Alum Highlight: Alice Ferretti
Imagine you got a new job.
In a new field.
In a workplace where you start out as the sole member of your department and must come up with all its policies, protocols, and procedures pretty much on your own.
Oh, and another thing: It’s in a foreign country, too.
“Daunting” might be one way to describe it, but that word never came up in conversation with Alice Ferretti, a native of Italy, who has been in charge of human resources at the tech startup Vidoori, Inc. since last July.
“It’s a lot of hard work,” she said. “But it’s also fun.”
What makes this so? Three reasons: First is the talent and ingenuity Ferretti brings to the job. Then there’s the collaborative atmosphere at the company itself. And finally, there is the fact that Ferretti, who prior to starting the job completed a master’s degree in Georgetown’s Human Resource Management program, “was able to apply what I learned on Day One of my job.”
“I’m using all my knowledge from the program to help the company and support the growth of the company,” Ferretti said.
The company has grown from 15 employees when Ferretti started last July to 55 in just eight months. She now has an assistant HR specialist, too.
Before coming to the United States, Ferretti earned a master’s degree and certification in clinical psychology in Italy. A professor working in HR suggested she explore the field, and she decided to apply to graduate programs in America, with Georgetown as her first choice.
During her time at Georgetown, she benefited from instructors working within the field and she is now giving back by working as a teaching assistant for the program.
“I like that I’m continuing my learning experience and helping students with their final projects,” Ferretti said.
Alum Highlight: Megan Pierouchakos
What do students like best about the Master of Professional Studies programs at Georgetown’s School of Continuing Studies?
They tend to mention two things: First, that the practical education they’re receiving can be applied almost immediately to their jobs. And second, that many of the instructors they meet are invaluable mentors who can help them advance their careers.
Megan Pierouchakos, a 2016 graduate of the master’s program in Human Resources Management, can vouch for both benefits, although she has a little twist on the second: Yes, there was a lot of mentoring going on in her HRM classes, but she was one of the ones doing it.
“That was a side benefit I wasn’t expecting,” she said. “I was helping to mentor and coach people who were building up their careers or were fresh out of undergraduate school.”
By the time Pierouchakos entered the program in 2012, she had already had nearly eight years of experience as a corporate recruiter and was working at Freddie Mac. She enjoyed the work but felt that to advance she needed more well-rounded exposure to the field.
“I wanted to brand myself as an overall HR professional rather than a recruiter,” she said, adding that the program “really helped differentiate me so I could pursue positions outside recruitment, which was my goal.”
As an informal mentor, Pierouchakos gave a lot to the HRM program. But, as it turned out, she got something back as well. In her new position as Vice President HR Programs, Talent Management and Development, at the American Bankers Association, she finds talented employees and helps train them for specific leadership positions in the organization.
That is, she develops talent—just like she was doing at Georgetown.