Meet Alumna Alyssa Trometter ’08, Deputy Director, External Affairs

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.

Meet Alumna Carley Buckley ’18, Administrative Executive Assistant

Name: Carley Buckley

Class Year: 2018

Title: Executive Administrative Executive Assistant

Organization Name: Steiner Studios

 

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

I provide administrative support to the CEO and hands-on office support to staff as well as act as a liaison between the productions on site and our facility.

 

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 all started with an internship hunt for my New York Semester during the fall of my junior year. I knew I was interested in the Arts and Entertainment Industry, however, I was having a difficult time finding an internship. An opportunity at Steiner Studios presented itself at the last minute and I was able to stay in the NY program. As an intern in their Stage Operations Department, I worked with multiple productions and assisted with everyday tasks such as setting up lunch areas and maintaining fire lane codes. The internship introduced me to the behind-scenes part of the industry that I previously knew nothing about. Steiner Studios has given me the opportunity to learn and grow in this industry that I’ve been fascinated with for so long. The internship and the connections I made during that time helped me the most when looking for jobs after graduation.

 

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

I was very involved in the music scene around campus. I was a part of College Choir and Chamber Singers as well as Fools on the Hill. Junior year I formed my own band, “No Protocol” and performed at campus events and participated in Battle of the Bands. Being involved with these groups allowed me to pursue a passion of mine as well as apply what I was learning in my music classes into practice. I was also involved in the Admissions Office as a Tour Guide and then as a Senior Interviewer. As my time at Holy Cross came to close, I found it exciting to see and meet the next generation of students and share my experiences as they began theirs.

 

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

I was an English and Music double major. I enjoyed reading and analyzing epic poems and operas that influence our literature and music today. The double major overlapped many times throughout my courses of study. For example, my 18th Century Poetry class had Martha Redbone perform her compositions using lyrics from William Blake’s poetry. Watching my majors intertwine made me realize what I do and how I do it with my majors is all up to me.

 

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

My interactions with people, both coworkers and clients, happen every day. There is never a slow point in the day where I can hide behind my computer. Therefore, my communication skills is one of the most important skills I strengthened at Holy Cross. I encounter a variety of personalities so it is important that I communicate in a clear, concise, and respectful way in order to assist our clients. Critical thinking is another important skill I use on a daily basis. Whether I need to track down a package that was lost in the mail or conference rooms are overbooked, quick problem-solving can help keep a situation from turning into a disaster.

 

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

Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy. Taking on an internship that wasn’t expected at the time eventually led to my first job out of college and I’ve made some great friends and colleagues in the process. During my internships and throughout Holy Cross, I made some mistakes but what was important was my ability to learn from them and keep moving forward.

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 Alumna Nina Robertson ’17, Bilingual Parent-Child Specialist at New York University School of Medicine

Name: Nina Robertson

Class Year: 2017

Current Title/Employer: Bilingual Parent-Child Specialist at New York University School of Medicine

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

I deliver a pediatric-based early intervention program for babies, newborn to age 3, from at-risk populations. I work with mothers and infants at their well-child appointments and talk about ways to promote their baby’s learning and school-readiness through reading and play.

2. What if any, unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross?   

My senior year roomate saw the job posting through a cognitive development email chain and said, “This sounds perfect for you!” I got really excited and applied right away. During my interview, I mentioned my involvement in research with Professor Anggoro from the Psychology department. As it turns out, the woman I was speaking with knew her when she was in undergrad at Northwestern University and had worked closely with her during her time there. Professor Anggoro was also one of my references for the job, so it all came full circle!  

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

I’ve always been interested in the cognitive and linguistic development of young children and the ways in which they learn. I loved that this job gave me hands-on experience interacting with infants and mothers, and also provided me with the opportunity to work with Spanish-speaking families and give back to the Latino community. I was also inspired by the program’s goal to address the school achievement gap among different socioeconomic levels.

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

I was in Off the Record a cappella group, SPUD Parsons Hill, a greeter at mass, performed in Noche Latina, Holy Cross Choir and Chambers Singers, and club field hockey.

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

I majored in psychology because I’ve always been interested in how people think, behave, and interact.  I knew that I loved interacting and working directly with people, and I searched for a job and career that would allow me to have direct contact with patients. During my senior year, I became involved in a cognitive development lab, which sparked my interest in research and gave me the experience I needed to pursue a research-oriented job. I originally had planned to double major in both math and psychology,  but decided to focus solely on psychology during my senior year when I realized that it aligned more closely with my career goals.

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

Interpersonal skills: the way that I learned to interact with my classmates and professors during my time at Holy Cross translated directly to being able to communicate effectively with my coworkers and supervisors in the working field. Similarly, the time management skills that I learned at Holy Cross, such as creating a schedule to balance multiple ongoing projects at once, helped me learn the most efficient ways of tackling my workload within specific timeframes.

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 Eric Butler ’06, Director of Development, edX / Founder, Final Bow Productions

Name: Eric Butler

Year: 2006

Title: Director of Development, edX & Founder, Final Bow Productions

 

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

Building relationships with individuals, foundations, and corporations and fundraising and investing in both the nonprofit EdTech sector and the commercial Broadway and national and international tour market.

 

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

The Holy Cross Advancement Office was my first employer! As a recipient of scholarship both in undergraduate and graduate school, I had a first-hand appreciation for the work and mission of the Advancement Office helping provide the college with the resources to make the Holy Cross experience better for each generation to come. Advancement and educational fundraising was an industry that I fell into – but one I grew to love as I developed rewarding, personal relationships with alumni and donors who helped the College and my other alma mater, Saint John’s High School, fulfill their missions. Now, I’m part of a whole new frontier in edTech as I seek funding and investments to transform education and democratize the educational experience at scale, globally. While my career in Advancement was somewhat unplanned, my “side hustle” in the commercial theater has been somewhat more strategic and purposeful with wonderful mentorships, support, and invitations to participate coming from some of Broadway’s most successful lead producers. I’ve found the Broadway community to be incredibly accessible and helpful – everyone remembers what it was like starting out and they are all happy to be part of your future success. Theater is a collaborative art form and I’m happy to see that the same holds true for the business of Broadway.

 

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

Fenwick Theater, ACT, College Honors, SPUD, campus ministry retreats, Alpha Sigma Nu

 

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

I double-majored in Psychology and Theater. In many ways, the psychology major helped guide me toward business school. Sitting in a Marketing Analytics or Brand and Product Management class was not much different than taking a psychology statistics or research course – the methodology behind studying human behavior and consumer behavior is identical. All the tools (e.g. SPSS) are the same!  I think my experiences fundraising and in business coupled with my passion for the theater helped naturally lead me toward investing/producing commercial theater.

 

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

Strong writing skills will be valuable to you throughout your life. Whether composing an email, writing a blog entry, or constructing a 20 page proposal for an eight-figure philanthropic contribution – it is very important to communicate clearly and intelligently to a professional audience.

 

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

Take advantage of all that Holy Cross has to offer from its alumni network to its career development office. Since I graduated, HC has really expanded the professional and career preparation opportunities it offers to its students. If there is an industry that interests you, explore it now through an internship or first entry level job. Having experience (even at the lowest level) will make all the difference in the ability to start a career in the industry of your choice.

Meet Alumna Sydney Latour ’17, Analyst – Asset Owner Sales, J.P. Morgan

Name: Sydney Latour

Class Year: 2017

Title: Analyst – Asset Owner Sales

Organization Name: J.P. Morgan

 

In one sentence, what does your job entail? 

I am an analyst on the Asset Owner Sales team and support senior client executives who sell securities services to corporate and public pension funds, endowments and foundations.

 

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?  

Events such as the Finance Intern Panel and Women in Business Conference sparked my interest in finance. I began networking with alumni during my sophomore year and continued those conversations during my first internship in financial journalism between sophomore and junior year. Following that internship, I completed an academic internship at a financial planning office and a summer internship at J.P. Morgan. My internship experience confirmed my decision to pursue a career in finance.

 

What were you involved in when you were on campus? 

 On campus, I was involved in Finance Club, study abroad and Purple Key Society. I also worked as a Peer Career Assistant in the Center for Career Development.

 

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

 I was a double major in Economics and Spanish. I knew I wanted to pursue a career that required strong analytical and communication skills.

 

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

 Time management and resourcefulness. Holy Cross taught me to balance various commitments and meet deadlines. The liberal arts education also taught me to think broadly and critically when approaching a project.

 

What advice do you have for students on campus today? 

 Leverage the resources Holy Cross offers, such as the HC Network, Career Development drop-in hours and alumni job shadowing. Reach out to alumni early to establish a professional network. Take classes that interest you and don’t forget to enjoy the fastest four years of your life!