On Friday, October 1, the Upper School hosted three former students via Zoom for Alumnae Career Morning in a conversation filled with advice, stories, and question and answer. The event featured alumnae Tara Hammonds ’14, Shelby Holland ’14, and Jennifer Esposito ’15.
Head of School Meg Frazier began the event with an introductory prayer and some brief opening words. “What all these alumnae have in common is that they hold a passion and a purpose to share their gift with others,” Mrs. Frazier said.
Tara Hammonds ’14 was the first alumna to introduce herself and her work. Ms. Hammonds is an international development professional currently working with Catholic Relief Services in Gaza, where she manages and supports programming in emergency response, livelihoods and economic development, and food security. Her international experience has also included work in Uganda, Kenya, Malawi and Niger. She holds a B.S. and M.P.S. from Cornell University in Global Development.
Ms. Hammonds talked about the ways in which the courses at Sacred Heart exposed her to a wide array of global issues, which sparked her initial interest in international development. She advised the students to keep an attitude of lifelong love of learning and continue to ask questions and stoke their curiosity even outside of Sacred Heart.
Shelby Holland ’14 was next. Upon graduating from Cornell University with a B.A. in History and Minor in Film, Ms. Holland started at Morgan Stanley as a Wealth Management Rotational Analyst. She recently joined Netflix as a Content Strategy and Analysis Associate on the Original Independent Film Team to pursue her passions in the entertainment industry. She is passionate about financial education, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and bringing people together through storytelling. All of her involvements share the common threads of making a tangible impact and helping people. She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
Ms. Holland advised the students to use their first year of college as a time to explore and figure out what it is they’re really passionate about. After her time at Morgan Stanley, she utilized volunteer and networking opportunities to plan her move into the entertainment industry. “It’s all a journey and I’m very grateful to where God has taken me,” she concluded.
Jennifer Esposito ’15 spoke last. Ms. Esposito graduated with a BSE in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanicals from the University of Pennsylvania. During college she developed a passion for themed entertainment design and engineering. After graduating, she went on to work as a Mechanical Designer for Water Technology, Inc. in Madison, Wisconsin, where she works on a team that focuses on the design of domestic waterparks. She is also actively pursuing her Professional Engineer licensure and spends a lot of time volunteering with a residential program for homeless/disadvantaged young moms and/or pregnant women.
One of the major points Ms. Esposito touched on was how her Sacred Heart education gave her the confidence to work in a male-dominated environment. “Sacred Heart gave me the confidence to know I am just as smart and just as valid to be in the room,” she said. She also advised the girls to give themselves permission to do crazy things when exploring their passions and seek out female mentors along their career path.
Director of Alumnae Relations Meghan Ryan was instrumental in putting this event together. “The most exciting part of Career Morning this year is that we were able to connect with alumnae in California, Wisconsin, and even all the way in Gaza,” Mrs. Ryan explained. “Each of the alumnae chosen has created a career by combining things they are passionate about.”
The virtual event ended with a question and answer period. Alumnae Career Morning was the perfect kick-off to Alumnae Reunion Weekend. Register for the Reunion on Oct. 2 here.