Meet Alumna Erin DeMarco ’04, Senior Donor Relations Officer

Name: Erin (Smith) DeMarco

Class Year: 2004

Title: Senior Donor Relations Officer

Organization Name: Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research


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

As Senior Donor Relations Officer, I am responsible for creating and implementing strategy and programs to engage and steward donors to the Institute at all levels of giving.


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? 

At Holy Cross, I was a Spanish major in the Teacher Education Program.  After my junior year, I interned at ReadBoston, a children’s literacy nonprofit. I found this internship through the Summer Internship Program at Holy Cross and pursued it because I thought it would allow me to hone my interest in education outside of a traditional classroom setting.  My boss that summer was another Holy Cross alumna (Theresa Lynn ’87). After graduation, I was hired by ReadBoston full time. My plan had not been to work in a nonprofit, but through this internship, I discovered my passion for nonprofit work.  I worked at ReadBoston for almost eight years and Theresa, my former boss, remains a wonderful friend and mentor.


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

I was a four-year student athlete on the swim team. I was also a member of Sigma Delta Pi (Spanish Honor Society).


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

I was a Spanish Major in the Teacher Education Program. I intended to be a teacher, but my experience interning at ReadBoston changed my outlook.


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

My liberal arts education allowed me to study a wide variety of topics and to think critically about different perspectives. These skills are indispensable every day.


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

Take advantage of the career center! I went to an info session for the Summer Internship Program and it ended up shaping my entire career in a way I never anticipated. In addition, relationships are so important and valuable, especially within the Holy Cross network.  Go to alumni events and keep up with your relationships with your fellow classmates. You never know when you might need to call on a fellow Crusader.

Meet Leyda Frias ’18 Intern at Part of the Solution (POTS)

Meet Leyda Frias ’18 Intern at Part of the Solution (POTS)

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

This past summer I was working at Part of the Solution (POTS), a non-profit in the Bronx, NY. At POTS, I worked with the legal clinic, where we prevented evictions. Some of my major assignments for the summer include, making six month and year follow up calls to recipients of an emergency fund, aid in the preparation for fair hearings and eventually I was even able to complete my own intake for new incoming clients. I was also fortunate to shadow lawyers and legal advocates in housing court and administrative court.

What was your favorite part of your internship?

My favorite part was directly interacting with clients, whether it was during intakes or just simply helping them write a letter to their landlord. It was rewarding to see that I was making at least a small difference in their lives.

What has surprised you about being an intern?

I realized that too many people in these communities do not know how to properly read their leases, which hinders them from knowing all their rights and what a landlord can and cannot do.

Meet CrusaderIntern Vanessa Costa ’18

Meet Vanessa Costa ’18 Special Events Intern at Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

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

This summer, I interned at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, a nationwide nonprofit dedicated to the fight to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disease affecting 30,000 children and young adults in the United States. I had the privilege of working at the MA/RI chapter of the foundation with an amazing group of dedicated individuals. Throughout my internship, I collaborated with my team and aided in the preparation and production of about six or seven different major fundraising events, some of which I saw through to the end, and others of which are still to come. The majority of my time at my internship was spent on two events, in particular; a weekend-long hiking event in the Berkshires, and a three-course cycling event coming up in October.

My internship projects included recruiting participants and sponsors, attaining donated auction items and local services, preparing mailings, maintaining itemized inventory and organization pre- and post-events, as well as many other tasks. All of the money raised at each of these fundraising events goes toward supporting medical efforts to find a cure for CF, while also allowing the foundation to provide support and resources to CF patients and their families.

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

As a Sociology major, I have gained a deeper appreciation for the diversity of the world and its peoples. I have become more open-minded and understanding as a person, which I have found to be extremely beneficial when interacting with different types of individuals. This proved particularly beneficial during my internship when I had to interact with such individuals as corporate leaders, small business owners, and CF patients and their families.

What has surprised you about being an intern?

It surprised me how willing my coworkers and supervisors were to accept me into their space. I immediately felt like part of the family, like I belonged there. I think that’s why it felt so strange to leave at the end of my internship; I didn’t want it to end.

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

This internship definitely strengthened my desire to make a difference in the world, and it reaffirmed that I had made the right decision by choosing Sociology as my major. I want to help people in the future; help make their lives a little easier and fairer. For that reason, I would really love to pursue a career in social justice or social welfare.

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

Put yourself out there. Give everything your best shot and don’t shy away from new experiences. You never know who you are going to meet and how much of an impact something or someone might have on your life and your passions.


Meet CrusaderIntern Maureen Hodgens ’19

Maureen Hodgens’19 interned at SenseAbility Gym this summer. Learn all about the fun and rewarding work she is doing tutoring kids.

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

I am interning at SenseAbility Gym, a nonprofit corporation serving special needs children in the greater Worcester area. The gym, located in Hopedale Massachusetts, provides children a safe, clean, spacious area where kids can play and accommodate their sensory needs.

I run the Summer Refresher Program which provides one-on-one academic support (mostly reading comprehension and math) to students. The gym is an excellent location for sessions because students are able to earn break time where they can choose what they would like to do based on their needs (such as relaxing in the quiet room or jumping on the trampoline). The gym serves as a great setting for learning and focus, and the kids feel safe and comfortable going to the gym because many of them have been going since they were just 2 or 3 years old. In addition to tutoring, I also help out at open gym, which is unstructured time where parents and kids can play together while using the equipment. I have been able to assist instructors and other professionals (such as occupational therapists, special education teachers, social workers, and speech pathologists) to help teach children different social, emotional, and physical skills.

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

I took the course, Educational Psychology, last semester where I learned about many of the challenges that children face on a daily basis at home and in the classroom. These may include a learning disability, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, developmental disorder, physical disorder, sensory disorder, speech and language disorder, autism spectrum disorder, or emotional and behavioral disorder. Reading about the descriptions of these types of disabilities in a textbook and then memorizing them was a good start, but definitely not sufficient enough to gain a real grasp of these challenges. In order to understand the obstacles that these children face, it is necessary to interact with them and get to know them as a whole person, which is what this internship has provided. Although these labels are used in order to identify and classify types of disabilities, I have learned that even children within these “boxes” are completely different and special in their own way. Through my internship, I have also learned that a child can never be expected to act the same or have the same needs as another child with the same diagnosis. This experience helped me to see students in a much more holistic way.

What has surprised you about being an intern?

It’s surprising that internships can actually be really fun! The work I do isn’t easy by any means, but after spending so much time planning a tutoring session and then executing it, the feeling afterwards is so rewarding. I was also surprised at how quickly I felt welcome at my workplace community. Thanks to my supervisors, Tina and Alysia, as well as the other members of the SenseAbility Gym community, I love going into work each day. I learn something new every day! I think that for a lot of college students, the word “internship” can cause some anxious or negative feelings. However, I have learned that an internship can actually be a positive experience that enriches your skills and helps you to grow as a person.

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

As a future educator, it is a top priority for me to have exposure and experience with children of ALL needs, and most especially those who have special needs. This internship has reaffirmed my love of children and teaching.

I have learned about classroom strategies to help students with Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID) such as reducing sensory overload, providing comfortable furniture, planning movement breaks between and during activities, and devising team or group experiences. When coping with sensory integration dysfunction, it’s important for future teachers to know that growing older doesn’t mean getting better at many physical or intellectual tasks. Many teachers don’t learn about SID in their educational training, but the child with SID often has enormous difficulty in the classroom. These students will play a key role in my future classroom, lesson planning, and ultimate execution of my lessons as a teacher.

As a content teacher, I will be able to collaborate effectively with my special education professionals to make the classroom environment more welcoming and effective for all students. Exposure to these children and their parents early on in my training will allow me to facilitate future collaboration with the special education department and enrich the experiences of my future students on IEP’s and 504’s. I’m so grateful that I have had the opportunity to work with children with a variety of needs in an educational setting so far this summer– I have already gained so much more confidence working with children of all abilities!

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

There’s no doubt that finding a summer internship can be really hard. Sometimes you end up accepting an internship that isn’t your #1 choice, and that’s okay. If you go into your internship with an open mind, you can end up applying what you have learned in ways you never thought were possible. Even though your internship may not be exactly what you want to do everyday for the rest of your life, you can still acquire skills that will help you in the future. If you don’t enjoy your internship even after coming in with an open mind, remember that crossing off a career field from your list is still beneficial. Make note of what you enjoyed doing during your internship, as well as what aspects of your day you didn’t love as much. Tracking what makes you passionate as an intern can help to determine what future job is the best fit for you. Narrowing down a career search is always a positive, so accepting an internship will always be a win-win situation for you!

#CrusaderIntern: United Planet

Hear from #CrusaderIntern Quynh Nguyen about her experience last summer at United Planet in Boston.

What were you up to this past summer?

United Planet is a nonprofit organization in Boston, MA that promotes international volunteerism for long-term (6+ months) and short-term (1-12 weeks) programs. I work as the short-term Program Advisor and I was in charge of general administrative tasks. These tasks include speaking to volunteer inquiries by phone and email, register enrollees with the Department of State’s Safe Traveler Enrollment Program, put together packages to send out to volunteers, etc. In addition to these daily tasks, I also was involved in longer on-going projects for the organization, including creating a PowerPoint to visually demonstrate volunteer statistics (how much percentage for each age group, which county is most/least popular, what’s the most common duration of stay, etc), accumulate and compose a list of resources for pre-departure training sessions, and speak to coordinators from each country.

I would say that my most important role however is acting as a first point of contact for potential volunteers. This requires me to know basic information about all of the short term programs in order to give people accurate answers.

What was your favorite part?

What I really enjoyed most about United Planet is how close the staff is. I felt welcomed on my first day on the job and have grown more comfortable with everyone. We are all really close in age so it’s much easier to get along. There is a Social Committee that plans events outside of work so it’s nice to get to know my colleagues outside of the office.

What surprised you?

What surprised me about this organization is the way that it’s a network of roles that all depend on each other. By this, I mean that each person has his/her own work that is different from other people’s, which comes together to form a functional organization.

#CrusaderIntern: Prepare + Prosper

Name: Mae Hougo ’18
Organization: Prepare + Prosper

Prepare + Prosper is a free tax and financial services non-profit based in St. Paul, Minnesota. During the tax season Prepare + Prosper sets up free tax clinics all around the metro area, which people below a certain income can come and receive tax help from our trained volunteers. The organization also encourages people to see their tax refund as a “money moment.” Their refund could be used to set up a savings account for the unforeseeable emergencies in life.

What were you up to this past summer?

I am the outreach intern here at Prepare + Prosper. I am working with the communications staff to inform the community about Prepare + Prospers services, and a few specific tax credits. In Minnesota there is a tax credit for families with children in grades K-12 to write off the school supplies and materials they buy. The summer is the perfect time of year to encourage families to save their receipts. My job has been to contact the principals of schools in the area, as well as local organizations that might be having back-to-school events. I send the schools and organizations materials and information about the tax credit and our services.

I also work with on the Claim It Campaign, which is a state wide campaign informing the public about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC is a federal tax credit for low-income working individuals and families. This tax credit is the number one way to fight poverty in our country. I work with our Campaign Manager here at Prepare + Prosper in restructuring our materials so that they are useful, engaging tools for our viewers. I am also helping the organization become better connected with counties around the state in order to reach more people eligible for the credit.

What was your favorite part?

My favorite part of my internship was going into the community and sharing with people how our services can help them become more financially stable. Whether it is at a local shelter, or a veteran’s event, I enjoy the one-on-one time I can spend with members of the community. I hope that my doing so incentivizes more people to use our tax and financial services, which can allow them to get ahead.

What surprised you?

What has surprised me the most is how dedicated the network of volunteers is to Prepare + Prosper’s mission. I have been fortunate enough to attend a volunteer appreciation event. The volunteers dedicate so much of their time to this organization, and a lot of them donate money as well. They see how a tax refund can better a life, and continue to volunteer year after year.

Seniors: This Week’s Deadlines and Events!!

The jobs keep coming in!  Employers are hiring!

Tuesday, April 5
Deadlines: Apply via Crusader Connections

  • Consulting: Kantar Retail – Client Service Analyst; Project Analyst: Business Analytics; Project Analyst: Shopper Insights; Research Associate
  • Education:  Readak Educational Services – Teacher (On-Campus Interviews 4/18)

Thursday, April 7
On-Campus Interviews: Insight Global, Inc. (Recruiting)  Good Luck!

  • Development/Fundraising: The Worcester Roots Project – Fundraising and Research Coordinator

Looking Ahead:
Plenty of employers are interested in hiring Holy Cross seniors!
Upcoming deadlines include:
Tuesday, April 12
City Bridge Foundation, Program Assistant – Perfect for those of you interested in education but not in teaching!

Thursday, April 14
Bowditch & Dewey, LLP, Business & Finance Practice Area – Law
Cyber-Ark Software, Associate Technical Account Manager – Software Implementation
Peoplecube, Junior Implementation Consultant – Software Implementation
Willis Group, Benefit Associate – Insurance Brokerage

Monday, April 18
US Commission on International Religious Freedom, Joseph R. Crapa Fellowship – Research

Tuesday, April 19
CBI Research, Conference Program Manager – Event Planning

Thursday, April 21
Oracle Direct, Business Development Consultant – Sales

Friday, April 22
Eze Castle Software, Business Consultant, Leadership Development Program, Software Developer

Tuesday, April 26
Peace Corps, Volunteer – Lobby Table Hogan 1

Thursday, April 28
National Security Education Program – National Security & Defense

Friday, April 29
Barton Associates, Drop-in session hosted by Kregory Hefner ’09.  Stop by any time – Healthcare Recruiting & Staffing Firm

Apply via Crusader Connections for all these jobs

We’re available by appointment (M-F, 9 – 5 – call 508.793.3880 or stop by Hogan 203 to schedule) or visit us during drop-in hours, M-F, 1-4pm, no appointment necessary.

Don’t know what you want to do or where to start?

No Problem!  Set up an appointment by calling 508.793.3880 or stop by Hogan 203.