From Here, to There: A Podcast with the Career Fellows

How did they get from here, to there? Career Fellows talk to Tufts alumni about their career journeys, how they made decisions, what they did when things didn’t go as planned, and lessons learned along the way.

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Episode 15 – What it takes to be successful in Banking, with Shikha Jindal, ’07

In this episode, we discuss the volatility of the finance sector, skills and experiences needed for success in market operations, and what recruiters are looking for in newly graduated college students in private bank corporations with Shikha Jindal. Shikha is a Managing Director and Head of Structured Product Distribution for Private Banks and Latin America at Barclays, based in New York.  Joining the firm in 2010, her main focus has been the distribution of cross-asset structured derivatives linked to Equities, Rates, Credit and FX as well as OTC products.  Shikha brings 15 years’ experience in the derivatives space, starting her career at Lehman Brothers, followed by roles at Citigroup and RBS Sempra Commodities. She graduated summa cum laude from Tufts University in 2007 with degrees in Economics and International Relations.

Episode 14 – All About Grad School: MBAs, PhDs, & MSEds…oh my!

In this first-ever panel episode, we talk to three alumni about graduate school! Each panelist shares their experience with their program’s course load, the day-to-day, and the benefits and tradeoffs of going to graduate school. Mod Boon-Long, MBA, is from the Tufts class of 2016 who earned her BA in International Relations, Economics, Communications & Media Studies. She went onto Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management to earn an MBA. Scott Weiner, PhD, graduated from Tufts in 2008 with a BA in International Relations and Arabic. He got his PhD in Political Science from George Washington University. Montez Paschall, MSEd, is from the Tufts class of 2011 with a BA in Philosophy. He went on to receive his Masters of Education from UPenn.”

Episode 13 – Pursuing your passion as a first-generation student with Victor “Marka27” Quionez ’03 

In this episode, we speak with Victor “Marka27” Quiñonez, an alum of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Victor graduated with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in 2003. He is an international award-winning street artist now based in Brooklyn, NY who combines elements of street and pop culture with Mexican and indigenous aesthetics, in a style he calls “Neo Indigenous.” We discuss supporting first-generation students, pursuing your passion, and finding balance between personal work and corporate collaborations in the arts.

Episode 12 – Starting a Business and Following You Values, with Taylor McVay ’09

In this episode, we talk to Taylor McVay, who graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 2009. McVay is an artist, designer, and educator who is passionate about slow fashion. She has a sewing pattern company, Blueprints For Sewing, and is opening a sewing studio ( In this episode, we talk about starting your own business in the arts, navigating systems that go against your values and finding your niche, and having many experiences that culminate into a passionate career.

Episode 11 – Breaking Into Finance from a Liberal Arts School, with Jill Ford ’93

In this episode, we are joined by the current president of Tufts Finance Group, Smrithi Eswar ’23, and alumna Jill Ford ’93, who is a Managing Director of CS First Boston and Co-Head of Americas Equity Capital Markets (ECM), based in New York City. While at Tufts, Jill majored in Quantitative Economics and French. We talk about breaking into investment banking from a liberal arts school, navigating career paths in finance, and Jill gives some advice for finding your own passion.

Episode 10 – Building a Career Path in the Arts, with Helina Metaferia ’15

In this episode, we talk to Helina Metaferia, who graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 2015 with an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art. Metaferia is currently an Assistant Professor of Visual Art at Brown University and a multidisciplinary artist who uses collage, video, and other media to integrate Black bodies in positions of power and vulnerability. We talk about networking, finding residencies, and building a career in the arts.

Episode 9 – Mechanical & Ocean Engineering and Pursuing Your Own Niche, with Jessica Côté ’93

In this episode, we talk to Jessica Côté, who graduated in 1993 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. She later went to graduate school to get a degree in Ocean Engineering, and now runs her own ocean engineering business, Blue Coast. We talk about how mentors can help you in your career, how to find and pursue your own niche, and the importance of networking.

Episode 8 – Exploring Careers in Medicine, with Jona Tanguay ’18

In this episode, we talk with Jona Tanguay, who graduated in 2018 with a degree in biology. After graduating from the Yale School of Medicine Physician Associate Program, they began practicing and specializing in care for LGBTQ and other underserved populations. We talk about the practical differences between being a Doctor and a Physician Associate, how to find a career that fits your personality, and the process of applying to graduate programs.

Episode 7 – Passions that Lead to Unexpected Career Paths, with Nick Cutsumpas ’14

In this episode, we talk to Nick Cutsumpas, who graduated in 2014 with degrees in Psychology and Entrepreneurship. He now runs Farmer Nick, a plant coaching business. We discuss how pivots in one’s career paths can come in the moment when you least expect it, how concepts from his Tufts courses have helped him navigate his business, and how his passion for regenerative environmental action and justice has manifested through his work.

Episode 6 – All about Software Engineering and the Tech Industry, with Thomas Rind ’18

In this episode, we talk to Thomas Rind, who graduated from the Electrical and Computer Engineering program in 2018. He just started as a software engineer at Google. We talk about what computer engineering really is, tech industry work environments, and what different jobs can look like for software engineers.

Episode 5 – Embracing Uncertainty and the Untraditional Path, with Erin O’Donnell ’11

In this episode, we talk to Erin O’Donnell, who graduated in 2011 with degrees in International Relations and Psychology. She now works as an Associate Director of Education and Global Programs at The House Institute Foundation. We discuss how uncertainty is a career strength, how to maintain a work-life balance, and some nontraditional resources that can help both in your career and life.

Episode 4 – Balancing Side Passions with Work and Life, with Christine Barthelemy ’19

Christine Barthelemy majored in Biopsychology at Tufts and is currently working as a Regulatory Specialist at Boston Children’s Hospital. She is also a cofounder of Sapphire Hues, a community organization centered around uplifting art and literature of people of color. In this episode, the Career Fellows talk with Christine about how she balances her passions with her work life, and how she feels her time at Tufts prepared her to do so.

Episode 3 – Choosing a Path in Education and Community-Based Work, with Esther Kim ’15

Esther Kim is an alum from the class of 2015. She graduated with majors in American Studies and Child Studies & Human Development and now works as a high school counselor at Lexington High school. In this episode, she describes her counseling role, transformational education experiences that encouraged her to work in education, and her wish to empower students and young people especially through doing community-based work.

Episode 2 – The International Job Search and Building Technical Skills, with Ralfi Salhon ’20

In this episode, we are joined by Ralfi Salhon, who graduated in the class of 2020 and was an international student from Turkey. He majored in computer science at Tufts and now works as a front-end developer at Talos Trading. We discuss Ralfi’s advice for setting oneself up for success as an international student doing job search, doing personal projects as a useful way to develop technical skills, and tips to embolden listeners when interviewing and networking.

Episode 1 – Changing Courses, with Zach Merchant ’17

In our first episode, we are joined by Zach Merchant from the class of 2017. Zach majored in political science at Tufts and is now working as a reporter at WUSA9 while also attending law school at Georgetown. While a student at Tufts, Zach served as the president of 180 Consulting and worked towards a career in consulting until he changed course during his junior year. In this episode, Zach tells us about his transition from consulting to journalism, the resources he utilized to find opportunities, and mentors that supported him.

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