Meet Alum Michael Pettinati ’13, Data Scientist, Biofourmis

Name: Michael Pettinati

Class Year: 2013

Title: Data Scientist

Organization: Biofourmis

 

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

I develop algorithms using large datasets to improve upon and support patient health.

 

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?    

I went to graduate school for a PhD following holy cross. I attended Ga Tech. I spoke at length with my academic and research advisors (professors Royden and king) about this decision. I had the opportunity to visit these schools upon acceptance and interview with the professors I would be working with. It was these visits that cemented that I wanted to be at ga tech.

 

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

I was involved in the recruitment office my freshman year, and. I worked in food services my first year on campus. I provided tutoring through the computer science department when I was at holy cross. I was a TA and RA for the computer science department as well. I participated in research over the summers with Professor Royden. I was also a member of the honors college and did a senior thesis with professor Royden.

 

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

I was a double major in mathematics and computer science. My work at holy cross was the foundation for my graduate school work, which lead my first job in industry.

 

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

Holy cross gave me a solid foundation as a programmer, and I write scripts everyday at my job. Also, Holy Cross gave me my first experience doing research. I learned to approach problems from different angles. I understood how to ask questions that have value, learn what has been done to answer those questions and do the work to help answer those questions.

 

6. What advice do you have for students today?

Although it’s very cliche, I think it’s important to know that failures are only the end if you let them be. There is no single assignment, test, denial, etc. that prevents you from continuing to study and work on things that interest and excite you.

Meet Alumna Emma Skumurski ’21, Environmental Scientist at CarriageHouse Consulting

Name: Emma Skumurski

Class Year: 2021

Title: Environmental Scientist

Organization: CarriageHouse Consulting Inc

1. In one sentence, what does your job entail? 
I am an environmental scientist at CarriageHouse Consulting Inc, where I collect environmental samples for petroleum product-related companies and then provide these companies with written analytical reports.

 

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?    

This opportunity came to me in a totally unexpected manner!  A fellow Holy Cross classmate and friend passed along the employment opportunity to me. I am so grateful she did! I then followed a very planned path of researching the company and sending a tailored application.  Ultimately, I learned that Carriage House would be a great fit for me by reaching out to Holy Cross alumni at the company.  The alumni gave me great insight into the positive, exciting, and professional working environment fostered at Carriage House.  However, a majority of my job search did follow a very defined plan of attending networking nights, inquiring about informational interviews, and scheduling job searches with my professors and Shirley!

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

The beauty of Holy Cross is the depth of the opportunities that are available. I had the honor of being on the Division 1 field hockey team. I was a  grocery shopper for the Chaplain’s Office, a greeter with Liturgical Ministry, a leader and participant in the Spring Break Immersion Program, a Big Sister in the Big Brother Big Sister program, and a tour guide with admissions. I loved the diverse opportunities that Holy Cross had to offer, they allowed me to grow in ways I never could have imagined!

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

I was a Biology Major with an Environmental Studies Minor – the variety of classes enabled me to widen my horizons and broaden the opportunities available to me in the environmental field. I came into Holy Cross thinking I wanted to be a National Park Ranger and my eyes were opened to so many different and emerging fields!

 

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

One of the amazing skills I learned at Holy Cross that aids me as an environmental scientist is my ability to work with others and conduct creative problem-solving. Being in a very dynamic and hands-on field, my ability to think on my feet and to adapt my expertise to still collect clean samples has been a valuable resource.

6. What advice do you have for students today?

You all got this! Have some faith in yourself and do not be afraid to reach out to alumni!  A great resource can be contacting your prior classmates and learning about their experience transitioning into the workforce. Above all else make sure you help others realize their dreams as you are realizing yours!

Meet Alum Brian Beaton ’16, Law Clerk, Covington and Burling LPP

Name: Brian Beaton

Class Year: Holy Cross, 2016

Law school: Harvard Law School, J.D. 2021.

Title: Law Clerk

Organization Name: Covington and Burling LPP (Washington, D.C.)

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

I handle the typical work of a first-year lawyer interested in litigation; specifically, I work with teams representing various clients as either defense or plaintiff’s counsel, and write briefs in support of our positions and prepare our clients for the various stages of a legal proceeding.

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 support system at Holy Cross was integral.  My first job after Holy Cross and prior to attending law school was at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. I talked about my options with so many professors, who helped me think about my career interests and how working for the government and in D.C. would help me pursue my goals. I was a political science major at Holy Cross, and the advice I received from professors and classmates alike on how to navigate DC and the benefits of public service clarified that working for DOJ was a great fit. And, I participated in the Washington, D.C. semester as a second-semester junior in 2015, which offered an incredible introduction to D.C. and the world of government, politics, and law.

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

I was a member of the Student Government Association, first as a Senator and then as a member of the co-Presidents’ cabinet my senior year. I also participated in SPUD, worked with migrant communities in Worcester through the CBL office, and hosted radio shows with WCHC. I spent my entire junior year off the Hill, first in Peru and then in Washington, D.C. working for the Organization of American States.

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

I was a political science major with a concentration in Latin American and Latino studies (now Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean studies). Though I was already interested in government and politics before I chose my major and concentration, my coursework and interactions with professors in and out of class reaffirmed my interests and helped me to think through how to transform them into a career. Further, I credit the academic rigor of these courses with teaching me how to more effectively communicate, think through difficult problems, and work within teams. I truly think I would not have the critical thinking and writing abilities that are vital to my work today without the education I received at Holy Cross.

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

Much of my work consists of writing–whether that entails submissions to federal court, communications to clients, or discussions within the firm. Holy Cross helped me to foster my writing abilities, both as a science and as an art. I particularly appreciate the efforts of Professors Denis Kennedy and Loren Cass, who often sat down with me to talk about writing and how to get points across in an effective manner. Good writing is so important to so many professions, and I encourage every student to take advantage of the opportunities to write and learn from the best at Holy Cross.

Second, I was forced to work through ambiguity at Holy Cross, whether through written assignments or discussions in and out of class. Often, the legal issues I deal with today do not have clear answers and require clear, nuanced assessment.  I learned to approach these types of problems both analytically and with broader perspective, and that has been vital to my work.

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

First, enjoy the time you have to really explore your interests without the external pressure of work or other obligations. Holy Cross is a special place, and college is a special time. You are in a community of learners, and a place built to foster your academic advancement and development as a well-rounded citizen. Take advantage of the fact that you are surrounded by fellow students experiencing the same growth and professors who want you to achieve career and personal fulfillment. And go easy on yourself. Though it’s not always clear in the moment, you will look back on the advancements you’ve made not only as a student, but as a person ready to more fully engage with the world, by the time you leave the Hill.

Second, be confident in the skills and education you will receive from Holy Cross. I’ve often had moments of self-doubt (particularly as a first-generation college student), whether in my initial job at DOJ, or as a law student at Harvard, or as a young lawyer at a large law firm. Do not be intimidated by the name of the institution or the people within it. You are prepared to take on the challenges you will encounter in these places, and the sooner you realize that, the sooner you will find the opportunities for growth and the people there who will invest in your development. You will be ready by the time you leave Holy Cross.

Meet Alum Declan Foley ’15, High School Counselor, St. John’s Preparatory School

Name: Declan Foley

Class Year: 2015

Title: High School Counselor; Track and Rugby Coach

Organization Name: St. John’s Preparatory School (Danvers, MA)

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

I support students both with navigating their adolescent worlds and realizing growth by intentionally getting to know the individual over four years across life-related, academic, and college application domains.

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?

After senior year of Holy Cross, I attended Boston College for two years of grad school, and through networking found my first counseling job which I did for one year before going to my current position (also counseling). It was one flavor of personal relationship that got me in the door to education (something I never thought I’d do), and it was realizing that I loved fostering intentional relationships that have since kept me there. Though I knew I wanted to generally go into something psych-related, I didn’t know what, certainly not education, and it was the first year of work where I 1) learned an incredible amount and 2) realized this was one way of fulfilling the insatiable feeling of ‘wanting to serve others.’

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

Many good things with even better people! I spent a good amount of time in SPUD, ending my HC tenure as a SPUD Intern with Marty Kelly’s guidance. I was on the SGA Senate, played rugby my freshman year, conducted psychology research with Prof. Richard Schmidt, and was the Alpha Sigma Nu President among other things. That said, I treasure most the moments spent with my friends, from Cool Beans coffee trips to the average night’s hang in Carlin 216.

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

Knowing I wanted to ‘help people’ (like so many of us!), but not really knowing how to aim toward that end, I ended up being a double major in Psychology and Sociology. This was, in my mind, the perfect complimentary conversation between two disciplines that interrogate the human experience in ostensibly different ways. Emerging from HC, I knew I wanted to commit to grad school to focus this interest, but what actually informed my career decision the most was retroactively looking back on what kind of involvement fulfilled me over my time at HC (i.e – mentoring experiences), and finding a position that centered on the ability to be in right relationship with others.

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

It may sound corny, but the Liberal Arts knack for encouraging thought from diverse perspectives, as well as the emphasis on what you should give attention to stands out when I need to address a novel situation that requires quickly and succinctly coming to a conclusion involving many stakeholders. Additionally, the Jesuit concept of presupposition – where you assume the very best and most charitable interpretation of someone’s message / perspective – affords the ability to remain patient, humble, and understanding of others’ opinions in efforts to find a compromise, critical in counseling.

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

When it comes to career discernment, it’s a simultaneously simple and yet wildly complicated Jesuit concept: find what you are good at, what brings you joy or fulfillment, and consider how you can serve the world with this joy. Honestly, even more important in the short-term, when it comes to life on the Hill, make the most of spending time with the people you love and care about and don’t ever let that fall to the wayside, because it’s those memories that are the ones you’ll cherish and remember when you come home from that fulfilling job, looking for energy.

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.