer: Mass Audubon Joppa Flatts Education Center

 

 

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

I interned at a Mass Audubon Center in Newburyport this summer. There I cared for over 40 species of animals. I fed them and regulated the water chemistry of 30-gallon and 100-gallon saltwater tanks. Also, I led programs educating families about marine life.  I gave presentations, and facilitated opportunities where visitors could hold our animals. Additionally, I went on numerous trips to collect marine animals from around New England such as Plum Island, York Beach, and Gloucester.

 

 

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

My internship required a detailed knowledge of the anatomy, phylogeny, and environments of the animals housed at the center. My previous coursework in biology and chemistry at Holy Cross gave me extensive knowledge in these areas, which allowed me to be confident and prepared in my internship.

3. What has surprised you about being an intern?

What surprised me about being an intern was how much I enjoyed it! The other interns and employees shared the same passion for animals and the environment as I have. I had fun in bonding with the other interns, going on tidepooling trips, and even in the grunt work like cleaning the tanks.

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

This experience made me interested in a career path working with animals. Before my internship I had a passion for biology, but I had no idea what path I wanted to follow. Now that I have experience with caring for animals, I know I want to incorporate that into my career hunt for the future.

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

My advice to other Holy Cross Students is take every opportunity you can to experience something new. A like or dislike are both equally valuable when looking towards a future career.