Alumni Affairs

Alumni Advice

We invited Mount alumni to share their advice for current students and recent graduates. Here's what they had to say.

Question: What advice do you have for first-time job seekers?

"Realize your dreams and embrace them with enthusiasm and determination."

- Catherine Kennedy '70, Special Education

"The best advice I can offer first-time job seekers is to know the company. Be knowledgeable about who they are, what they do, their history and their mission. Your research will demonstrate to your potential employer that you've done your homework and are ready to invest in the company's future."

- Diandria Williams '12, Hudson Valley House of Hope

"The best thing you can do when you're looking for a job is to get all the hands-on experience you can in your field (even if you're not getting paid for it). Employers want to see initiative and want to know the person they hire has a passion for their trade. Don't waste your down-time on frivolous activities, make the most of it."

- Clarisa Rosario-DeGroate '14

"Don't be afraid to be adventurous! Looking outside of my 'circle' was where I found the most opportunities. Moving to a new city was both the scariest and one of the best moves I made!"

- Brianna Kousin '16, Intern Pharmacist / Cleveland Clinic

"Seek your 'dream job' and do not place too much preference on its salary. Prove yourself with your hard work and then seek the salary. Know also that at times opportunities come not in the field you studied. All in all be well rounded in your educational knowledge and contribute to the enterprise you choose. Be an asset, not just a salary earner!"

- Maria Sasso '70, Real Estate Broker

"Do your research on your prospective employer. It will make the interview easier. Show up early for any interviews. If you schedule an interview and change your mind, call and let the employer know you will not be coming. Be yourself." 

- D.F. '93, Teacher

"Don't rely solely on the internet. Find a place that you would like to work, go there and present yourself and your resume, in person. Knock on doors! Some people will tell you that it is not done that way anymore, that it is 'old school.' It is 'old school,' but so are many of the employers. I am more likely to hire a person that made the effort to come in to my office looking for a job."

- Richard Thayer '78, Dentist

"We look for a well rounded student. Anyone can sit in their dorm, study all day and night, and get straight A’s. We look for the candidate that has a leadership position in a club, activity or non-profit. The candidate should be active in some sort of student government, sports or clubs. The candidate should have volunteer experience to show that they care about the community outside of the college community. Remember: you are interviewing the company just as much as they are interviewing you."

- Sean Glander '06, Senior Accountant

"Do not cut yourself short. Be willing to take risks and change your original plans. However, only change if it is moving you towards your goals."

- Michele Bender '07, Chemistry Educator Newburgh Free Academy

"Simple advice, follow your heart and the compensation will arrive shortly thereafter. Make your vocation a vacation. Put away a little money every payday if possible, not much, skip one or two restaurant outings per payday. You will be amazed with the growth of your money."

- Chris Patton '16, Human Resources

"Don’t think that any job is beneath you. It might not be your dream job, but consider it if it’s full time, heck even if it’s part time. The experience will come with age."

- Susan McCallop '13, Receptionist and Office Assistant

"Don't get discouraged if you are going to multiple interviews. Always research the company you're interviewing and if possible find a connection between you and the company you're interviewing with. Don't lie or overstate something, employers know you have limited experience and want the honest truth about you."

- Angel Aguilar '12, Accounting Supervisor, Mobile Life Support Services

"It's important to look ahead and have an idea of what's next, but don't let that distract from where you are now. Enjoy being in the present and enjoy the time you have left at MSMC. When looking for a job, read over your resume and cover letter. Re-read it. Re-read it again and then give it to someone else to look at. It's easy to jump at the first offer that comes your way, but really take the time to think of how this will benefit you and prepare you for your next steps."

- John Chiaia '17

"Congratulations on your next step of seeking employment. Like a fisherman you must have many casts to catch that desired fish. At times it may become frustrating and you may have to become creative, but when you tie into that big one it is worth all the time and effort. Good luck with your fishing!"

- Michael Fraser '82, Psychologist/Professor

"Be flexible in your thinking! We all have an idea about what our 'ideal' job looks like. When starting out on your new path, be flexible and realize that your ideal job may actually take you down a path you had never even considered before. And never stop learning. When there are twists and turns in the road - you will be ready to navigate them with skills, viewpoints and understanding gained from being a life-long learner. Congratulations Class of 2018!"

- Betsie Huben '76, Real Estate Agent

"If the company you work for has a retirement savings plan enroll when you start working. Contribute as much as you can from the beginning. The investment will be worth it later on in your life."

- Thomasina Macfarland '82, RN

"Be exactly ten minutes early for any face to face interview. Look your interviewer in the eye when you answer questions and speak clearly and positively. Have at least two questions about the company you are applying for a job to ready for the interviewer. Lastly, before you enter the interview process, research the company you are applying to thoroughly."

- John Hutton '03 MSEd, Retired, former bank VP and elementary teacher

"Be confident in the fact that you have graduated from a fabulous and highly respected college and are thoroughly prepared for the job for which you are seeking."

- Theodora Bosch '75, Retired, Wappingers School District

"Don't be afraid to ask questions about your resume and job application. Ask if there are problems with the applications, what is the hardest thing about the job, what would the duties be if I were to be hired. Have confidence in your voice and application and sell yourself. Practice answering common questions so you are prepared."

- Megan Prater '13, Administrative Assistant

"My advice to first-time job seekers is to just be yourself and trust that the last four years at MSMC have prepared you for any curveballs that life might throw at you. As Millenials, we are judged before we even walk in the door so remember to always give 110%, work harder than expected and go above and beyond. The most important thing is to adjust to the new normal of the 'real world'; finding the work-life balance is what will make things better because self-care is very important."

- Olivia Bogle '17, Agency Manager, Angel Touch Home Care Service

"Do not be afraid to explore contract or temporary opportunities. They can afford you the chance to determine a fit for both the role and the culture of a company prior to making a long term commitment."

- Bob Miles '93

"Make a visit to the Mount Saint Mary College Career Center to meet the professional staff. An essential part of preparing for graduating was preparing to enter the work force. Take time to participate in programs and meet with a career counselor. Having the opportunity to work one on one with a member of the Career Center on your resume and cover letter is invaluable. Even for students pursuing additional education beyond Mount Saint Mary College, it will be valuable to start building your resume/curriculum vita while at the Mount with the support of the very knowledgeable career team."

- Ashley '12



Some responses have been lightly edited for spelling and clarity.