EVENT RECAP: Senior and Alumni Networking Night

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.

Setting yourself up for Success: Class by Class Career Advice


Although most of us are still busy planning Fall around our syllabi or re-adjusting to the arduous trek up and down Mt. St. James every day, it is never too early to start thinking about Career Planning!

  • FRESHMEN: Get involved!

Welcome to your first semester on the Hill! As a first year student, you truly have a “fresh” start and endless opportunities to pique new interests and learn more about yourself. Although concretely setting up your “career path” may seem aggressive for your first semester, there are several ‘second nature’ things you can do to set yourself up for a bright career at HC and beyond.

1.)  Get involved on campus: Join 2  or more clubs or organizations. Getting involved helps to expand your interests, while introducing you to a new network of peers. Added Bonus: Campus activities are a great resume booster!

2.)  Take interesting classes: Before second semester enrollment, take the time to find classes that really speak to you. Being interested in the material helps you stay engaged and will eventually direct you towards a major if you are undecided.

  • SOPHOMORES: Focus in!

Sophomore year is the time to hone in your skills and piece together your achievements.

1.) Create your Resume: Now is the time to either create or refine your resume, as you start to build your professional profile. If you need help perfecting your resume, make an appointment to meet with one our Career Counselors!

2.) Apply to SIP: This semester presents your first opportunity to apply to HC’s Summer Internship Program. Although this program is highly competitive, the application process marks a great way to practice building your resume, cover letter and interview skills.

  • JUNIORS: Start your search!

Welcome to the Internship year of college! It’s time to start searching and applying for internships that appeal you.

1.)  Apply to SIP: The Summer Internship Program gives qualified students a helpful “foot in the door” to many amazing internships by connecting HC students with established alums.

2.)  Search Early: Start browsing different companies’ websites for internship opportunities. Many companies set their internship deadlines in the fall, so have your updated resumes and cover letters ready to go!

  • SENIORS: Network, Network, Network!

As daunting as it might seem, senior year is the inevitable prelude to the notorious “real world.” Although denial is one way to approach this problem, the better way is to set your self up for success through networking.

1.)  Stay in Touch: If you had an internship or job this summer, stay in touch with the people you met! Maintaining a dialogue keeps you fresh in their minds and helps for recommendations later down the road.

2.)  Reach Out: Use the Career Advisors Network to reach out to alums in career fields you may pursue. (http://bit.ly/gG5PFM) Also, keep an eye out for an invitation from the Alumni office to join the Alumni Online Community where you can search for additional contacts. Remember, reaching out means learning more about specific jobs or companies, not blatantly asking for jobs!

3.)  Network in-person: Use events like the Holy Cross Career Fair (September 25th) to meet new contacts and demonstrate your professionalism. Extra Edge: Have business cards printed and give them to professionals you talk with!

Have questions or want help with these quick tips? Come to Career Planning in Hogan 203 for Drop-in hours or set up an appointment to meet with one of our amazing Career Counselors!

In addition, Career Counselors will be available to answer any quick career questions during Virtual Drop-in Hours, which start up Monday, September 17th!