Meet Alumna, Sarah Jensen ’08, Director Ad Sales- Crown Media Family Networks

Sarah Jensen, Feb. 18, 2016 Photo by Bruce Gilbert

Title: Director, Ad Sales

Organization Name: Crown Media Family Networks

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

I am responsible for selling commercial time on Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, digital inventory across our digital and social properties and monetizing the many unique sponsorship opportunities that we offer across our platforms during the year, especially within our original movies, original series and seasonal holiday events.

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?  

Holy Cross’ alumni network, Crusader Connections, enabled me to make connections with alumni in the media, advertising and communications industries. Through my outreach, I was able to set up many informational interviews with alumni to learn about their roles and responsibilities as I tried to decide the direction in which I wanted to move in my career. Coincidentally, one of my informational interviews with an alumnus of Crown Media Family Networks, which ultimately led me to the opportunity to begin my career in media.

What were you involved in when you were on campus?

On campus, I was a member of Fools on the Hill, the College’s only co-ed a cappella group. I also was very involved in Campus Ministry, participating and/or leading retreats like Escape, Manresa and the Spiritual Exercises. I was also in the MAGIS program and the church choir, often leading the 10pm Mass in song.

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

As a Spanish major, I was unsure about the career path I wanted to take after graduation. Knowing I did not want to be a teacher, I was not sure how to best put my major to use in my professional life. My first job after Holy Cross was at a translation company. However, after soon realizing that it was not the right fit, I knew I may have to open myself up to other industries and opportunities to find my place. Despite not working in a role that obviously utilizes my Spanish major, the skills I developed through my major and experience studying abroad for a year in Leon, Spain positively impacted my career decisions and helped me secure a position at Crown Media Family Networks even though I do not use Spanish on a daily basis.

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

My ability to write and communicate clearly and effectively has been essential to my work every day. It not only helps me internally among my colleagues, but it helps tremendously in my outreach to clients and in my ability to establish better relationships with them. Also, thinking creatively continues to help me find success, especially when it comes to finding solutions for my clients.

What advice do you have for students on campus today?

Work hard and soak up as much information and as many unique experiences as you can. Everything you do at Holy Cross helps prepare you for the professional world. Once ready to look for a job, be as prepared as you can be as you go into each interview and as you communicate with people throughout the process. First impressions stick!

Meet Alumna Lorena Sferlazza ’15, Artist / Educator at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA)

Meet Alumna Lorena Sferlazza ’15, Artist / Educator at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA)


Name: Lorena Sferlazza

Class Year: 2015

Title: Artist, Educator

Organization Name: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA)

Portfolio:, Instagram @lorenasferlazza


In brief, what does your job entail?

I am a painter, photographer, and reflective thinker completing a Master of Fine Arts in May 2019 and assistant teaching at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) in Philadelphia, our nation’s first art school and museum. Prior to PAFA, I worked at Sotheby’s in New York City for two years as a front-of-house financial administrator, facilitating the payment, collection, and shipment of artwork post-auction. On a personal note, I am a plant-based eater, runner, and continue to remotely assist fundraising efforts as a founding member for Kal-Pa-Vriksh “The Giving Tree” 501(c)3 Nonprofit, which benefits education for disadvantaged youth in India and the U.S. (


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?  

Over the summer after I graduated, a close friend from Holy Cross knew I was looking for work in the auction industry in New York City, because I had interned at an auction house while studying abroad for a year in Florence, Italy. She sent me the initial contact information, and five interviews later, I landed a job at Sotheby’s. I ended up working in two departments during my time there before realizing that the industry would not suit my long term career goals. I needed to get back into creating my own artwork and have meaningful conversations about the significance of art-making in today’s world. That is when I decided to honor my long-held dream of pursuing an MFA, the terminal degree in the Visual Arts required for teaching in higher education, which is ultimately what I’m looking to do. I’m very grateful for my experience at Sotheby’s, and it took a lot of courage for me to leave. Though with a scholarship to the Academy and a gut feeling it was the right decision, I moved to Philly last year for graduate school.


What were you involved in when you were on campus?

I was very involved on campus, in part because I had so many interests and also because I loved the community. Academically, I participated in the College Honors and Pre-Business programs, tutored Italian, and represented C.O.E.S. (Ciocca Office of Entrepreneurial Studies) and the Visual Arts department on their student advisory boards. I also served in HC’s faith-based gatherings as a liturgical coordinator, lector, R.C.I.A. mentor, worship leader for adoration, Taizé, and interfaith prayer, and participated in the many retreats, Spring Break Immersion trips, and freshly baked cookie binges that Campion had to offer. Recreationally, I enjoyed performing with friends at our acoustic 10Spot sets in Hogan, talking to prospective students as a tour guide and outreach coordinator for Admissions, cooking for the Italian department’s annual Pasta Olympics, dancing in the annual Noche Latina and UP 4 THE FIGHT Dance Marathons, and playing pick-up soccer games.


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

My critical study of language at Holy Crossvisual, spoken, and writtenserves as the root of my artistic practice. I graduated with a double major in Visual Arts (Studio) and Italian (Linguistics and Literature) from the College Honors Program, through which I completed an interdisciplinary thesis, Addressing the Wound: An Artistic Exploration of Human Pain. Several courses led me to this thesis, including Dr. Christopher Dustin’s Philosophy of Art, Dr. Mathew Schmalz’s Religion and Violence, visiting professor Rev. A. Maria Arul Raja’s Dalits: Theology of the Oppressed, and Prof. Cristi Rinklin’s Senior Studio Concentration Seminar. My research began a persistent inquiry for me on the relevance of art-making in healing after trauma, negotiating the past, recognizing our temporality, and building a sustainable world in the face of crisis. At its core, my understanding of art-making is both a meditative practice and socially engaged tool that provokes our most innate knowledge of who we are, through visceral language that words often fail to express. This purpose both excites and challenges my career as an artist.


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

Thinking critically and interdisciplinarily are the two most impactful skills I developed while at Holy Cross. Being an artist requires you to probe beyond yourself, from most intensely inwards to keenly outwards with an inquisitive mind. Why create the way you do? What is your purpose and relevance to contemporary justice issues? How can your craft improve technically and conceptually to better relay your intended message? In graduate school at PAFA, these are the questions we dissect the most, through our studio work, thesis writing, weekly faculty-student critiques, seminars, visiting artist lectures, teaching assistantship opportunities, and peer discussions over food after hours. These are the questions that I’m excited to continue examining through a teaching career in higher education.


What advice do you have for students on campus today?

Pursue your passions and forge your own path. Participate in activities that fulfill you, not to resume build, but to enrich your mind and friendships along the way. If you have the chance, study abroad. I grew the most during my time away. Be honest with and take care of yourself: you cannot pour from an empty cup. Savor every Cool Beans conversation, late night run around the track, snowstorm lock down and Kimball tray sledding excursion, roommate coffee breaks during all-nighters in the Dinand stacks, and extended office hours with professors who care, because your time on the hill is precious. Be excited for your journey!

Meet Alum, Michael Wright ’12, Associate, Equity Capital Markets at Canaccord Genuity Inc

Alum Michael Wright ’12 – Associate, Equity Capital Markets at Canaccord Genuity Inc


Name: Michael Wright

Class Year: 2012

Organization Name: Canaccord Genuity (Equity Capital Markets)


In one sentence, what does your job entail?

Advise and execute equity financings for growth focused companies.


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?

3 months into my first job out of HC, an HC alumni reached out asking if I would be interested in an analyst position on the Canaccord Equity Capital Markets desk. Despite feeling hesitant given my short time at my first employer, I felt the opportunity to join a small, dynamic team would be too hard to pass up.


What were you involved in when you were on campus?

Football, SGA, Big Brother Big Sister


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

History major. Despite not being a finance related major, it provided me with the ability to analyze multiple pieces of information into narrower concepts/ themes . The skills of reading, analyzing, writing, etc. are crucial skills in any professional setting.


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


Information analysis


What advice do you have for students on campus today?

Choose a major that is interesting to you – Holy Cross has a great reputation across all industries, and employers recognize they a hiring hard-working, smart candidates. Unless an industry requires specific credentials, do not force a major to fit a job application.

Make classroom performance #1, but also spend time utilizing the Holy Cross alumni network in your targeted profession(s). While it can be intimidating at first, the majority of alumni are extremely engaging and happy to provide career advice.

Meet Alumna Erin Connolly ’17, Program Assistant- Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

Meet Alumna Erin Connolly ’17, Program Assistant- Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation


Name: Erin Connolly

Class Year: 2017

Current Title/Employer:   Program Assistant/ Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

I work to educate the public and policymakers (Congress) on nuclear nonproliferation and fissile materials policy by helping plan and host various events; writing op-eds; and briefing congressional staffers on our issues.

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

I wrote a paper my sophomore year for a National Security course that argued for a nuclear deal with Iran. While writing this paper, I found myself fascinated by nuclear nonproliferation policy, and it quickly became one of my favorite topics. I left for France, and when it came time to look for an internship I applied to the Center, using that paper as my writing sample. This internship was a vital introduction to the nuclear policy world. It provided me with the foundational knowledge to succeed, but also allowed me to make professional connections while living in Washington, D.C. which is how I learned about the position I currently hold.

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

My internship experience solidified my interest in the nuclear nonproliferation field. I was able to explore the various facets, from Iran, and North Korea, to U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe. My current position involves much more engagement with Congressional staffers and fissile materials; basically I do a lot of work to answer any questions they may have about highly enriched uranium, plutonium stockpiles, preventing nuclear terrorism and other subjects in this domain. We host dinners for members of Congress, a unique opportunity for engagement and education. I also am able to continue writing, I was fortunate enough to get a piece published in Teen Vogue with a colleague in the field (and former fellow intern!) and it’s great to connect with people my age on these issues.

What were you involved in when you were on campus?   

I was involved in the Purple Key Society, which is quite helpful for my event planning now; HEAL, Model UN, SPUD site leader, Manresa, Gateways, Appalachia trips, and I also worked in the History department,

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

I was an International Studies major, French minor and Peace and Conflict concentration. I loved engaging with the multidisciplinary major and in some ways I continue to do that. I am always continuing to learn in this job — from policy to science — and that is something I loved at Holy Cross and am grateful I get to bring that into my career.

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

The importance of asking questions and networking. It is always better to ask questions and do something correctly then to do it wrong. Everyone would prefer to answer your questions than to have you do it again! And networking is one of those things I did not want to believe was important, but it is. Maintaining relationships and connections is so key, especially when you work in a field that’s small like mine! I knew D.C. had gotten to me when I began bringing cards to every happy hour because you just never know who you will meet — friends of friends are great connections.

Meet Alumna Victoria Aramini ’14, Planning Manager at TJX

Meet Alumna Victoria Aramini ’14, Planning Manager at TJX


1. What is your favorite thing about your job and/or TJX?

My favorite thing about working at TJX is how people oriented the company is – I get to work with so many different types of people in a given day. I love my work as a Planning Manager where I help my team affect the bottom line, working to save the company money through our team’s allocation strategies.


2. What are some company perks that you enjoy?

In the summer the company participates in “Summer Fridays” where we get out at 1:oo pm – this is definitely one of the best company perks in my opinion!


3. Tell me about a cool opportunity you’ve taken advantage of or experienced while at TJX.

Travel is a big part of the TJX experience for associates in planning and buying. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel with various teams to different parts of the US.


4. How would you describe TJX’s philosophy on job growth/talent management?

At TJX, development is very important and associates drive their own development. There are a wide range of opportunities for associates to take advantage of – both formal (in the classroom) and informal (on the job).


5. What advice would you like to give to current Holy Cross students about their job/internship search?

As companies evaluate you and your qualifications as you search and apply for internships, make sure you take the time to evaluate these companies and think about their culture, their development offerings, etc.

Meet Alum Jena Rascoe ’08, Marketing Manager at RSM US LLP

Meet Alum Jena Rascoe ’08, Marketing Manager at RSM US LLP


Name: Jena Rascoe

Class Year: 2008

Title: Marketing Manager

Organization Name: RSM US LLP


In one sentence, what does your job entail?

I’m responsible for marketing RSM’s tax, audit, and consulting services in Connecticut and Westchester County, NY – which includes managing speaking roles, events, sponsorships, advertising, communications and promoting thought leadership to our network.

What were you involved in when you were on campus?

I was a Relationship Peer Educator, which was part of the counseling center. We organized student programs that provided information and support around adjusting to new social situations, navigating difficult dynamics between peers, and adjusting to life on campus after being abroad. I was also a tutor for a 7th grader at the Nativity School in Worcester. I’ve always been interested in community involvement that’s geared towards education or emotional support.

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

I was an English major, so I did a LOT of writing. I knew I wanted to leverage those writing skills in whatever career path I chose, so I started out on the editorial side of publishing. That morphed into writing and editing marketing materials… and I found I enjoyed being part of a marketing team. While being an English major did solidify my passion for communications, it also taught me to be open to different types of roles and industries – as long as I could use that part of my brain. That openness has proven to be useful in today’s job market.

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

1: A comfort level with asking questions. Intellectual curiosity – and seeking to understand the goals and reasons behind the work – is key to being successful a strategic marketer. HC gives you an environment to hone that skill, and I use it literally every day.

2: Developing high quality writing skills and an eye for detail. That’s important whether I’m writing a marketing plan, pulling a presentation together, or even writing a simple email. Many people in today’s environment are moving too fast to pay close attention to detail, so when you produce a high quality piece, it stands out.

What advice do you have for students on campus today?

Have confidence in the fact that your HC education is practical and can be applied to a variety of careers and roles. One of the great things about learning so broadly is that you’re prepared to try new things as you go through the learning “process.” Rely on the work ethic and critical thinking from HC to get you through the periods of uncertainty as you’re deciding your next step… it always leads you in the right direction!

Meet Crusader Intern Alisha Collazo ’18

Sales Intern at Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Tell us about where you are interning and the kind of work you are doing.

This summer I worked for Arthur J. Gallagher’s nine week sales-based internship program. Throughout the course of my internship I was able to travel from a week-long training in Chicago, to a client meeting in Manhattan. While stationed in Boston, I met with various carriers, shadowed on conference calls, and sat in on several presentations discussing all four divisions the company has to offer.

Give us an example of how you have applied your academic learnings to your internship?

A concept that was stressed to us during our internship was relationship-building and critical thinking, whether it be establishing a relationship with a prospective client or networking with fellow employees at our company. Through our courses and extracurricular activities, we were taught to be critical thinkers as well as “men and women for others.” Nonetheless, networking and relationship building were not difficult for me when beginning the program as I have already learned through our Jesuit education how to establish meaningful relationships with others. Throughout all of our courses, especially in my math courses, we are always told to “ask more,” while being pushed to think outside the box. This became a key asset to me in terms of critical and analytical thinking as I began to understand both the various plans our carriers offer and how to find the best plan at the best price for our clients.

What has surprised you about being an intern?

Definitely how hands-on my experience has been. For example, on my first client meeting I did not just shadow or take notes, but was given a speaking role at the presentation.

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

This experience greatly influenced my career goals. Throughout the program we have been given exposure to insurance, risk management services, and sales. Before beginning the program I had no idea what I wanted to do post-graduation; however, now I can say sales is definitely at the top of my list.

Any internship advice to pass on to other Holy Cross students?

Be a sponge and take everything in and definitely network. This is an opportunity to have a first-hand experience in a career you are considering or a chance to learn about a career you have never considered. Network with everyone! You never know who you are going to run into again or who may be able to help you in the future. We had an example of an intern who decided the job really wasn’t for her and wanted to pursue marketing. The following year, the company was establishing a marketing division and she was hired through the connections she maintained!

What Your Favorite Aspect of Autumn Says About Your Future Career

By Nerelly Checo ’18 and Casey Rooney ’18

While some mornings you might wonder if wearing shorts and a wool sweater are the right layers to get you through the day, autumn is the season to celebrate pumpkin spice and many other splendid things. Read on to see what your favorite aspect of autumn says about your possible future career.

Football is back!

You are excited for all the tailgates, food, fantasy football, and of course cheering on your team! There are many aspects to the football season that excite you which makes it your favorite part of fall. A career in the areas of sports, arts, fashion, or entertainment industries could be a good path for you.

New Themes on Social Media!

Whether it is trying out new Snapchat filters or scrolling through all the tailgating and apple-picking photos, social media is buzzing during the fall! You enjoy updating your social media and seeing what others are up to. A career path in marketingmediacommunications, or advertising could be good for you.

Tech companies are releasing new products!

You like having the newest gadgets and are excited for all the releases that are on the market for the upcoming holiday season. Technology is a big part of your life, especially figuring out how these things work (iphone X face recognition?!). A career path in technologyengineering, or the physical sciences could be good for you.

Black Friday and Holiday Shopping!

You spend all of Fall saving up to splurge on gifts for yourself and those you love for the holidays. You budget every meal, outing and new adventure. Saving and spending wisely are your strong suits. A career path in financeconsulting, real estate, insurance, or accounting could be good for you.

New Elections!

It’s that time of year when local candidates are running for election. You look forward to seeing signs on people’s front lawns and listening to why candidates should be elected. If this is something that excites you, a career path in governmentinternational affairs, or law could be good for you.

Back to School!

You’re looking forward to getting your brain stimulated again with new content and conversations with your best friends. You can’t wait to learn about the different ways to get involved on campus and in the community this upcoming year. A career path in educationnon-profit, or human services could be good for you.

Changes in Nature!

You love seeing the leaves change color, the apples turn ripe and enjoy being one with nature during this time of year. You make sure to take a picture of every beautiful sunset you encounter. You plan the most scenic route to go pumpkin picking. At the same time, you make sure to take care of yourself by drinking all the fall-themed teas to keep you warm on the chilly fall days. If this sounds like you, a career path in health professions and life sciences sounds good for you!

What is a Career Community?


Interested in a particular industry or multiple industries? Want to receive emails from the Center for Career Development that are tailored to your interests? Then join a Career Community!

What are Career Communities?

Career Communities connect students to specific, tailored industry resources and programs to effectively explore career paths, identify and apply to opportunities and cultivate personal networks that shape their professional journey. The different communities include:

Arts, Fashion, Sports & Entertainment
Consulting, Finance, Accounting, Insurance & Real Estate
Education, Nonprofit, Human Resources
Government, International Affairs, Law
Health Professions, Public Health, & Life Sciences
Marketing, Communications, Media & Advertising
Technology, Engineering, & Physical Sciences

What do I get by joining a Career Community?

By joining a Career Community, or multiple communities, you are taking a big step in your path to finding the job or internship that is perfect for you! Some of the perks of joining include:

• Counseling
• #CrusaderIntern Student Leaders
• Tailored Workshops
• Email Newsletters
• Alumni Events
• Employer Engagement

Can I join more than one Community?

Yes, join as many as you want! Make sure that all your interests are covered.

How do I join?

It takes just 5 minutes! Start by logging onto Crusader Connections.
• Click preferences on the left-hand menu then choose Academic & Career.
• Scroll down and choose one or more Career Communities!
If you have any more questions stop by the Center for Career Development during Drop-in Hours: Monday- Friday 1-4 PM and Wednesday 10-12 PM.

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

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.