Returning to Fairfield to speak on her life after college, Christine Short ‘06 spoke to students at the Aloysius P. Kelley Center on Wednesday, Sept. 30 in an event put on by the International Studies department. An English and International Studies double major, Short spoke about how she ended up in the financial sector as the senior vice president of media and public relations for the financial estimates firm Estimize, when she had no previous business background.
“My job search began after my mom called me after holiday break,” Short told the audience of her late start on looking for jobs. Short admitted to the audience that she graduated at a very opportune time, just a year before the financial crisis began.
After submitting her resume on Fairfield’s job network website, Short began getting calls from all industries looking for employees, something she said, was not the case for students graduating a year behind her.
“What you’ll find is, large corporations don’t care what you majored in. They just want to find people that they think they can train,” Short said, on navigating the post-graduation job search. Despite hoping to enter the journalism field, Short joined Thomson Financial as a global sales associate, through a Fairfield alum.
“Use the Fairfield University network and once you’re in your career, pay it forward,” Short said, of the benefits of having a university that connects students with alum and has alumni events in various cities across the country.
Despite her reluctance to work for a large corporation, Short began working at Thomson Financial and believed that the company gave her training opportunities she would not have had at a small company. It also contributed to her success during the financial crisis. She told the audience that while working during the financial crisis was scary, in many ways, it benefitted her, as she was cheaper to keep than many of the senior staffers.
“The funny thing about being young and underpaid is that they can’t justify firing you,” Short said.
Throughout the talk, Short gave advice to the roughly 25 people sitting in the audience. She reflected on things she wished she had done and gave tips on how to be a marketable employee. Short credits being able to take risks, such as taking her first television appearance, for her present success.
Sophomore Nadra Al-Hamwy found Short to be a motivating experience, prompting her to reevaluate her own networking skills.
“I really enjoyed Christine’s speech because it opened up my eyes to the number of possibilities awaiting me after graduation,” Al-Hamwy said.
Al-Hamwy is still exploring potential majors and careers and believes that speaking with Fairfield alumni gives her a better perspective of her future.
“Alumni are great resources when it comes to telling college students what they should be doing now and how that could benefit them in their future,” she said.
As students were filing out of the room, Al-Hamwy approached Short to thank her for speaking to current Fairfield students and ended up having another insightful conversation about the future.
“Following her presentation, I had the opportunity to speak with her personally. She comforted me by letting me know it is not your major that matters at the end of the day, rather, it is your willingness to be open-minded and ambitious,” Al-Hamwy said.