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!

Meet Alumna Justine Hill ’08, Independent Artist

Name: Justine Hill

Class Year: 2008

Title: Artist

Organization Name: Self-Employed

 

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

As an artist, most of my job is spent working in my studio making new artwork for both exhibition and sale.

 

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?  

As with most artists I know, I’ve had many non-art-related jobs. But I am grateful for two jobs that helped me connect better to the arts community in New York.

My first was an internship for the artist Mickalene Thomas. At the time she was working towards a large show at the Brooklyn Museum and needed extra help. I only worked there for a few months, but it gave me a huge insight to different ways artists can function and run their studio practices.

The second job was at Denny Gallery (now Denny Dimin Gallery). It was one of those great serendipitous moments at an exhibition opening (which I went to constantly when I first moved to New York, and still do for that matter) when the owner was saying she was looking to hire help. I interviewed that week and worked there for four years. I learned invaluable information about the inside workings of a gallery and the commercial art world from that job. I no longer work there but they now represent me as an artist so it’s still a growing relationship.

 

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

I probably wouldn’t be classified as a joiner while at Holy Cross. But I was involved in GESSO the student gallery in Hogan, I was a Publicity Chair for CAB (Campus Activities Board), and my last year I worked at the Cantor Art Gallery.

 

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

I was declared a studio art major and I believe also a math major when I first arrived at Holy Cross. However, I quickly only want to take art classes and tried to find ways to take as many as I could. I had no idea what career I was going to have.

 

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

I feel in order to answer this I should explain more of what my job entitles, because I certainly did not know this when I got to Holy Cross.

It’s certainly true that most of my time is working on new artwork and projects in my studio. This involves sketching, planning, building panels and painting. I spend a lot of time researching and looking at art in galleries, museums, and at other artists’ studios so I always know what is happening around me and what has happened before me. I also spend more time than I realize on general correspondence and logistics such as shipping, packing and installing artwork. And as with all professions, networking is very important and something I am constantly trying to be better at.

Where I am still very grateful to Holy Cross, is when I am in my studio. Many of the small decisions I constantly make are rooted in what I was taught at school. Decisions such as material choices and being conscious of scale. But also the advice that the first idea is not usually the best and one sketch is helpful but twenty would be much more helpful.

I received great practical advice in my studio classes but perhaps the most important skill they encouraged was to be extremely self-critical. This constantly helps me as an artist and as an entrepreneur.

 

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

Make the most of your time on campus. And what I mean by that is gather as much information and advice from your professors as you can because it’s very hard to find that type of an honest and open mentor relationship after school.

But also, be honest with yourself and realistic about the type of life you hope to lead. I love being an artist and wouldn’t change it for the world, but I may never be financially stable and might live in a studio apartment for the rest of my life!

Meet Alum Rusmir Musić ’01, Global Business Development Lead for EDGE Green Buildings Program

Name: Rusmir Musić

Class Year: 2001

Title/Company: Global Business Development Lead for the EDGE Green Buildings Market Transformation Program

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

I am the Global Business Development Lead for the EDGE Green Buildings Market Transformation Program, an initiative by the World Bank Group to raise awareness around benefits of green construction.

 

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

I was an RA for Alumni and Senior RA for Hanselman; I was heavily involved with Allies and ABiGaLe, including serving as co-chair; I also did behind the scenes work and producing for ACT – Alternate College Theatre.

 

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

I majored in Chemistry but I had a well rounded curriculum in humanities, including almost being a minor in religious studies. I left the sciences behind for a period of time and worked as a career counselor, but then returned back to my job at the World Bank, where I work in the climate business department. The major has prepared me with a great work ethic and an understanding of sciences needed for doing business in the new, clean economy.

 

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?

Immediately after Holy Cross, I worked in higher education, with connections from my student involvement as an RA and later as a Graduate Housing Assistant. I decided to switch careers and focus more on sustainability, so I enrolled in an MBA program at Georgetown. During the MBA, I heavily networked with professionals in the DC area, whom I was meeting through referrals. One of those meetings led to a job offer at the World Bank.

 

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

I approach problem-solving like I approached my Chemistry labs – you figure out where you think you need to be and you work backwards, figuring out what ‘ingredients’ and what ‘reactions’ you need to implement along the way. I also learned a lot about interpersonal dynamics – my RA position taught me how to better read people, how to be comfortable with public speaking, and how to influence group consensus.

Meet Alum Devin Brown ’12, Private Equity Investment Professional- Kelso & Company

Name: Devin A. Brown

Class Year: 2012

Title: Private Equity Investment Professional

Organization Name: Kelso & Company

 

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

At Kelso & Co, I am responsible for all aspects of deal screening/evaluation, execution, and post-transaction portfolio company management including, initial investment screening and evaluation, financial modeling and valuation, due diligence, transaction structuring, and portfolio company management.

 

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

One of the benefits of attending Holy Cross was the diverse student body.  This allowed me to glean perspectives from students who pursued opportunities in a broad array of industries and fields.  I kept an open mind, asked questions, and once I had enough insight to develop my own perspectives, I began reaching out to Holy Cross alumni in my specific field of interest.  The key here was keeping an open mind and not being afraid to ask questions.  My first tangible experiencing was developed through an alumnus that allowed me to shadow him for a day at Morgan Stanley.  I was able to spend time observing the environment, analyzing the temperament of employees, etc. which ultimately helped me decide whether the job would be a good fit.  While I did not end up at Morgan Stanley, I did accept a similar position at Wellington Management.

 

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

I was a member of the Men’s Varsity Basketball Team and the Student Athletic Association.  I also participated in the Summer Business Program and Finance Boot Camp.

 

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

At Holy Cross, I majored in Psychology.  As an individual with a passion for building and cultivating relationships, the Psychology major was a means to enhance a natural interpersonal skill set and interest in the mind and behavior.  Despite my major, I intended to pursue a career in the financial services industry.  In order to accomplish this, I knew that demonstrating and supporting my interest in financial services would be critical.  As such, I supplemented my major with business-related courses such as Economics and Financial Accounting and business-related clubs and activities such as the Holy Cross Summer Business Program and the Finance Boot Camp.  This combination allowed me to speak to my soft and technical skill-sets, both of which are critical in the financial services industry.

 

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

In Private Equity, how do you decide whether to acquire a company?  Or how much to pay?  Once you acquire the company, how do you decide whether to expand the Company’s operations into a new region?  Which region(s)? How do you decide to build a new product?  To add a new service?  To charge more or less for a product or service?  To close down a manufacturing plant?   These are types of decisions that Private Equity professionals make on a daily-basis.  To do this successfully, one must be able to think critically and analytically.  Holy Cross taught me to do both.  Holy Cross challenged me to think outside of the box, to approach topics from new angles, to venture outside of my comfort zone, and to examine the causes and effects of my actions and the actions of others. Most importantly, Holy Cross taught me to think creatively.

 

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

My biggest pieces of advice are to take advantage of the on-campus resources that Holy Cross has to offer, develop meaningful relationships with classmates, and engage with alumni.  Holy Cross has some of the most esteemed professors, faculty-members, and staff in their respective fields.  They are willing to go above and beyond and to provide academic support, career advice, mentorship, etc – take advantage of this.  Also, Holy Cross students are some of the brightest students in the world.  You may not know it, but you could be sitting next to the next big CEO, teacher/professor, president, professional athlete, judge, doctor, philanthropist, photographer, artist – you name it.  Use your time on campus to get to know people, especially those from different backgrounds and forge genuine relationships.  Your classmates will serve as lifelong friends and may also help your career one day.  Lastly, Holy Cross has one of the best alumni networks in the world.  It is one of the reasons many of us chose the Cross.  Alumni love hearing from students and are here to help.  Reach out as soon as you are comfortable, forge relationships, ask questions, and be genuine.

Meet Alum, Viennie Chanthachack ’11, Campus Recruiting Coordinator, HubSpot

Name: Viennie Chanthachack

Class Year: 2011

Title: Campus Recruiting Coordinator

Organization: HubSpot

 

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

In my role as a campus recruiting coordinator at HubSpot, I’m responsible for planning remarkable events aimed to help students discover career opportunities in our global offices, while also ensuring students have a positive interviewing experience with our team.

 

What were you involved in when you were on campus?

I was involved in many student orgs, but back then, I was most active as a CAB (Campus Activities Board) co-chair, a Fall and Summer Orientation Leader, and as a graphic artist for the Student Involvement office.

 

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

As a Psychology major at Holy Cross, you take classes that help you understand human behavior through a number of different perspectives and then apply that knowledge through research. Through that journey, I learned that I loved to be analytical and critically think through solving interesting problems. That discovery not only helped me define my personal career goals, but also the types of opportunities I wanted to pursue after graduation.

 

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 working in Professor (Patricia) Kramer’s research lab during my senior year, I was unexpectedly enamored by the technologies we used to organize and conduct our research. From the software to the equipment we used, I increasingly grew interested in how our technology worked, and constantly thought about how I could enable the team to do our work best in the lab. That love for helping people, like my research group, find technology solutions ultimately inspired my decision to go into the tech industry. After graduation, I was fortunate to start my journey working for Apple. After a month into the role, I knew it was the right fit because I was aligning my passion for helping others everyday with tasks and projects that naturally leveraged my skills and strengths.

 

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

When you take Research Methods as a psychology major, you learn about and practice the methods and techniques used in psychological research. Things like experimental design and statistical analysis are skills that I use daily in my role. Our team is always trying to identify ways to improve the candidate interviewing experience. To do that, we regularly design experiments and analyze data to test processes that we hypothesize will have positive outcomes on our candidates during their interview process. During a time in which businesses are becoming more data-driven in their decision making, these skills are becoming more and more invaluable in the workplace.

Meet Alum Nicholas Harper ’18, Business Technology Analyst Fellow- Holy Cross Advancement

Name: Nicholas Harper

Class Year: 2018

Position:  Business Technology Analyst Fellow- Holy Cross Advancement

 

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.

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.

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. My majors both contributed to the development of critical thinking and detail-oriented problem solving, both of which should help immensely as I progress in my career.

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.

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 Nerelly Checo ’18, Teaching fellow at Nativity School of Worcester

Name: Nerelly Checo

Class Year: 2018

Current Title/Employer: Teaching fellow at Nativity School of Worcester

 

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

My job entails teaching 15 5th grade boys, living in a community of 7 additional fellows, coaching a sport and operating as an outreach coordinator.  

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

I wanted a job in which I can make a difference in the community. This school serves low income boys of color- a community that I myself relate to. Because I was given many opportunities that have helped me get to where I am today, I wanted to also have an impact in the lives of these boys. I knew that this job was something that I was capable of doing with great interest, yet also challenge me to help me grow.

What were you involved in when you were on campus?  

On campus, I served on the executive board of the Latin American Student Organization for 3 years. I was a mentor for the Peer Mentor program and a mentor and program coordinator for the Odyssey program. I worked in the Office of Student Involvement and in the Center for Career Development as a Marketing Peer Career Assistant. I also worked as a caller for the Phonathon and held the job of a Hogan student manager. Additionally, I studied abroad in Argentina for a semester.

What was your major and how has it affected your career decisions?   

I was a double major in Sociology and Psychology. As a result, it has allowed me to become passionate about issues that people are affected with daily, specifically related to social justice. I tend to look at career paths that will lead me to make a difference and change the issues that our world faces. In addition, whenever I interact with a student, I keep in mind the many different societal and psychological layers that go into their lives.

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

One skill that I developed at Holy Cross was being able to maintain strong, interpersonal relationships. My majors and involvement on campus required me to develop communication skills, both written and orally. In addition, I also developed the ability to juggle multiple responsibilities and meet deadlines. Being involved in many different things on campus prepared me for the array of things thrown at me at my job, often times unexpectedly.

Meet Pat Burpee ’17, Equity Sales Trader, KeyBanc Capital Markets

Name: Pat Burpee

Class Year: 2017

Title: Equity Sales Trader

Organization Name: KeyBanc Capital Markets

In one sentence, what does your job entail? 

I trade domestic stocks for hedge funds.

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 a few job offers throughout my senior year but none felt like the right fit, so I actually graduated unemployed. I continued interviewing around the Boston area (where I’m from) and received another offer. I was ready to accept the new proposal, but in the middle of July a HC classmate mentioned an opening within KeyBanc’s Los Angeles office. I put all my eggs in one basket and went for it. I interviewed a handful of times with KeyBanc, and accepted an offer by early September. Essentially it was the perfect storm of events and I am fortunate it all worked out. I have been with KeyBanc since October ’17.

What were you involved in when you were on campus? 

Varsity Golf & Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC)

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

Economics; I wanted to work in finance after college and figured the economics major provided the best route to ensure employment within that industry.

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

Definitely the ability to quickly digest and discern information. HC is not an easy school and there are nights when you are overwhelmed with work. Similarly, there are times during the work day when the stock market is hectic and volatile. Being able to decide what details are important and what items are extraneous is critical when talking to clients. I guess I honed those skills with four years of practice in Dinand.

 What advice do you have for students on campus today? 

A lot of my friends graduated with job security, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t freaking out come May. If you’re one of those individuals who’s still looking for a job come the spring or summer, just know that it’ll all work out. I recommend using the HC alumni network as much as possible. I have never encountered an alum who didn’t have 5 minutes to spare for a fellow Crusader.

Meet Alumna, Sarah Jensen ’08, Director Ad Sales- Crown Media Family Networks

Sarah Jensen, Feb. 18, 2016 Photo by Bruce Gilbert

Title: Director, Ad Sales

Organization Name: Crown Media Family Networks

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

I am responsible for selling commercial time on Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, digital inventory across our digital and social properties and monetizing the many unique sponsorship opportunities that we offer across our platforms during the year, especially within our original movies, original series and seasonal holiday events.

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?  

Holy Cross’ alumni network, Crusader Connections, enabled me to make connections with alumni in the media, advertising and communications industries. Through my outreach, I was able to set up many informational interviews with alumni to learn about their roles and responsibilities as I tried to decide the direction in which I wanted to move in my career. Coincidentally, one of my informational interviews with an alumnus of Crown Media Family Networks, which ultimately led me to the opportunity to begin my career in media.

What were you involved in when you were on campus?

On campus, I was a member of Fools on the Hill, the College’s only co-ed a cappella group. I also was very involved in Campus Ministry, participating and/or leading retreats like Escape, Manresa and the Spiritual Exercises. I was also in the MAGIS program and the church choir, often leading the 10pm Mass in song.

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

As a Spanish major, I was unsure about the career path I wanted to take after graduation. Knowing I did not want to be a teacher, I was not sure how to best put my major to use in my professional life. My first job after Holy Cross was at a translation company. However, after soon realizing that it was not the right fit, I knew I may have to open myself up to other industries and opportunities to find my place. Despite not working in a role that obviously utilizes my Spanish major, the skills I developed through my major and experience studying abroad for a year in Leon, Spain positively impacted my career decisions and helped me secure a position at Crown Media Family Networks even though I do not use Spanish on a daily basis.

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

My ability to write and communicate clearly and effectively has been essential to my work every day. It not only helps me internally among my colleagues, but it helps tremendously in my outreach to clients and in my ability to establish better relationships with them. Also, thinking creatively continues to help me find success, especially when it comes to finding solutions for my clients.

What advice do you have for students on campus today?

Work hard and soak up as much information and as many unique experiences as you can. Everything you do at Holy Cross helps prepare you for the professional world. Once ready to look for a job, be as prepared as you can be as you go into each interview and as you communicate with people throughout the process. First impressions stick!

Meet Alum Ron Zuvich ’07, Senior Vice President at Emet Capital Management, LLC

Meet Alum Ron Zuvich ’07, Senior Vice President at Emet Capital Management, LLC

 

Name:  Ron Zuvich

Class Year: 2007

Title: Senior Vice President

Organization Name: Emet Capital Management

 

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

My main responsibility is to acquire distressed housing assets which qualify for tax-exempt municipal bond financing in the sectors of affordable housing, student housing, and senior housing.

 

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 attended several financial services networking events on campus and made a concerted effort to network with alumni in financial services. I had several family members in the financial services field and relied on their experience and guidance as well. I also attended an interviewing workshop and went on as many interviews for relevant jobs as I could.  The ability to act with confidence throughout an interview is a critical skill that does not come easy to some but can be developed with practice.

 

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

Spring Break entrepreneurship program (would highly recommend), club soccer, intramural basketball, working as an accounting tutor.

 

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

I was an Economics/Accounting major and felt it provided me with a core base of knowledge that would open up several potential paths in the world of financial services (Capital Markets, Asset Management, Investment Banking). I knew from my coursework that working for a Big 4 Accounting firm was personally not for me, so I began networking and applying to jobs primarily at major banks in Capital Markets and Investment Banking. Through some contacts developed at Citi, I obtained my first job working as a capital markets analyst for Citi in 2007.

 

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

Writing and critical thinking – it is not essential, in my opinion, to have a degree in Finance or a business-related major in order to procure a job in the Financial Services industry. I spend much of my time writing detailed credit memos which require performing significant research, identifying investment risks, and thinking outside the box. This is the value of a liberal arts education – always thinking of ways to challenge the status quo and adding value by bringing a fresh approach to old ideas.

 

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

Networking is more important than ever in today’s world – have coffee, a quick call, or lunch with alumni in the field of your choice as often as you can, even if there is no immediate job prospect from such a contact. Be active on the good forms of social media (LinkedIn) and mindful of your presence on other forms of social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.). Don’t be afraid to ask your contacts for help – most people are far more receptive than you might expect.