Job Shadow 2014: Learning how the real world works, Part II
The third annual Job Shadow Week earlier this month was a huge success, with Fairfield alumni mentoring current students at sites throughout the area in a variety of fields.
Co-sponsored by Alumni Career Services and the Career Center on campus, the program gives alumni a chance to help fellow Stags explore their field of interest and see how the “real world” works.
Katie (Katherine) Holahan ’05, Legislative Director, House Committee on Ways and Means, Massachusetts House of Representatives, pictured (r-l) with Emma Cannon '14
Katie Holahan '05 and her student, Emma Cannon ’14, an International Studies and Spanish major, visited informal sessions of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and the Massachusetts Senate, where Emma spoke with staff members about their educational experiences and the unique ways that they entered public service.
"Although many people think that a liberal arts degree is less valuable than a more specialized degree—like engineering, for example,” said Holahan, “earning an English degree from Fairfield taught me the core skills of analysis and communication that I leverage every day in my job. I tried to give Emma the opportunity to speak to female staffers in a range of roles to give her an impression of the experiences for women in public service—particularly because most of them have a liberal arts background. Everyone was impressed with Emma's insightful questions, intelligence, and poise."
Emma Cannon ’14: Katie talked with me about not only her job, but also her experience as a new graduate looking to enter the job market. Hearing about her experience and how she got to where she is now is very useful insight for a graduating senior… I definitely recommend the Job Shadow program… whether or not the person you are shadowing has a career that you are considering.
Mary Ross ’78, Clinical Director, Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County, Norwalk, Conn., and member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors
Mary Ross '78 and her student Julie Earls ’15, a nursing major, covered the Intake Department, where Earls was able to see how care was initiated and ask questions about insurance and staffing, review clinical outcome and patient satisfaction data, and participate in a team meeting. Earls also sat in with the “telehealth” nurse, who was conducting virtual visits through a web cam, and also observed the RN Education Coordinator teaching a new documentation system to a clinician.
“It was a busy day,” noted Ross, “and, in between meetings, I tried to tie things together for Julie. I had the best day at work in months with her shadowing me! Julie had very astute questions and … impressed me greatly with what she knew and how she put things together quickly… This bright young nursing student was already well prepared for a future in nursing. It was absolutely refreshing... I would welcome the chance to have a student shadow me again… It makes me more enthusiastic about my role on the Alumni Board and about my job as well. This was a great experience.”
Julie Earls ’15: All of these things were a great learning experience, and Ms. Ross was so willing to answer any questions I had and teach me so much about her job. I could really tell that she loved every aspect of her work, which inspired me as an aspiring nurse-to-be.
Alexandra Fernandez ’11, Senior Residential Counselor for Adolescent Transitional Living Program, Silver Hill Hospital, New Canaan, Conn. Student: Clara Burlinson '14
Alexandra Fernandez '11 oversees the clinical treatment of 10 residents (adolescents between the ages of 13-17 who are psychiatrically unstable and are in treatment for a variety of disorders) and supervises six residential counselors.
“It was an absolute pleasure to meet Clara and talk about social work,” said Fernandez. “It's one topic I could go on about all day… While psychology is similar to social work, there are many other components to the field that I was unaware of as an undergrad. It was difficult to find a mentor who knew a lot about it. When Clara reached out to me, I knew exactly where she was coming from and was eager to pass down what I had learned."
Clara Burlinson ’14: Since we were only meeting for coffee, I wasn't sure how helpful it would be, but Alex gave me so many ideas and leads, including a list of foundations and programs to look into. She showed me that there are endless possibilities in the social work field, and reassured me that even with the little pertinent experience that I have had in the field there are many options.
Lindsay Pazdan ’06, Client Advisor at Banyan Partners, pictured (middle) with John Steele ’15 and Conor Kelly ’15
Lindsay Pazdan '06 arranged for her two students, John Steele ’15 and Conor Kelly ’15, to sit in on a morning investment meeting, hearing an overview of the past month’s economic events and a preview of what’s to come and the possible impact on the markets.
“I was thrilled to participate in the Job Shadow program,” Pazdan said. “We talked about what wealth management really means and the different roles that are needed to make the company run day to day. Both John and Conor also sat down with our equity and fixed income traders for some insight on their roles, as well as members of our Portfolio Management and Operations Group to hear stories of how they got to be where they are today. It is so important for students to get this experience as they prepare for life after college.”
Conor Kelly '15: Lindsay made me feel like a member of the wealth management team. One of the highlights of the day was being able to sit in on their asset allocation meeting. I learned so much that day, and got a true insight on how wealth management firms work.
Kristina Lobosco ’96, Senior Operations Manager-Public Sector Sales, Cisco Systems, Boston, Mass., pictured (r-l) with Allison Hildebrandt ’15
Lobosco took Allison Hidebrandt ’15 on a tour of Cisco’s Executive Briefing Center to attend various technology demonstrations and participated in a virtual TelePresence Video meeting with Cisco attendees participating from eight cities across the country. They also reviewed some of the project management tools, techniques, and approaches used within the company that are of particular interest to Allison.
"Spending the day with Allison was a great opportunity for me to gain a deeper understanding of the skills and competencies that are being taught within the Dolan School of Business's Information Systems program," said Lobosco. "I was incredibly impressed with how prepared, professional, and enthusiastic Allison was throughout the day. The Job Shadow program was a fantastic experience and I look forward to continuing to guide Allison throughout her remaining years at Fairfield and beyond as she embarks upon her career."