Archive for February, 2018

Volunteer Spotlight: Lillian Piz ‘19, John Dube ‘19, and Catherine Cote‘18

Monday, February 19th, 2018

Name: Lillian Piz

Class Year: 2019

Major/Minor: Biology Major/Chinese Minor

Hometown and State: Concord, MA

What was something that stood out to you about Holy Cross?

When I was a prospective student I had the opportunity to shadow classes and I was most impressed by how the Professors engaged with the students. I was happy to see how much students liked their classes because I wanted to go a school where people were excited to learn.
I was also struck by how friendly people were. I remember my own tour guide being really passionate about Holy Cross and the Montserrat program. Holy Cross felt like an exciting place but also somewhere that I could be at home.

What was most nerve-racking about the admissions process, and how was this resolved?

I remember being very nervous about my interview, but it turned out to be very easy mostly because my senior interviewer wanted to make my interview more like a conversation about some of the things I was passionate about and why I thought Holy Cross would be the best place for me.

What was something you looked forward to experiencing at Holy Cross?

I was really looking forward to my classes and having the opportunity to explore the wide range of disciplines that are offered at a liberal arts institution. It was exciting to think that I would have a major in just a year or two.

What was most worrisome about transitioning to college, and how was this remedied?

I was worried about living away from home and having to live with other people. I ended up having a fantastic first-year living experience because my RA was very good about encouraging all the girls on my floor to keep their doors open and she would always pop in and say hello.

Name: John Dube

Class Year: 2019

Major/Minor/Concentration: Political Science/Peace and Conflict Studies Concentrator

Hometown and State: Nashua, NH

What was something that stood out to you about Holy Cross?

The architecture around campus and the tight-knit community atmosphere

What was most nerve-racking about the admissions process, and how was this resolved?

I was most worried about my interview. But once the interview started, I felt much more comfortable. My interviewer was very kind and turned the interview into more of a conversation about myself and what I would add to the Holy Cross campus.

What was something you looked forward to experiencing at Holy Cross?

I looked forward to participating in the yearly traditions like the Tree Lighting Ceremony.

What was most worrisome about transitioning to college, and how was this remedied?

I was most worried about not fitting in. However once Gateways started, I was able to make a lot of good friends in my orientation group that I still have today!

Name: Catherine Cote

Class Year: 2018

Major/Minor: Psychology major, Chinese and Education double minor, Pre-Business track

Hometown and State: Hopkinton, MA

What was something that stood out to you about Holy Cross?

The defining feature of Holy Cross that lead me to choose it over other schools was 100% the people on campus. While a handful of schools “checked all of my boxes,” which were things like rigorous academics, liberal arts education, a Chinese department, a student-run theatre organization, and a reliable food allergy program, it was ultimately the people I met on accepted students’ day that sealed the deal for me. I remember saying to my parents, “These are my people.”

What was most nerve-racking about the admissions process, and how was this resolved?

I remember being worried that my essay, GPA, grades, and test scores wouldn’t paint an accurate picture of my personality and passion. My mom suggested I sign up for an interview, and it was the perfect chance to show my true self in a conversation with a senior interviewer.

What was something you looked forward to experiencing at Holy Cross?

The sense of community!

What was most worrisome about transitioning to college, and how was this remedied?

I have a few dietary restrictions and food allergies, which I was very worried about initially. Holy Cross’ food allergy program is fantastic. The locked Allergy Kitchen was a great resource, as was the dietician. The Kimball staff knew me by name and could list off my allergies by heart – they would prep safe meals for me multiple times per day. Knowing that they cared about me and my safety made all the difference in my transition into college.

Volunteer Spotlight: Joseph Bellitti ’18 and Clare Orie’18

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

Name: Joseph Bellitti

Major: Psychology

Hometown and State: Basking Ridge, New Jersey

What was something you looked forward to experiencing at Holy Cross?

I fell in love with the campus community when I visited the school, and I was extremely excited to get involved in that community and help others to the best of my abilities through campus activities.

What are you going to miss most about Holy Cross?

The people here.  The Holy Cross community is so unique in it’s thoughtfulness and passion that I think it will be difficult to find another place like it. The students, the faculty, the staff, every single person here is so friendly trying to do the best they can to help you do the best that you can. I will miss that so much.

Do you have any plans for the future?

I will be looking for Research Assistantships in the field of Clinical Psychology.

What did you learn at Holy Cross that you will take with you into the world?

Simple acts of kindness like smiling at people, waving hello, holding doors open, and paying compliments to people can have the most profound impact on people and their lives. One good deed leads to another, and there is no limit on spreading kindness. Holy Cross has taught me the importance and yet simplicity of genuine care for other people, and I will carry that with me for the rest of my life.

How do you feel you’ve grown over your time at Holy Cross?

I feel I have matured a great deal from the time I arrived on campus. I have learned countless information about the academics I have studied, but also more importantly about life. The experiences I have had here in my liberal arts education have helped prepare me for my next steps in life, and I eagerly await the challenges they present. I think what Holy Cross taught me about growing up was that no matter how much I have learned in my 4 years here, there is still an infinite amount of things I do not know, and that it is important to acknowledge that. I still have so much to learn, and am excited to do so as I take on the rest of life’s challenges.

What is your favorite thing about HC?

My favorite thing about Holy Cross is what I will miss most: the people here. This is a very special community, and in all my time here I have been privileged to meet very amazing, compassionate, and inspirational individuals. Holy Cross has allowed me to surround myself with incredible people who have my best interests at heart, and for that I will be eternally grateful.

Name: Clare Orie

Major/Minor/Concentration: International Studies, French, Peace and Conflict Studies

Hometown and State: Sudbury, MA

What was something you looked forward to experiencing at Holy Cross?

I was excited at the idea of everyone knowing everyone and saying hi to each other, since it is a small school.

What are you going to miss most about Holy Cross?

Walking around and seeing everyone. Everyone is so busy, and you come to associate certain areas with certain people that you know will be there. I know who I can find in the Dinand stacks in the wee hours of the morning, who I can find sitting in the Hogan chairs during the afternoon, and the like. I’ll miss spending my days always running into people I love and am friends with.

Do you have any plans for the future?

I’d like to join the Peace Corps, and eventually hope to be equipped to teach in conflict zones and refugee camps.

What did you learn at Holy Cross that you will take with you into the world?

It would take me hours to answer this completely, but to put simply, I have learned that life will pass you by if you don’t slow down through the madness, spend your days with those who brighten your days, and genuinely care about what you are doing – be it homework, a Rehm event, or anything else. Don’t be indifferent – life is too short.

How do you feel you’ve grown over your time at Holy Cross?

Abundantly. I’ve learned how to prioritize the different aspects of my life when it seems everything is a priority. I love what I study, and I love what I am involved in, and this passion has been a journey from freshman year, where I sort of just had a check-the-box approach to my classes and extracurriculars.

What is your favorite thing about HC?

I couldn’t pick. Aside from the wonderful people who make it what it is, I love how everyone cares. Everyone is busy because they are genuinely investing their time into learning more, and making this world more just and inclusive.

Volunteer Spotlight: Jerome Siangco ’19 and Michael Peplowski ’20

Monday, February 5th, 2018

Name: Jerome Siangco

Class Year: 2019

Major/Concentration: Asian Studies & Global Health, Peace & Conflict Studies Concentration

Hometown and State: Renton, Washington

What was something that stood out to you about Holy Cross?

Flexibility of the academic schedule and the student population size.

What was most nerve-racking about the admissions process, and how was this resolved?

Taking standardized tests, such as the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, and the ACT. It was resolved because after taking all these tests, multiple times, Holy Cross did not need any of them.

What was something you looked forward to experiencing at Holy Cross?

I looked forward to being involved in student organizations and athletics.

What was most worrisome about transitioning to college, and how was this remedied?

I was worried about living in New England, coming from the west coast. It was remedied through making friends from all different geographic locations.

The following questions are geared towards your experience as a current student.

What is your favorite thing about giving tours?

The energy I receive through sharing my experiences, knowledge, and stories of being a student at Holy Cross and interacting with prospective families.

What is your favorite spot on campus and why?

The Hogan Campus Center first floor is my favorite spot because I always see people I know and have great conversations.

What do you like talking about most on campus tours?

I like talking about Student Affairs.

What is the most common question you are asked on tours? What’s your response?

The most common question I get on tours is why I decided to come to Holy Cross. My response in a nutshell is I chose Holy Cross because I felt I would be able to grow and find a comfortable community here through a student population size of 2900 and of professor’s focuses being only the undergraduate population.

Why did you want to be a tour guide?

To share my experiences of being a student at Holy Cross and to have an impact on prospective families regarding their college admission process.

What have you learned from being a tour guide?

I learned the bell in front of O’kane disappeared over night.

Do you find that there are a lot of alumni on tours? What’s it like interacting with them?

During certain weeks, such as Alumni Weekend or when there is a home sporting event. It is great hearing their stories, of where they lived and what they did here. Some of them talking lead at points when walking or coming into Dinand.

What is your favorite thing about HC?

The community of students, faculty, and staff at Holy Cross.

Once you graduate, what will you miss most about HC?

I will miss living in close proximity to all my friends.

What is one piece of advice you would like to give to prospective students?

When thinking about college, try and picture if you would be able to live for four years at a given institution. Look around and think if you could see yourself as one of the students you see walking.

What is the most exciting event you’ve attended this year?

The Sanctae Crucis Awards dinner. Here five alumni were awarded the college’s highest award for their service to the great community. It was inspiration to see what a Holy Cross education and experience can amount to because all five of these individuals have done remarkable things to serve both domestically and internationally.

Name: Michael Peplowski

Class Year: Sophomore

Major/Minor/Concentration: Undeclared (Leaning towards History)

Hometown and State: Pittsfield, MA

What was something that stood out to you about Holy Cross?

I was really drawn by the atmosphere and the strong sense of community that I saw on my visits to Holy Cross.

What was most nerve-racking about the admissions process, and how was this resolved?

I was most nervous for the interview but I was interviewed by a student who did their best to calm my nerves. She actually made the interview feel more like a conversation which definitely made me feel better.

What was something you looked forward to experiencing at Holy Cross?

I was looking forward to taking advantage of all the opportunities that Holy Cross offers. From volunteer opportunities to engaging lectures to sporting events, I was eager to be involved outside of the classroom and experience extracurricular activities.

What was most worrisome about transitioning to college, and how was this remedied?

Coming from a high school of 80 kids, many of them who I had been going to school with since kindergarten, I was worried about leaving behind the tight knit school community that I had been a part of for 12 years. I was also worried about leaving my family and friends. However, my worries proved to be trivial because Holy Cross has a very strong sense of community that made me feel right at home. It is very easy to meet people and everyone is so friendly that it did not take long for me to feel comfortable and leave my fears about transitioning behind.

What do you love most about interacting with prospective students/families?

I enjoy engaging the families and prospective students and trying to make them feel comfortable. I remember how uncomfortable and nerve-racking some of my college visits were and I do my best to make sure that the prospective students and visitors do not feel that here at Holy Cross.

What types of things do you enjoy talking about with prospective students/families?

Many prospective students and families are interested to hear about the transition process and extracurricular activities at the school. While these seem cliche, I actually enjoy talking about them. I think that my transition from such a small school to here was so seamless that I can honestly tell the prospective students and families that Holy Cross does a wonderful job of helping students transition. That conversation shifts into extracurricular activities, which played a huge role in my acclimation process. I participate in several extracurriculars, all of which I am passionate about, so it is very easy to talk about those while touching on the importance of getting involved to help the transition process.

What do you find prospective students are most concerned about and what advice would you give them about it?

Many prospective students are concerned about finding a major and a career path as soon as they enter college. They think that they need to have an idea and plan for their college career as well as their postgraduate life. While some people  may like to have this, it is totally not necessary. I came in with no clue what I wanted major in, let alone do for the rest of my life after graduation! My advice to those with no clear path, would be do not worry. You have plenty of time to figure things out. Just take classes that you are interested in and fill some of those general requirements along the way. Keep an open mind! Take classes that you are unsure about. Explore. When you find a subject that you feel strongly about, pursue it. Overall, do not stress major and career path if you do not have one.

Why did you join the outreach program?

I joined the outreach program because I feel strongly about Holy Cross and I wanted to spread the word. I also want to do my best to make all prospective students and families feel calm and comfortable during what can be such stressful times!

What makes HC special for you?

Holy Cross is special for me because it feels like home. I am not sure exactly how to put it into words but I just knew that Holy Cross was right for me and I still have that feeling today.

What is your favorite thing about HC?

My favorite thing about Holy Cross is the people. The faculty, staff, and students here make Holy Cross the place it is. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming and it is these people that allow Holy Cross to have the feeling of a tight knit community.

Once you graduate, what will you miss most about HC?

When I graduate, I will miss the people the most. I will miss all my friends as well as the faculty and staff that I have grown close with. Also, I will definitely miss fall on campus. The foliage on the buildings is wonderful.

What is one piece of advice you would like to give to prospective students?

Relax and enjoy the ride! Do not let the college process stress you out. Find the school that feels like home for you.

What is the most exciting event you’ve attended this year?

The most exciting event that I have attended this year was when Judge Leon came to my American Government class. Judge Leon, a Holy Cross Alumni, came back to campus to give a lecture in the Rehm Library the night before about his job and some of the high profile cases that he has ruled on, which was very interesting. My American Government class was lucky enough to have him come in and talk to us and answer our questions. It was a great experience to have a high profile figure who happens to be a Holy Cross Alumni come talk to a our class. (Shoutout to Political Science Professor Hindman for making that happen!)

How the Center for Career Development Helped Me

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

 

 

When I first came into college, there were many things I was nervous about. Would I make friends? Would I get along with my roommate? What if I get homesick? Am I actually prepared to take these college level courses? I ended up making friends, getting homesick a couple of times, passing all of my classes and rooming with the same person for three years. However, there was a part of my life that I was mainly preparing for throughout my time here: finding a job. As a senior, the thought of finding a job has a lot more pressure and meaning behind it than it did when I was a first year student worrying about a roommate. However, now that this has become an upcoming reality for me, I need to take the steps to ensure that I would graduate with a job. To me, finding a job I was happy with would be the icing on the cake of my Holy Cross experience. So I took to the Center for Career Development (CCD) to get some help.

I began going to the CCD when I was a first year student. The career counselors were and continue to be some of the friendliest faces I know on this campus. As soon as you walk in, you are kindly greeted and asked what the purpose of your visit is. During my first year, the office’s Alumni Job Shadowing Program provided me with the opportunity to shadow two alums at their own jobs, allowing me to realize that I no longer wanted to pursue Psychology and instead was interested in Marketing. Once I had an idea of what field I wanted to go into, it became easier for me to focus on jobs particularly associated with Marketing. During my sophomore year, I began to schedule various appointments with Julie Draczynski, who specifically focuses on Marketing amongst other industries. Her specialized knowledge allowed me to gain valuable advice such as how to format my resume in a way that would specifically attract Marketing employers. I learned how to write cover letters and was able to receive feedback on each and every one of them. All I had to do was email a Career Counselor or stop by the office. The availability and  quickness of the counselors in this office has been one of the most helpful things- as a Holy Cross student who has multiple jobs on campus and is involved, I don’t necessarily have the time to wait in an office for 45 minutes before I am actually helped. The CCD does a great job of making sure every student is helped out in an efficient manner which is extremely helpful.

During my junior year, I went abroad and once I came back to campus, I was hit with a wave of anxiety as I realized that I needed to find an internship for the summer. I can say with all honesty, if it were not for the CCD, I would not have had an internship. Once I arrived on campus, I was on Crusader Connections daily, looking for internships that sounded appealing to me. I applied for Cosmopolitan magazine, Time Inc., HGTV and more. I was taught how to use the Career Advisory Network, a database filled with the contact information of alums from every industry who are interested in speaking to current Holy Cross students. This was a great way for me to build connections that I still maintain today. I ended up securing an internship working for a non-profit organization called Sanctuary for Families. If it were not for the CCD, I would not have been able to accept this internship because it was unpaid, which was something I could not afford to have. However, as I mentioned before, the CCD really saved me. Even before I began applying for internships, I was encouraged to apply for the Crusader Internship Fund- a program in money has been donated to provide students with funding in case they obtain an unpaid internship. I ended up receiving the funding and once I secured an internship, I was all set. Because I already had funding in my back pocket, the unpaid aspect of my internship was not a problem. I ended up meeting amazing people, learning so much and enjoying my summer because of my internship.

As a senior, I am now working at the CCD as one of the Marketing Peer Career Assistants. Not only am I building skills for my own career, I am also helping other students by reviewing cover letters and resumes during Drop-In hours. My experience involved with the CCD throughout my time at Holy Cross has provided me with such valuable insight into what I need to do to improve my chances of obtaining a job by the time I graduate. Although I currently do not have a job, I know that I have the support of the CCD to help me in every way possible when the time comes to begin applying. I feel more prepared because of the knowledge I gained through them- I receive monthly newsletters giving me information about job openings within my industry, I have access to Crusader Connections and the Career Advisory Network, I know how to write a cover letter and have Career counselors to help me revise it. All of these tools are open to every student showing how much of a wonderful resource the Career center is. As a current Peer Career Assistant, I hope to continue embodying the greatness of the center and help other students in the same way I was helped throughout my time at Holy Cross.

 

written by Nerelly C. ’18