Seniors Launch Careers Before Commencement
Bolstered by mentoring and equipped with professional experiences, seniors from across the academic disciplines are accepting job offers before they’ve even received their diplomas.
As a steady parade of Stonehill seniors announce they have already landed jobs, a common theme has emerged: Four years of mentoring and advising was critical in helping them find their calling and maximize their potential. From high tech and health care to engineering and analytics, we share the career success stories of six seniors with strong minds and stronger hearts.
Academics, Athletics Help Develop Character and Career Prospects for Finance Major
Both on the basketball court and in the classroom, finance major Joshua Mack has distinguished himself through his commitment and development as a leader, which helped him secure a position as an equity research associate at The London Company of Virginia.
But equally as important, Mack has developed the character traits at the heart of a Stonehill education, which calls on students to define their success based on their impact on others.
It can be seen most readily in his work with the Sharon Stars program in nearby Sharon, Massachusetts, which connects members of the Stonehill NCAA Division I men’s basketball team with individuals with disabilities to help them learn about and play basketball in a fun and supportive setting.
Mack, who came to Stonehill from Winchester, Virginia, says working with the Stars program has taught him the importance of being an example for others.
“The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that there’s always someone looking up to you,” he notes. “Somebody somewhere sees you as a hero. I realize I need to hold myself accountable and to a high standard.”
Mack says that lesson is one of several gifts he has received at Stonehill that he believes will serve him throughout his life.
“Varsity athletics helped with my leadership skills and work ethic,” he says. “My internship with John Hancock helped prepare me for working in a corporate environment. And my internship with The London Company allowed me to gain experience in equity research and get a better understanding of the industry.”
Combined with the professional development gained with advisors on Stonehill’s Career Development team and the finance knowledge gained in his major, Mack feels prepared for the opportunities ahead.
“I fully embrace the life balance philosophy, and what makes Stonehill unique is that it has offered me the chance to grow into a better person.”
Mathematics Major Measures Her Success on Her Ability to Help Others Achieve Theirs
It’s often said that successful people are always thinking two moves ahead, and mathematics major Jenna Goldberg is no exception.
Goldberg hasn’t yet started her position as an analyst in Liberty Mutual Insurance’s Analyst Development Program, but she is already thinking about how her leadership experience can help her advance at the $50 billion casualty insurance company, one of the largest in the country.
“At Stonehill, I was a teaching assistant for two years in the Mathematics Department, which taught me valuable communication skills and allowed me to connect with students and help them succeed,” says Goldberg, who came to Stonehill from Stoughton, Massachusetts. “This will help me going forward because I would like to advance my career and eventually become a manager at Liberty Mutual.”
Goldberg says she feels confident in her transition from life as a student to one as a professional. Not only has she gained the requisite skills and knowledge, but also the broader planning and time management skills that were required to succeed in her program.
“Being a mathematics major allowed me to challenge myself conceptually and deepen my knowledge about the field of analytics at the same time,” says Goldberg, whose extracurricular activities included working as a teaching assistant at the Girls Get Math Camp held at Stonehill during the summer. “I think that pursuing my thesis also prepared me for my job because I had deadlines and weekly meetings with my advisor and needed to produce a written report about my findings.”
Like so many others, Goldberg credits her professors with keeping her on track and helping her discover the full extent of her abilities.
“Having supportive professors makes achieving your dream feel like it is more within reach,” she says. “My faculty advisors and teaching assistants provided me with the backbone that is essential for going out into the working world, and for that, I will always be grateful.”
An Accounting Career Begins With Support From Advisors, Mentors and Alumni
Accounting major Rebecca Erhard says Stonehill alumni working in the field not only helped her secure a position on the assurance staff at Ernst & Young but will be crucial mentors as she advances in her career.
“I had several alumni mentors during my internships that I still stay in touch with because of the strong connections we made,” says Erhard, who also minored in Spanish and mathematics.
On top of an extensive support network available to students on campus — including academic advisors, professors and the Career Development team — Stonehill prides itself on the additional networking and professional development provided by its alumni.
Erhard’s mentoring relationships were an important part of a broad base of support she received from Stonehill’s Career Development advisors.
“Career [Development] provided several opportunities to learn how to network with individuals, build a strong resume and plan ahead to be prepared for future interviews and events,” says Erhard, who came to Stonehill from Wenham, Massachusetts. “Starting in your first year at Stonehill, they set you up for success quite well for life after graduation.”
As captain of the Stonehill women’s cross-country team, Erhard gained valuable experience as a leader while learning to balance the responsibilities of being a student-athlete.
“Being captain of the women’s cross-country team challenged me to branch out and open up as a leader,” she notes. “I learned to work with others, provide solutions and work with different types of people.”
When her two roles conflicted, Erhard’s professors and advisors kept her on track.
“My advisor always assured me I was going to be okay if something in my plan changed or if I had questions or concerns,” she says. “I was motivated to continue to pursue my goals no matter what obstacles got in the way, and my confidence grew from there.”
Mentoring, Internships and Leadership Roles Help Launch Data Engineering Career
If computer science major Ashley Swift’s path to a successful career launch was a recipe, the list of primary ingredients would read like this:
- 9 leadership opportunities
- 4 mentoring professors
- 3 internships
Combined, they helped her secure a position as a data engineer in Citizens Bank’s Technology Development Program. Swift is quick to note that the driving force at the heart of it all was the unwavering support of her professors, particularly Ralph Bravaco, Shai Simonson, Robert Dugan and Michael Sale.
“Knowing that I had a support system to get through my classes made me be able to focus on learning and enjoying the content rather than the grade I receive at the end of the course,” says Swift, who came to Stonehill from Plympton, Massachusetts.
That support also helped her find and balance many of the opportunities that prepared her for her professional life. In addition to successfully completing three internships, Swift also benefitted from leadership opportunities that included being president of two student groups and working as a teaching assistant and student ambassador.
The cumulative value of those experiences helped her gain admission into two highly competitive women-in-technology summits that accept only 10% of applicants. It was there, Swift says, that she gained increased confidence in her ability to thrive as a woman in a male-dominated industry.
“My Stonehill experience encouraged me to explore and helped me understand all the careers possible with a computer science degree aside from just software engineering.”
Physics Major Secures Job and Spot in Engineering Master’s Degree Program
It takes an exceptional level of preparation to graduate from college and begin a full-time position as a lab technician while also pursuing an electrical engineering master’s degree program part time.
Physics major John Moreau credits his professors, saying they not only provided the knowledge and experiences he needed but also helped him learn how to balance responsibilities and overcome obstacles.
“Professor Ralph Bravaco really helped me understand that not everything in life is a direct path and that sometimes to get to where you want to be you have to work harder than others,” says Moreau, who has accepted a position with Triumvirate Environmental and will be studying at Western New England University — one of three graduate programs to which he was accepted.
At Triumvirate, Moreau will be working on-site with company clients involved in the fields of life sciences, health care, educational institutions and industrial companies.
“Triumvirate works with organizations that have laboratories,” says the Franklin, Massachusetts, native, who also minored in electrical engineering. “We do inspections and technical work to make sure everything is up to code and working properly.”
And while Moreau’s full-time job and part-time coursework will be a challenge, he feels his Stonehill experience has prepared him well for it.
“I would say that my workload as a STEM student helped me prepare for this moment,” he says. “I have always been in somewhat difficult classes and had to adjust my schedule to get my work done efficiently. As Professor Bravaco said, with hard work and dedication there isn’t anything one can’t do.”
Compassionate Leader and Advocate Will Pursue Doctorate in Forensic Psychology
It’s one thing to take full advantage of existing opportunities at Stonehill. It’s quite another when you create a new opportunity that will benefit you and your classmates.
“As the founder of Stonehill’s Criminology Club and the club’s current secretary, I have learned how to advocate for what my peers and I care about,” says Kayleigh Nadal, a psychology and criminology double major and sociology minor.
The confidence and initiative she developed while recreating a club that had long been dormant, combined with academic success in her two majors, were certainly front of mind when Antioch University invited her to come pursue a doctorate of psychology with a concentration in forensics.
“In recreating the Criminology Club, I wanted to create a space where students within the major or minor can come together to explore real-world issues and various career paths within the field of criminology,” says Nadal, who came to Stonehill from Clifton Park, New York. “Although at times it was nerve-racking, the experience strengthened my ability to advocate for something I believe in and will help me as I plan to work with and treat an underserved and overlooked population to ensure that the incarcerated receive adequate mental health care.”
Nadal’s passions also helped her secure an internship at the Massachusetts Treatment Center in Bridgewater, part of the state Department of Corrections.
“Through my Criminology Department internship, I created accessible resources at the treatment center, including fact sheets and applications to help inmates learn about housing opportunities post-release.”
Another aspect of her experience at Stonehill that impressed Nadal was the faculty’s dedication to helping students achieve their goals. Criminology Professor Danielle Carkin-Lacorazza was Nadal’s strongest supporter throughout her graduate school application process, and even professors she never had a class with pitched in.
“Professor [Erin] O’Hea met with me so many times while I was applying to grad school,” recalls Nadal. “She genuinely wanted the best for me despite never having her as a professor.” Reflecting on support from Carkin-Lacorazza, she said, “She has not only mentored me throughout my four years at Stonehill, but she has also worked with me ad nauseam to ensure I felt confident during the grad school process. I knew I could always turn to her for career or life advice, as she strongly helped me get to where I am today.”
A Note of Recognition
We received many responses to our call for senior success stories. To those students not featured above, we offer our heartfelt thanks for sharing your stories and our hearty congratulations on your successes: psychology major Colleen Bowen of Bedford, Massachusetts, finance major Gavin Euksuzian of Medford, New Jersey; health science major Rachel Fernandes of Peabody, Massachusetts; management major Jenna French of Thomaston, Connecticut; neuroscience major Alexandra Hammond of Windham, Maine; finance major Ruth Cetina Jimenez of Playa del Carmen, Mexico; finance major Leilah Johnson of Lakeville, Massachusetts; graphic design major Brendan Lewis of Cohasset, Massachusetts; psychology major Nicole Paparella of St. James, New York; and finance and economics double major Steven Shalvey of Quincy, Massachusetts.