Meet Alum Jack Kenney ’16, Associate at SV Health Investors

Name: Jack Kenney

Class Year: 2016

Title: Associate

Organization Name: SV Health Investors

 

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

I help form, fund, and guide companies that make cutting-edge medicines.

 

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 connected with my first employer after Holy Cross  (ClearView Healthcare Partners) by reaching out to an alumnus, Rich Mynahan ’93, to learn more about his career.

 

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

Men’s Varsity Ice Hockey and StEP, a non-profit founded by Jake Medina ’16.

 

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

Chemistry and Economics, which helped build the foundation of my interest in finding a way to blend business and science throughout my career.

 

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

The critical thinking and writing skills that I was able to hone at Holy Cross through a Liberal Arts education are some of the most important tools that I use on a daily basis in my career.

 

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

Use the scientific method to reflect on and build your career: be constantly generating hypotheses regarding how you’d like to shape your career, test that hypothesis through reaching out and asking alumni questions, working to secure summer internships, or finding ways to work part-time during the semester, and refine your hypothesis as you go. Once you’re highly confident you’re interested in or passionate about something, double-down and dive deep.

Meet Alumna Sarah Newton ’16, Software Engineer at Liberty Mutual

Name: Sarah Newton

Class Year: 2016

Position: Software Engineer

Organization: Liberty Mutual

 

1. In one sentence, what does your job entail?
I am a software engineer at Liberty Mutual. I support and maintain the actuarial applications used by the finance department.
2. What were you involved in when you were on campus?
I was part of the Math/CS club and I helped run Tea and Games in the math lounge. I was also a Kimball Captain, which was very fulfilling and where I developed lifelong friendships. 
3. What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions?
I was a math major with a computer science minor. I was looking for a career where I could explore both avenues and supporting actuarial applications turned out to be a great fit.
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?
When I first began the job search my senior year, I was not sure where to begin. Most of my fellow math and CS classmates were looking at grad schools and startup companies. My roommate’s father worked at Liberty Mutual and he suggested I apply there. I had not even considered an insurance company as a career option, but Liberty Mutual is dedicated to technology. I love the security a large company provides and because the technology department is so large, I have plenty of opportunities to explore different paths. 
5. What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work
Holy Cross taught me how to make valuable connections with people. Because my job requires working directly with users and people from other parts of the organization, I have found my ability to communicate to be very important.  I also found Holy Cross gave me the opportunity to have fun even when I was under pressure. Life is full of stressful situations, whether it is a project deadline for server upgrades or three math midterms in the same week, and I think it is important to be able to laugh.

Meet Alum Piero Iberti ’11, Screenwriter/Filmmaker

Name: Piero Iberti

Class Year: 2011

Title: Screenwriter/Filmmaker

Organization Name: Currently between seasons writing for USA Network’s Limited Series “The Sinner”

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

For the past four years, my job has taken the form of Writers’ Assistant. A Writers’ Assistant essentially operate as the keeper of the story for the writers. The day-to-day takes place in the Writers’ Room with intense note-taking, while the writers pitch on story arcs for the season and characters, leading to story for specific episodes. It’s basically my job to internalize and manage the story, as it develops, so I can best support the writers as a resource for information. Sometimes I get to pitch my own ideas in the Room and occasionally I get to help a Writer with their outline, but generally a good Writers’ Assistant is one who listens well and reminds the writers of what they talked about without involving themselves too much.

For all three seasons of “The Sinner” thus far, I’ve also worked as the Assistant to the showrunner/head writer & Executive Producer – Derek Simonds.  As of this past season, I not only worked as Writers’ Assistant and Assistant to Derek, but also achieved my dream of writing my first professional script for television with him in this season’s finale.

 

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 a combination of things. After graduating, I knew I wanted to write, I just didn’t know what specific type of writing road I wanted to go down. I knew I loved movies though, how the visual medium helped communicate and anchor a story or message. I consulted with my friends and parents (my Dad also worked his way up the film ladder starting as a Parking Production Assistant for the Locations Department guarding cones/parking spots around the City in the ‘80s and is now an Executive Producer, most recently for HBO’s “Watchmen”). My Dad didn’t have much awareness at the time of a specific screenwriting path, but offered that a good place to start and learn might be as a Production Assistant on set. This way I could experience all the different departments in unison, get paid to help with, but also learn about what it takes, to make a Film/TV Show.

 With his help, as well as one of my childhood friends, I was able to interview and get my first job as a Production Assistant on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. It was extremely hard work: 14-16 hours, low pay, but it was a start. It was also extremely rewarding right away. It was my on-the-job film school. I was suddenly learning what every person on the crew was doing and how each of them contributed to the greater whole. As I progressed as a Production Assistant, I knew that this was the type of collaborative art I wanted to bring my writing to.

 

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

I always tried to stay involved at Holy Cross. Thankfully the school’s intimate size and support from various programs made it easy. Academically, I was a part of the Summer Study Abroad Program my Junior Year with Professor Judith Chubb in Nairobi, Kenya. I was a Resident Assistant my Junior Year (in Loyola) and Senior Year (in Williams) as well as a part of the Spring Break Immersion Program from my Sophomore Year onward. Sports/Team-wise, I played Club Hockey and vibraphone in the Jazz Ensemble, with the one and only Mike Monaghan, all four years.

 

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

I was an English Major with concentrations in Creative Writing and Peace & Conflict Studies. Like I mentioned earlier, I knew I wanted to write – writing was always a passion – I just didn’t know in what form it was going to materialize or make the most sense. A lot of my writing at Holy Cross (under the incredible mentorship of Professors Leila Philip, Patricia Bizzell and Leah Hager Cohen) took the form of prose. A combination of memoir and journalistic writing helped me make sense of areas of history and social justice I was passionate about. My Professors encouraged me to bring a creatively analytical lens to these topics, approach them from various writing angles. Another important piece, was Senior Year I took an elective — a screenwriting course with a visiting professor (Steven Wingate). That’s when it all clicked. All the elements. I asked myself — “Why am I fighting this? This combines all my interests: creative storytelling, economy of language, visual enforcement.”

Without the support from my Professors and classes to experiment with and meld different writing styles, I don’t know if I would’ve had the confidence or skill sets needed to pursue a career in the arts, specifically writing.

 

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

The ability to write analytically across a wide range of topics, proofread thoroughly and edit meticulously. One hundred percent. Also I learned how to take notes efficiently. Each one of these elements has played a significant part of my career growth. I can attribute my comfort and success in these areas, in part, to two other mentors – Professors Steve Vineberg and Judith Chubb. They both saw potential in my writing/creative leanings and helped me focus them analytically, holding me to the highest standard of structure and grammar.

Also, it may seem simple or cliched, but Holy Cross really instilled in me just how much the ability to listen plays into being a man for and with others. Not only in the classroom or with my Professors, but also through the activities I found myself involved with around campus.

 

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

Stay open. Don’t be afraid to say yes to things you’re unsure of – both in the classroom and out – because you never know who you might meet or what you might experience that ignites you. I can tell you confidently that significant friends, mentors, colleagues and success factors in my professional life have often come from the earliest jobs I said yes to, even if it wasn’t necessarily what I wanted to do. Those are the steps that help you be most in touch with yourself.

Also, don’t feel like you have to have it all figured out at ANY point in the four year span. A lot of my realizations, in regards to a career, came late…even as I was graduating and that first year after school. It’s that openness which facilitates confidence and further self-awareness.

Also, take advantage of the intimate nature of your classes and professors’ open doors. That is what saved me, kept me at HC and allowed me to access the tools to unlock and realize my passions fully. Honestly.

Meet Alumna Kathleen Reiser ’14, Attorney at The Law Office of Courtney P. Spencer, LLC

Name: Kathleen Reiser

Class Year: 2014

Job Title: Attorney

Organization Name: The Law Office of Courtney P. Spencer, LLC

 

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

I believe that every child has a right to a free appropriate public education and I work  to ensure that every family and child has a voice within the special education system and receives the education they deserve.  I represent families with children with special needs in special education matters to help ensure children with disabilities are receiving an appropriate education.

 

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 went to law school at night while working at The Hartford Insurance in environmental claims. I was interested in special education law while in law school, so I left The Hartford to clerk at my current firm. After graduating law school, I joined the firm as an associate. I knew this area of law was a good fit for me because I had a passion for the work.  While I was not able to take my classes focusing on special education law, it was important for me to get practical experience while I was in law school, which ultimately confirmed that this was an area of law that I was interested in.

 

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

On campus, I was involved in as much as I could be! In addition to different volunteer organizations, I was involved in SGA, Purple Key Society, Admissions Senior Interviewer, Student Advisory Board and an intern with OSI.

 

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

I was a political science major and was pre-law. I knew I wanted to go to law school prior to even college and was always interested in political science. I think more than anything, the well-rounded liberal arts education that Holy Cross provides helped me both in law school and in my career. Holy Cross taught me to think critically and how to look at an issue from a multitude of perspectives and I use this skill every day when evaluating a case in order to put forth the strongest argument for my client.

 

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

One of the strongest skills I took from Holy Cross was the ability to defend my convictions and ideas. This skill was extremely helpful during my first cold call in law school and continues to be helpful every day at work.

 

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

I think the best advice I can give, is to take classes and get involved in activities that may seem out of your interest realm. Holy Cross offers so many opportunities and provides a chance to explore different interests. Some of my favorite classes or on campus activities turned out to be courses/events that I went in underestimating. Most importantly, enjoy the four years on the hill because it goes by too fast!

Meet Alum Aaron Going ’14, Associate Director of College Counseling at Worcester Academy

Name: Aaron Going

Class Year: 2014

Job Title: Associate Director of College Counseling

Organization Name: Worcester Academy

 

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

I currently counsel juniors and seniors through the college application and admission process at Worcester Academy.

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 originally wanted to be a history teacher after college. However that quickly ended after I passed my MTELS and went through the process of registering for a substitute teacher position. I realized that the structure and environment of a classroom was not the way in which I wanted to serve our youth. I ended up turning my attention to the Department of Youth Services and began working as a Residential Counselor for youthful offenders. After spending some time working at DYS I asked myself one question…

What can I do to ensure young folks have opportunities and resources that will keep them out of a life of bad decisions?

I immediately thought about working as some type of counselor for a Job Corps or college counseling program. Thankfully I got an opportunity to work at a wonderful non-profit called Bottom Line and that is where my career as a college counselor launched.

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

At Holy Cross I spent a lot of my time participating in intramurals and the rest of the time was dedicated to my studies. I had to work through college to afford different things and my part-time job took up the rest of any free time.

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

I majored in History at Holy Cross. I always knew I wanted to work with young people but outside of being a teacher, I was not sure how to do that.  I began exploring the path of becoming a teacher and that ultimately led me to a world of other career opportunities.

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

Efficiency and Perseverance

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

I think my biggest piece of advice to students would be to “try it” and do not think twice about it. Holy Cross offers so many new experiences and opportunities that can seem overwhelming or frightening but I would challenge students to lean it to the unknown. There were a countless amount of things I missed out on at Holy Cross but I wish I didn’t. Sometimes circumstances are out of our control but to my current and future crusaders, if time and responsibility allows, participate in everything!

Meet Alum, Brooks Young ’19, Leveraged Credit Analyst at Hartford Investment Management Company

Name: Brooks Young

Class Year: 2019

Title: Leveraged Credit Analyst – High Yield

Organization Name: Hartford Investment Management Company (HIMCO)

 

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

My team analyzes high yield investment opportunities across companies’ capital structures to achieve excess returns for our portfolio clients.

 

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?

Through Holy Cross (and with help from the career center!), I was fortunate to participate in multiple summer internships across the financial services spectrum that allowed me to sculpt and narrow down my interests. When assessing full-time opportunities, I put a premium on finding a high-quality learning experience where I would be able to develop a strong skill-set. I was introduced to HIMCO through networking, and once I met the credit team, I was convinced it would be a great learning opportunity.

 

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

My most active role on campus was being a peer career assistant(PCA) in the Center for Career Development.

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

I was an economics major, which enabled me the platform to think about many different career opportunities from an economist’s lens. Classes like Monetary Theory and Industrial Organization & Public Policy had a profound impact on my interest in the financial services industry.

 

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

It may be cliché at this point to say, but communication is vital to my work, and I believe the human capital skills I gained at Holy Cross give me a leg up every day. Whether it is interacting with my boss or presenting an investment idea to the group, the soft skills go a long way.

 

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

My advice is to be persistent and stay positive. I think this rings even truer now with the global pandemic. I am sure there are many of you feeling a bit lost, and it can be easy to get down on yourself when it feels like more doors are closing than they are opening. All it takes is one email/phone call/ coffee chat to open another door – so more you put into it, the more likely you are to get something out of it.

Meet Alum Richard DiMatteo ’12, EVP/Head of Capital Markets at Highland Electric Transportation, Inc.

Name: Richard DiMatteo

Class Year: 2012

Title: EVP, Head of Capital Markets

Organization: Highland Electric Transportation, Inc.

 

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

At Highland Electric Transportation (HET), a national provider of EV school bus financing and services, I arrange innovative financing structures for fleet electrification projects on behalf of school districts looking to convert their vehicles to electric.

 

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

In additional to course work within the Economics and Environmental Studies programs, I participated in the Student Managed Endowment Fund (SMEF), College Choir and Admissions Office.

 

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

As an Economics major, I had interest in how new financing products and business models (specifically in energy) could unlock opportunities and value in traditional markets.

 

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?

While at HC, I regularly attended events which brought alumni to campus and through that process was introduced to the GE FMP program, my first career move. I was consistently impressed by alumni from GE and decided I wanted the same strong foundation for my own career.

 

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

Critical thinking. My broad spectrum of coursework at HC prepared me well to objectively review big picture issues while simultaneously managing details.

Meet Alum Chris Mann ’00, Vice President / Corporate Sponsorships at City Year

Name: Chris Mann

Class Year: 2000

Title: Vice President, Corporate Partnerships

Organization Name: City Year, Inc.

 

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

My job is to work with major companies on ways to partner with City Year, putting their resources, people and expertise to use helping students and schools succeed.

 

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 very interested in sports marketing and event management as a potential career. Doing an internship with the Special Olympics my junior year really opened me up to the realization that I could have a job where I was focused on those things while also doing good. John Hayes ’91 was working in the development office at Holy Cross and I was lucky to have him become a mentor to me while I was leading the senior class gift effort. After talking a bit about what I was looking for in a career, John thankfully connected me with Cyndi (Carton) O’Brien ’93, leading to my first interview and job at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute & The Jimmy Fund and starting me on my career path at the intersection of companies and causes coming together to drive better business and greater good.

 

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

I was a member of the track & field team, helped start the Gateways summer orientation program, served as senior class president, and did two Spring Break service trips with Habitat for Humanity among other activities. Each gave me an opportunity to make long-term friendships, build my skills at being part of and leading teams, and managing the busy schedule gave me a great head in adjusting to the workplace.

 

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

I was a psychology major with a minor in art history. Neither were directly related to my career path, but in hindsight I do think they both taught lessons about what it means to be human. The liberal arts education and academic rigor at Holy Cross also really helped me to develop into a creative thinker, a clear & concise writer, and hopefully a life-long learner.

 

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

In addition to the critical thinking and writing skills, I think building relationships across so many different groups of people including fellow students, teammates & coaches, professors & administrators, and future students and their parents through all of my activities really helped me. It forced me out of my comfort zone and made me much more comfortable in my own skin. That ability to connect with others has been critical as I have pursued more public and people-oriented jobs in fundraising, marketing and communications.

 

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

I would advise students to be patient and kind with themselves. There is so much pressure in today’s world to live up to your own and others expectations. To find the right job, to be successful, to present yourself in a certain way.  Building a career and a life for yourself is something that happens gradually over time, not all at once. I was really fortunate to receive some good advice early on to find work that you are personally passionate about with people who can help you learn and grow. I’ve tried to follow that throughout my career and it has worked out very well for me.

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).