What doors does a degree from Holy Cross open? If you’re a recent grad, you just might be changing the world by teaching music to refugee children in Palestine, finishing your second year of law school or managing clients for an award-winning marketing firm. According to Holy Cross’ First Destinations Report, a snapshot of the outcomes for the Class of 2018 with 84.7 percent of graduates responding, a whopping 97 percent of respondents are employed in a job or internship, engaged in service work or pursuing a graduate degree.
The road to a happy job ending sometimes starts with an undergraduate internship. Or two. That was true for Casey Carty ’18, a political science major now working at the public relations firm Hunter in New York City. And she’s in good company, as 77 percent of her surveyed classmates pursued internships while still on campus.
“I think it can be hard for college students to ‘know’ what they’re going to be doing after graduation,” Carty says. “To try to figure out where I fit in, I explored internships in different fields, took advantage of job shadowing and attended networking opportunities at Holy Cross’ Center for Career Development.”
For Olufunmilola “Funmi” Anifowoshe ’17, a psychology major now pursuing a law degree at George Washington University Law School, the first step to seeing how the legal service can help others came sophomore year as she worked with a local legal services organization in Worcester. “The opportunity to use my strongest skills — research, writing and being an advocate for others — was what really drew me to law school.”
In feeling the pull to graduate school, Anifowoshe is hardly alone; the 2018 survey found about 14 percent of respondents went on to grad school. Anifowoshe, who currently has a much-coveted internship at the U.S. District Courts for the District of Columbia, credits Holy Cross for teaching her to ask “why.” “I felt constantly challenged academically as a student, which helped me thrive academically and eased my transition to law school.”
In the Pacific Northwest, Sara McLean ’17, an architectural studies major with a minor in art history, is working as a Jesuit Volunteer AmeriCorps Member for Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest Portland. The road to Portland was serendipitous.
“As a sophomore, I befriended a classmate at a retreat through the Chaplains’ Office who was planning to commit to the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. In my heart, I knew that I wanted to commit to a year of service after graduation to experience intentional communal living and gain firsthand experience with nonprofit work.”
McLean’s architectural studies courses perfectly supported her plan to do service work. “My classes asked me to question social issues within the built environment and think about how I could make a positive impact on communities. At Holy Cross, I felt a strong sense of community and care, which is a theme that has been fostered through my time as a Jesuit volunteer.”
Other grads are ready to take their degree on the road. Virginia Peck-Phillips ’17, a French and music double major with a minor in education, spent a year in Palestine after graduation teaching refugee children to play music. “By putting into practice the material I learned at Holy Cross, and communicating with and learning about those who surround me, I was able to feel comfortable in the choice to live and work abroad.”
Sometimes the value of a Holy Cross degree is less tangible. Michael Lowther ’18, an English major now working at the marketing firm and ad agency Ogilvy in New York City, says a big educational take-away was finding his voice at Holy Cross. “My education provided me with the confidence to sit in a meeting room with executive level employees and make sure my voice and opinion are heard and valued.”
The First Destinations Report was compiled by the Center for Career Development.
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