Students Gain Career Path Perspectives from Alumni Panelists

Network, follow your heart, have people in your corner you can learn from, and faith is your antidote for fear. These are some examples of advice that upper-level students of Saint Mary’s High School received during the recent Alumni Career Panel. Hosted annually by the Office of Alumni Relations, selected panelists are invited to return to their Alma mater and share wisdom about their educational journey, career paths, stumbling blocks, and successes.
 
Before becoming a marketing guy and ‘serial entrepreneur,’ Bill Donohue ’77, a Boston College and Georgetown University Medical School graduate, worked as a hospital ER corpsman and medical product sales representative. Throughout his career, Bill commercialized quality control solutions used in hospitals and clinics to ensure the accuracy of diagnostic analyzers. His current company, CarePoint Solutions, is launching a first-of-its-kind quality management software designed to reduce preventable medical errors – alarmingly, the #3 killer in the US. Words of advice to students included, “God’s got your back,” and knowing this, “It gives you a superpower.” Mr. Donohue also stressed, “you should not make someone else happy with your career, make you happy with your career.” Bill would like to reconnect with old classmates and network with St. Mary’s alumni that are entrepreneurial or interested in pursuing careers in clinical laboratory medicine/medical diagnostics. 
 
A Manhattan School of Music faculty member and Tonebase.com artist, Daniela Bracchi ’00, has a long list of accomplishments to her credit, including her debut at the age of ten at Weill Recital Hall, which received mention in the New York Times, followed by four solo performances. She traveled locally and internationally for competitions, winning along the journey. Her participation in masterclasses and studying under world-class professionals in the field, along with the opportunity to coach alongside prominent musicians, brought her to levels of career success while obtaining a master’s and doctoral degree. She is a sought-after masterclass teacher and competition adjudicator. Ms. Bracchi feels that networking is about “being present” and is critical to success. She shared that “Saint Mary’s does a good job of forcing you to know different groups of people. How to get to know everybody and get along with everybody.” She encouraged students to show up at an event, concert, or party. “If they don’t know you, they don’t know about you.”  
 
Tyheisha Roach ’09, DDS, LT, DC, USN, pursued her Bachelor of Science in Biology at Adelphi University. She earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine while serving in the United States Navy as a Lieutenant and general dentist for almost five years. While on active duty, Dr. Roach completed a one-year military dental training tour in Norfolk, VA. She then served two years in Okinawa, Japan, and will soon meet her service obligation in Norfolk. Tyheisha will enter Montefiore Medical Center’s Orthodontics Residency Program in the Bronx. During the panel, she shared with the students that “faith is the antidote to fear” and “always be thankful – during your hardships and your successes.” Dr. Roach enjoys spending time with her husband and two children in her free time. She travels any time she can. Post-event, she expressed being “so happy to return to campus after more than a decade and be a member of the panel.”
 
Suppose TJ Hoban ’11 knew that singing in the barbershop quartet in Bye Bye Birdie during his junior year at St. Mary’s would ultimately lead him to pursue acting down the road. In that case, his initial path may have been different. Graduating from Providence College with a Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing, he stepped away from his campus DJ position on WDOM 91.3 to enter a diverse sales and promotions career in the Media Industry. His mantra became God writes a straight path with crooked lines because of the various jobs held until recently. While in between work, TJ had the opportunity to be an extra on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. He loved every second of it, realizing that it was time to pursue his dream in front of the camera. Since then, it has been an exciting journey with multiple roles, including music videos, television, and motion picture films. Mr. Hoban encouraged students to keep moving and that it’s ok to be a work in progress, explaining that “everyone is a work in progress.” When it came to rejections in his career, he believes that “every no is the next opportunity.” He shared helpful daily affirmations, including, “Gotta love yourself, gotta love God,” along with the acronym “HOPE - help one person every day” as inspiration for the students in their faith, college, and career journeys. TJ noted how happy he was to return to campus, take part in the panel and see all of the exciting changes in the building, like the new lockers!
 
Mei-Lyn Bautista ’15 was a student-athlete at The George Washington University, playing all four years on the women’s basketball team under a full athletic scholarship. After graduating, she spent time playing professionally for the Philippines’ women’s national team in Taiwan for the Williams Jones Cup. After discontinuing her professional career, she pursued a Master in Professional Studies degree at St. John’s University while serving as a graduate assistant for the women’s basketball team. Upon completing the two-year program, Mei-Lyn started a new career in sports and her current position with Madison Square Garden as the Youth Engagement Coordinator for the New York Knicks. Her role handles all Jr. Knicks programming, providing youth across the tri-state area the equal opportunity to play, love, and grow in the sport of basketball. Ms. Bautista spoke candidly about motivation. She has a 19-year-old  brother with special needs who is nonverbal. Mei-Lyn is determined to launch a nonprofit sports organization to serve disabled people one day. She emphasized to the students, “Remember, God has a plan for you. No matter how hard things get, He’s got your back.”
 
Faculty member and event moderator, Mr. Brian Stalter, presented questions to the panelists, who had the opportunity to respond and share experiences they encountered that would benefit the students in the audience. Topics ranged from networking, fear of failing, faith, motivation, and how their time at St. Mary’s prepared them for their future.
 
The program is now in its 12th year at St. Mary’s. It serves as a learning resource for current students while providing a great reconnect for alumni to visit the campus, share their experiences and impart career advice to their future fellow alumni. The feedback from the students and faculty in attendance was nothing short of positive. Many of the students remained after the panel concluded to ask more questions specific to their personal goals. We are grateful to all of our alumni for being a part of this year’s Career Panel, especially those who traveled from out of state to spend the morning with us. The stories shared of your time as a student at St. Mary’s, your faith, college choices, and career paths were well received. We are proud to have you as part of our alumni family and school community. We wish you continued success and God’s blessings.
 
Very Rev. Dom Elias Carr, Can. Reg., president of the Schools of Saint Mary was on hand to welcome our prestigious alumni back to campus for the Career Panel held in the Immaculata Hall Auditorium on March 24, 2022.  (L to R: Fr. Elias, Ms. Daniela Bracchi ’00, Dr. Tyheisha Roach ’09, Mr. Bill Donohue ’77, Ms. Mei-Lyn Bautista ’15, and Mr. TJ Hoban ’11).
 
Alumni Career Panelists 2022