Posts Tagged ‘Political Science’

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.

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.

Meet CrusaderIntern Gabriel Castagna’18

July 11th, 2017 by eklamm

Meet Gabriel Castagna’18 Editorial Intern at SourceMedia.

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

My internship is at a newsroom in Downtown Manhattan. SourceMedia has multiple different publications, all with a focus on financial news in various categories. The publication I primarily work with is called Asset Securitization Report, and as the name suggests it focuses on news regarding new securitization deals and regulation in securitization markets.

I typically start the day by logging on to the company’s Twitter account (follow @_ASReport !) and tweet out links and headlines to ASR’s latest stories. I then spend a few minutes scrolling through the latest #securitization hashtagged tweets to see if there is anything worthy of a retweet that may be of interest to our readers. Next, I convene with my supervisor to see if anything newsworthy is happening in the securitization market and come up with a topic to research and write about. I spend the rest of the day researching, writing, and revising until I have a fully-edited story ready for publication.

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

My academic learnings have been vital to my internship experience. As a Political Science major, much of my work involves researching and dissecting articles for information that may be relevant to whatever topic I am assigned to write about. That is what I spend the majority of my day doing here at SourceMedia. My Holy Cross experience has taught me how to research effectively and write professionally in a timely manner.

What has surprised you about being an intern?

The most surprising thing about being an intern in my experience is that nobody sees you as subordinate or less valuable to the company because of your intern status. At least in my case, I feel like the full-time employees here view me in the same regard. Expectations are just as high for you as they are for full-time employees; nobody will cut you breaks or expect any less of you because you’re an intern.

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

I hope to someday work in financial services, though I’m not sure what in particular I’d like to pursue. The finance knowledge I am acquiring will be extremely useful in my future career plans; I’ve learned more about financial markets in the past three weeks alone than I have my entire life.

I never considered working in journalism before, but given how much I am enjoying my internship I could see myself pursuing that particular career path. Personally, I think it’s so cool that people I’ll never meet read my articles every day, and pay to do so. There’s something rewarding about that, and it actually motivates me to do my work to the best of my ability knowing that people other than my professors genuinely care about what I write.

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

Remember why you’re interning. It’s nice to have a summer job and make some extra cash before heading back to school, but that isn’t why you’re interning. You’re there to learn, to see, and to network. Take advantage of the opportunity you have before you; a lot of students would love to be in your shoes. Meet everyone you can, because you’ll never know what you might learn from them or who may offer you a job sometime down the road. Lastly, work hard. Always. There are tons of other kids just as qualified as you for your position, but they chose you. If you’re going to slack, your company will have no problem trading you for one of the other thousands of kids raring to prove themselves.

My Alumni Job Shadowing Experience | Law

May 3rd, 2017 by eklamm

Full Name: Andrew Truong
Class Year: 2017
Major: Political Science and Spanish
Shadowing Visit Site: Cetrulo LLP

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

I arrived at Cetrulo LLP in the morning and met with Mr. Bryan Abramoske, an attorney at the firm and my alumni match. We first went to his office and discussed both what he does and what the firm does in general. Afterwards, we took a tour of the office and Mr. Abramoske was dedicated to having me meet employees all around the firm to give me as many different perspectives as possible, from paralegals to partners, and even a judge. I was able to meet various HC alumni that work at the firm as well, who all also shared their perspectives and advice about transitioning to life after graduation.

I feel that I was able to see many perspectives on what a career in law could look like, and what paths people had taken from undergrad to where they are today. This all helped show the various potential options that I could take. I also felt that I connected very well with Mr. Abramoske, who shared a lot of wisdom and advice with me, and even lent me a book he thought I’d enjoy reading. He offered to be a resource for me for any questions I might have in the future.

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

This experience definitely reaffirmed my future career goals of pursuing a career in law. By shadowing at Cetrulo, I was able to see and experience a mid-sized private law firm. I had previous experience working in nonprofit and small private firms, so this experience provided me with a different perspective and option of what my future could look like.

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

Some of the most helpful advice my alumni host shared with me was to keep an open mind regarding the future and career plans. Even if you have an idea of the path you want to take, things almost never go exactly as planned. So, while having a direction to move towards is good, being flexible and open to change on the path is good, because you’ll gain a lot of knowledge and experience in the process and will ultimately end up where you want to be.

Why would you recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students?

The Alumni Job Shadowing Program is a fantastic opportunity for students of all grade levels. I participated in the program both my sophomore year and this past year as a senior and definitely found the experience worthwhile both times. By participating in the program you get to see and experience what a profession is like, what it entails, and what it is like to be in the position firsthand. You may get reaffirmation of a career choice that you’re looking into, or you might realize that a certain career is not what you want to do. Which is also just as, if not more, helpful. You might find an area or position you hadn’t thought of that you end up really liking and want to pursue afterwards. The more experience with and exposure you have to the real world, the better prepared you are to move towards your professional goals after undergrad. In addition, you get the opportunity to connect personally with another HC alum who wants to help you further yourself on your career path that can also serve as a resource beyond your shadowing experience.

My Alumni Job Shadowing Experience: Communications

May 3rd, 2017 by eklamm

 

Full Name: Michael Morigi
Class Year: 2019
Major: Political Science, Economics
Shadowing Visit Site: GE Communications; Deirdre Latour (CCO of GE)

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

My visit was different than what I expected, but in a good way. When I was walking over to GE’s offices in Midtown Manhattan, I was expecting to essentially be following my host, Deirdre Latour (CCO of GE), for the entire day. If she was busy or working on sensitive topics, I expected to be attached to either her assistant or one of her team members.

In reality, Ms. Latour and her assistant scheduled a day that would turn out to be much more interesting. During my time at the GE offices, another Holy Cross sophomore and I spent one-on-one time with several young GE Communications employees from various divisions of the Communications team. During those informational Q&A sessions, we learned about their perceptions of GE and their work, and learned about how they navigated the post-undergraduate world.

Afterwards, Ms. Latour brought us to a GE 2016 recap and team-building workshop. From there, I got to see the full culture of the Communications team, and how various individual personalities interacted with each other.

When reflecting upon my shadowing day, I believe the real value-added was the exposure to another possible career path, a career path in which I can leverage my political science, critical thinking and communication skills. In addition, I finished the day with a better perception of GE itself.

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

I do not believe this drastically altered my career aspirations, but my visit did convince me that my political science and economics double major could be used in fields beyond just government or finance. Many of the employees I talked to during the visit had degrees in public policy or political science. Some even came from finance backgrounds. Regardless of major, it seems like as long as you are actually interested in the subject matter and can pitch yourself right, your choice of major is not as consequential as some people make it seem.

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

Ms. Latour was unable to spend too much one-on-one time with us during our visit (she was dealing with high-level meetings during the morning and, in the afternoon, she was leading the workshop). However, a reoccurring theme amongst the employees was the importance of finding what you love to do, and their encouragement for us to try any opportunity that sounds interesting or potentially enjoyable.

Why would you recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students?

I would recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students for a few reasons. One is that it is a great networking opportunity. Do not expect to get some sort of miraculous internship offer, but instead think of this shadowing opportunity as an informational interview. By putting yourself out there in a true work environment, you have the opportunity to network with not only the alumni but also various co-workers. If you play your cards right, you may be able to leverage these relationships going forward.

Second, it is an invaluable opportunity to see if a specific firm or field is right for you. Going into this shadow program, I was unsure if I would get any value or satisfaction out of shadowing a communications team. However, I was able to gain first-hand exposure to not only how the communications department of a multi-national firm works, but also how a real work-place team functions and flows.

ALUMNI INTERVIEW: I Was A Political Science Major, Now I…

May 3rd, 2017 by eklamm

Name: Payton Shubrick
Class Year: 2015
Title: R&D Lab Manager (Research and Development Lab Manager)
Organization Name: MassMutual
Major: Political Science

What does your job entail?

My role is to manage R&D activities for the company, specific to home office employees. What that means is I attempt to solve business problems leveraging emerging technologies as well as exploring technologies that could impact our industry in the next 12-18 months. What does that mean in plain English? I look for the return on investment a technology can offer. Can we save 2 million dollars be leveraging VR for training sessions as opposed to the current model of paying facilitators and having in classroom sessions?

How has your Holy Cross education contributed to your success?

My Holy Cross education has contributed to my success in many ways. At Holy Cross, I was able to grow – socially, intellectually, ethically, etc. I often find myself harnessing skills that I developed in both the classroom and student activities, like SGA and BSU, to propel me forward professionally. At Holy Cross, I was able to develop a greater sense of awareness of who I was as a person and how I can impact the world around me. With that mindset, you can rethink traditional business problems with many lenses to come up with a solution and then be able to present that idea in a well-written document or verbal presentation.

What skills are most important in your day to day work?

The most important skill in my work is being able to check, adjust, and pivot. Unlike traditional career paths with technology, you can come up with a solution and then discard the entire thing for something better because a smart algorithm can now be applied. This means you can’t grow too attached to one solution or one way to solve a problem. Everything is a fair game all the time and things change rapidly, so accept change early and fast to make life easier later.

What advice would you give to a Holy Cross student looking to enter your field?

Start studying trends in technology now. Virtual/ augmented reality, chatbots, algorithms, autonomous driving cars, artificial intelligence are real and going to change the world around us. In your day to day, life start to think about how things can simplify your life and delivery information before you know you want it.