Alumni Spotlight: Kathleen McCarthy '17
Cheyenne Shaffer - April 15, 2021
Kathleen McCarthy '17 serves as press secretary for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. She shares how the skills she gained as a Rosemont student have been integral to her professional success.
Q: What was your major and graduation year? What activities were you involved in outside the classroom?
A: I graduated with a major in political science and a minor in communications in December 2017. I was a member of the student government association, student action committee, and the pre-law society during my time at Rosemont.
Q: How has your education and overall experience at Rosemont shaped your personal and professional life?
A: I always tell younger people that ask me for advice on where to apply to college that the power of a small school is no joke. I believe the small class size at Rosemont definitely helped shape me to be a good team player. A large portion of my current job is centered around collaboration to reach our common goal. And at Rosemont, a lot of my classes were focused on having group discussions and using collaborative thinking, which is undoubtedly valuable experience for the real world and also helped me appreciate differing viewpoints and ideas. So much of the professional arena now is focused on teamwork, and I think a lot of people immediately think you can best garner that skill from playing a sport, when in reality it’s practiced in college classrooms all the time. I also just really appreciated the overall experience I had at Rosemont, my professors still keep in touch with me and the friends I made there are still some of my closest friends to this day.
Q: Can you describe your career path since graduation?
A: Following a summer internship in 2016 for former Congressman Dave Trott in Washington, D.C., I loved the capital city and immediately knew I wanted to come back after graduation and try work in politics. At the time, I really didn’t know I wanted to do communications and press, but my internship gave me the freedom to experience the different aspects of a congressional office and I figured out that I really enjoyed that sector of the office. So, I was able to graduate early in December 2017 to accept a full time position to be Press Secretary for the same Congressman I had previously interned for. Then, after my former boss retired in January 2019, I was looking for other opportunities and landed on the Committee side of Congress and accepted a communications/press position with the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee — I have been there ever since!