Posts Tagged ‘Alumni’

Meet Alum Meg Grogan ’08, Group Director, FRUKT

February 14th, 2018 by aclauson

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

January 17th, 2018 by msweeney

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

January 17th, 2018 by eklamm

 

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.

Meet Alumna Asmani Adhav ’17, Clinical Research Coordinator at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

January 17th, 2018 by eklamm
Class year: 2017
Major: Biology (with concentration in GSWS) on the Pre-Medical track
Employer: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Position: Clinical Research Coordinator- Pediatric Oncology/Hematologic Malignancy

What does your job entail?

I’m currently coordinating 14 research protocols, each of which seeks to improve survival outcomes for children with cancer. Specifically, the protocols I work on are geared towards using various therapies and techniques to tackle several different types of leukemias. There are three parts to my position: clinical interaction, regulatory organization, and data entry. Clinical interaction includes processing patient consent documents, enrolling patients onto study, following their progress through the study, communicating required research assessments to patient clinical teams, and shipping samples. Regulatory organization involves making sure that all investigators on a protocol have proper training, addressing queries that are raised by study sponsors, and ensuring that proper record-keeping is maintained throughout the study. Data entry is how all of the relevant health information for a patient on a protocol is de-identified and relayed to the study sponsor.

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 have only been working in this position for 3 months now, and have already learned an enormous amount of information and medical terminology that will help me with my career ambitions moving forward. The physicians I work with on a daily basis are not only experts in their fields, but approachable and willing to teach us as much as we want to learn from them.

How did your Holy Cross education affect your career decisions?

My Holy Cross education exceptionally prepared me for this position because it taught me how to learn quickly, organize large loads of work, and form meaningful connections with people- all skills that I now use daily.

Meet Alumna Samantha Moor, Associate Manager, Global Merchandising Outlet Handbags at Coach

January 17th, 2018 by msweeney

Name: Samantha Moor

Class Year: 2015

Title: Associate Manager, Global Merchandising Outlet Handbags

Organization Name: Coach

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

Creating seasonal line assortments through a strategic and creative lens & collaborating closely with cross functional partners.

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 always interested in fashion & the arts but I am also a very analytical and business orientated person so I wasn’t quite sure what industry I wanted to go into. While looking for internships for my rising senior year summer and talking to previous HC interns as well as alums in the industry, I applied to the Coach internship through the Holy Cross Summer Internship Program. I was studying abroad at the time so it felt harder being so disconnected to figure out my first step in my career path. Merchandising seemed like a good fit as the job is both creative and analytical and I was offered the Coach internship position. I had a great experience and worked with a great team. They asked me to come back and help during my Winter break and then offered me a full time position at the end of senior year.

What were you involved in when you were on campus?

I was involved in several clubs such as Spud, Business Program, HC for a Cure. I also interned for O’Keefe Investment management, a financial planning firm started by an HC alum in Worcester, during my senior year.

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

I majored in Economics and minored in Art history. I think both of them combined is very applicable to merchandising – both business/strategic and creative. Economics especially is relatable to every industry so studying economics allowed me to explore other options before choosing fashion.

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

Work ethic!

What advice do you have for students on campus today?

My advice for job/intern searching would be to do as much research as you can – both on the company and talking to people about their careers and experiences.  Holy Cross has an amazing network of alums and a great career service center so just take advantage of all the resources available! Other advice is work hard, stay positive, and make sure you’re doing something you’re passionate about!

Meet Edgar D. Rodríguez ’16, Legislative Correspondent/Aide to Congresswoman Norma J. Torres

November 8th, 2017 by eklamm

Name: Edgar D. Rodríguez ’16
Title: Legislative Correspondent/Aide
Organization Name: United States House of Representatives; Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35)

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

I am responsible for managing the Congresswoman’s entire mail correspondence system between constituents and her office, as well as, using constituent input (among other avenues) to help advance her legislative agenda by proposing and drafting bill ideas.

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

My original plan was to return to my hometown (Pomona, CA) and work in the community expanding access to healthcare, specifically for U.S. citizen children of undocumented parents. However, after participating in the Washington Semester program in the fall of 2016 and receiving a job offer, I decided to stay in D.C.

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

While I truly enjoyed my internship on the Hill—especially since I was interning for my representative—I still had plans to return to my community. It wasn’t until the Congresswoman asked me to join her on the campaign trail the week leading up to the general election that I began contemplating the idea of staying in D.C. after graduation. Driving the Congresswoman around to multiple campaign stops in California and Nevada and seeing first-hand the issues that she was advocating for and how it related to the work she was doing in D.C., made me realize the possibility of doing the same in Washington. Immediately after returning from California, the Congresswoman offered me the position to stay and help her accomplish the work she advocated for on the campaign trail.

Rarely do you find D.C. staff working for their home representatives. I saw the need to stay here and work for my home representative and advocate for my community because I am from there and I understand the local issues.

What were you involved in when you were on campus?

I was involved quite extensively during my time at Holy Cross through the Student Government Association. I was the assistant to the SGA Director of Student Life my freshman year, a two-term Senator, and eventually Director of Diversity. Concurrently, I was also involved in the Pre-Business program, co-founded the RSO Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán (M.E.Ch.A. de Holy Cross) my sophomore year, took part of several service trips, was appointed to a couple of Presidential committees under the Office of Diversity, and founded the new center for students of color, among other things.

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

I came to Holy Cross seeking an Economics Accounting major. However after my first year, that quickly changed to Political Science. While my major did not directly affect my career decisions, I have greatly benefitted from its instruction in my current job.

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

The two greatest skills that I developed at Holy Cross are the same ones that I utilize today on a daily basis. The first is the ability to manage people. Aside from handling a legislative portfolio for the Congresswoman, I also have the wonderful opportunity to manage our internship program. Understanding the weakness and strengths of people and knowing how to utilize them to the benefit of an organization is something that took quite a bit of trial and error during my time at Holy Cross. The second skill is perhaps more common: the ability to multitask and take on different projects at the same time. For a very long time, I was the type of person that always took more than they could handle simply because I wanted to do it all. Learning to understand your capacity as a leader and how to effectively manage multiple projects early on has truly helped me balance my innate feeling of wanting to take on a lot and doing a good job at it.

What advice do you have for students on campus interested in the Communications / PR field?

I think students always fall short of pursuing their passions and, more often than not, pursue what makes them feel secure and not what challenges them. My advice for students is to try to escape the fear of judgement.

Pursue what makes you grow. There are passions out there that you may discover along the way, passions that you never knew you had. And that might not only impact your life in a positive way, but the lives of those around you as well.

ALUMNI FEATURE: I Was a Sociology and Spanish Double Major, Now I am a Recruitment Assistant

October 11th, 2017 by eklamm

Name: Adrianna Tomasello ’16
Title: Recruitment Assistant
Organization Name: Edelman

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

I manage the recruitment process for the internship program and entry level hires in the Edelman DC office.

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

I came to DC the September after graduating for a three month fellowship in my congresswoman’s office. I did not plan on staying in DC, but I really enjoyed the city and began looking at recruitment and HR entry level opportunities in the area. After starting at Edelman as a recruitment intern in December, I was fortunate enough to be hired into a full time position 6 months later! Public relations was never an industry I had seriously considered. Through my internship, I was able to discover that I enjoy recruiting for PR jobs and learning about the industry.

What were you involved in when you were on campus?

I was on the steering committee for Dance Marathon and danced in Noche Latina during my time at Holy Cross.

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

I was a Sociology and Spanish double major. Learning about social inequalities from my sociology professors peaked my interest in recruitment and human resources because of the diversity and inclusion initiatives that companies have. I also wanted a career in which I would be able to continue speaking Spanish. I discovered in my interview that I would be able to assist in recruitment for the Edelman Miami office. I have since conducted interviews with potential candidates in Spanish, as it is a valued skillset in our Miami office.

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

Learning how to write concisely and effectively through my liberal arts education has helped me navigate the world of communicating effectively via email. I have also been able to apply my Spanish speaking skills when helping with recruitment in our Miami office.

What advice do you have for students on campus interested in the Communications / PR field?

One thing that I’ve heard from the teams I recruit for is that strong research and writing skills are essential in selecting an intern. Skills like writing press releases and building media lists can be taught on the job; curiosity and communicating effectively are capabilities that can be cultivated during your years on campus. Use your time on campus to think about what you are passionate about (and if you’re having trouble, head to the career planning office to talk it out!). PR firms like Edelman serve clients in various industries, so even if you are passionate about a sector like healthcare and complete internships in that field, there is still an opportunity to summarize those experiences on your resume and apply for opportunities in the PR field that could help clients in the health industry tell their stories.

My Alumni Job Shadowing Experience at Seaport Veterinary Hospital

October 11th, 2017 by eklamm

 

Name: Gillary Garcia
Class Year: 2020
Major: Religion Studies
Shadowing Visit Site: Seaport Veterinary Hospital

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

During my visit I was able to sit in appointments and see how the doctors dealt with the animals and the cases that were presented to them. I was able to scrub in and see a spay procedure be done. The doctor explained everything he was doing so I was able to understand every step of the procedure.

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

I have always wanted to be a veterinarian so I was so happy to be able to participate in the alumni shadow program because I could experience what a day in a veterinary hospital is like. There was so much I learned in that one day.

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

One piece of advice my alumni host shared with me was to be open minded for the different opportunities there are to work with animals. Working with animals is not necessarily always a hospital setting, so he told me to get out there and to try different things! The alumni advised me to become involved in volunteer work early and to really get experience with working with animals. It can be as simple as volunteering at shelters or joining summer programs. He told me to pay attention to vet school prerequisites but to also be a well-rounded student in other subjects as well.

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 great way for them to see what goes on in a regular day for their desired career. If a student is unsure of what they want to pursue, the alumni shadow program is a great way for them to explore new things!

Want to explore an interest? Consider applying to the Winter Break Alumni Job Shadowing Program and spend the day with an alum. Click the button below to learn more about the application process.

I Was a Political Science Major, Now I am a First Year Associate

October 11th, 2017 by eklamm

Meet Jonathan Casseus ’14, First Year Associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in Boston.

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

My job essentially is that I am a lawyer in a big law firm conducting litigation for large companies on a variety of issues ranging from class actions to securities litigation.

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 always knew that I wanted to go to law school ever since I stepped foot on campus at Holy Cross. I tailored my course selection to prepare me to fulfill that dream. I noticed that the courses matched my passions while at Holy Cross and in law school, I continued to love what I was learning, proving how much of a great fit it was.

What were you involved in when you were on campus?

Sound of St. James All-Male Acapella Group, RA in Mulledy for 2 years, MPE, Peer Mentors, Brother to Brother Committee, WHCH Sports (Broadcaster for Basketball), Intramural Soccer, Co-Chair of BSU in 2013, Treasurer in 2012, and Freshman Apprentice in 2011.

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

Political Science. The courses really helped me understand how the law can shape countries and states, and the writing equipped me with tools that I still use up to this day.

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

I learned how to have a disciplined work ethic to meet various deadlines especially when they all fall around the same time period. All the “hell weeks” prepared me for the times when law school got really tough. Moreover, I learned how to constantly reflect on my journey and my purpose and that has aided me in putting things in perspective and reminds me why I wake up doing what I always wanted to do.

What advice do you have for students on campus today?

If you have a goal or dream, take your academics by the horns and try to gear yourself towards that goal as best as you can. Also, do not take Holy Cross for granted, the school is preparing you to do great things, however, selling yourself short or cutting corners will not allow you to reap those benefits.

My Alumni Job Shadowing Experience at Nike World Headquarters

October 10th, 2017 by eklamm

Name: Jerome Ferrer Siangco
Class Year: 2019
Major: Asian Studies
Shadowing Visit Site: Nike World Headquarters

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

Through the Alumni Job Shadowing Program I had the opportunity to spend a full day at Nike World Headquarters. It was a Wednesday and Wednesdays are sock day for the Holy Cross alumni I was shadowing. Through meeting with various Nike executives, going into ~5 meetings, and touring the campus, I was able to gain a sense for how a product, the Nike Sock, grew from an idea into a product that is on the market. I went into meetings that covered the Nike Sock in North America to another meeting that discussed the global prescience of the Nike Sock. I gained a sense of how best to manage a team and attack a goal. Every meeting I went into, the Holy Cross alumni had a plan of attack. He knew what he wanted accomplished, how to get there, and trusted in his team to do their part. He lead by example and I learned a lot from him.

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

This experience made me realize the importance, when thinking about a future workplace or career, of the work environment I would want to work in. I always thought I could adapt to any environment, however spending a day at a place like Nike made me rethink this. Through interacting with employees and spending a full day at Nike World Headquarters, I saw a sense of community that I appreciated. The work environment at Nike is one where ideas are allowed to flourish and people can try new concepts. I really connected with this work environment and I would want to work in an area similar to this.

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

To take advantage of every opportunity presented and take risks. Try new ideas and see where they may lead. College is the chance to experiment, find what you are interested in and run with that. After College, take some time off before graduate school to gain some experience in the real world, either through working, a year or two of service, or even some traveling. Also throughout life, make connections, network, and maintain the relationships you form because at some point these relationships could come in handy.

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 provided me the chance to visually see what a Holy Cross education can lead to. I saw the skills I am currently learning in College, skills of a liberal arts education and working with others, in action through the alumni I was shadowing. From talking to the alumni I gained a sense of the passion he has for Holy Cross students and wanting to give back. Through my single day of shadowing came with it a long-term mentor that I know I can reach out to at anytime for assistance, whether it be for guidance or simply a check in. Also I got to see the behind the scenes working of an organization everyone knows about, Nike. It was a great overall experience and one I would love to do again!

Now accepting applications for the 2017 Winter Break Alumni Job Shadowing Program! Hurry the deadline to apply is October 20th. Learn more and apply using Crusader Connections.