Meet Alum Sean Pacheco ’17, Creative Director at VIO Collective Inc.

Name: Sean Pacheco

Class Year: 2017

Title: Creative Director

Organization Name: VIO Collective Inc.

 

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

My job entails developing a voice for brands as well as producing results for small and large businesses through digital marketing methods, such as sales funnels, digital ad campaigns, innovative content creation, and more!

 

 

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

When I was a first-year, I started to practice using my camera to make videos and take photos. My first collaboration was with the Admissions Office, where my friend was a social media intern. We created videos for the Admissions Office, Kimball Dining Hall, and more organizations on campus. It snowballed from there where as the more I did work, the more people started to recognize me and ask me to do work for them. So, my networking and just putting myself out there, trying to see how to use my talents across campus eventually connected me to a content creator job for a phone app startup right out of college.

 

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

I was very involved in the Campus Activities Board. CAB introduced me to marketing in a very fun and experimental way, and taught me how to start analyzing how audiences react to certain initiatives. I eventually started a digital marketing/content creation sub-section of CAB in which I was able to practice my craft and eventually put that on my resume as a pre-professional experience that aligns with my industry.

 

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

My major was Psychology with a Film minor, and the one thing about psychology that still helps me to this day is analyzing data, statistics, and understanding research methods. In the digital marketing world, you need to understand data and how to read it and also how to visualize it appropriately. Psychology has also helped me understand the psychology of the online user and has helped me deepen my understanding when working in digital marketing.

 

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

A skill that I have developed at Holy Cross is presentation of information. Many times in the corporate world, you will be asked to present info and data, and Holy Cross prepared me in summarizing info, getting to the point, and figuring out what is the appropriate way of showing that info.

 

 

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

The advice I have is do things! Collaborate! You have a talent of some kind, whether if it’s artistic or not. Identify that and just try practicing it with clubs on campus, organizations, offices, and more. This is great for building your resume as well as developing your skills.

Meet Alumna Virginia Roach ’81, Stormwater/Green Infrastructure Lead Practitioner

Name: Virginia Roach

Class Year: 1981

Title: Stormwater/Green Infrastructure Lead Practitioner

Organization: CDM Smith

 

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

I am a civil/environmental engineer managing and designing stormwater/combined sewer overflow/green infrastructure systems with CDM Smith Inc. in Boston.

 

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

Joined Jesuit Volunteer Corps, teaching 7thand 8th grade in Zuni, New Mexico after graduating from Holy Cross in 1981. Was then enrolled in law school, but read more about civil/environmental engineering in WPI course catalogue and was drawn to it.  Switched to WPI civil/environmental engineering program, and professor recommended me to CDM Smith recruiter visiting campus.  Have been working there since graduating from WPI in 1985.

 

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

Long-distance running, theater, Holy Cross Choir

 

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

Major at Holy Cross was mathematics, and studied junior year abroad in Madrid, Spain.  The combination of mathematics, Spanish language skills and liberal arts provided a great, broad foundation for civil engineering career.  Was able to complete second Bachelor’s Degree in civil/environmental engineering in a little over two years.  Completed Master’s Degree in civil engineering while working at CDM Smith.

 

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

One of the most important skills developed at Holy Cross that has helped me in my career is writing.  Another is the ability to prove ideas through logic, developed from proving mathematical theorems.

 

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

If you are planning to continue your education after Holy Cross in a specialized area, read the course descriptions for the courses you will be taking.  This will give you a better idea of what you are getting into, and you will know better how interested you are in that career.

 

Meet Alum Paul Endres ’18, M.D. Candidate

Name: Paul Endres

Class Year: 2018

Title: M.D. Candidate

Organization: Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

 

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

On campus, I was involved in chemistry research in the Sculimbrene Lab, the chemistry student advisory committee, chemistry peer assisted learning program, STEM+E tutoring, spring break immersion, eEucharistic ministry, and ballroom dance.

 

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

I was a chemistry major with a concentration in biochemistry on the pre-health track. This affected my career decision because it showed me the importance of chemistry and biochemistry in medicine. My biochem classes especially inspired my career because often times we used medical cases to study different biochemical pathways. Biochemistry is a key foundation in medicine, and I often find myself reviewing pathways I learned at Holy Cross at work to understand what my patients are going through.

 

3. 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?

In a planned sense, I was connected to MGH through Crusader Connections. Senior year, I was always looking at every job posted and reaching out to as many alumni as I could. I had attended Healthcare, Medicine & Science Networking Night and spoke with a few clinical research coordinators about their jobs. What I loved about it was that each position was super unique! I decided this would be a good fit for me because of the variety of the work being done and the clinical experience I would gain. I actually even connected with another Holy Cross alumni in my lab currently who helped me get a foot in the door! I realized my current position would be a good fit when they told me that each day I have to be ready to be flexible. There is never a day where I will be doing the exact same thing as the last, and I enjoy the variety in what I do.

 

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

Definitely people skills for one! A Jesuit liberal arts education of educating the whole person is not just some slogan, by studying different areas it has helped me to connect with a variety of patients from different backgrounds. Additionally, my science classes taught me the data based problem solving skills that are used in medicine every day. My incredible professors instilled in me a skill to be able to look at a problem, and think of how to solve it with the data given.

Meet Alum Evan Maloney ’08, Assistant Dean of Students, MCPHS University

Name: Evan Maloney

Class Year: 2008

Title: Assistant Dean of Students

Organization Name: MCPHS University (Worcester Campus)

 

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

In my role in the Dean of Students Office, I advocate for and support students and ensure they are connected to appropriate campus resources.

 

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

My roles as a peer educator and resident assistant were my first experiences working in higher education.  Several of the Student Affairs professionals who I worked with in those roles helped me explore higher education as a potential career.  Because my first professional role was at Holy Cross, those relationships led very directly to my career path.

 

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

Resident Assistant; SRC; Treasurer of Holy Cross Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta; College Choir; Chamber Singers; Schola Cantorum; German Club

 

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

I was a double major in English and German.  At Holy Cross, you are always told that with a liberal arts education you can pursue any career.  I absolutely agree!  The critical thinking and communication skills that were such a big part of both of my majors have helped me navigate the many complex—and often unexpected—situations that arise on campus.

 

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

Even though I no longer work at a Catholic institution, the Jesuit’s focus on educating the whole person continues to inform my work in important ways.  By focusing on a student’s whole experience—and not just the specific concern they have when they walk into my office—I’m better able to provide them the support they need to be successful.

 

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

Keep an open mind.  Whether you are applying for a job or picking your courses for next semester, don’t worry about always having the perfect “fit.”  Trying a new path might lead to a new passion.

Meet Alumna Lauren Spurr ’13, Brand Marketing Manager

Name: Lauren Spurr

 Class Year: 2013

 Title: Brand Marketing Manager

 Organization Name: The Trade Desk

 

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

Build and amplify The Trade Desk’s brand to solidify our position as the leading DSP shaping the future of digital advertising.

 

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?  

 Immediately after graduation, I went to work for NBCUniversal as a Page in the East Coast Page program. I was an intern at msnbc’s Morning Joe the summer before my Senior year at HC which helped me build relationships and experience to secure my position at the company the following year. After three years working in TV and following my interest in politics to a position at Bloomberg on the campaign trail during the 2016 election cycle, I was let go in a company reorganization (unplanned!). This led to me to reflect on what I most enjoyed about my jobs leading to this point and tap into the network I had built to find a new challenge in Marketing. A former Bloomberg teammate had joined The Trade Desk, and encouraged me to apply since the open position had a vast opportunity for growth, was in a setting she knew I’d find gratifying, and involved challenging, intellectually stimulating work. During these critical first few years in the workforce, I was able to experiment in different industries, build a network of strong professional relationships, and hone my skillset to find positions that offered a challenge, gave me the opportunity to have an impact, and provided workplace cultures where I could succeed.

 

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

 SGA, Gateways Orientation Leaders, SPUD (tutoring at Quinsigamond Elementary and Abby’s House), Manresa retreats, Washington Semester Program, and Spring Break Immersion in Appalachia (Roanoke and Barren Springs)

 

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

 I majored in Political Science, and because of my major, I sought out opportunities that involved a lot of writing, strategic thinking, and complex problem solving. Early on, I sought out opportunities directly connected to what I studied, including an internship at the US Department of State and working in political television. Once I learned that my major could apply to a broader set of industries and roles, I was able to expand how I envisioned the future of my career to include fields like Marketing.

 

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

 I rely on my ability to ask intentional and thoughtful questions, and my writing and communication skills in my day-to-day responsibilities. I sharpened these skills during my time at HC, and they have been critical to all of my roles to date.

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

When it comes to career planning, think big! It can sometimes feel like there are only a few career paths to choose from upon graduation, but the working world is more expansive than you think. I certainly didn’t expect to work in television or Marketing with my Political Science degree, but both industries were perfect settings for my HC skill set and fulfilling environments to build my career. Talking to alums in diverse and various fields will help expand your view of what’s possible and where you’d like to contribute your energy when you enter the workforce.

On the Hill, soak up every moment you have in the classroom with HC’s brilliant professors and the time you’re spending with your friends and classmates. The opportunity to be a student learning from the most knowledgeable educators is a privilege and something you’ll be immensely grateful for when you look back at your time in college. The relationships you’re building with your friends are going to be what you cling to when faced with life’s biggest challenges, so cherish the memories you’re making now because you are building a foundation for lifelong friendships.

Meet Alum Neema Hakim ’14, Editor-in-Chief at Chicago Journal of International Law

Name: Neema Hakim

Class Year: 2014

Title: Editor-in-Chief

Organization Name: Chicago Journal of International Law

 

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

I manage the Chicago Journal of International Law, a student-edited publication at the University of Chicago Law School which features international law scholarship.

 

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 introduced to my first employer through the Washington Semester Program in 2013. During the spring semester of my junior year, I had the honor of interning at the Obama White House in the Office of Communications. I had no prior connections to Washington, DC or to the Administration. I just took a chance and applied online, driven by an earnest passion for public service. A year after my internship, I was offered a full-time job in the same office.

 

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

On campus, I participated in the Student Government Association as an intern, co-director of communications, and co-president. As co-president, I worked with peers at other local colleges and universities to found the Worcester Student Government Association.

 

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

At Holy Cross, I double majored in political science and philosophy. Political science familiarized me with our government institutions, while philosophy taught me to think creatively. That foundation allowed me to keep up in the crucible of the White House and to later serve as Assistant Press Secretary at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. My undergraduate studies also prepared me for law school, where I often call upon my understanding of policy and theory to think through legal problems.

 

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

At bottom, a liberal arts education at Holy Cross taught me to think critically. As Editor-in-Chief of the Chicago Journal of International Law, I need to understand how to identify strengths and weaknesses in legal argument and to recognize top international law scholarship. I also have to manage 43 editors and staff members. The tendency to take nothing for granted, cultivated at Holy Cross, permits me to fairly critique the work of others and offer productive feedback, both to scholars and to my colleagues.

 

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

Whatever you choose as your major and whatever career you pursue, remain open to being wrong. The right answer is rarely simple and often nuanced. Embrace that complexity. Challenge your peers, professors, and superiors, but do so respectfully and for the truth, not ego.

Meet Alum Jeff Godowski ’13, Assistant Dean at Flora Rose House, Cornell University

Name: Jeff Godowski 

Class Year: 2013

Title: Assistant Dean

Organization Name: Flora Rose House, Cornell University

 

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

Jeff supports the educational mission of Flora Rose House, a residential college at Cornell University, through the supervision of professional, graduate, and undergraduate staff and the administration of the Rose Scholars program.

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 Holy Cross, I went on to receive my Master of Education degree from the University of Vermont in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration. My involvement during my undergraduate experience at HC, and the mentors that guided me, greatly influenced my career path and prepared me for my future career. My first full-time job after graduate school was as a Residence Hall Coordinator at Saint Louis University, another Jesuit institution in St. Louis, Missouri. The mission and identity of Jesuit education was an important factor in the decision process of accepting that role, and it was that connection to my students that really sustained me during those years at SLU, even through some pretty trying times.

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

At Holy Cross, I was an RA and then Student Resident Director for Residence Life and Housing and various intern roles for the Office of Student Involvement; I served as Co-Chair and Senior Advisor for ABiGaLe/Allies (now Pride) and Director of Student Life for SGA. I also worked in the Classics Department and Kimball Dining and was involved in theatre, Schola Cantorum, SPUD and retreats for periods of time over the four years.

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

Classics with Minors in Art History and Italian. While not directly applied in my current career, they still heavily influence some of my personal passion areas outside of work. I did have a difficult decision to make my senior year of whether to pursue my academic interests through an opportunity I had to receive the English Teach Assistant grant in Italy from Fulbright. Through a very intentional period of Ignatian discernment in the spring of my Senior year, I decided to pursue my current career by attending my graduate program instead of the Fulbright program. While this might have been a controversial personal decision at the time, seven years later I still think I made the right choice.

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

The high levels of autonomy and creative direction I had through my student leadership roles at HC really helped to fast-track my career and helped me stand out among peers in my first few roles after graduation. I also learned a lot of critical thinking skills that continue to help me in responding to crises and long term strategic planning in a university context. Also, because my current role has high levels of collaboration with faculty, my liberal arts education helped me in forming relationships and increasing partnerships across academic affairs and student affairs.

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

 Look for your mentors and build those relationships. Whether they are a professor, staff member, alum, or an upperclassmen peer mentor, those relationships will be helpful as you are choosing your own path of discernment for life after college. Since most of you are engaging in remote study right now, make that outreach intentional and set up some time to chat with your mentors over zoom and sustain those relationships.

Meet Alumna Regan McCooey ’16, Senior Software Engineer at EverQuote

Name: Regan McCooey

Class Year: 2016

Title: Senior Software Engineer

Organization: EverQuote

 

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

I design and implement backend services that facilitate the auction and distribution mechanics of EverQuote’s insurance marketplace.

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

After my sophomore and junior years at Holy Cross, I interned at a bank as a software engineer. Originally, I thought I would end up working there; however, after my second summer, I realized that software engineering in finance wasn’t the right fit for me. I began to look into software engineering roles at larger tech companies. My family friend suggested that I apply to TripAdvisor. I interviewed in October of my senior year and was offered the job. I knew it was a good fit because the people seemed very nice and the culture was exactly what I was looking for. I also wanted to do more consumer facing software that would impact real people rather than just writing programs for the back office of a bank.

I spent 3 years as a Software Engineer at TripAdvisor. I learned more than I could ever imagine and my technical skills grew exponentially. I still loved coding and solving complex problems so I knew software was the right path for me, for now. After a few years at TripAdvisor I wasn’t feeling as challenged as I wanted to be so I started to look for a new job. One of my old colleagues from TripAdvisor messaged me and asked if I was ready for a change, and referred me to EverQuote. I ended up interviewing at EverQuote and a few other places. What made me choose EverQuote was the people seemed awesome and there seemed like a lot of opportunity to grow from a technical and a leadership perspective

I started at EverQuote at the end of March. It’s been great so far! It’s definitely been a challenge remotely onboarding and learning everything without being face to face with your teammates but I’m learning a ton and I know it was the right move for me.

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

I played varsity golf for two years and was on the ski team. I participated in Big Brothers Big Sisters as a mentor, acted as an officer for the Math and CS Club, and was a teaching assistant for computer science.

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

I majored in computer science. The classes I took at Holy Cross inspired my love of programming, and helped me decide to pursue a career as a software engineer. When I took Compiler Construction, an upper level project course that involved a lot of programming, I knew that I wanted to be a software engineer.

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

Besides teaching me how to program, Holy Cross taught me to adapt and to teach myself the skills necessary to solve the new problems I encounter every day. The software industry is very fast paced. Things are constantly changing and you are expected to adapt and learn fast. Working in the industry is also very different from programming at school. Nevertheless, the various projects I completed in my computer science courses challenged me to face the problems in front of me head-on and to find creative solutions. My Holy Cross experience gave me the confidence to take on the new challenges I face every day as a software engineer.

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

I would tell current students that they should never feel unqualified or unable to do a job because they don’t have all of the qualifications listed on a job advertisement. Job postings usually have an intimidating list of qualifications, especially in the software industry. If a student meets even one of those qualifications, they should apply for the job. Holy Cross students should always feel confident that they will be able to learn the specific technology required on the job. Prior to starting at TripAdvisor in 2016 and EverQuote this year, I barely knew the programming languages I use everyday. Also I barely knew how to deploy a service using Amazon Web Services, but I figured it out and was able to help create a deployment pipeline for my team. It’s not about what you know or don’t know now, it’s about how you can adapt yourself to learn what you need to know to succeed.

Meet Krunal Patel ’06, Academic Gastroenterologist

Name: Krunal Patel

Class Year: 2006

Title: Academic gastroenterologist and Associate program director for our fellowship training program

Organization: UMass Medical School

 

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

As an academic gastroenterologist and an associate program director for our fellowship training program, I help diagnose and manage various gastrointestinal, hepatic, pancreatic and biliary disorders in an inpatient and outpatient patient-care setting, and help with various issues involved with the training of our general GI fellows.

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

I attended UMass Medical School after Holy Cross.  Both are in Worcester so the proximity helped me get to know the school better.  It ended up being my first choice and I was glad to gave gotten in (although as we tell applicants, I would have been happy to get in anywhere).  Ever since I figured out that I wanted to be a physician, I always envisioned staying in this area.  I am from Massachusetts and wanted to practice in the state.  I ended up completing all my training at UMass Medical School – that includes 4 years of medical school, 3 years of Internal Medicine Residency, 1 year of Medicine Chief Residency and 3 years of Gastroenterology Fellowship – two years ago and ended up staying on at UMass as faculty.  My job allows me to interact with patients in the outpatient and inpatient setting, work with my hands as I perform invasive procedures, and work with trainees at all levels, from the medical students to residents to fellows.  It is a good balance and a great way for me to start a career.

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

I tried to get involved with a lot of things, and seemingly unrelated things.  I worked with the theater crew as part of the lighting and stage crew, learned sailing on Lake Quinsig, volunteered with SPUD, was a leader with multiple retreats run by Campion House, was a member of multiple multicultural groups, and a bunch more.  I would advise all students to just be curious and learn and do as many things as they can; it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to be at a place like Holy Cross so might as well take advantage of it.

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

I came in undeclared as a freshman.  By sophomore year, I had declared as a Biology Major with a Pre-med Concentration.  We started studying for the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) during my junior year and by then, I was sure I would be applying for medical school.

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

Life as a science major was busier than for most.  This helped develop a strong work ethic, ability to think critically and stay disciplined, which have certainly come in good use.  Some key skills, and this is true for most occupations, are the ability to get organized, multi-task and be resourceful.

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

I would say that the field of medicine is rewarding, but also competitive.  I would encourage everyone to pursue a liberal arts experience and try to maximize experiences in the classroom and outside.  Take courses that have nothing to do with your major, join organizations that may be different, get involved with service opportunities, learn a language.  I could not emphasize enough how these kinds of chances will never come by again.  But, in all this, you have to stay focused.  If you want to go to med school, or any other graduate program or training program, you will have to meet certain criteria.  So you have to know the requirements, stick to a schedule and keep your eye on your goal.

 

 

 

Meet Alum Joe Darcy ’11, Principal at IDEA Fund Partners

Name: Joe Darcy

Class Year: 2011

Title: Principal

Organization Name: IDEA Fund Partners

 

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

I am a Venture Capitalist, meaning that I meet with entrepreneurs from around the country to hear their pitches and help my team evaluate which companies to invest in through buying a small percentage of the business in exchange for cash.

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

At HC I played Club Hockey for 4 years along, served as an RA for 3 years, and participated in the Summer Business Program. I even played in a small band that performed at 10 Spot and Battle of the Bands!  

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

I studied Economics with a German Minor while at Holy Cross. I knew I was fascinated by how markets worked, and enjoyed the complexities of economics – blending so many different factors together, and impacting every corner of the business world (and broader society). As a VC, the most important factors we look for in a business is a large, growing market with a robust, comprehensive team – all things very complementary to the topics learned at HC.

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

The two skills I developed at HC which I use on a daily basis are thinking entrepreneurially and leveraging my network. With the Club Hockey team, we were on the brink of collapse, so I came in as a Sophomore and took over leadership of the Club. Creatively solving problems is an invaluable skill regardless of career path. In terms of leveraging my network, the beauty of HC is the tight knit community you develop on The Hill, and this culture of “Giving First” is in the DNA of the startup community as well.

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

Never lose your intellectual curiosity, and start networking early. The Holy Cross network is incredibly powerful, and nearly any HC alum will have a coffee chat with you. Be inquisitive, ask more than you speak, and always look to further your learning. Happy to chat with any of you!