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 Alumna Abaigeal Healy ’11, Communication & Change Management Consultant, Willis Towers Watson

Name: Abaigeal Heally

Class Year: 2011

Title: Communication & Change Management Consultant

Organization Name: Willis Towers Watson

 

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

I develop and implement communication strategies and employee engagement tools to help large organizations enhance their total employee experience.

 

What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross?

 Several extra-curricular activities connected me to the communications industry and the business world, including:

  • Pre-Business club and its accompanying networking events – this is how I learned about EMC, which was my first job after Holy Cross; I spoke up during a Q&A session and afterward an alumni and employee of EMC encouraged me to apply to their Marketing Development Program
  • Summer Internship Program (SIP) – I had two fantastic internships where I worked alongside Holy Cross alumni, one of them who was the CEO of the company at the time
  • Communications and Advertising Club (now called the Agency, I believe)
  • Alumni panel where I explored fields I might be interested in
  • Holy Cross sponsored Career Fairs

 

What were you involved in when you were on campus?

Besides some of the career-focused activities, I noted above, I studied abroad for a year in Ireland. This was a unique opportunity that provided me with fresh perspectives – it set me apart from other candidates when applying for jobs who studied for just a semester or so. I have been able to apply my experiences from my year abroad to every job I have had since graduating. Having, since worked at three global companies, I find this continues to be an important part of my career – working at a company that’s involved in international projects and seeks to understand global perspectives.

I was also involved with the Jesuit community at Holy Cross, having served as a Eucharistic minister.

 

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

I was a Psychology major and Studio Art Minor. I knew I enjoyed studying people, especially, emotional intelligence. I wanted to mix my interest in Psychology with my passion for design. That naturally led me to explore marketing and branding. What I learned after several internships was that writing was a way to influence people, and if you do it right, you can change behaviors. This was exciting to me! I wanted to be able to use my degree and what I knew about cognitive processes and apply that to the real world – to the everyday working person, employees.

That’s when I learned more about Communications and all the different hats that Communications people wear at corporations. Communications is a job where you use words and visuals to reach and inform the everyday consumer – the employee (you and me) on all sorts of topics from announcements like leadership changes to new benefit programs. As a consultant, I help companies all over the world do this. It’s always changing and I get to learn about lots of news, workplaces and cultures!

 

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

 The obvious ones are time management, project management and writing skills. The more philosophical one that Holy Cross encouraged me to develop was my ability to question. Challenging the status quo is the approach I take to solve everyday business problems.

 

What advice do you have for students on campus today?

 I recently went to the Massachusetts Women’s Conference and saw Elizabeth Gilbert speak, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, and she said the one thing we all need to do more of is RELAX. I thought this was such a simple bit of advice, but so profound. She said, the next time you are in a meeting, look around an observe everyone. The most powerful person in the room is the most relaxed. As students and as alumni, we all are working so hard, and we should continue to push ourselves to our fullest, but if you feel like you can’t do it all that day, just take a breath, and know it’s all going to be alright! Make sure you have a strong support system and you take the time to prioritize those people. Wellbeing is becoming an ever more important part of work/life culture, if you don’t have your health physically and mentally, we can’t be our best selves. So during your next moment of stress or anxiety, remember… just RELAX! It’s all going to be alright.

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.

Leveraging the Alumni Network to Score Your Dream Internship

By: Kara Cuzzone ’19

 

Until this past spring, I’d heard about the infamous powerhouse that is the Holy Cross alumni network, but I’d never experienced it firsthand. Then I met Micaela English ’08.

I had the opportunity to meet Micaela through the New York City Semester Program. The program involves a four days a week internship, a seminar, and culminates in a capstone project. There are also regular colloquia meetings with NYC-based Holy Cross alumni in a diverse range of fields. That’s how I met Micaela.

The other students and I were invited to meet Micaela at a restaurant in Midtown to hear about her career path. Micaela was a longtime editor at TOWN&COUNTRY before going to work for brands like Anthropologie, Fresh Beauty, and Armarium. I was drawn to her warm, welcoming presence, and impressed by her expertise. It was clear that she knew her way around the media world, and she was happy to share what she has learned during her years at Holy Cross and beyond.

Given our shared interest in writing, as well as her approachable demeanor, I decided to reach out and ask to meet one on one after the dinner. When we did, I mentioned that I was interested in staying in the city for the summer and finding an internship at a women’s media website. Immediately, Micalea pulled out her phone and began texting friends she thought might have a connection to a potential internship for me. And she didn’t stop there. As the semester progressed, she assisted me with my internship search, gave me pointers on interviewing and networking in the field, and didn’t give up until she had helped me secure an internship for the summer.

My experience with Micaela truly speaks to dedicated alumni network Holy Cross has to offer. She went above and beyond in order to help me get my foot in the door in the women’s media industry. And thankfully, our relationship has continued beyond my internship search. Recently, I was able to ask her a few questions about her life, career path, and advice for current HC students. Below, find our conversation.

 

What’s it like being a brand consultant and writer?

I consult with beauty, wellness, and fashion brands on their storytelling, social media strategy, and product and site copy and then also freelance write for publications like InStyle and Well+Good. No sugarcoating, it’s a lot, it’s a total hustle and has helped me earn my Masters in time management. What I like about consulting is that no day is quite the same. And with all of these different projects, I am continually growing and diversifying my skill set. For example, right now I’m working on a project for a wellness brand with their product copy, so I am writing the description and instructions on the back of a beauty product coming out next year!

 Is there a typical day on the job?

Some days I could be meeting with clients at The Wing for a few hours to solidify brand strategy. Then the next day I could be in my work space all day working on a client project and conducting a celebrity interview for InStyle. It’s constantly changing and flowing, and that’s the beauty and the challenge of it all.

 How did you get your first writing job?

I was an editorial assistant at TOWN&COUNTRY magazine. It was a tiny little piece, maybe 100 words, about Kermit the frog being dressed exclusively by Brooks Brothers for the new Muppet movie. I like to think he’d be proud.

Do you have a favorite piece that you’ve ever written?

I think my most personal pieces end up reading the best and feeling the most me. When you’re vulnerable and real, no filter. There was a piece I wrote for InStyle last summer about a life transition I was going through. It was quite personal. Essentially it’s about growth and the journey to self-love, the awakening feeling I started to experience, and the way it set me free. It took a lot for me to put it out there, everyone wants to paint a pretty picture of how your life looks, but the more honest I am, the stronger I feel.

Is there a motto you try to live by?

The universe has your back. I read this book by Gabrielle Bernstein with that phrase as its title, but the motto itself really applies to my adult philosophy of life…with the “Universe” I think you can interpret this to whatever you believe in, God, a higher power. I trust and believe that everything happens for a reason. The hardships, the heartaches, the job that doesn’t work out. I think when one curtain closes, it’s making room for something much bigger. Those hardships have made me who I am. They often do. I always tell people…if Adele hadn’t had that breakup, there’d be no Rolling in the Deep.

 

What’s one thing you used to worry about in college that now looking back, you wish you hadn’t worried so much about?

That rush Senior year where everyone is whispering, “Did you hear where so and so got a job?” Don’t put that pressure on yourself. Just ride it out. Be aggressive, but be calm. Do something you love but if it doesn’t come knocking on your doorstep until you graduate, so be it. I also will tell you, ten years after you graduate, nobody will care about who had a job offer September of Senior Year. There is no race to the finish line of “getting the job”.

Any tips for current HC students who want to reach out to alums and make a good impression?

So many. Before contacting an alum, research their experience and have questions prepared. Google them. Look them up on LinkedIn. Educate yourself. Please send a thank you email after you speak to an alum, not a thank you text.

Kara Cuzzone ’19

Micaela English ’08

 

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.

Meet Alum Matt Surabian ’07, Senior Infrastructure Engineer at Zipcar

Meet Alum Matt Surabian ’07, Senior Infrastructure Engineer at Zipcar

 

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

I create systems, write software, and maintain open source tooling that helps ensure Zipcar’s new technology platform is always able to deliver an awesome experience to our members no matter how many of them are using the service at the same time.

What were you involved in when you were on campus?

On campus I was most active in Residence Life as an RA and HRA of Clark (the best dorm). I also tutored students through the math department, helped out in ITS as an RCC, and worked in the art department as a dark room tech.

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

I came to Holy Cross as a mathematics and theater double major interested in working at the NSA. While researching an NSA summer internship I had a change of heart and ended up a computer science major interested in security and encryption.

Even though I didn’t finish my math major, I took most of the required courses and that foundation has helped me reason about complex algorithms, distributed systems, and the underpinnings of various encryption methods. My sophomore year I spent the summer doing research in the Math Department with Professor Hwang writing ray tracing software for modeling equations in 3D. That experience was one of the first times I wrote code to help solve a non-trivial problem and it really cemented for me that I wanted to be a programmer.
 
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 started at Holy Cross, Computer Science was still a new major and there weren’t many alumni connections in the field. I used what little I knew to hustle programming work on the side to try and improve my resume. My work in the art department and interest in photography unexpectedly connected me with someone who worked at Bose. We were talking one day and he casually mentioned some difficulties they were having trying to find someone to write a piece of mapping software his team needed. I offered to help and the next thing I knew I was a freelance programmer for Bose’s live music division.
I used this initial “break” in the industry as a stepping stone to get more freelance work at a local startup (MySeniorCenter) going into my senior year. By graduation I had a full-time job lined up at a local creative agency (CGI Interactive) where I was exposed to a lot of different companies, technologies, and technical challenges. I really loved the work and I spent almost 5 years there before leaving to join a team that was maintaining the software behind lots of high traffic websites like TMZ and NewsCorp. If it weren’t for the breadth of experience I gained working at my first post college employer I wouldn’t have known the job I have today even existed. I knew working on high traffic systems was a good fit for me because it seemed to scare people, I loved it, and my laid back vibes seemed to help put my colleagues at ease.
What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?

For all its glamour the tech industry is infamous for some toxic cultural issues. I’ve been fortunate to work directly for companies that have been welcoming, inclusive, and supportive, but as a consultant I witnessed toxic tech culture first hand a few times. The culture of “men and women for others” at Holy Cross helped make me a more mindful person than I was when I first arrived on Mount St. James and gave me the tools to productively talk about social issues. I feel this has helped me be a better colleague, leader, and agent for change in an industry that has serious social challenges. I’m by no means at the forefront of this effort, and still have a lot to learn; but I absolutely credit Holy Cross for making me more prepared to take part.

I also think the way Holy Cross encourages students to explore a wide range of subjects and not simply focus on their major has helped me bring a more well rounded perspective to technical challenges. A former boss once said that I was able to, “take the often abstract concepts of programming and interpret it into a vocabulary business staff can understand”, I believe the liberal arts foundation provided by Holy Cross honed that skill.

Meet Alumna Kelly Garcia ’15, Special Education Teacher at Excel Academy Charter High School

Meet Alumna Kelly Garcia ’15, Special Education Teacher at Excel Academy Charter High School

 

Name: Kelly Garcia

Class Year: 2015

Current Title/Employer:

  • Special Education Teacher at Excel Academy Charter High School – East Boston, MA
  • Vice Chairwoman of the Chelsea School Board – Chelsea, MA

Graduate Degrees (if applicable): Master’s in Education from Boston University

 

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

As a Special Education Teacher, my job entails the implementation of Individual Education Plans (IEP) for students with learning disabilities, such as, Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

(ADHD), and etc. and accommodating the curriculum so that they are successful in the classroom.

 

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

During my sophomore year, I went on a service trip to Dangriga, Belize where 12 other Holy Cross students volunteered at Holy Ghost, an elementary school. It was on this trip that I fell in love with working with children and discovered my passion for teaching. Then, I tutored at a local school in Worcester the remaining years at Holy Cross. When senior year came, I applied to Teach for America and got in! I am now in my third year of teaching and am also an elected official in my city. I serve as the District 7 School Board Member and Vice Chairwoman of the board in Chelsea, MA.

 

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

Giving back to my community and advocating for students in urban school districts is a passion I developed shortly after my years at Holy Cross. I am fortunate and eternally grateful I found my passion  and will continue finding innovative ways to improve my community.

 

What were you involved in when you were on campus?  

Pernet Family Health Services, Community Harvest Project, Pathfinder (Passport Program), Study Abroad (studied in Argentina for a semester), Multicultural Peer Educator, Teaching Assistant in Dangriga, Belize, CASA, BSU,  and LASO.

 

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

Majoring in Psychology allowed me to develop a deeper understanding of the differences that exist in our society, and taught me to accept everyone for who they are. Developing an acceptance of all differences and all personalities has truly benefited me in the classroom, and has made my job incredibly rewarding.

 

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

The importance of genuinely listening and the art of networking.

-Asking alumni for advice instead of a job

-Stepping out of your comfort zone and challenging the “norm” allows you to GROW! Don’t be afraid to go against what is socially accepted

Meet Alum Meg Grogan ’08, Group Director, FRUKT

Name: Meg Grogan

Class Year: 2008

Title: Group Director

Organization Name: FRUKT

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

Helping brands tell great stories through entertainment partnerships.

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 first job came from summer internships – in fact, I took another internship after graduation and that lead to my job as an executive assistant. I knew I didn’t want to be an assistant forever but the skills I learned in that job – time management, executive communication, and briefing, organization etc. have been some of the most valuable skills in my career.

What were you involved in when you were on campus?

I participated in two immersion trips to Kenya – first as a participant, then as a leader. I also helped to organize two benefit concerts (with Matt Wertz and Matt Nathanson) with CAB, FCA, and the Chaplin’s Office to raise funds for two programs I worked with in Kenya.

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

English Major and Studio Art Minor. Being able to effectively communicate in a clear concise manner is essential to my job. I am constantly presenting, pitching, and providing my point of view to my clients and partners. Creative campaigns most successful when they have great writing and strategy behind them – all things English at Holy Cross taught me. Marketing also allows me to leverage my Studio Art experience and keep my creative skills fresh. Having an inherent sense of design adds another layer to my day to day work and makes everything I do just a little more creative!

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

Collaboration is something I learned at Holy Cross that I use every day. Whether it was study groups with my English seminars or planning a benefit concert, Holy Cross gave me the skills I needed to work with others to deliver success. Finding a group of intelligent passionate people to help and support you in all your professional endeavors is essential and Holy Cross helped me develop the skills to build those relationships.

What advice do you have for students on campus today?

Enjoy it! College is only four years – soak in as much as you can – take the classes that interest you the most there may not be another time in your life when you can just learn. Foster your friendships since your fellow Crusaders will be the ones supporting and helping you the most in the real world. Remember that professors are people too and have a wealth of life and work experience to share with you-you just have to ask.

Meet Alumnus Joseph McClellan, Vice President, Biosimilars Development Lead at Pfizer

Name: Joseph E. McClellan

Class Year: 1995

Title: Vice President, Biosimilars Development Lead

Organization Name: Pfizer Essential Health Research and Development, Pfizer Inc.

 

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

At Pfizer, I lead the global development of a large portfolio of biosimilars (which are highly similar with respect to physiochemical characteristics, biological activity, pharmacokinetics, efficacy, and safety to originator biologic medicines) by ensuring that all development programs are (1.) aligned with Pfizer strategy, global regulatory guidances and country regulatory feedback; (2.) delivered in a timely and cost-effective manner relative to the development plans; and (3.) developed to the highest quality standards.

 

What were you involved in when you were on campus?

I spent a lot of great time with a fabulous group of roommates and friends throughout my four years at Holy Cross.  (I still do a lot with my senior-year Alumni 23 roommates, even after over 20 years post-graduation.)  Also, I participated in Honors Research in Chemistry and was a member of the Men’s Golf Team.

 

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

I was a Chemistry major at Holy Cross with an interest in analytical chemistry and instrumentation.  After Holy Cross, I attained a Ph.D. in Chemistry and also completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship, both of which developed and evolved my knowledge of analytical chemistry and instrumentation, specifically in mass spectrometry.  To this day, I still consider myself a ‘Chemist’ and ‘Mass Spectrometrist’, even though I have not been a bench scientist in over 10 years.  All of my successes in chemistry and the biopharmaceutical industry can be traced to the foundation that I learned and developed at Holy Cross.

 

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? 

Directly after Holy Cross, I went to the University of Florida to pursue my Ph.D. in chemistry.  I chose UF based on a strong analytical chemistry program, which I was keenly interested in based on my Honors Research at Holy Cross.  After my Ph.D. and Postdoctoral Fellowship at Boston University School of Medicine, I began my career at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in 2002, which was acquired by Pfizer Inc. in 2009.   From the outside and in retrospect, my path looks quite calculated and plodding.  However, at each turn every decision was ‘unplanned’ as none of these schools (including Holy Cross), programs, or company was my ‘first choice’ prior to the decision being made.  They all turned out to be the absolute right, best decision for me!  I have been very fortunate in this way and think that is a lesson for folks to recognize that we are often put in opportunities that provide opportunities for success and its vitally important for each individual put forth the optimum effort to succeed.  After 15 years, I am still with the same company, though I have had many distinct roles with ever evolving responsibilities throughout my career.

 

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

At Holy Cross, I learned about analytical chemistry, instrumentation, and mass analysis, which were the early foundation for both my Ph.D. and initial career at Pfizer.  These skills are still used today as I work with development teams and assess physiochemical data for our biosimilars programs.  More importantly, I learned how to be an individual researcher and solve complicated problems on my own at Holy Cross through the Honors Research program.  While team interactions are very important in science and the biopharmaceutical industry, the ability for a scientist to solve complicated problems by his or herself is an important part for both the scientist’s and the team’s success.

Meet Alumna Makayla Humphrey ’15 Associate Producer at CNN

 

Name: Makayla Humphrey
Clas Year: 2015
Title: Associate Producer
Organization Name: CNN

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

I help plan the rundown, conduct research and edit video for CNN’s Morning Program New Day.

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 Washington Semester was crucial in helping me decide to pursue a career in political journalism. I interned for Hardball with Chris Matthews the fall semester of my Junior year at Holy Cross. I fell in love with the pace of broadcast and the team environment. After college I was hired to be an NBC Page, which is a one-year rotational program in media (I highly recommend!) and after the program, I returned to the Hardball team on MSNBC. If it wasn’t for the Washington Semester, it might have taken me a lot longer to break into national news.

What were you involved in when you were on campus?

I was a part of the SGA Cabinet throughout my four years on campus and worked as a Resident Assistant. While these groups were a blast on campus, they also taught me excellent time management and organizational skills that prepared me for a professional career.

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

As a political science major I loved to debate current events and government. I always thought I would pursue a career on Capitol Hill. However it was after my internship with Hardball that I realized I could have a career where I am able to read, research and learn every day by working in news! Every single day presents a new challenge, especially in our political climate right now. The job is physically and mentally demanding every day, and I know I would never want to work anywhere else!

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

Critical reading!! I recently told Professor Mangiero that I never understood what I was supposed to be gaining by reading 200 pages for class every week. Now I read that much every single day before work. The ability to read and think critically about what I have read is a skill that is invaluable to me.

What advice do you have for students on campus today?

Show up early and be present. Whether its a class, club meeting or internship- be early! I have made it a habit in my career to always be thirty minutes early for work every single day. It gives me time to prep my day so I don’t feel behind right at the start of work. It also has given me time to work on my own research and even help out my bosses/superiors with special projects right as they walk through the door. I found it is an easy way to make a good impression at the start of your career.