Many members of the Class of 2020 secured employment opportunities before they graduated in May—despite the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis. Excited for the next chapter, they say their Wheaton education and experiences have made them ready for the world and any challenges that await. Here are just a few.
Hali Baggett ’20
Job: Certified nursing assistant at Life Care Center of Plymouth (Mass.) and at a facility in New Bedford, Mass.
Enjoy most about the work: “What I look forward to the most about going to work everyday is the fact that I am making a difference in my residents’ lives. Not only am I helping now with the COVID-19 pandemic, but every day before and after this is over I will continue to show up and genuinely care for them all. The smiles they give me are worth the long, hard hours.”
Karin Dion ’20
Home: Rhode Island
Major: Computer science
Job: Software engineer at Raytheon in Woburn, Mass.
Discovering a passion and developing the skills to pursue it: “My professors and classmates at Wheaton helped me to discover my passion and develop the skills needed to pursue it. Through talking with professors and working on various projects with classmates, I learned which areas of the tech industry I would like to pursue and which areas would not be a good fit for me. This also allowed me to develop my communication skills and learn how to work with people from multiple disciplines.”
Matthew Dubreuil ’20
Home: New Hampshire
Major: Business and management
Job: Associate business systems analyst at Mimecast in Lexington, Mass.
Discovering a passion and developing the skills to pursue it: “Wheaton offered me the opportunity to try new things and challenged me to push outside my comfort zone. Without the classes I took and the amazing professors, I would not have found my passion in data analysis and project management.”
Blake Ferretti ’20
Home: Rhode Island
Major: Business and management
Job: Executive assistant, Agent Elite Inc., San Diego, Calif.
Looking forward: “I am so excited to be living in California and seeing the co-workers and friends that I made when I did my internship last summer. The biggest thing I am looking forward to most is learning all the new skills. I hope this job will allow me to grow in my professional development and eventually lead to the start of my own marketing and public relations firm.”
Steven Flowers ’20
Home: New York
Job: Account manager at AON, New York
Thoughts when COVID-19 crisis hit: “I was in limbo as so many things were happening in a domino effect when the impact of COVID-19 began. Living in New York City I just watched as things developed. My job is in the risk management industry so I worried very little about job security. I have had so many things change for me during my time at Wheaton. I think Wheaton has equipped me with my first response to any situation, which is to get organized.”
Julia Roth ’20
Job: Health screener for Biokinetix in Marlborough, Mass.
What I will miss most about Wheaton: “I will miss being a part of Residential Life and the Programming Activities Council. I am so grateful for the connections and experiences those two programs provided me with during my time at Wheaton. Most of all, I am going to miss spending time in the Club Hub working with friends and planning events for the whole campus to enjoy.”
Paola Salgado ’20
Major: Political science
Job: Elementary teacher at LEAD Nashville Public School, Teach For America 2020 corps
Getting the opportunity: “Though I am a political science major, I have always been interested in education and wanted to find a way to combine the two interests. After my two years in the corps, I hope to work in a field related to education policy on Capitol Hill. I applied on my own, but I did receive a lot of help in the form of an amazing recommendation from Wes Boucher [student success advisor for social sciences] in the Filene Center. I have been thinking of Teach For America for quite some time, but I definitely want to give credit to my education courses and professors, as they fostered a love of teaching for me. Wheaton has taught me that it is possible to do the things we love and make an impact on the world.”
Carina Sclafani ’20
Job: Intramural Research Training Award Postbaccalaureate Fellow at the National Institutes of Health in the Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Maryland
Getting the opportunity: “I was encouraged to apply to this position from my advisor at one of my past internships in Maryland. I decided to apply to it in January and was lucky enough to get a position a few months later. I definitely have to thank Wheaton for preparing me so well for this position, and even for preparing me for the internship that led to me getting this position. I would not have gotten either of them without the lab experiences I had from classes and from working directly with professors in their labs.”
Rishil Sheth ’20
Major: Quantitative finance (an independent major)
Job: Associate consultant, Charles River Development, Burlington, Mass.
Discovering a passion and developing the skills to pursue it: “I began as a religion major, who then transitioned into business, and finally ended up creating my independent major in quantitative finance. Throughout this process, I indulged myself in classes in a variety of areas, including anthropology, education and film and new media. With this varied academic experience, along with internships that I pursued every summer and student leadership roles on campus, I was able to figure out what I liked and disliked. This helped me frame my goal and start working to achieve it.”