Meet Alum Nick Bodurian ’12, Associate Investment Professional at Prospect Capital Management

Name: Nick Bodurian

Class Year: 2012

Title: Associate Investment Professional

Organization Name: Prospect Capital Management

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

I am responsible for sourcing and conducting due diligence on private middle market companies seeking financing from both an equity and debt perspective.

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 summer after my sophomore year at Holy Cross I did my first internship at GE Capital as part of the Financial Management Program (“FMP”).  This internship opportunity came through the Career Development Summer Internship Program.  I did a second internship at GE Capital the following summer, and then accepted a full time position at GE Capital in FMP post-graduation.  What made me decide to pursue a career in corporate finance initially was my strong underlying interest in evaluating businesses, coupled with my accounting background from Holy Cross.  Second, I really enjoyed the corporate culture at GE, and knew that the company had a strong track record for educating their employees and building future business leaders.  Both aspects of my first job/employer came out to be 100% true.  I significantly expanded my core technical finance skills and analytical thinking, but also my soft-business skills such as effective and efficient communication and negotiating.  All of what I have described were “planned events” through my initial time at GE Capital.  However, life always brings unplanned events as well.  In my last rotation on FMP, I was given a role in underwriting in a business unit that provides leveraged loans to middle market companies being bought by private equity sponsors.  I very much enjoyed this role, and realized that this was the career path that I wanted to pursue (versus traditional corporate finance).  However, General Electric, and in particular GE Capital, was going through large changes at the time. There was a meaningful corporate strategy shift to move away from “banking” and focus the conglomerate on industrial businesses.  Part of this decision by GE was due to stricter regulatory requirements on large financial institutions after the financial crisis of 2008/2009.  While the traditional banking sector overall faced new regulations at the time, there started to be large growth in the alternative asset management sector, such as private equity and debt firms.  I saw this trend occurring (similar to other colleagues and friends) and decided to seek my next role at a private markets firm.  This led me to my second employer, Partners Group, a global private markets asset manager.  The key takeaway from this “career event” for me is to make sure you get the most out of “planned events” in your career, by doing the best you can do at the job you are currently doing, because “unplanned events” will occur which will bring difficult decisions, but also promising career opportunities!  How one performs in “planned events” I’ve noticed in my career dictates how one can effectively adapt to “unplanned events” in a career.

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

I was very involved in the Economics department when I was on campus, since I was an Economics-Accounting major.  I was part of the Student Advisory Committee for several years, and then was the Chairman of the committee for two of those years.  I was also a member of the Economics department Honors Program, in which I spent over a year conducting research and writing a senior thesis on the financial crisis of 2008/2009.  I was a member of the pre-business program, and took a class that managed the student managed endowment fund.  I volunteered through the SPUD, and was a member of the club baseball team for four years.  In my last two years, I was also a tour guide for the admissions office.


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

I majored in Economics-Accounting.  While I did not pursue a traditional career in public accounting, accounting is the basis for everything in finance.  Any student interested in pursuing a career in finance must have a strong understanding of accounting.  But that does not and should not preclude non-accounting majors from pursuing a career in finance. While the technical background has surely helped me in my career, the analytical thinking and quantitative analysis aspects of accounting is what has helped me the most in my career.  In my field, it is crucial to evaluate businesses from both a quantitative and qualitative aspect, using fact-based assertions to drive investment theses.


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

Aside from my technical background, one of the most important skills that I developed meaningfully at Holy Cross is my written and oral communication skills.  A lot of my job is being able to effectively communicate both internally and externally.  From an internal perspective, I have an investment committee that I present my investment opportunities to in order to obtain approval to make an investment.  In order to obtain approval, I must effectively communicate the merits and risks of an investment opportunity, through both quantitative and qualitative assertions, written in memos and orally in person.  There is always “pushback” from investment committee members—that is their job, to play “devil’s advocate” and ask as many questions as possible.  Therefore, it is a continual iterative process when evaluating investment opportunities, and being able to effectively communicate internally is paramount to success.  I must also work with external parties, such as management teams and other private equity firms, in order to negotiate the best possible deal terms for my firm.  It’s a craft that I am still developing and will be developing over the rest of my career, but Holy Cross established a strong foundation to start building from.


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

If you are interested in pursuing a career in finance, your GPA will be the first criteria that a company will look at from both an internship and entry-level job perspective.  In other words, make sure you are getting it done in the classroom first!  Second, I would recommend taking quantitative classes, such as accounting, economics, math, or pre-business/investment classes. Holy Cross students largely have strong communication skills, due to the rigorous liberal arts curriculum in place, but it is important to develop quantitative reasoning skills in order to be “on par” with competing students from business programs at other colleges and universities.  Third, develop a strong interest in reading the Wall Street Journal or New York Times business section.  I’ve probably learned the most about financial markets, the economy, and businesses from reading the WSJ.  Pick topics that interest you, and read as much about them as possible.  Read the articles critically, and if a concept does not make sense to you, don’t just move onto the next article, figure out the concept because that is how real learning takes place.  Lastly, it is absolutely crucial to understand what it means to have a career in finance, and there are many different types of careers in finance.  Talk with as many people as possible, ask them what they like and dislike about their jobs.  People love talking about themselves, so “pick as many brains” as possible.

Meet Alum Doug Moringiello ’11, Trade Support Analyst at GMO


Name: Doug Moringiello

Class Year: 2011

Title: Trade Support Analyst (Fixed Income Trader’s Assistant)

Organization Name: Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co (GMO)


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

Analyzing and confirming all fixed income and derivate trade details between GMO and external parties (brokers, custodians, vendors, etc.)


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

I was fortunate at Holy Cross to meet alumni who I admired and respected who worked in finance. After speaking with upperclassmen and alums who worked in the industry and getting a better understanding of what they do I became interested in working in finance. While a fair amount of networking and job searching was ad hoc I am excited that the Career Services department is working to develop a robust Finance Community, I think this will serve students and alumni well with a formalized network.


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

Varsity Track & Field, Work Study Program (Kimball and Athletic Department), and Habitat for Humanity


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

Major: History. History seems to be an unconventional major for someone working in finance, but the skills I developed through my major, specifically understanding and weighing multiple points of views, building an argument based on historical analysis, and being able to distill volumes of reading into short, concise assertions have been invaluable. Being able to consume mountains of research, connect an investment thesis with specific transactions, and constantly re-evaluate the impacts of current events on financial markets are skills I use every day, and I am uniquely positioned to do so because of my time majoring in History at Holy Cross.


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

Persistence – The best traders I’ve met aren’t the best traders simply because they’re smart; they are the best traders because they’re driven and relentless in their pursuit to improve and constantly challenge themselves. Holy Cross is incredibly challenging academically and you may feel like your grades are not reflective of your effort. The ability to persist and challenge yourself to improve everyday is a unique skill Holy Cross students are able to develop. Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable – In any profession you’re going to have to be able to perform under pressure. On a trading desk you’re going to have to get comfortable in a constantly changing environment. Every day is going to be different and its essential that you be able to adapt. I learned a lot about myself living in a cold Boyden Street apartment for two years – if you navigate your time socially and academically at Holy Cross you’re going to develop the skills needed to succeed.


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

 Be honest with yourself about what interests you and what you are passionate about. Be sincere with both your peers and people you meet in the industry. Leverage the Holy Cross community as much as you can. I’ve found alumni are always eager to share their story with students who take the initiative and are sincerely interested in learning.

Meet Alumna Alison Cheung ’06, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Space Systems and Technology Division

Full Name: Alison Cheung

Class Year: 2006

Title: Engineer, Space Systems and Technology Division

Organization: MIT Lincoln Laboratory


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

My job entails designing and validating software to control and collect data from space surveillance sensors (optical telescopes and radar) that observe, track, and characterize space objects.



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

At Holy Cross, I was involved in the Holy Cross Chamber Orchestra, the Goodtime Marching Band, Calculus Workshop Tutoring, Society of Physics Students, SPUD, and Appalachia.



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

I was a double major in mathematics and physics.  This provided me with a strong foundation to go in a variety of science directions.  I never had a specific path in mind so this gave me lots of options.



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?

During my sophomore year, I received an email about an opportunity for physics students to apply for an internship at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory funded through the Massachusetts Space Grant Consortium.  I didn’t expect it, but jumped on the opportunity, put together a resume and cover letter, and had phone interviews with potential mentors.  I spent the summers after my sophomore, junior, and senior years at JPL and knew this field and environment was what I wanted.  After completing graduate school, I called my mentor and said I wanted to return to JPL as a full-time employee.  My internship, that came about because of Holy Cross, got me my internship at JPL.  My performance during that internship allowed me to return subsequent summers and ultimately lead to my first full-time job where I worked on mission operations for the Cassini spacecraft that was orbiting Saturn.



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

Holy Cross helped me develop confidence in my abilities by being in a small setting where professors could suggest opportunities that I would not have pursued on my own.  One of these opportunities was independent study during the academic year where I was able to develop research skills.  Particularly useful was the ability to navigate dead-ends and uncertainty in where an approach might lead.

Meet Alum Christopher Pichay ’95, Family Physician, Circle of Life Family Medicine

Full Name: Christopher Pichay

Class Year: ’95

Title: Family Physician/DO, President/Co-Owner of Circle of Life Family Medicine


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


As being a family physician who co owns a private family practice with my wife who is also a physician, my job entails providing health care for patients of all ages while at the same time dealing with running a business.



2. How do you balance life and work?


I balance my personal life and work through the grace of God and with the support of my family.  There is no other way!



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


While I was on campus I was involved with intramural sports (Basketball and volleyball), a martial arts club, SPUD, and ALANA



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


I majored in biology and minored in visual arts.  I had already made up my mind to become a physician before enrolling in undergrad studies and I believed biology would help with the pre med concentration and my application to medical school.  Majoring in biology prepared me to teach biology and Anatomy & Physiology to high school students.



5. 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?


Planned:  getting into medical school and becoming a physician.

Unplanned:  Having the opportunity to play D1 basketball, becoming a high school teacher upon graduation, marrying a fellow medical student and then going on to have 9 children with that spouse.  It just goes to show that sometimes your initial plan is not the correct plan and that the plan you often end up with is the best case scenario!  I have no regrets with how my life turned out and feel extremely blessed to be where I am today!



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


I found a renewed strength in my faith going to Holy Cross, a maturation in learning and how to apply what I’ve learned to real work experience, and I realized the importance of the reputation of excellence Holy Cross has established in the outside world and the lifelong camaraderie and networking advantage of being a Crusader!

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.