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 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 Lauren Brown ’07, Assistant Attorney General

Name: Lauren Brown

Class Year: 2007

Title:  Assistant Attorney General

Organization Name: Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia

 

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

I work in the Government Contracts Section of the Commercial Division at the Office of the Attorney General, where I represent the District in bid protest litigation and review and negotiate contracts for various agency purchases that include items, such as new fire trucks for the District to working on the contract for a new bridge worth more than $440 million.

 

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 I graduated Holy Cross, I went straight to law school, so I didn’t start my job search until I was in law school. I knew I wanted to work for the government in some capacity, so I started applying to positions, but at the time, the legal market didn’t have very many open, entry-level positions. Moreover, I was fresh out of school with no actual job experience (beyond internships). Thus, my first few positions after law school were temporary positions, which provided me with an opportunity to gain work experience and additional skills while I continued my job search for a permanent position.

 

One of the key themes in terms of events that connected me to my employers has been networking. Even if a connection may not have a job opening right now, it is important to maintain that relationship because you never know when that individual will have an opening in the future or they will hear about an opportunity that they can share with you. I learned about my current position from one of my former supervisors at the Connecticut General Assembly, Office of Legislative Management. My former supervisor was attending a procurement conference in Washington, DC and heard that the Office of the Attorney General was going to be hiring procurement attorneys and she passed the information along to me. I then applied for that position, which is how I learned about my current job. Therefore, it is important to grow and maintain your network and to let your network know that you are searching for a job.

 

Working in some positions that weren’t necessarily the best fit has helped me realize what is most important to me when I was searching for my current position. What I like most about my current position is working closely with our agency clients to accomplish their goals to improve life for District residents. I also like that my position provides me with a mixture of independent assignments, as well as an opportunity to work on other projects as a team with my colleagues.

 

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

I tutored at the Nativity School of Worcester through SPUD, served as Vice President of the Holy Cross Chapter of Model United Nations, worked as an Article Editor for the Holy Cross Journal of Law and Public Policy, and was a member of the Political Science Student Advisory Council, the Holy Cross College Republicans, and the Investment Club.

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

I majored in Political Science and minored in Economics at Holy Cross. I loved majoring in Political Science and took so many great courses at Holy Cross that I knew I wanted to continue my pursuit toward working in the government. I considered getting a master’s degree in public policy, but at the time, I wasn’t sure that was ultimately the area that I wanted to spend my entire career in. After learning about the broad range of careers that people with law degrees have, from practicing law in the traditional sense to being CEOs of companies and everything in between, I decided that going to law school would provide me with more flexibility over the course of my career. Ultimately, the law school I selected to attend also offered a Law and Public Policy Certificate program, so I could still pursue that aspect of my education.

 

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

Some of the most important skills I developed at Holy Cross that I use in my work are the ability to clearly write and communicate, as well as to analyze complex issues and succinctly explain them to others. Also, time management is crucial because on a daily basis I have numerous competing demands that I need to balance in order to meet various, oftentimes short, deadlines.

 

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

I recommend reaching out to Holy Cross alumni to ask if they would be willing to do an informational interview with you. It is a good way to learn more about what their current position entails and the steps they took to get to that point in their career. I’ve met with numerous alumni who have all been very generous with their time and it is a beneficial way to informally learn more about various positions and career paths. The strength of the Holy Cross Alumni Network is very true.

 

Doing internships or volunteer work in an area in which you are interested in gaining additional experience is beneficial. Internships and volunteering also provide you with an opportunity to see whether that type of work is something that you truly enjoy doing and want to pursue as a career. Programs such as Holy Cross’ Washington Semester Program are invaluable in terms of providing you with a high-quality internship and work experience.

 

Another suggestion is to join professional organizations, even while you are still a student. Many organizations offer free or reduced membership rates to students, offer valuable mentoring programs, and provide leadership opportunities. I am on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia and we always encourage students to attend our events and to get more involved, which provides students with an opportunity to learn about various areas of the law in which they may want to pursue a career.

Meet Alum Nick Elward ’95, SVP and Head of Institutional Product and ETFs

Name:  Nick Elward

Class Year:  1995

Title:  SVP and Head of Institutional Product and ETFs

Organization Name:  Natixis Investment Managers

 

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

I research potential investment products to bring to market, help drive business strategy and lead the exchange traded fund business.

 

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

I always enjoyed following financial markets and started investing at a very early age.  After deciding law school and accountancy weren’t for me, I came to the realization that my love for investing could become a career!  After 25 years in the industry, I wouldn’t want to have it any other way!

 

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

Intramural sports of all types. I know it seems boring, but the teamwork and work ethic required in sports was a key formative activity that has helped me succeed in my career.

 

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

Political Science.  I enjoyed the study of government and thought law school was for me in my first few years.  I later realized my love of investments and business strategy was my calling.   My major forced me to become a very good writer and speaker.  That helps in business.

 

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

Besides my writing and public speaking skills, the extremely strong work ethic that I developed while at Holy Cross has been a difference maker.  A great employee needs intelligence, plus drive.

 

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

Study what you love.  Find a job that allows you to do what you love.  Be the best at whatever you do.  Be happy.

Meet Alumna Kledia Spiro ’10, Marketing Consultant

Name: Kledia Spiro

Class Year: 2010

Title: Marketing Consultant

Organization Name: Independent

 

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

I design and implement comprehensive and strategic marketing plans for start ups and organizations

 

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 a research assistant and supervisor for Dr. Amy Wolfson, the Chair of the Psychology Department. She was my advisor and my mentor after Holy Cross. My first employer was Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. I was the Clinical Research Coordinator for the Neuro-Oncology Department. After having to redo the department’s severe adverse events forms for an audit and meeting with the pharmaceutical companies every other day, I decided it was not the right fit for me. I realized marketing was the perfect combination of my passion for art and story telling while using data analytics, which I so enjoyed in research and medicine.

 

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

I was a  “Hate: Not Here!” committee member, Student Program for Urban Development, Volunteer for Apostolic Church, Office of Multicultural Education, Social Justice coordinator, NEED (Nutrition, Exercise, and Eating Disorders) Peer Educator, Secretary, Nativity School Teacher, Social Justice 101 Curriculum Coordinator

 

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

I was a Psychology and Visual Arts Major with an Asian Studies Concentration. I could not be more grateful to have had a Holy Cross education and to have picked these two majors and the concentration. They have affected my career decisions in countless ways. They gave me the incredible strong foundation on how to be team player, empathic leader, and thrive in fast paced environments. It is these very qualities that opened many opportunities for me when I was a graduate student at Tufts University and when I worked at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and beyond.

 

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

At Holy Cross I learned how to be very detail oriented, accurate and a team player. Being detail oriented and a strategic thinker were really developed in my studio classes as I had to constantly step back from the canvas or whatever work I was creating so I had a wide view of what was happening in my work and weren’t getting lost in the details. I also honed in my accuracy and team player skills in many of my psychology and Asian studies classes.

 

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

Take time to take care of yourself. Go to the Hart center and use the sauna or the pool and just take a break. The stress of a strenuous Holy Cross education can take a toll on your health if you don’t take the appropriate amount of breaks. There are so many opportunities waiting for you as a Holy Cross graduate, don’t over-stress yourself with getting a job before you graduate only to miss the opportunity to enjoy your last semester on the hill.

Meet Alum Nick Bodurian ’12, Associate Investment Professional at Prospect Capital Management

Name: Nick Bodurian

Class Year: 2012

Title: Associate Investment Professional

Organization Name: Prospect Capital Management

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

I am responsible for sourcing and conducting due diligence on private middle market companies seeking financing from both an equity and debt perspective.

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

The summer after my sophomore year at Holy Cross I did my first internship at GE Capital as part of the Financial Management Program (“FMP”).  This internship opportunity came through the Career Development Summer Internship Program.  I did a second internship at GE Capital the following summer, and then accepted a full time position at GE Capital in FMP post-graduation.  What made me decide to pursue a career in corporate finance initially was my strong underlying interest in evaluating businesses, coupled with my accounting background from Holy Cross.  Second, I really enjoyed the corporate culture at GE, and knew that the company had a strong track record for educating their employees and building future business leaders.  Both aspects of my first job/employer came out to be 100% true.  I significantly expanded my core technical finance skills and analytical thinking, but also my soft-business skills such as effective and efficient communication and negotiating.  All of what I have described were “planned events” through my initial time at GE Capital.  However, life always brings unplanned events as well.  In my last rotation on FMP, I was given a role in underwriting in a business unit that provides leveraged loans to middle market companies being bought by private equity sponsors.  I very much enjoyed this role, and realized that this was the career path that I wanted to pursue (versus traditional corporate finance).  However, General Electric, and in particular GE Capital, was going through large changes at the time. There was a meaningful corporate strategy shift to move away from “banking” and focus the conglomerate on industrial businesses.  Part of this decision by GE was due to stricter regulatory requirements on large financial institutions after the financial crisis of 2008/2009.  While the traditional banking sector overall faced new regulations at the time, there started to be large growth in the alternative asset management sector, such as private equity and debt firms.  I saw this trend occurring (similar to other colleagues and friends) and decided to seek my next role at a private markets firm.  This led me to my second employer, Partners Group, a global private markets asset manager.  The key takeaway from this “career event” for me is to make sure you get the most out of “planned events” in your career, by doing the best you can do at the job you are currently doing, because “unplanned events” will occur which will bring difficult decisions, but also promising career opportunities!  How one performs in “planned events” I’ve noticed in my career dictates how one can effectively adapt to “unplanned events” in a career.

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

I was very involved in the Economics department when I was on campus, since I was an Economics-Accounting major.  I was part of the Student Advisory Committee for several years, and then was the Chairman of the committee for two of those years.  I was also a member of the Economics department Honors Program, in which I spent over a year conducting research and writing a senior thesis on the financial crisis of 2008/2009.  I was a member of the pre-business program, and took a class that managed the student managed endowment fund.  I volunteered through the SPUD, and was a member of the club baseball team for four years.  In my last two years, I was also a tour guide for the admissions office.

 

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

I majored in Economics-Accounting.  While I did not pursue a traditional career in public accounting, accounting is the basis for everything in finance.  Any student interested in pursuing a career in finance must have a strong understanding of accounting.  But that does not and should not preclude non-accounting majors from pursuing a career in finance. While the technical background has surely helped me in my career, the analytical thinking and quantitative analysis aspects of accounting is what has helped me the most in my career.  In my field, it is crucial to evaluate businesses from both a quantitative and qualitative aspect, using fact-based assertions to drive investment theses.

 

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

Aside from my technical background, one of the most important skills that I developed meaningfully at Holy Cross is my written and oral communication skills.  A lot of my job is being able to effectively communicate both internally and externally.  From an internal perspective, I have an investment committee that I present my investment opportunities to in order to obtain approval to make an investment.  In order to obtain approval, I must effectively communicate the merits and risks of an investment opportunity, through both quantitative and qualitative assertions, written in memos and orally in person.  There is always “pushback” from investment committee members—that is their job, to play “devil’s advocate” and ask as many questions as possible.  Therefore, it is a continual iterative process when evaluating investment opportunities, and being able to effectively communicate internally is paramount to success.  I must also work with external parties, such as management teams and other private equity firms, in order to negotiate the best possible deal terms for my firm.  It’s a craft that I am still developing and will be developing over the rest of my career, but Holy Cross established a strong foundation to start building from.

 

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

If you are interested in pursuing a career in finance, your GPA will be the first criteria that a company will look at from both an internship and entry-level job perspective.  In other words, make sure you are getting it done in the classroom first!  Second, I would recommend taking quantitative classes, such as accounting, economics, math, or pre-business/investment classes. Holy Cross students largely have strong communication skills, due to the rigorous liberal arts curriculum in place, but it is important to develop quantitative reasoning skills in order to be “on par” with competing students from business programs at other colleges and universities.  Third, develop a strong interest in reading the Wall Street Journal or New York Times business section.  I’ve probably learned the most about financial markets, the economy, and businesses from reading the WSJ.  Pick topics that interest you, and read as much about them as possible.  Read the articles critically, and if a concept does not make sense to you, don’t just move onto the next article, figure out the concept because that is how real learning takes place.  Lastly, it is absolutely crucial to understand what it means to have a career in finance, and there are many different types of careers in finance.  Talk with as many people as possible, ask them what they like and dislike about their jobs.  People love talking about themselves, so “pick as many brains” as possible.

Meet Alumna Stephanie Schaefer Ford ’11, Senior Marketing Copywriter with Rue Gilt Groupe

Stephanie Schaefer Ford

Class Year: 2011

Title: Senior Marketing Copywriter

Organization Name: Rue Gilt Groupe

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

As a Senior Copywriter, I am responsible for crafting the stories that support Rue La La’s marketing initiatives, whether it be as straightforward as writing clever subject lines and push notifications for our daily sales, or as in-depth as conceptualizing an entire holiday campaign.

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 graduation, I accepted a summer fellowship through the International Radio & Television Society in New York City. My spot was sponsored by The Hallmark Channel/Crown Media Networks and its CEO (Bill Abbot, Class of ‘84). It was an amazing experience and exposed me to the ins and outs of the industry.

Through the program, I interned in the marketing and publicity department of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, assisting with the promotion of films like The Help & Cars 2. During the course of the summer, I also attended seminars hosted by IRTS and media executives in various positions, ranging from ad sales to production. These meetings confirmed that I wanted my next role to involve creativity and writing, which eventually led me to pursue a position as an Editorial Assistant at an online magazine.

 

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

I was the Vice President of the English Honor Society and Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Purple Literary Magazine during my senior year. I also was involved with the Campus Activities Board (CAB), volunteered at Friendly House in Worcester through SPUD, and contributed articles to The Crusader Newspaper.

 

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

I majored in English, with a concentration in Creative Writing. I remember right before graduation, one of my favorite professors, Leah Cohen, asked us to respond to an article that said, “graduating with an English Degree is like going out into a storm without a coat.” I believe my response was something along the lines of “I’d rather go out coatless than wear one that isn’t my style.” Through my Holy Cross courses, I realized I wanted a career that would fulfill me creatively, but I wasn’t quite sure what that would be. English majors may not have a direct path, but that’s half the fun!

 

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

I’m fortunate that I get to hone the skills I developed in college every day. Holy Cross taught me to think outside of the box and express my voice, whether that be in an extensive 20-page thesis paper or a three-line poem for a Creative Writing class. These abilities are certainly valuable when you’re a Copywriter writing for a variety of different mediums.

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

Learn from every experience, big and small. Also, I think it’s important to be adaptable, but always stay true to your passions. Luckily, in today’s digital world that’s easier than ever. For instance, in my spare time, I contribute to Writer’s Bone, a podcast and website my husband co-founded, dedicated to writing. I’m fortunate to have a creatively fulfilling day job, but interviewing authors and screenwriters for the podcast allows me to hone a different set of skills. In addition to signing up for courses and extracurriculars that you’re passionate about, I’d encourage students to pick up a side hustle, start a blog, or do whatever it is that fuels your creative spirit.

 

 

Meet Alum Doug Moringiello ’11, Trade Support Analyst at GMO

 

Name: Doug Moringiello

Class Year: 2011

Title: Trade Support Analyst (Fixed Income Trader’s Assistant)

Organization Name: Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co (GMO)

 

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

Analyzing and confirming all fixed income and derivate trade details between GMO and external parties (brokers, custodians, vendors, etc.)

 

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 fortunate at Holy Cross to meet alumni who I admired and respected who worked in finance. After speaking with upperclassmen and alums who worked in the industry and getting a better understanding of what they do I became interested in working in finance. While a fair amount of networking and job searching was ad hoc I am excited that the Career Services department is working to develop a robust Finance Community, I think this will serve students and alumni well with a formalized network.

 

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

Varsity Track & Field, Work Study Program (Kimball and Athletic Department), and Habitat for Humanity

 

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

Major: History. History seems to be an unconventional major for someone working in finance, but the skills I developed through my major, specifically understanding and weighing multiple points of views, building an argument based on historical analysis, and being able to distill volumes of reading into short, concise assertions have been invaluable. Being able to consume mountains of research, connect an investment thesis with specific transactions, and constantly re-evaluate the impacts of current events on financial markets are skills I use every day, and I am uniquely positioned to do so because of my time majoring in History at Holy Cross.

 

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

Persistence – The best traders I’ve met aren’t the best traders simply because they’re smart; they are the best traders because they’re driven and relentless in their pursuit to improve and constantly challenge themselves. Holy Cross is incredibly challenging academically and you may feel like your grades are not reflective of your effort. The ability to persist and challenge yourself to improve everyday is a unique skill Holy Cross students are able to develop. Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable – In any profession you’re going to have to be able to perform under pressure. On a trading desk you’re going to have to get comfortable in a constantly changing environment. Every day is going to be different and its essential that you be able to adapt. I learned a lot about myself living in a cold Boyden Street apartment for two years – if you navigate your time socially and academically at Holy Cross you’re going to develop the skills needed to succeed.

 

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

 Be honest with yourself about what interests you and what you are passionate about. Be sincere with both your peers and people you meet in the industry. Leverage the Holy Cross community as much as you can. I’ve found alumni are always eager to share their story with students who take the initiative and are sincerely interested in learning.

Meet Alumna Alison Cheung ’06, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Space Systems and Technology Division

Full Name: Alison Cheung

Class Year: 2006

Title: Engineer, Space Systems and Technology Division

Organization: MIT Lincoln Laboratory

 

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

My job entails designing and validating software to control and collect data from space surveillance sensors (optical telescopes and radar) that observe, track, and characterize space objects.

 

 

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

At Holy Cross, I was involved in the Holy Cross Chamber Orchestra, the Goodtime Marching Band, Calculus Workshop Tutoring, Society of Physics Students, SPUD, and Appalachia.

 

 

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

I was a double major in mathematics and physics.  This provided me with a strong foundation to go in a variety of science directions.  I never had a specific path in mind so this gave me lots of options.

 

 

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?

During my sophomore year, I received an email about an opportunity for physics students to apply for an internship at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory funded through the Massachusetts Space Grant Consortium.  I didn’t expect it, but jumped on the opportunity, put together a resume and cover letter, and had phone interviews with potential mentors.  I spent the summers after my sophomore, junior, and senior years at JPL and knew this field and environment was what I wanted.  After completing graduate school, I called my mentor and said I wanted to return to JPL as a full-time employee.  My internship, that came about because of Holy Cross, got me my internship at JPL.  My performance during that internship allowed me to return subsequent summers and ultimately lead to my first full-time job where I worked on mission operations for the Cassini spacecraft that was orbiting Saturn.

 

 

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

Holy Cross helped me develop confidence in my abilities by being in a small setting where professors could suggest opportunities that I would not have pursued on my own.  One of these opportunities was independent study during the academic year where I was able to develop research skills.  Particularly useful was the ability to navigate dead-ends and uncertainty in where an approach might lead.

Meet Alum Christopher Pichay ’95, Family Physician, Circle of Life Family Medicine

Full Name: Christopher Pichay

Class Year: ’95

Title: Family Physician/DO, President/Co-Owner of Circle of Life Family Medicine

 

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

 

As being a family physician who co owns a private family practice with my wife who is also a physician, my job entails providing health care for patients of all ages while at the same time dealing with running a business.

 

 

2. How do you balance life and work?

 

I balance my personal life and work through the grace of God and with the support of my family.  There is no other way!

 

 

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

 

While I was on campus I was involved with intramural sports (Basketball and volleyball), a martial arts club, SPUD, and ALANA

 

 

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

 

I majored in biology and minored in visual arts.  I had already made up my mind to become a physician before enrolling in undergrad studies and I believed biology would help with the pre med concentration and my application to medical school.  Majoring in biology prepared me to teach biology and Anatomy & Physiology to high school students.

 

 

5. 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?

 

Planned:  getting into medical school and becoming a physician.

Unplanned:  Having the opportunity to play D1 basketball, becoming a high school teacher upon graduation, marrying a fellow medical student and then going on to have 9 children with that spouse.  It just goes to show that sometimes your initial plan is not the correct plan and that the plan you often end up with is the best case scenario!  I have no regrets with how my life turned out and feel extremely blessed to be where I am today!

 

 

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

 

I found a renewed strength in my faith going to Holy Cross, a maturation in learning and how to apply what I’ve learned to real work experience, and I realized the importance of the reputation of excellence Holy Cross has established in the outside world and the lifelong camaraderie and networking advantage of being a Crusader!