As Miranda Valerio ’11 nears the end of her term as a member of Clark’s GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) Council, we caught up with her to find out about her journey since graduation, how she stays engaged with the University, and the most helpful advice she’s received.
When did you graduate, and what did you do at Clark?
I graduated in 2011. While an undergrad, I participated in research in both the biology and psychology departments, and worked at Alumni Affairs. I was very involved in the Student Alumni Relations Committee (SARC) and eventually served as president my senior year. Immediately after graduating, I worked in the President’s Office at Clark for two years.
Where are you now? What have you been up to? What are some of your long-term goals?
I am currently in the middle of relocating from New Haven, Connecticut, to Atlanta, Georgia. I have been working in affordable housing the last five years and have gotten very involved in my local community through art and activism. I am transitioning into my new role as executive assistant at Covenant House Georgia, a nonprofit that aids and supports homeless youth. I am planning to apply to master’s in public policy programs while in Georgia; I am hoping to become a policy analyst/ researcher so I can help nonprofits like Covenant House Georgia influence housing policy in a way that supports the people who most need it.
What is the most valuable lesson you learned at Clark?
Embrace change! I tend to like structure and control, but Clark taught me that the only constant is change. Learning to embrace it — and even appreciate it — has made life so much easier.
You are a graduating member of the GOLD Council. Can you talk about your experience on the GOLD Council?
It’s wonderful to still feel involved and engaged with the Clark community. I am forever grateful for any opportunity that gives me a voice, and keeps me connected to other Clarkies.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received? What insight have you gained through professional experience that you would like to share with current students?
Networking is everything. My time working in Alumni Affairs and in the President’s Office, as well as my time in SARC, taught me the true value of relationship-building, and it unlocked the world for me. No matter what career you want, if you can’t connect with people it’s going to be extremely difficult to get there.
How do you plan to stay engaged with Clark as an alum?
I am currently helping to create an affinity group for Clark LGBTQIA+ Alumni, which I’m pretty excited about and honored to be a part of. I’m very hopeful it will become a space of connection and support for many, many Clarkies. I also will be serving on the Alumni Council, and I have stayed close to lots of Clarkies and fully plan on partying with them till the wheels fall off, as the saying goes.
Emilee Cocuzzo is a Senior Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. She is currently a co-chair on the GOLD Council.