Alumna Interview: Jillian Caffrey ’14

Alumna: Jillian Caffrey ’14
Major: Political Science, Anthropology minor
Assistant to Global Marketing COO, BlackRock

How has your liberal arts education helped you professionally? There was a transformative point during my time at Holy Cross at the end of my freshman year.  At the time, I was an accounting major and was struggling with the material so I consulted my Montserrat professor for advice.  I was struggling to figure out how and if I was going to pivot from this major that I set before I even stepped foot on campus.  While I didn’t identify a new major right away, she did help me realize the true value of a liberal arts education, it was a moment I never forgot as she rattled off countless examples of Holy Cross grads and their “majors” and current career paths.  While I ultimately landed into a political science major and anthropology minor because I was interested in the content, I credit the lessons I learned while in school that have helped me in business including problem-solving and communication skills that I would have learned regardless of the major I selected.

As a division 1 student-athlete at Holy Cross, how has that experience helped you in your career?  My experience as a student athlete at Holy Cross was foundational in helping me excel in my career.  Working on a team, whether it is in a corporate setting, in a hospital or in a courtroom is critical for any job as working for a manager and collaborating with colleagues is just like playing on a team under the direction of a coach.  Most importantly, juggling both a division 1 sport with academics and other extra-circulars left little free time so I learned critical time management skills.  In my job, I am able to identify and prioritize key tasks and complete tasks quickly.

How would you describe yourself as a leader?  Due to the nature of my role in Operations, I tend to take the lead and operate as the “planner” who is coordinating across all involved parties and connecting the dots across individuals and teams.

How do you continue to live the Holy Cross mission?  At Holy Cross, I was a big sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters for four years and as a senior I was a site manager for a Working for Worcester site which transformed an old basement into a dance studio that was featured on NBC Nightly News.  I love giving back to the local community, especially children in need.  At work, I am involved in a number of networks that have philanthropic missions and participate in a non-profit reading program for at-risk youth.

Thank you to Leif Johnson ’21 for his work as the Ciocca Center Intern and Jillian Caffrey ’14 for sharing her story!