In a series of unique (virtual) events this spring, dozens of young alumni have Zoomed back to Curry to offer career advice and share life lessons learned with current students, from incoming first-year to graduating seniors.
“Criminal justice students can have so many career paths, so it is always nice to hear from those in different fields,” says Devin Gatto ’21, a double major in criminal justice and psychology. The Criminal Justice Honor Society recently hosted an alumni panel featuring Nate Almeida ‘18, Briana Dawkins ‘18, Cassie Manning ‘18, RJ Silva ‘18, and Taylor Vietri ‘20. The young professionals are now working in emergency management, victim advocacy, law, and security.
“As a soon-to-be graduate, it is reassuring to see how successful our recent alumni are,” adds Gatto. “The alumni were kind to join the event, but they went even further by also offering students their emails if they ever needed advice. Curry has such a great community, and that showed through again that night with the alumni.”
The criminal justice alumni are not alone in their desire to mentor young Curry students. Alums working in the tech industry – including Horace Del Rio ’15, Shawn Edge ’08, Marcel Mensah ’20, Jean Merisier ’20, Nick Patten ’17, and Justin Sowden ’19 recently spoke with software development and information technology students to offer guidance on the transition from college to work and answered questions on the job search and interviewing process among other topics related to their professional success.
“These are unique times for jumping into the work world, and our students found reassurance and motivation in our alumni who are dedicated to assisting them,” says Deanna Gordon, professor in the Department of Applied Technology. Following the virtual event, roughly 16 technology alums volunteered to mentor a graduating senior, offering job preparation training by leading them in mock interviews and other critical skills for young graduates.
Yet, graduating seniors weren’t the only groups of students inspired by alumni this semester. This week, yet another panel of alumni joined to help the incoming Class of 2025 in their transition to college life. Greg Estes ’19, Garrett Goodman ’13, Courtney Lee ’17, Olivia Kennedy ’12, and Moussa Seck ’10 joined together in a virtual event to offer words of wisdom on how the soon-to-be undergraduates can capitalize on everything Curry has to offer.
“Looking back when I was a freshman, I was terrified of moving away,” said Estes, a graduate student at Northeastern University studying strategic intelligence analysis. “Go in open-minded and experience as much as you can. Curry has a lot to offer, take advantage of all available to you, work multiple jobs, and say yes to everything. You’ll get out what you put into your experience. I can tell you that the experiences I gained at Curry are what made me who I am today.”
Of the many pieces of advice offered to the young students, one theme that continued throughout was the significance of exploring all interests and the potential for your college career and professional life to take many shapes.
“When I was a student at Curry, I thought I wanted to be the next red-carpet celebrity reporter, and now I work for NASA. Don’t be afraid to leap,” says Courtney Lee, who leads media relations and social media for the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope.
Olivia Kennedy offered similar advice. “Even if you are unsure, it is OK to try it, and if it is not for you, at least you will know,” says the High School Science Teacher. Kennedy is now pursuing a graduate degree in cybersecurity at Boston College. “I didn’t even know what cybersecurity was three years ago, and here I am doing it. You never know where life will take you, and you don’t have to follow just one path. Consider all the roads.”