Andrea Frassine ’20, M’21 is no stranger to gaining relevant experience. With a B.S.B.A. in Corporate Finance & Investments and finishing his Master of Science in Management, Andrea was able to apply his knowledge and skills as a Corporate Finance Co-Op student at Hologic. We got to speak to Andrea about his experience and the skills he developed while remotely completing his Co-Op due to COVID-19.
A: Sure! Hologic is a medical device company focused on women’s health. Their main business segment is breast health, creating mammography machines and all those type of medical devices that allow hospitals to do surgical intervention and bone density testing. And they also are used for molecular testing for preventing and diagnosing diseases. One of the major changes that has affected the company positively in their business model was COVID-19 molecular testing so that’s something they’re really focused on right now.
Q: That’s fascinating that Hologic was able to pivot in a positive direction because of COVID-19. And speaking of, can you explain the change you experienced working in-person at your Co-Op in February and now remotely because of the pandemic?
A: At first I was taking spring classes and working part-time, going into the office in Marlborough, Massachusetts. It was easy to get feedback on something or stop at a desk for a quick question. That type of interaction with many different members of the team can’t really be replicated when working remote so the transition from being in the office to remote was mainly changing the interpersonal interactions I once had. But, we’re all online via phone or video call and still staying engaged, energetic and keeping the communication going. I’m really glad that the substance of what I was doing didn’t change much, but it has changed the way we communicate within the team. Overall, we were pretty good at keeping the workflow going.
Q: That’s good to hear. Can you talk a little bit more about what the workflow looks like for you day-to-day?
A: Sure, yeah. So, my Corporate Finance Co-op role was more of a financial analyst role in the FP&A (Financial Planning & Analysis) department. My main focus was on a couple of different things. The major part was the development and consolidation of corporate handbooks that was called the MRP, or Management Reporting Package. It was an overall review of every month’s revenues and a forecast for every single division in the company region. So, what I was originally doing was analyzing every single division and business segment and reporting and publishing to the CEO, CFO or other major senior management level employees that were reading the book to make decisions for the future of the company. And the other major part was assisting with the corporate expense report and communicating with internal departments to create their budget and forecasts for the following months.
Q: Were there any skills that you were able to develop that maybe you didn’t have or were able to enhance through the Co-Op?
A: I was part of the Merrimack Investment Fund in the Mucci Capital Labs as an Equity Research Analyst. And I think that gave me an idea of what I would like to do in my career and also taught me skills in Microsoft Excel, public speaking, company valuation, and financial statements; all different skills that then I was able to apply to my Co-Op that I got at Hologic.
Q: Technical skills are really important side of working. Another skill that’s incredibly important are people skills. You were able to participate in a wide variety of networking opportunities hosted by the O’Brien Center for Career Development. Have you made any connections or gained any helpful core skills related to networking?
A: I actually was able to make a few good connections with alumni that came to the Professional Development Retreat. At the event, I saw a real networking reception that took it to a different level than a career fair or class-specific networking events. And at first, you’re scared because you’re leaving thinking that you are nobody compared to the level of some of the employers and alumni there, but at the end of the day they’re there to help me get over the fear of speaking to somebody else and help make connections.
Q: A great way to think about networking. And it looks like you’ve met with your career advisors, Joe Jenkins and Morgan Phipps in the Girard School of Business, quite a bit. Can you speak to the importance of meeting with your career advisor and why you think other students should go to their career advisors?
A: Yeah, I think it’s really important for a few reasons. The first reason is they can give you great advice on your resume and cover letters that you have to write and all documents you need when applying to a job. They can also advise you on where to look for jobs on Handshake that are really helpful and on LinkedIn. They also have connections with employers, so that that’s definitely something that they can help you with. My career advisors also helped me learn how to approach an interview and generally be a more effective candidate in the application process.
Q: Do you feel that Merrimack College has prepared you for your Co-Op at Hologic and entering the working world once you finish your Masters?
A: Yeah, I think I was able to gain great skills. I think the best thing that I’ve received from Merrimack was the practical knowledge that you get through different classes and facing real projects that are similar to what you would find in a professional environment so the preparation to getting, you know, practical knowledge, rather than just theory, I think is really important. I mean, anything that’s work-related outside of the classroom gives you a real idea of the working, professional environment.
Q: Is there any other advice you have for Merrimack students regarding career development, interviewing or applying to positions?
A: I think it’s really important to start early and put yourself out there. Getting outside of your comfort zone and reaching out to alumni and networking during events is key. I think that’s the most important when trying to apply to a job because alumni want to help students that went to the same school. So, for example, I got the opportunity to interview for my Co-Op by reaching out to the CFO of Hologic, Karleen Oberton at an on-campus event and it all went from there.
Q: And we are happy it did. Thanks again for joining us today and good luck in your next experience!
Are you ready to secure an internship or employment for the fall and beyond? The O’Brien Center for Career Development is here to help you! Visit Handshake today to search for open opportunities, meet with your career advisor, and more.