Posts Tagged ‘Alumni’

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.

EVENT RECAP: Senior and Alumni Networking Night

September 19th, 2017 by eklamm

By Anthony Saltarelli ’18, Nerelly Checo ’18

On Monday, September 14, the Center for Career Development hosted a Senior Alumni Networking Event with guest speaker, Jodi Smith. For those of you who could not make it, here are 8 memorable takeaways:

  1. Always have a conversation starter ready.

    • Jodi referred to this as a “snippet”. It’s a short, unique sentence about yourself, which provokes further conversation. For example: “Hi I’m Alex and I just launched my first iPhone app!”

  2. Give a firm handshake.

    • Always remember that anything more than three shakes is considered creepy and maintain eye contact during the handshake. The tip to having a firm handshake is making sure that the web between your thumb and index finger is also touching their web.

  3. Looking to make an exit from a conversation? Avoid saying “Excuse me, I’m going to the bathroom”.

    • Nobody needs to know that you’re going to to the bathroom. In addition, saying “Excuse me, I’m going to get another drink” may cause the person to follow you or ask you for a drink. Simply saying “excuse me” is sufficient enough.

  4. Be a lion going for the wildebeest. Circle them and pick who interests you the most.

  5. Do your homework before arriving to the networking event.

    • Know the dress code, whether food will be served, who is going to be at the event, modes of transportation and length of trip, availability of parking, etc.
    • Make sure to know the rank of whoever you are speaking to — you wouldn’t want to be caught talking poorly about the CEO to the CEO!

  6. Always wear your name tag on your right side.

    • Place your name tag closer to your shoulder. When you shake someone’s hand, you always use your right arm. Therefore, naturally, the other person’s eyes will follow your arm right up to your name tag.

  7. End the conversation gracefully.

    • Jodi emphasized two things in terms of ending a conversation. It is important to always ask for a business card because this is your way of maintaining a connection with them outside of the event. She recommends that upon arriving home, you should write the date, who this person is and what was discussed with this person. This ensures that you can write an email or handwritten note to the person that includes details that shows you remember them (it also helps them remember you so it’s a win-win situation).

    • As humans, sometimes our memory fails us. Watch out for ending the conversation with the common phrase “It was a pleasure to meet you”. You may have met the person in the past before and simply forgotten. Avoid embarrassing moments like these by simply saying “it was a pleasure speaking with you”.

  8. Always follow up!

    • Regardless of whether the person holds a job in an industry or workplace that specifically interests you, you don’t know who their connections may be.

ALUMNI INTERVIEW: I was a double major in mathematics and physics, now I…

September 11th, 2017 by eklamm

Meet Alison Cheung ’06, Engineer at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

I work sensors such as a large optical telescope to monitor the space environment and enable the nation to meet the challenges of an increasingly congested and contested space domain.

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 at Holy Cross, I was informed of an opportunity via email from the physics department to get funding through the Massachusetts Space Grant Consortium for a summer internship at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).  I had been looking at various internship opportunities from the financial industry to the department of defense, but had not previously thought about NASA or the space industry.  After submitting a resume and talking to a mentor at JPL, I jumped on this opportunity.  I worked hard that summer, had frequent conversations with my mentor, and fell in love with the work environment and the space missions.  This resulted in me returning for a total of three summers under the same mentors but with exposure to various mission areas.  Knowing that a graduate degree is incredibly valuable in this type of environment, I attended graduate school but kept in contact with my JPL mentors.  After completing my master’s degree, I chose to return to JPL as full-time staff.

What were you involved in when you were on campus?

On campus I was involved in the marching band/pep band, Holy Cross Chamber Orchestra, Society of Physics Students, Science Student Ambassadors, SPUD, and admissions office host for prospective students.

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

I was a double major in mathematics and physics.  I always had a hard time picking a favorite between these majors and struggled to decide which area to go to graduate school in.  Ultimately, I looked for ways to keep a balance of both fields and have continued to do so.

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

My first exposure to MATLAB was at Holy Cross during my senior year and have continued to use MATLAB on a regular basis since then.  Additionally, Holy Cross helped me develop my communication and interpersonal skills that often set me apart from others in my field.

What advice do you have for students on campus today?

My largest piece of advice for students on campus today is to seize any opportunity that comes your way and work hard to make a positive impression.  This could mean being the first to submit a resume or respond to an email.  Don’t worry about how the opportunity came about and don’t doubt your qualifications.  Imposter syndrome is a real thing.  Instead of thinking about why you were given an opportunity, put your energy into making the most of that opportunity so that it leads to further opportunities.  When gaps in your knowledge arise, ask good questions and continuously improve.

ALUMNI INTERVIEW: I Was a History Major, Now I am Senior Manager of Enterprise Support

August 9th, 2017 by eklamm

Meet John Vatalaro ’13, Sr. Manager of Enterprise Support at Yext.

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

I oversee the technical support and training provided to some of Yext’s largest and most strategic enterprise customers and their franchisees.

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 found Yext through a one of my Holy Cross roommate’s cousins.  A little networking over drinks got me connected with her friend who worked at Yext.  After a few emails, I was on site for an interview and it was a perfect match right away.  It was the summer after graduation and I had only recently been exploring a possible career in tech, mostly focused around customer service, and this role was a really great fit at a small and exciting company.  Joining a ~200 person venture-funded start-up in NYC was certainly not what I was expecting after graduation, but I just couldn’t turn away from the people, the perks, the company’s mission, and the product.  After joining, I quickly realized it was a place I could learn, grow, and excel quickly with incredibly talented people (including some other HC alumni!) so it was a great environment for me.

What were you involved in when you were on campus?

Outside of classes, Men’s Varsity Swimming and my part-time job as a Kimball Captain took up most of my time but I was also involved in Student Athlete Advisory Committee, Varsity Club, HC Goes Unified, College Advisory Board on Alcohol, House Council, and Inter-House Council.

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

I majored in history and minored in art history.  They originally drove me to want to pursue a career in the arts, but later I realized my love of history and art history was more just a passion for learning, understanding people, and recognizing patterns, regardless of the subject matter.  This allowed me to move into tech, where I had the opportunity to apply those skills to become a product and process expert.  As a result, I put myself in a spot to share that knowledge and empower others, whether customers or teammates, to succeed.  Since then, I’ve leaned heavily on my liberal arts education to help me understand varied aspects of our business simply because I understand how to analyze a situation, think through problems, and see the big picture.

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

How to work with others: Being on the swim team, working in the dining hall, living with new friends, and collaborating on schoolwork with others provided me plenty of opportunities to develop the invaluable social and communication skills that helped mold me into the person I am today. You can be the smartest person in the room, but if you can’t get along with others or speak up about your opinion you won’t get very far.

How to give a damn: Really dive into something you care about.  This will help you apply that same passion and drive towards your job/career.  In school,  maybe it’s a passion for competition, learning, helping others, solving problems, or being funny – whatever it is, find it!  When hiring for my teams, I’m always looking for someone who gives a damn about their work or their passions over someone who appears qualified on paper.

What advice do you have for students on campus today?

Take the classes and do the activities that you actually get enjoyment out of.  If there’s anything I’ve learned in school or in my career, it’s that you do your best work when you’re challenged by something you enjoy.  So find that class, find that extracurricular, and find a job that brings your joy.  The grades, success, the “right job”, and even money will fall into place if you focus on that.

ALUMNI INTERVIEW: I Was an Economics Major, Now I Oversee Tennis Channel’s TV & Digital Businesses

August 9th, 2017 by eklamm

Meet Tom Wilhelm ’11, Sr. Manager, Programming & Acquisitions at Tennis Channel.

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

I currently oversee Tennis Channel’s TV and digital businesses which includes managing relationships with tennis partners, negotiating broadcast rights agreements and establishing efficient broadcast schedules across TV and Digital.

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?

For the first three years at Holy Cross, I was on track for a career in the financial services. I had internships at the New York Stock Exchange and Merrill Lynch. And although I enjoyed my time at these places, I knew there was something out there that I would enjoy a little more. I quickly realized that I wanted to incorporate my passion of sports into a career. As an extracurricular activity at Holy Cross, I assisted the Holy Cross Athletics Department with its business needs. And although I had only viewed this experience as an extracurricular one at first, I actually loved the work that I did. When I arrived on campus for my senior year, I constantly networked with the Holy Cross community. Additionally, I made weekly trips to ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. I connected with a lot of people, which included alumni from Holy Cross. And as graduation approached, I was hired by ESPN. Following graduation, I worked in television programming at ESPN for nearly six years. I was even lucky enough to work under a fellow alumnus (Burke Magnus ‘88) during this time.

What were you involved in when you were on campus?

When folks arrive on campus, they quickly become involved in extracurricular activities. Although I was very impressed with what Holy Cross had to offer, I wanted to be involved in something that differed from those of my classmates. When I was not on the soccer field, I worked in the Holy Cross Athletics Department for the entirety of my undergraduate studies. And, this “extracurricular” activity actually propelled the start of my career. If you see Crusader Vision on goholycross.com, I was actually the first student to moderate those videos and interview series. I was also involved in the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).

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

I was an economics major at Holy Cross. Like many students, I had no idea what I wanted to do career-wise when I entered college. An economics degree was very helpful for the development of my career. I used the degree to sharpen the business skills that I accrued over the years in the sports media industry. I truly believe an economics degree at Holy Cross sets up students well for whichever career direction that they so choose to take.

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

A skill that has certainly helped my career development is the ability to network. Sports is a very niche type of career. It is a career that is very difficult to break in, and it requires a strong commitment to make connections. At Holy Cross, I worked relentlessly to network with people in the sports and entertainment industry. I connected with Holy Cross alumni, and those connections led to more connections. And, those connections led to even more. And, I hold my current position at Tennis Channel via the connections I made during my time at ESPN. The ability to network efficiently certainly started during my time at Holy Cross.

What advice do you have for students on campus today?

The advice that I stress to everyone who comes to me for career advice is “Find a career you love, and you never work another day in your life.” I was fortunate to find the ideal career for me at a young age, and I have never looked back. Stay true to yourself, and good things will come about.

ALUMNI INTERVIEW: I was a Economics Major, Now I Work for Edward Jones Investments

August 9th, 2017 by eklamm

Meet Joe Curran ‘12, Financial Advisor for Edward Jones Investments

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

Helping families create and monitor a comprehensive financial plan.

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 learned that Edward Jones consistently gets very, very high rankings for training and employee satisfaction in the financial services industry and otherwise through family connections and community contacts.  As a recent college graduate I wanted to make sure that I was working with a company that had a track record of great training and employee satisfaction so that I had the highest probability chance for success in my career, as well as a career that offered me a work life balance that I could appreciate.  It was a good fit because I knew it was a career that allowed me the opportunity to balance my passion for finance with my passion for people.  It was a career that offered me the chance to help people in my community that needed guidance and I found that very attractive/rewarding. 

What were you involved in when you were on campus?

I was a four year member of the Varsity Soccer Program and participated in Holy Cross Goes Unified, as well as various Big Brother Big Sister events/community outreach events. 

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

I was an Economics Major which had an influence on my career path. But, I do not think that it is a requirement or necessity to have a finance/economic based major in order to flourish as a financial advisor in particular if your firm has great training.

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

People skills and dedication/hard work.  Holy Cross is a school that challenges you and expects results.  The expectations apply in the work world.  People skills are critical. I expanded as a person and was able to integrate with many people I wouldn’t have had I not chosen to attend Holy Cross.

What advice do you have for students on campus today?

Explore different fields and reach out to others/alumni to see who you can connect with prior to your graduation.  Learn about the ins and outs of each “job description”, not just what it says on the website.  Find a career that you have some sort of passion for and the rest will take care of itself.