My Alumni Job Shadowing Experience at GMO

Name: Jack McCabe
Class Year: 2019
Major: Economics and English
Shadowing Visit Site: GMO

Describe your visit and what did you gain from the experience?

During my visit, I got the opportunity to visit a few different desks on the GMO trading floor. In the morning I first attended the daily meeting where the head of the floor talks about the goals for the day and any news that was going on within the company itself. I then was able to visit a derivatives desk where I was actually able to see a few trades in action. Later in the day, I got the opportunity to sit in on an equities desk and then later a commodities desk. From this experience, I was able to gain a wide perspective on the various roles that make a trading floor operate.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans/goals?

This experience really translated into my future because I always knew that I wanted to go into business when I was older, but I was still unsure as to what I wanted to do in business. This day helped me decide that a career in finance was right for me.

What is some helpful advice your alumni host shared with you?

Some really helpful advice that my alumni host shared with me was the importance of networking if I wanted to pursue a career in finance. My host also helped me through some career advice and how to go through an interview process at a place like GMO.

Why would you recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students?

I highly recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students because you get the chance to build a close relationship with an alum from the college. Networking is key especially in a field like finance, so the more people you know the better. Also, the program is just a great experience for people that are still unsure as to what they want to do when they leave Holy Cross.

The deadline to apply to this year’s Winter Break Alumni Job Shadowing Program is October 20th! Learn more and apply in Crusader Connections.


Alumni Job Shadowing Experience in the Legal Department at Circle

Alexandra Curtin ’19 shadowed Noah Spaulding ’02 at Circle this summer. He works in their Legal Department as a Legal Director.

Describe your shadowing visit:

Within seconds upon arriving, Noah greeted me with some (very yummy) doughnuts. He introduced me to all of his very friendly coworkers and then we went into a conference room to discuss the plan for the day. He also told me more about Circle and his journey to the company. Next, I met Noah’s two attorneys, Saige and Christina, in their meeting about the legal contracts for Circle’s ambassador program in the U.K. While Noah was in his next meeting, Christina and I went over each provision in a draft of a Non-Disclosure Agreement. She then took me to lunch across the street because Noah’s meeting went on longer than expected. We finished going over the NDA after lunch. I also met and spoke with Cherie, Circle’s director of compliance in North America. I accompanied Cherie, Noah, and Saige to their meeting about forms for potential investors of Circle. Finally, Noah gave me a Circle t-shirt and took a picture with me!

Do your skills, interests and values align with your shadowing experience (industry of interest)?

Yes, I have always been interested in law so it was interesting to shadow a legal director. Additionally, my International Studies major and proficiency in French align with how Circle is an international company with numerous locations around the world.

Based on this experience are there any skills that you need to develop? If so, what are they and how do you plan to do so?

I definitely need to become more familiar with legal and financial terms. I plan to do so by taking more Economics classes and going to law school.

How has this experience changed or reinforced your career goals?

This experience has definitely reaffirmed my interest in going to law school and pursuing a career on an international level. It showed me the amazing various opportunities provided by a law degree. My experience at Circle also demonstrated how increasingly connected the world is becoming through technology.

Based on this experience what is next in your career plans?

I plan on talking to my advisor about the Pre-Law program and starting to study for the LSATs!

Would you recommend your shadowing visit to other students? Make sure to explain why or why not?

Yes, I would definitely recommend my shadowing visit at Circle to my classmates! Noah was a very welcoming and accommodating host. He and his colleagues took time out of their day to make sure that I learned a lot about the company and how it operates.

A Career Path Into Marketing

Finding your way into a career in MARKETING can be filled with mis-steps or big self-assured leaps. Taking advantage of opportunities at Holy Cross such as the Alumni Job Shadowing Program can help you make more steady steps. We interviewed Nerelly Checo who, after her experience shadowing ’99 alum and Senior Vice President of National Ad Sales at Music Choice, Tom Soper, is more confident in taking steps to pursue a career in marketing.

Here is what Nerelly and Tom had to say…

Describe your visit and what did you gain from the experience?

Nerelly: For this visit, I was assigned to shadow Tom Soper. After introducing myself and learning what his job entails, in addition to explaining my own future plans, he scheduled meetings with two of his colleagues in order to give me information that was more directly related to my future career plans. Through these meetings, I was able to gain useful and applicable information, especially considering both of these colleagues were minorities and also did not major in Marketing. This experience gave me confidence that I can actually pursue my future career, despite the additional obstacles I might have to face. After these meetings, I was able to sit in a staff meeting which Tom himself led. It gave me insight into what my experience would be like working with a team, in a professional setting.

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

Tom: The role of my team at Music Choice is to partner with advertising agencies and their clients to place video advertising across our TV, web, and mobile platforms.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans/goals?

Nerelly: I have always struggled with the idea of how to succeed in a Marketing career as a Psychology and Sociology double major. However, this visit in itself really provided me with the confidence that I needed to continue pursuing this career. I learned the importance of internships especially considering I am not a Marketing major. I also received information about how to “sell” myself and make myself stand out, despite my inferior marketing skills.

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?

Tom: Entering senior year, I knew that I wanted to find a job working in sales and/or marketing.  Through the on-campus recruiting process I was recruited by GE for a position in a 2-year sales and marketing leadership program.

GE was extremely strong in their training, and they taught me a lot about how to sell and how to market products.  I ended up working for GE for three years in Louisville, KY and Baltimore, MD and then my wife (Kim Smith Soper ’99) and I decided to move back to the New York area — where we grew up.

Media had always been a passion of mine and once in NY, I decided to take the skills I had learned at GE and apply them to this industry.  I worked at Disney for three years and I’ve now been at Music Choice for 10.

What were you involved in when you were on campus? 

Tom: Public service and community involvement were important to me.  I worked with SPUD all four years, eventually running the classroom reader program my junior and senior years. Like a lot of students, I also participated in the Appalachia service project junior year.  And of course, intramural sports were also (way more than they should have been) important for a group of us.

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

 Tom: I was an English major with an Economics minor. What I found extremely valuable about being an English major was that it taught you to take in a lot of information, to find the key themes in the text, and then to pull together a compelling argument to support your theses based on the texts – usually in a short amount of time. When you’re in college, you don’t have the perspective to understand how valuable this skill is and how you can apply it once you begin your career.

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

Tom: One, don’t be afraid to work hard. Holy Cross is known for its rigorous academic requirements and it helps prepare you well for when you’re thrust into the “real world” after graduation.

Two, keep your mind open when it comes to your career. The benefit to a liberal arts education is that you get exposed to many disciplines.  At 21 or 22 years old, it’s rare to know what you want to do with your career.

What is some helpful advice your alumni host shared with you?

NerellyThe most helpful advice my alumni host shared with me is emphasizing the use of the Holy Cross alum network community. He really highlighted how essential it is to have those connections in terms of obtaining a successful future career. While this information is also emphasized within the campus, it was more effective for me hearing it from an alum and seeing how accomplished he was in his career because of these connections. Through the meetings he scheduled with his colleagues, I received information about internship programs and how to gain marketing skills on my own. This information was extremely helpful to me because I gained other sources, in addition to Crusader Connections, to find internships.

and some more advice from Tom…

After graduation, start working as soon as you can.   I tell this to every student who I work with through the alumni shadowing program – the first few years you’re working, you’re learning “how to work”.  Don’t wait for the perfect job, because you might not know what it even is yet.  Just start working and be open to future opportunities.

My Alumni Job Shadowing Experience at Massachusetts General Hospital

Full Name: Maureen Hodgens
Class Year: 2019
Major: History
Shadowing Visit Site: Massachusetts General Hospital

Describe your visit and what did you gain from the experience?

During my visit at MGH, I was able to help pass out informational packets to new employees before my host alumni’s presentation, meet all four of his coworkers for half hour meetings to discuss their typical day and hear some of their advice, receive a tour of the hospital, and go out to lunch with my host and his coworkers at their favorite restaurant in the city.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans/goals?

After years of wanting to work in a hospital, I had really been losing hope in the medical field and this day sparked a newfound hope and motivation for me. Before this shadow experience, I had never been to MGH before, but I quickly learned that it is truly an amazing place, and maybe even one that I would be interested in working at in the future.  

What is some helpful advice your alumni host shared with you?

My alumni host told me: “A career is not a prison sentence.  When I was in college, I always felt like the path I chose would be binding and inescapable, but it’s not.  You can always change your mind, even once you are hired as a new employee.”

Why would you recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students?

I recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students because you don’t know if you like a job until you actually get field experience.  Most of the tasks my host alumni completed throughout the day were completely different from his job description.  It is also helpful to shadow for the day because you can feel what it is like to wake up and make the commute, what lunch in the city with coworkers is like, how a commute home feels, and what it feels like to come home after a “long day at work.” Until you actually take part in a day on the job, you can’t judge if the job is a right fit for you.  It’s better to spend one day experiencing a job that you don’t like rather than a month, year, or even more.  Even if the job you are matched with isn’t a perfect fit, you will absolutely learn something from your experience.  This program is a great resource for students who are unsure, somewhat sure, or completely sure of what they want to do in the future.  Everyone can benefit from participating in a program like this while at Holy Cross!

My Alumni Job Shadowing Experience | Law

Full Name: Andrew Truong
Class Year: 2017
Major: Political Science and Spanish
Shadowing Visit Site: Cetrulo LLP

Describe your visit and what did you gain from the experience?

I arrived at Cetrulo LLP in the morning and met with Mr. Bryan Abramoske, an attorney at the firm and my alumni match. We first went to his office and discussed both what he does and what the firm does in general. Afterwards, we took a tour of the office and Mr. Abramoske was dedicated to having me meet employees all around the firm to give me as many different perspectives as possible, from paralegals to partners, and even a judge. I was able to meet various HC alumni that work at the firm as well, who all also shared their perspectives and advice about transitioning to life after graduation.

I feel that I was able to see many perspectives on what a career in law could look like, and what paths people had taken from undergrad to where they are today. This all helped show the various potential options that I could take. I also felt that I connected very well with Mr. Abramoske, who shared a lot of wisdom and advice with me, and even lent me a book he thought I’d enjoy reading. He offered to be a resource for me for any questions I might have in the future.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans/goals?

This experience definitely reaffirmed my future career goals of pursuing a career in law. By shadowing at Cetrulo, I was able to see and experience a mid-sized private law firm. I had previous experience working in nonprofit and small private firms, so this experience provided me with a different perspective and option of what my future could look like.

What is some helpful advice your alumni host shared with you?

Some of the most helpful advice my alumni host shared with me was to keep an open mind regarding the future and career plans. Even if you have an idea of the path you want to take, things almost never go exactly as planned. So, while having a direction to move towards is good, being flexible and open to change on the path is good, because you’ll gain a lot of knowledge and experience in the process and will ultimately end up where you want to be.

Why would you recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students?

The Alumni Job Shadowing Program is a fantastic opportunity for students of all grade levels. I participated in the program both my sophomore year and this past year as a senior and definitely found the experience worthwhile both times. By participating in the program you get to see and experience what a profession is like, what it entails, and what it is like to be in the position firsthand. You may get reaffirmation of a career choice that you’re looking into, or you might realize that a certain career is not what you want to do. Which is also just as, if not more, helpful. You might find an area or position you hadn’t thought of that you end up really liking and want to pursue afterwards. The more experience with and exposure you have to the real world, the better prepared you are to move towards your professional goals after undergrad. In addition, you get the opportunity to connect personally with another HC alum who wants to help you further yourself on your career path that can also serve as a resource beyond your shadowing experience.

My Alumni Job Shadowing Experience: Communications


Full Name: Michael Morigi
Class Year: 2019
Major: Political Science, Economics
Shadowing Visit Site: GE Communications; Deirdre Latour (CCO of GE)

Describe your visit and what did you gain from the experience?

My visit was different than what I expected, but in a good way. When I was walking over to GE’s offices in Midtown Manhattan, I was expecting to essentially be following my host, Deirdre Latour (CCO of GE), for the entire day. If she was busy or working on sensitive topics, I expected to be attached to either her assistant or one of her team members.

In reality, Ms. Latour and her assistant scheduled a day that would turn out to be much more interesting. During my time at the GE offices, another Holy Cross sophomore and I spent one-on-one time with several young GE Communications employees from various divisions of the Communications team. During those informational Q&A sessions, we learned about their perceptions of GE and their work, and learned about how they navigated the post-undergraduate world.

Afterwards, Ms. Latour brought us to a GE 2016 recap and team-building workshop. From there, I got to see the full culture of the Communications team, and how various individual personalities interacted with each other.

When reflecting upon my shadowing day, I believe the real value-added was the exposure to another possible career path, a career path in which I can leverage my political science, critical thinking and communication skills. In addition, I finished the day with a better perception of GE itself.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans/goals?

I do not believe this drastically altered my career aspirations, but my visit did convince me that my political science and economics double major could be used in fields beyond just government or finance. Many of the employees I talked to during the visit had degrees in public policy or political science. Some even came from finance backgrounds. Regardless of major, it seems like as long as you are actually interested in the subject matter and can pitch yourself right, your choice of major is not as consequential as some people make it seem.

What is some helpful advice your alumni host shared with you?

Ms. Latour was unable to spend too much one-on-one time with us during our visit (she was dealing with high-level meetings during the morning and, in the afternoon, she was leading the workshop). However, a reoccurring theme amongst the employees was the importance of finding what you love to do, and their encouragement for us to try any opportunity that sounds interesting or potentially enjoyable.

Why would you recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students?

I would recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students for a few reasons. One is that it is a great networking opportunity. Do not expect to get some sort of miraculous internship offer, but instead think of this shadowing opportunity as an informational interview. By putting yourself out there in a true work environment, you have the opportunity to network with not only the alumni but also various co-workers. If you play your cards right, you may be able to leverage these relationships going forward.

Second, it is an invaluable opportunity to see if a specific firm or field is right for you. Going into this shadow program, I was unsure if I would get any value or satisfaction out of shadowing a communications team. However, I was able to gain first-hand exposure to not only how the communications department of a multi-national firm works, but also how a real work-place team functions and flows.

My Alumni Job Shadowing Experience: GOVERNMENT

Full Name: Juliana Brandao
Class Year: 2017
Major: International Studies and Spanish
Shadowing Visit Site: MA State House

Describe your visit and what did you gain from the experience?

I had the wonderful experience of shadowing Christine Barber, the Massachusetts House Representative for the 34th Middlesex district. During my shadowing experience, I gained insight into Christine’s role as House Representative as well as some of the activities and events that occur within the State House. I attended several caucuses and meetings and had the opportunity to network with other people. The first event that Christine had scheduled was a presentation by the non-profit organization ABCD (Action for Boston Community Development) where I met the Operations Manager and the Deputy Director of Field Operations for ABCD. I have kept in contact with both of them and now have the opportunity to do an informational interview with the Operations Manager of ABCD.

I also attended the Progressive Caucus and the Women’s Caucus, both of which Christine is involved in. The Progressive Caucus was a great experience because I got to observe how the representatives coordinate meetings and speak with one another. They were speaking about topics that particularly interest me, such as health care reform, and it was fascinating to hear how they planned and discussed practical strategies to make sure that the meeting would be efficient and their goals would be heard. During the Women’s Caucus, representatives of different organizations that advocate and support women’s rights presented on their specific organizations, explained what impact their organizations have in communities across Massachusetts, and provided important statistics about women regarding sexual victimization and racism.

I was able to speak with Christine on a more personal level during lunch and in between scheduled meetings and events. I asked her about her career path and how she landed her position as State Representative. I learned about what experiences helped her gain the skills that her position requires her to utilize every day. It was comforting to speak about both of our experiences at Holy Cross since we share this college experience in common. At the very end of the day, she took me on a tour around the State House and I got to see both the House Chamber and Senate Chamber.

Overall, it was a pleasure to meet with Christine and learn about her role as State Representative. I found the experience fulfilling and eye opening. As a female student, it was both empowering and gratifying to shadow a female alumni working for the government and playing an active role in shaping public policy.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans/goals?

I gained a networking opportunity to speak with employees of ABCD. I also developed a better idea of what it means to work for the government, and more specifically, the State House. This experience increased my interest in public policy. Christine’s role is relevant to my interests. She works to protect and ensure the rights of her constituents, and she is particularly active in health care, housing, and women’s rights matters. It was wonderful to learn about what bills she is trying to pass and what bills she is trying to resist, especially during a time where there is a lot of political controversy. As a senior, this experience also made me reflect on the kind of work environment that I would like to be a part of, especially as graduation gets closer and closer.  

What is some helpful advice your alumni host shared with you?

My alumni host gave me advice to try to enjoy my last semester at Holy Cross and break down my next goals step by step. As an HC alum, she understands the pressure of having to keep up with classes, participate in outside activities, apply to jobs, and have at least some down time. She encouraged me to try new things and not be afraid of getting stuck somewhere that I do not like since these moments can help us grow and realize what we are really interested in. She also mentioned that the Center for Career Development has really developed since she went to Holy Cross, and based on the information that I provided her on my personal experience, she thinks it is a great resource for students. Finally, she stressed the importance of networking because it is necessary for almost any career path that you take.

Why would you recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students?

I would definitely recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students. It is both exciting and insightful to experience a part of an alumni’s career and see what they do on a daily basis. With respect to Christine’s role as House Representative, and I am sure this applies to other alumni as well, a lot of her work is relevant to changes that affect society, something I found quite meaningful during the visit. Most importantly, the shadowing program is great practice to put yourself out there and get over the hurdle of being shy or intimidated by the “real world.” Networking is key!

My Alumni Job Shadowing Experience | EDUCATION

Full Name: Meghan Lewis
Class Year: 2018
Major: Mathematics
Shadowing Visit Site: The Peck School

Describe your visit and what did you gain from the experience?

My visit at The Peck School spanned the entire day – starting early in the morning with a full staff meeting to sitting in and watching all of Mr. Loveday’s middle school science classes. I was able to see the reality of teaching from a different perspective and all the work that goes into preparing a lecture for a day of class.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans/goals?

At the beginning of this year, I started to consider a path in education using my mathematics degree. Utilizing the Alumni Job Shadowing Program through Holy Cross, I got first hand experience of what my future career would entail and further influenced me to pursue this field.

What is some helpful advice your alumni host shared with you?

My alumni host Mr. Tim Loveday not only answered my abundance of questions about further education to become a teacher with a bachelor’s degree not in education but he also helped me determine what kind of job I should try to secure for the summer.

Why would you recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students?

You can research all about a job as much as you want but you never get the full experience until you are right there in the action! Participating in the Alumni Job Shadowing Program will expose you to all aspects of your desired career and can help you solidify your path after graduation.


Full Name: Siming Zhai
Class Year: 2019
Major: International Studies and History
Shadowing Visit Site: Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C.

Describe your visit and what did you gain from the experience?

I met with the alumnus in her office in the morning where she spent a little time with me going through her schedule for the day and asked if I had specific interest or questions so that she could connect me with her colleagues in the building who work on those topics. We then started the day with a meeting of the deputy mayor’s office staff. I was very lucky for that the deputy mayor was actually stepping down as she accept a new job in a local branch of Children’s welfare and the press conference of her announcement was held at that day. I was able to meet the mayor, the new deputy mayor and a lot of other government officials working in the same field. In the afternoon, I talked to her and some of her colleagues about their daily routine, job responsibilities and an ongoing project of a homeless shelter. In addition, she introduced me to a staff from a different office working on D.C. Statehood as I was very interested in that.

What I treasure the most from the all-day learning experience was how works are actually carried out step by step. For me, the biggest concern of my transition from college to real life is how can I apply my knowledge and ability into daily executive operations and in what way do I find the bridge from my education to my career goal.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans/goals?

I am always worried about my career interest being too vague and idealistic. Shadowing the alumnus in a field that I feel appealing to opened a lot doors for me and turned some of my indeterminacies into visible possibilities as I witness the daily life of the Holy Cross graduate who has shared interest with me and moreover, the love and passion she and her colleagues have towards their work proofed to me that work can actually be a realization of your dream.

What is some helpful advice your alumni host shared with you?

Always know where your boss’s purse is.

Why would you recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students?

For students who are not sure with what they want to do in the future, alumni shadowing can be a short experience of a career which would be really helpful for you to think if that field suits you; for the ones who already have a clear plan, shadowing in the field helps you to get an insider’s view of how to prepare yourself for it. Of course, meeting a crusader out there is always exciting on its own!

My Alumni Job Shadowing Experience | EDUCATION, NON-PROFIT, HUMAN SERVICES

Mary McGregor ’19
Major: Sociology
Shadowing Visit Site: Soroptimist- Women’s Organization

Describe your visit and what did you gain from the experience?
While at Soroptimist, I attended department meetings, helped contribute new ideas for the website and learned how the organization grew from a small women’s service club to an international organization. Through this opportunity, I was also able to converse with Nora and her coworkers about how they got to where they are now.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans/goals?
This experience gave me a glimpse into what life in the nonprofit world is like and the variety of positions and backgrounds represented.

What is some helpful advice your alumni host shared with you?
Some of the most helpful advice I received from Nora and her coworkers was to be open to new opportunities and experiences that arise. Many of the women working in the office began on very different careers paths or interests but used those skills and strengths in unlikely ways in their current positions.

Why would you recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students?
I would recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students because it is a quick and interesting way to explore careers you may be considering as well as a way to gain experience in the professional world.