Name: Alyssa Trometter
Class Year: 2008
Title: Deputy Director, External Affairs
Organization Name: Clinton Foundation
1. In one sentence, what does your job entail?
Driving forward best practices in supporting student entrepreneurs, identifying and sustaining our higher education partnerships, focusing on internal team dynamics, and people 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?
I came to the Clinton Foundation back in 2015 as a postdoctoral fellow through the Mellon Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies Public Fellows program. The year my Doctorate was conferred, the Clinton Foundation had been selected to host a Public Fellow, I interviewed, and they selected me.
I discovered this postdoc during the throes of grad school. Quite honestly, I was having a bit of an existential crisis, as I couldn’t picture myself in the often unpredictable and ungratifying slog of post- PhD job searching within academia. Alternative career paths post- Doctorate always resonated with me, part of the reason why I worked for the US State Department during my PhD, nothing against academic but I knew my skills could transfer to the outside and they sure have! My stint at State gave me a glimpse into life in public affairs and I was hooked.
My first employer (pre- grad school) was actually Holy Cross, can you believe it?! I was a tour guide and senior interviewer throughout undergrad at HC, so when a job opened up in Admissions it made perfect sense in my mind to apply. I had the best first job out of college, I really think that my admissions road warrior life prepared me for my current career, which is very much external facing with lots of different personalities. I also lead our enrollment processes for the Clinton Global Initiative University now, so very much wear my admissions hat still!
3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?
Besides tour guide and senior interviewer (see above), I was also a member of the women’s rowing team and a summer and fall OL.
4. What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions?
I was a History major and created my own concentration in Indigenous Studies. In every place I have worked (including academia), I have valued and (thankfully) have found strong, female leaders. Aligning myself with women, who believe in, advocate for, and fundamentally support other women, has proved paramount to my professional development. Being a History major at HC brought me my first female mentor and ultimate role model- Professor Gwenn Miller. If you haven’t taken a class with her, do yourself a favor and register straight away!
5. What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?
Talking to President Clinton about the Jesuits certainly comes in handy around the office. In all seriousness though, the ability to synthesize a large amount of information and distill it down.
6. What advice do you have for students on campus today?
Choose bridges not walls.