Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Liberal arts career pathways: Alumni insights and advice

More than 60 MCA&S alumni came to campus on January 11 to take part in Endeavor, a three-day career exploration conference for sophomores pursuing degrees in the liberal arts. Some 203 students returned early from winter break for the program, which helps students explore, reflect, and discern their career goals and interests in small-group exercises, networking sessions, and visits to alumni-employer worksites. A group of alumni who tool part in the program talk about how their BC educations prepared them for their lives and careers.

Beth Baker

BETH BAKER ’02

Position:
Director Health Access & Wellness Services, Boston Public Health Commission

Undergraduate major:
Political Science

Most influential course or teacher at BC?
Theology Professor Pheme Perkins pushed students to think critically. I still have all of the papers that I wrote for her class.

What skill/knowledge did you gain as a BC undergraduate that you still use today?
How to communicate effectively. No matter what your job, you have to be able to communicate clearly and concisely to be successful.

How did your undergraduate experience prepare you for life and career?
The spirit of giving back and the importance of community and friends are the fabric of BC.

What affiliation, interest, or hobby outside your job is important to you?
I volunteer at Healthworks Community Fitness, a gym for low-income women and girls living in Dorchester.

Advice to new students?
Classes and good grades are important, but extracurricular activities round you out and help you learn and develop passions and interests.

 
Joe Baratta

JOE BARATTA ’00

Position:
VP of Business Development, Abell Auction Company

Undergraduate major:
Art History

Most influential course or teacher at BC?
I came to BC planning to be pre-med. I took Associate Professor of Art Kenneth Craig’s "Art History" course first semester of freshman year and changed my entire direction.

What skill/knowledge did you gain as a BC undergraduate that you still use today?
Learning to listen. Listening to someone is often the best way to establish a relationship and close a deal.

How did your undergraduate experience prepare you for life and career?
I discovered courses that I had never thought existed. My art history courses led to an internship at Sotheby’s and then to my career at Abell.

What affiliation, interest, or hobby outside your job is important to you?
Traveling around the world visiting museums and historical sites of interest.

Advice to new students?
Take a class that you would never have thought of registering for. Do whatever you can to study abroad.

 
Frantz M. Berthaud

FRANTZ M. BERTHAUD ’08

Position:
Manager, Clinical Growth, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Undergraduate majors:
Biology and Philosophy

Most influential course or teacher at BC?
“Person and Social Responsibility,” the PULSE core course.

What skill/knowledge did you gain as a BC undergraduate that you still use today?
Adaptability—the cornerstone of a liberal arts education. It will prepare any BC grad to pivot in the ever-changing marketplace and global economy.

How did your undergraduate experience prepare you for life and career?
Having classes ranging from theology and philosophy to chemistry fostered the capacity to learn differently, think critically, and shift my thinking. Upon graduation, I was not in search of a job or even a career, but a calling.

What affiliation, interest, or hobby outside your job is important to you?
Promoting STEM careers to underrepresented minorities.

Advice to new students?
Do not be afraid to take classes or join clubs that seem unrelated to your intended career path. Having varied experiences in and out of the classroom can make your time at BC richer and more meaningful.

 
Xenia Calderon

XENIA CALDERON ’00

Position:
Property Accountant, Crosspoint Associates

Undergraduate major:
Sociology

Most influential course or teacher at BC?
Professor Ramon Grosfoguel, a visiting professor from UC Berkeley, offered a course on the history of neo-colonialism in Latin America.

What skill/knowledge did you gain as a BC undergraduate that you still use today?
All the reading, writing, and analyzing I did as an A&S student continues to benefit me in whatever role or industry I happen to be a part of.

How did your undergraduate experience prepare you for life and career?
BC challenged me to step out of my comfort zone, and to “swim” in different environments. It fostered in me a need to continually challenge my boundaries—and a love of lifelong learning.

What affiliation, interest, or hobby outside your job is important to you?
Animal welfare, in particular the well-being of dogs, is something close to my heart.

Advice to new students?
If I could turn back time, I would have participated in more clubs. It would have taught me essential time management skills that I needed in the first few years out of school.

 
Feng Chang

FENG CHANG ’06

Position:
Director, Digital Marketing Strategy, Rue La La

Undergraduate majors:
Biology and Economics

Most influential course or teacher at BC?
Writing my senior honors thesis with Associate Professor Laura Hake in the Biology Department, I learned about persistence, determination, and a positive attitude.

What skill/knowledge did you gain as a BC undergraduate that you still use today?
The mentoring, coaching, and constructive feedback skills I gained as a peer advisor at the Career Center.

How did your undergraduate experience prepare you for life and career?
The relationships I built at BC continue to this day. I have lifelong friends who have been there for me through thick and thin.

What affiliation, interest, or hobby outside your job is important to you?
I love to cook and experiment in the kitchen!

Advice to new students?
Seek out and explore people, places, and interests that may lie outside your comfort zone. There are so many opportunities at BC. You won’t always have these opportunities.

 
Meghan Daly

MEGHAN DALY ’14

Position:
Software Engineer, Novetta

Undergraduate majors:
History and Computer Science

Most influential course or teacher at BC?
“Nations and Nationalism” with Priya Lal, an assistant professor of history, profoundly impacted my perception of a “nation” and informed my views of nationalist movements in our increasingly global society.

What skill/knowledge did you gain as a BC undergraduate that you still use today?
The Jesuit tradition of cura personalis helped me understand the importance of caring for my mental and emotional well-being.

How did your undergraduate experience prepare you for life and career?
BC provided me with the opportunity to falter and misadventure while discovering my path.

What affiliation, interest, or hobby outside your job is important to you?
I discovered rugby while at BC and it has become a cornerstone in my life. I continue to be involved with the sport as an assistant coach for the women’s club team at BC.

Advice to new students?
Be adventurous! Risk taking a class that may be challenging, but interesting. Explore the vibrant culture of life beyond BC’s campus.

 
Pat Knight

PAT KNIGHT ’08

Position:
Senior Associate, Synapse Energy Economics

Undergraduate major:
Geophysics

Most influential course or teacher at BC?
Fr. Paul McNellis’s “Perspectives” courses taught me to think outside my comfort zone. I also learned how to process a tremendous amount of information and distill it in clear, concise writing.

What skill/knowledge did you gain as a BC undergraduate that you still use today?
Reading, synthesizing, and reporting a large amount of technical information and figuring out how to describe it quickly and concisely is a skill I use every day.

How did your undergraduate experience prepare you for life and career?
BC’s emphasis on working for the public interest has been one of the major influences on my adult life.

What affiliation, interest, or hobby outside your job is important to you?
Public transit and bicycle advocacy.

Advice to new students?
Don’t be afraid to take classes outside of your major. Some of the things I learned about in philosophy, theatre, and Yugoslav history (of all things!) have been extremely useful.

 
Tim Shanahan

TIM SHANAHAN ’09

Position:
Marketing Manager, MLB Network

Undergraduate major:
Communication

Most influential course or teacher at BC?
I really enjoyed [Associate Professor of Communication] Michael Keith’s courses on broadcast media and society and having the opportunity to better understand the history and background of the industry I now work in has been a benefit to me.

What skill/knowledge did you gain as a BC undergraduate that you still use today?
I took as many different writing classes as I could. My ability to express ideas clearly to consumers, colleagues, and employees serves me well each day.

How did your undergraduate experience prepare you for life and career?
A liberal arts education helped me to become well rounded and informed about a variety of subjects. That helped me handle twists and unexpected challenges in my career.

What affiliation, interest, or hobby outside your job is important to you?
When I’m not working, being around my family is my top priority. I also play adult baseball and flag football on the weekends.

Advice to new students?
Take in everything. Try different things, even if they are outside your comfort zone. Discover what you truly enjoy doing.

 

Photos by Gary Wayne Gilbert