My Alumni Job Shadowing Experience at Nike World Headquarters

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.

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

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, 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 Computer Science Major, Now I Work In Cybersecurity


Meet Reginald Woods ’14, Software Engineer at Sophos.

In one sentence, what does your job entail?
We are a cybersecurity company with products for communication endpoint, encryption, network security, email security, and other products that secure everyday devices.


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?

Senior year at Holy Cross I didn’t plan on attending the career fair.  I only went because a bunch of my classmates were going.  It was the best decision I ever made!  I connected with a peer that was in one of my computer science classes the year before, who spent her first year out at Oracle.  She passed my information along to the recruiter and I accepted a job at Oracle October of my senior year.  I knew Oracle was a good fit because I have heard so much about their college recruiting programs.  It prepared me for my career in software.


What were you involved in when you were on campus?

I was a Football player and involved in BSU, Working for Worcester, Holy Cross Cares Day, and BBC.  I performed in LASO and CAB events as well.  Great times.


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

Computer Science.  The skills I learnt directly applied to my career which is not the norm for Holy Cross.  I have classmates that have ventured into all types of fields.


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

Software development and Anthropology helped me relate to people in different cultures.


What advice do you have for students on campus today?

The best connections you can possibly make is your classmates.  Stay in contact with them because you will be able to work together and challenge each other to do great things.

ALUMNI INTERVIEW: I Was A Mathematics Major, Now I Work For The NFL


Meet Brian Lockhart ’96,  NFL Network Originals Programming & Development, National Football League (NFL)

In one sentence, what does your job entail? 

I am responsible for developing long form content for NFL Media, from the idea phase for shows and series all the way through execution.

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

I found a summer job at a small production company in New York City between my junior and senior year to be close to my then girlfriend who was from New Jersey. Prior to graduating, and without a real plan for my future beyond a vague notion of grad school, I wrote a cold letter (no email!) to HC basketball alum Steve Anderson, (class of 1976) who was the Senior VP of Remote Production at ESPN. He responded and helped me get an interview at ESPN. (Important Note: Steve has remained a supporter and mentor throughout my career. His selflessness has inspired me to also mentor HC alums).

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

Initially, it was a horrible fit. I had quite possibly the worst production assistant job interview in the history of ESPN – after being asked the last three winners of the Vezina Trophy I asked the humorless hiring manager, “What’s the Vezina Trophy?”. But I persevered, eventually stopping the interview and making an impassioned plea highlighting my strengths as a college athlete who understood the nuanced narrative structure of SportsCenter highlights… And somehow I received and accepted a job offer during the haze of Cape Week. I started two weeks after graduation and have worked in sports television ever-since. Considering that I didn’t even know television was a career path, I would say this profession chose me. I did not choose it. Ignorance truly is bliss.

What were you involved in when you were on campus? 

Varsity basketball 1992-’96 and co-captain (’95-’96). Black Student Union Member

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

I was a mediocre at-best Mathematics major. Math had zero bearing on my career path, None. Zilch. Nada. It IS a fun fact to drop in the world of sports media to elicit strange reactions.

My mathematics degree did come in handy as an associate director at HBO Sports. I was charged with counting backwards to zero making sure we got on and off the air cleanly and didn’t hit video freezes on replays. Degree affirmed!

But Math wired me to be solution driven. I am a novice when it comes to corporate politics but I can filter out distractions and solve problems – they just happen to be creative sports-related problems. Knowing what I know now, I would have pursued a degree in religion and philosophy, striving to be a slightly darker but heftier version of Prof. Joe Lawrence.

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

Holy Cross instilled in me the love of learning. Instead of acquiring knowledge merely as a means to an end, I developed a thirst to grow and apply my Mt. St. James scholarship beyond the gates of HC.  Props to FYP (First Year Program).

As a naive seventeen year old freshman, the somewhat nebulous liberal-arts inspired question posed to our class, “How then shall we live?”

My answer: “Paycheck to paycheck”

I never seriously wrestled with this question while on campus but I didn’t forget it either. “How then shall we live?” didn’t resonate until years later – now I can’t escape it. That singular question relentlessly provokes me to make an impact – hopefully a positive one. Ultimately, it has gifted me more questions, dynamic experiences, earned values and occasional wisdom.

What was the question again? I am also good with budgeting. Thank you American Express.

What advice do you have for students on campus today? 

Know thyself.

Cease fighting everyone and everything.

Say yes – a  lot.


Be a great teammate.

Give until it hurts then give some more.

Creativity is work.

Make it better.

Own your sh*t.

Enjoy the grind.

Ignore the mantras of others – know thyself. (That last answer may only be useful to my therapist).

Just in case you end up interviewing for a PA position at ESPN

ALUMNI INTERVIEW: I Was A Psychology Major, Now I …

Thinking about a career in the arts/entertainment industry? Read on for an inside look at how your Holy Cross liberal arts education can lead to working in TV and Film.

Meet Alum Mike Dussault ’99, Creative Executive at The Tannenbaum Co.(CBS)

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

We are based out of CBS Studios and develop scripted TV shows for broadcast, cable and streaming outlets.

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 got my MFA in TV Production at Loyola Marymount University after graduating from Holy Cross. I interned for director Jay Roach while at LMU and that led me to my first job as an assistant at a talent agency. The entire TV and Film industries all run through the agencies and it was those connections that led to me ending up at The Tannenbaum Company where I’ve been for over 10 years. Agency jobs are long hours and low pay, but the exposure was invaluable for not only seeing what kind of company I wanted to move to, but also hearing about jobs when they opened up before anyone else. Really that year at the agency might’ve been more impactful on my career than getting my MFA.

What were you involved in when you were on campus?

Academics (obviously), Eucharistic Minister and ice hockey.

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

Psychology. I think this major was far more helpful overall than my MFA in TV Production was because it gave me a different perspective than most regular film school grads. It was especially useful as I got into developing scripts and working with writers on character and story development. I come at story problems from a different place than many colleagues.

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

Reading is maybe the most important thing I do at my job and being able to read critically, to break down stories and characters, is essential. All day, every day there are scripts and pitches to read and discuss with my co-workers. You must be able to quickly take something in and give constructive notes to writers to get projects in the best place possible before we pass material up the flagpole to our studio and networks. This is my favorite part of my job and I’d never be able to do it without the critical reading skills that were honed at Holy Cross.

Also being able to work hard and being unflinching in the face of inevitable setbacks were critical things I learned in my experiences on the hill.

What advice do you have for students on campus today?

There isn’t one way to do anything. Everyone has their own path. Find your passion and then find a way to immerse yourself in the companies and people who do it everyday. The more people you meet, the more people who know what your passion is, the more people who might be able to help you. Get as many new and different experiences as you can to help you stand out. Don’t get discouraged by those who find their passion or are more successful earlier than you. Stay the course and never be afraid to take big swings at big opportunities. And never ever let your failures deter you. If you’re not failing you’re not truly trying!