Brigid Palcic ’11, M.A. ’12, has almost completed her time as a “graduate of the last decade” and a member of the GOLD Council. We caught up with her to find out what she’s been doing since graduation, what she hopes to do in the future, and what current students can learn from her experience.
When did you graduate, and what did you do at Clark?
I got my bachelor’s in 2011 and my master’s in 2012. I studied international development and social change for both, and I was a SARCie (Student Alumni Relations Committee) — but most importantly, my time at Clark was spent learning, laughing, loving, and just living to the fullest extent possible.
Where are you now? What have you been up to? What are some of your long-term goals?
I’m currently the associate vice president of corporate partnerships for Covenant House International. I’ve spent all of my time since graduating working in nonprofits — first as a refugee employment counselor for Lutheran Social Services, and then doing corporate fundraising for various nonprofits in NYC, including Food Bank For New York City when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. I’ve built a career that I absolutely love, so most of my goals and hopes for the future revolve around my personal life. I’m hoping to build my own home in the coming years, adopt a dog, and hike as much as humanly possible.
What is the most valuable lesson you learned at Clark?
Clark taught me so much, both in the classroom and with all the wonderful people I met. This isn’t necessarily a lesson, but the best skill Clark taught me was to think critically. I question everything, and not just for the sake of questioning everything — but to truly understand the world, the way things work, and the people who make up society and the communities I interact with on a regular basis.
You are a graduating member of the GOLD Council. Can you talk about your experience on the GOLD Council?
I’m lucky that many of my fellow GOLD Council members either were friends I interacted with during my time at Clark or became my friends through the Council. GOLD gave me the opportunity not only to regularly speak with people I called friends, but kept me informed about the happenings at Clark, which helped me feel connected and young. I know in the grand scheme of the alumni community I am a relatively young alumna, but being in college already feels like it was a really long time ago — so being in the GOLD group still gave me a flavor of college.
What is a favorite memory on your time on the GOLD Council?
For a while, there were quite a few GOLD Council members living in New York City, and we would often meet up outside of the regular council meetings. I can remember five of us getting together at a game bar after work one night and just staying out for four or five hours reminiscing about our days at Clark, talking about mutual friends, and outlining what we wanted for the University long term. It wasn’t a crazy night but it was still very special.
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?
“Say yes as often as you can.” You have to take this advice with a grain of salt, though, because it’s very easy to overwork yourself and get burned out. But saying yes to things I was unsure of, or was unaware of how to approach, taught me so many new skills and opened so many doors for me. Say yes to as much as you possibly can — not just professionally, but in life, really.
How do you plan to stay engaged with Clark as an alum?
I’ve recently been nominated to the Alumni Council and will be serving a four-year term as a council member! I’m very excited for this next chapter of my Clark engagement, and can’t wait to meet even more fellow Clark alumni.
Emilee Cocuzzo is a Senior Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. She is currently a co-chair on the GOLD Council.