Students frame their future

Kristen Davis 17

Kristen Davis ’17

Twelve Convent of the Sacred Heart students spent their summers exploring career opportunities through real-world experience.
Mrs. Lori Wilson, Director of Campus Ministry, Upper School Community Service and Summer Enrichment created Sacred Heart’s shadow program in an effort to provide students with the opportunity to expand their education by shadowing a professional in a career of their choice.

Kristen Davis '17
Kristen Davis ’17

Sophomore Ciara Henry explored her interests in math, science and the world of civil engineering. Ciara shadowed, Mr. Craig Flaherty, a civil engineer, who designs and maintains roads, bridges, and dams, at Redniss and Mead, a land consulting firm, in Stamford, Connecticut.  She helped create infrastructure, assisted in designing different homes, and traveled to some of the clients’ homes for inspection. 
“I was interested in shadowing a civil engineer because I did not know much about what a civil engineer did before and wanted to learn more because of my love for the subject,” Ciara said. “Shadowing was one of the highlights of my summer.”
Senior Tori Carley experienced the work atmosphere of ESPN Deportes, the Spanish Branch of ESPN located in Bristol, Connecticut. She assisted Mrs. Michelle Bella, the Vice President of Sales and Consumer Marketing, by attending meetings and creating the foundation of a successful work ethic.
“I learned how the business world isn’t always in black and white. This shadow experience really helps you narrow down your choices and get a taste for what you want to do in the future. Additionally, I learned how to write short hand during meetings, which is a very important skill to have, and got to practice my Spanish,” Tori said.
In a catheterization laboratory, senior Maddy Devita shadowed a cardiologist, Dr. Michael Attubato, at New York University (NYU) Medical Langone Center in New York City to learn more about the medical field. At the Medical Langone Center, Maddy was able to watch procedures directly within the catheterization laboratory, including a valve replacement in the operating room.
“I have always been interested in medicine, but all of the programs I have done in the past have been more informational, rather than visual and hands on. I wanted to actually go and see where all of the procedures I was learning about were happening,” Maddy said.
Additionally, sophomore Barbara Jones shadowed at Victoria Secret’s cooperative in New York City. Through her shadowing opportunity, she experienced the business side of fashion and learned about the marketing and advertising of the company. 
“I sat through numerous meetings where the cooperative team would discuss the items they had on the market and the profitability of each,” Barbara said. “I got to see the new pieces they planned to release in the upcoming seasons, and the process involved, such as concept boards, which a concept team puts together. Essentially, I helped them set up a mock store by strategically organizing where each piece of clothing would be located.”
Following her passion for fashion, the shadow experience brought Barbara a new perspective on the process behind marketing a product.
“I was interested in doing the program because I love anything pertaining to fashion and I was very curious to see what goes into creating a product and marketing it. This experience opened my eyes about the systematic and detailed oriented process that goes into marketing a product and was such a growing experience to let alone be working in the city, but working for such a popular fashion company like Victoria Secret,” Barbara said.
Outside of Sacred Heart’s shadow program, junior Nadia Zuaiter pursued her interest in the fashion industry by gaining her experience abroad to Chelsea, London.
After attending a summer program at University of California at Los Angeles, Nadia worked with their internship branch called Summer Discovery, which creates summer internships for high school students. This company helped Nadia write her resumé, practice interviews, get the proper recommendations from Sacred Heart teachers, and find an interview at a fashion internship in London.
Nadia worked with two other student interns at the headquarters of Finlay & Co, a sunglasses company. She helped her supervisors with orders placed by various stores around the world and helped spread the Finlay & Co name by reaching out to the company’s subscribers on Youtube. Nadia also attended two social events where the company brought its sunglasses and sold them to their guests.
“I really wanted to do this internship because I thought it would be a way to gain work experience in a professional setting as well as see if I was interested in the fashion industry and would want to pursue a career in it without having anything to lose,” Nadia said. 
Nadia encourages students to deepen their education and work experience in a field that interests them through the advantages of interning part-time. 
“I would definitely recommend trying a summer internship. It is great way to test out a possible career without the pressure of being a employee. I think it could give you the courage or opportunity to be more open and creative and just more inclined to share your ideas and thoughts,” Nadia said.
– Kristen Davis, Sports & Health Editor