Student Achievement

Class of 2020 Successes: Part 3

Kenneth Guillaume ’20

Although this graduating class weathered unprecedented challenges, they are off to an amazing start with graduate school and job placements. In this installment of the periodic success stories series, Jillian McCarthy, Kathryn Rivera, and Bradley Mobeck discuss their post-graduation work in renowned graduate programs and competitive industries.

May 11, 2021—Across the nation, class of 2020 college graduates have been grappling with the reality of beginning their professional careers or continuing their education amid one of the most difficult job markets in recent history. Despite the obstacles, Marist graduates have secured jobs and placements in top-tier graduate programs.

The first and second installments of the “Class of 2020 Success Stories” series examined graduates working at IBM, Bombas, Bank of America, and attending Columbia, NYU, and Boston University. This piece examines the post-graduation journeys of: Jillian McCarthy, who recently published a book, The Vintage Mindset; Kathryn Rivera, who has started her career at Global Strategy Group; and Bradley Mobeck, a graduate student at the UCLA School of Dentistry.

Jillian McCarthy ‘20
Project Associate, Mish Fine Jewelry
Author, The Vintage Mindset
Fashion Merchandising and Italian Major

Image of Marist Class of 2020 graduate Jillian McCarthy Jillian McCarthy ’20 launched herself into a passion project and a job right after graduation. The fashion merchandising major crowdfunded and published her book, The Vintage Mindset, which focuses on sustainable fashion, examining both problems and innovations within the industry. The newly released book also highlights a group of Marist Fashion Program graduates paving the way in sustainable fashion.

McCarthy’s passion for quality fashion and style extends to her day job as well. She’s a Project Associate at Mish Fine Jewelry, a highly regarded fine jewelry designer in New York City.

“I wear multiple hats and can be working on anything from email blast to sales, to packing and shipping the jewelry, setting up the jewelry in the showroom in the studio, office management, assist on public relations projects, and coordinating events, which are down due to COVID-19,” McCarthy said of her work. “But in normal times, I'd be excited to be planning events again.”

Coming to Marist as a Freshman Florence Experience student, McCarthy always knew she wanted to focus her education on fashion. She also spent her junior year in Italy through study abroad opportunities, effectively splitting her time in Florence and New York City—two world fashion capitals. This allowed her to begin to understand the importance of quality over quantity, a key focus of The Vintage Mindset.

“I would say I definitely have a passion for the industry. And especially for high-quality clothing, like luxury clothing, really amazing textiles and fabrics, and knowing what they are and where they come from,” said McCarthy.

Released in December 2020, The Vintage Mindset was the result of the Book Creators Institute, an online entrepreneurial course at Georgetown University, which McCarthy attended virtually one summer. She was able to take advantage of the extra time COVID-19 circumstances presented to see her book through to publication.

“Due to COVID downtime, I was able to take all that research all those interviews and put it onto paper and get everything written,” said McCarthy. “It was a blessing for releasing my book, because I had all this material, but it couldn't come to fruition without the extra time.”

McCarthy is not ruling out the idea of a second fashion-focused book, but for now she wants to enjoy life as young professional in New York City. She summed it up, “A full-time position is a whole new adventure.”

Kathryn Rivera ‘20
Associate, Research at Global Strategy Group (GSG)
Political Science Major and Mathematics Minor

Image of Marist Class of 2020 graduate Kathryn Rivera When Kathryn Rivera ‘20 made the decision to attend Marist, they weren’t thinking about opportunities through the College’s Marist Institute for Public Opinion (MIPO). But, they quickly became involved with MIPO, which is the home of the nationally recognized Marist Poll. “Going into political polling is not a super traditional career path and I wouldn’t have found it if not for the Marist Poll. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with one of the best polls in the business before heading into the workforce.”

Rivera credits much of their trajectory to Dr. Lee Miringoff, Director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. “[He] set me on my path toward political polling during my freshman year, even before I knew I could pursue it as a career,” said Rivera. Being bilingual in English and Spanish, Rivera was able to work as an interviewer and translator at MIPO. Dr. Elizabeth Kaknes, Assistant Professor of Political Science, helped Rivera refine their knowledge and tailor their academic path at Marist to fit the skills needed for a career in political quantitative analysis.

Following graduation, Global Strategy Group (GSG) offered Rivera a seasonal job that led to a full-time position in November 2020 at their headquarters in New York City. GSG is the largest democratic polling firm and a leading public affairs, communications, and research partner. Rivera’s major in political science and a minor in mathematics made them the perfect fit.

Rivera looks back fondly at Poughkeepsie and the Hudson River Valley as an important part of how they got to where they are. “Poughkeepsie and the greater Hudson Valley region taught me more than I ever thought it could have. So many local issues translated into pertinent and workable knowledge that continues to give me insight into the communities and demographics I research and work with,” said Rivera.

Bradley Mobeck ‘20
UCLA School of Dentistry
Biochemistry Major and Spanish Minor

Image of Marist Class of 2020 graduate Bradley Mobeck Bradley Mobeck ’20 has been drawn to the dentist's office since he was a child. In fact, his interest in the profession was part of what led him to Marist. “Marist has a nearly 100% acceptance rate to dental schools,” said Mobeck.

A California native, Mobeck enjoyed his experiences as an east coast undergraduate, but decided to return to California for dental school. Following graduation, he began his studies at the University of California Los Angeles School of Dentistry.

Mobeck grew up with an auditory processing disorder that could hinder his ability to learn in the traditional classroom setting, but for Mobeck the dentist’s office always made sense. “I looked forward to all the things that my dentist was teaching me like the procedures and talking to me about the sugar bugs (a common term for bacteria that can cause cavities) and how they influenced my oral health. That stuff just clicked for me right away,” said Mobeck.

As part of his UCLA program, Mobeck will be required to serve the local community at clinics. “Serving my community is something that I know for sure that I want to do,” said Mobeck.

Mobeck is currently learning the fundamentals of dentistry such as drilling and molding crowns. Clinical work will begin during the second year of the program.

Mobeck credits his ability to meet the rigors of dental school with Marist’s comprehensive education. He noted that his microbiology course helped him “big time” at UCLA. “My biochemistry course also helped me substantially for some classes in dental school. Everything that I'm learning in microbiology right now, I've already been taught, which is awesome. Marist certainly prepared me well.”

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