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Holy Cross 2020 Graduates Find Success in Entering the Workforce

Eight Recent Holy Cross Graduates Explain How Their Undergraduate Experiences Prepared Them for Life After College
July 1st, 2020 by 


As recent Class of 2020 graduates from the across the country make their way into “the real world,” we caught up with eight of the newest Holy Cross alumni to hear their reflections on where they’re going and how their time at Holy Cross influenced their path and prepared them for success.

 

Olivia Doherty ‘20

Account Analyst, PIMCO

International Studies and French double major
Ramsey, NJ

Q.) What most excites you about your new position, and how do you plan to have an impact in your chosen field?

A.) I see this position as a way to combine my interests, skills, and passions that allow me to connect political trends to economic patterns. We live in a global economy, and as seen this year, it is becoming increasingly volatile. I’m excited to analyze the interplay of different phenomena and to better understand why and how certain groups are misrepresented within global financial markets. I’m hoping to take all I have learned in my time at Holy Cross to continue to be able to connect local circumstances to global patterns.

Q.) How did Holy Cross prepare you for life after college and help lead you to your chosen job or field?

A.) Holy Cross has taught me to, as our mantra goes, “ask more.” My time on the Hill has led me to reflect critically on existing norms, structures, and institutions and ask questions that can challenge what’s deemed as true. My experiences in and out of the classroom have established that it is necessary to question and to test the efficacy of different systems on different populations. As an International Studies and French double major from a liberal arts college, I did not initially see myself in investment management, but I was hoping to find myself in an environment that would continue to test and challenge me while also providing an opportunity to dig deeper into the inner-workings of financial markets, including defining who they serve, who they exclude, and why. I see PIMCO as an institution that promotes the Holy Cross method. I have been taught how—not what—to think, and I’m excited to continue to build upon the intellectual curiosity that I’ve developed over the past four years.

Q.) Did you take advantage of any Holy Cross opportunities that you think helped you secure a job offer?

A.) The Holy Cross alumni network was a great source to leverage during my job search. I had originally applied for a summer internship at PIMCO my junior year through Crusader Connections, and while I did not end up interning there, they reached out with a job posting the following January. As I went through the interview process, I connected with two alumni, each of whom were incredibly supportive, encouraging, and accessible, answering questions and providing tips along the way.

Q.) What lessons, advice, or experiences will you take with you to your new role from your time at Holy Cross?

A.) To be open to ambiguity! I experienced this often in the classroom, but never thought my last semester would be cut so short. As my time comes to a formal end at Holy Cross, I see staggering amounts of uncertainty awaiting. This, though, presents an opportunity to continue to get comfortable with the uncomfortable, as I know the answers to my questions from here on out are not so easily found in a textbook. Holy Cross afforded me the skills needed to adapt to changing circumstances, and for that I am so grateful!

 

Tolu Akin ‘20

Engineering role, Microsoft

Mathematics and Computer Science double major
North Providence, RI

Q.) What most excites you about your new position, and how do you plan to have an impact in your chosen field?

A.) I am very fortunate and excited to be working at a highly esteemed and dynamic company. I am looking forward to using my position to enact positive change within Microsoft and to work on products that will empower more than 2 billion Microsoft customers. I also hope to use my experience and position to provide similar opportunities for others, especially those from underrepresented communities, such as the ones that I identify with.

Q.) How did Holy Cross prepare you for life after college and help lead you to your chosen job or field?

A.) My experience at Holy Cross has helped me become a more conscientious citizen of the world. My Holy Cross liberal arts education has provided me knowledge across a wide breadth of disciplines, prepared me to face the intersectional nature of problems existing in the world, and deepened my knowledge to be successful in my field of study. At Holy Cross, I have embarked on projects that have polished my leadership and critical thinking skills, which have provided me with the confidence to take on future leadership roles.

Q.) Did you take advantage of any Holy Cross opportunities that you think helped you secure a job offer?

A.) I took advantage of the mock interviewing and resources at the Center for Career Development in preparing for my interview. Also, I worked with some of my computer science professors in preparing for my interview and spoke with them about what to expect.

Q.) What lessons, advice, or experiences will you take with you to your new role from your time at Holy Cross?

A.) A lesson that I will take with me to my new role is to pursue whatever ambitions will make me most happy and content about my impact on the world. I have also learned to appreciate the present, as opposed to being constantly focused on the next steps. The latter is more relevant than ever with my final year on campus being cut short due to the pandemic, robbing me and other seniors of valuable time to relish our final moments together.

 

Paul Wiley ‘20

President / Co-Founder of Wilox Assets

Chemistry major
Bow, NH

Q.) What most excites you about your new position, and how do you plan to have an impact in your chosen field?

A.) I am devoted to helping out our healthcare workers and frontline heroes during this pandemic. I am excited to connect high-end healthcare product manufacturers to consumers across the globe. Our goal is to create innovations today for a healthier tomorrow.

Q.) How did Holy Cross prepare you for life after college and help lead you to your chosen job or field?

A.) The biology and business departments provided me with valuable insights and guidance, which helped me launch Wilox.

Q.) Did you take advantage of any Holy Cross opportunities that you think helped you secure a job offer?

A.) I took advantage of the vast alumni network at Holy Cross, and worked closely with Dr. Acheampong, Professor Chu, Ja-Nae, Cassie and Kathy.

Q.) What lessons, advice, or experiences will you take with you to your new role from your time at Holy Cross?

A.) Don’t let “no” stop you from what you want to do. You have to be persistent to get after what you want.

 

Piotr Pogorzelski ‘20

Investment Banking Analyst, Barclays

Economics and Mathematics double major
Nanuet, NY

Q.) What most excites you about your new position, and how do you plan to have an impact in your chosen field?

A.) First and foremost, I am excited to work with a great team, which I interned with last summer. I am also excited to start working full-time for Barclays and start to apply my work ethic in the corporate world.

Q.) How did Holy Cross prepare you for life after college and help lead you to your chosen job or field?

A.) Holy Cross has been a big part of my upcoming opportunity with Barclays. I was able to network and build relationships with alumni at Barclays, which helped me prepare for interviews and eventually my internship. Attending this college for the past four years, I was also able to take advantage of the small class sizes and building relationships with my professors. These relationships helped me achieve a higher level of education and helped me become a better critical thinker. This allows me to offer a unique perspective in my field of work.

Q.) Did you take advantage of any Holy Cross opportunities that you think helped you secure a job offer?

A.) Yes! Absolutely! I would like to sincerely thank the Center for Career Development for always being on top of things and providing me with opportunities for internships and jobs. I also am grateful to the Holy Cross alumni network. I was able to secure an internship my sophomore year with a Holy Cross alumnus who worked in investment banking for over 25 years. His dedication to the school and his help in developing the students who interned with him was a huge factor in my getting a full-time position at Barclays. Through the alumni network, I was able to connect with many Holy Cross alumni at Barclays who helped me navigate the process and prepared me for interviews.

Q.) What lessons, advice, or experiences will you take with you to your new role from your time at Holy Cross?

A.) Holy Cross is a prominent institution because of the people who form the Holy Cross community. Throughout the four years here, I was able to meet and talk with some of the best people. And the most important lesson I learned is giving back. No matter where my future takes me, I will always look to bring others up with me because I know people who did that for me. And in that sense, every Holy Cross student and alumnus works toward the motto “men and women for others.”

 

Morgan Sanders ‘20

Marketing Associate, Cogito

Psychology and Visual Art (Studio) double major
Westfield, MA

Q.) What most excites you about your new position, and how do you plan to have an impact in your chosen field?

A.) I’m excited to continue learning, even past graduation. I think I can have an impact in marketing by using my liberal arts education to think outside the box and try new things. I also think that as a student-athlete, I’ve learned how to work with a team and communicate effectively in order to reach goals.

Q.) How did Holy Cross prepare you for life after college and help lead you to your chosen job or field?

A.) Holy Cross has allowed me to delve into my true interests and learn how to leverage those interests to land my ideal job. I came here thinking I wanted to be a pre-med biology major. However, I found myself spending more time in the art studio than the biology lab. I might not have taken psychology or art if they weren’t a part of Holy Cross’ required courses, yet I found out that I truly enjoyed them. Now I graduated with a double major in Visual Arts and Psychology, and I love what my future holds.

Q.) Did you take advantage of any Holy Cross opportunities that you think helped you secure a job offer?

A.) I found my summer internship through Crusader Connections, eventually securing the internship where I would be working under Cogito Senior Vice President and Holy Cross alumnus Steve Kraus. It was a great opportunity, and Steve helped me grow as a person and professionally.

Q.) What lessons, advice, or experiences will you take with you to your new role from your time at Holy Cross?

A.) During my seminar course this past Spring, I learned how I could apply multiple disciplines to whatever topic we were discussing in class. I will definitely use this skill to critically take on challenges in my new career.

 

Garrett Fortin ‘20

Resource Manager, Praxis Engineering

Anthropology and Political Science double major
Silver Lake, NH

Q.) What most excites you about your new position, and how do you plan to have an impact in your chosen field?

A.) I am excited to be part of a Program Management office that helps coordinate large projects in a timely manner, meeting needs both specific, general, and random in the case of unforeseen circumstances. Constant staffing needs are being automated, and we will continue to adapt in the face of COVID. My leadership experience from being a track captain and from my Student Government Association experience gave me a great foundation, and I look to refine and continue developing in this job and field. I feel I will be able to make a large impact in the long-term on the program manager track.

Q.) How did Holy Cross prepare you for life after college and help lead you to your chosen job or field?

A.) I was a political science major and an anthropology minor, and I really enjoyed both disciplines. I think my experience balancing track with academics taught me how to be adaptable and tough. If I can continue to bring that energy into the workforce, I know I will be very successful. Holy Cross is rigorous, and it really does make a difference in making us attractive candidates for a job.

Q.) Did you take advantage of any Holy Cross opportunities that you think helped you secure a job offer?

A.) I worked with Lauren in the Center for Career Development since the beginning of junior year, and she was incredibly helpful in so many ways. I have said it before and I will say it again, I believe that the Center might be the most efficient and well-run office at the College. I also benefitted from the guidance of a couple of professors I was close to, such as Professor Burnep from the Political Science department, among others.

Q.) What lessons, advice, or experiences will you take with you to your new role from your time at Holy Cross?

A.) Be adaptable to get the job done. I know that will be a crucial skill in my field, and I feel that Holy Cross prepares you in ways you don’t even notice until you’re gone. The other thing I will take with me is to bring great attention to detail, the way I did with my sprinting mechanics or research for class.

 

Charlotte Kearns ‘20

Research Technician, University of Pennsylvania

Biology major
Castleton, VT

Q.) What most excites you about your new position, and how do you plan to have an impact in your chosen field?

A.) I am most excited about getting to work in a lab at the University of Pennsylvania studying SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The research we are doing could have an effect on people’s lives and the world right now, and that is so exciting.

Q.) How did Holy Cross prepare you for life after college and help lead you to your chosen job or field?

A.) As a Holy Cross graduate, I will be a person “for and with others,” and in my field of biomedical research, I am committing myself to helping people through the research that I do. Although I may not make an earth-shattering discovery, I will aim every day to make small advances in the field I have chosen, thus expanding the basis of knowledge that more research can build from.

Q.) Did you take advantage of any Holy Cross opportunities that you think helped you secure a job offer?

A.) I had the privilege of working in the lab of Dr. Ann Sheehy, and her research on HIV inspired me to learn more about the interface between invading pathogens and our bodies’ immune response. She actually put me in touch with the lab at UPenn. She has helped me so much during all four years at Holy Cross, taking me on as a research student, writing recommendation letters, and helping me find internships. Her mentorship has been invaluable to me.

Q.) What lessons, advice, or experiences will you take with you to your new role from your time at Holy Cross?

A.) My education at Holy Cross not only expanded my scientific thinking but also improved my communication skills. Right now, it is especially vital that scientists can communicate their findings to the general public. The goal of science is to give people information to help improve their lives, and Holy Cross has given me the ability to communicate my research to a wider audience as well as the desire to change lives, and that drives me, always.

 

Lily Rahn ‘20

Account Associate, W2O Group

Political Science and Art History double major
New York, NY

Q.) What most excites you about your new position, and how do you plan to have an impact in your chosen field?

A.) W2O works exclusively in the healthcare space with clients primarily in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device industries. I’m excited to work with clients to help craft meaningful communications strategies about new advances in medicine and therapeutic drugs. I think the healthcare space is particularly relevant in our global climate right now, and I’m excited to learn more about the industry.

Q.) How did Holy Cross prepare you for life after college and help lead you to your chosen job or field?

A.) The liberal arts education at Holy Cross sharpened my writing, analytical, and critical thinking skills, which will be an asset in this role.

Q.) Did you take advantage of any Holy Cross opportunities that you think helped you secure a job offer?

A.) I landed my job with W2O after an internship with the company last summer. I found the internship through the Career Center and a Holy Cross alum who I was able to interview with on campus last year. I stayed in touch with the alum after the internship and throughout my application process for my full-time position. Without the help of the Career Center and the alumni network, I would not have been able to land my job with W2O Group.

Q.) What lessons, advice, or experiences will you take with you to your new role from your time at Holy Cross?

A.) I think Holy Cross develops a really strong work ethic in its students. I will take the work ethic and discipline that I cultivated during my time as a student at Holy Cross with me into my professional life.

 

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