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