Meet Liz Tosto, a 2017 O’Hara alum and 2021 Sacred Heart University grad, who is pursuing her dream and interning with the United States Secret Service (USSS) this summer.
“At my internship, I help investigate different fraud and counterfeit crimes. I also help conduct background investigations on individuals who apply to the USSS. What I love at my internship is that I get to tag along with different protection details that may be going on in the Connecticut area. This includes current and former presidents/vice presidents.”
Liz’s career goal is to work for the agency and the way she learned about this career and became connected is a great lesson to all of our recent graduates pursuing internships, co-ops, and their first post-college job. “My professor on the first day of class during my junior year in the spring semester had a Secret Service Agent come into class and speak about the profession and career one may have as an agent. After class, I was fortunate enough to gain his contact information and we have been in contact ever since.”
This opportunity has been eye opening for Liz and has afforded her many life lessons, “I am learning how to work as a team in this internship. It may sound corny, but teamwork is significantly important in this profession. Everyone needs to be on the same page and know what is always going on, especially during a protective detail. Communication and knowing everything about the assignment is imperative because if one person is off, it throws everyone off. I am also learning how the Secret Service operates. I enjoy seeing both sides of the job—from being able to go from investigation to protection is interesting and a fun change of scenery.”
As Liz reflects on her summer so far, she offers these insights to her fellow young alumni: “Do not be afraid to start making connections and networking early. Go to career fairs that your college or university may be holding. It is important to start networking your way through different professions, especially careers that you are interested in. Agencies love new faces and enjoy seeing your interests. I started making connections with different departments my freshman year. It may be hard and a long process, but it is worth it.” She continues, “Take every opportunity that is given to you; even if it is not something you may want to pursue. It is always good to experience what the organization can offer to show you. And GET GOOD GRADES.”
Liz received her undergrad degree from Sacred Heart University in 2021 with a major in Criminal Justice and minor in Political Science and Human Rights/Social Justice. She played field hockey for the university. She is currently in a graduate program at Sacred Heart and will receive her master’s degree in Criminal Justice in 2022.
When asked how O’Hara has prepared her for college and for this opportunity Liz said, “O’Hara showed me how to build connections between people. I learned how to connect with people by being involved with different clubs the school had to offer. This helped me build my self-confidence for public speaking and communicating with new people.”
“O’Hara showed me how to build connections between people. I learned how to connect with people by being involved with different clubs the school had to offer. This helped me build my self-confidence for public speaking and communicating with new people.”Liz Tosto ’17
Liz’s last words of advice to lions contemplating careers is helpful, “If you are considering this or any career path, do not feel intimidated or discouraged by anyone who may not believe you would be right for the job. You are your own person and if you want something, you will get it if you put in the effort and work. Do not let anyone tell you that you are not good enough for this job because you are capable of anything. It may seem impossible now, but you show them who you are and if you put in the hard work, you will achieve your dream job.”
Liz, we are proud of you and of your accomplishments and we cannot wait to watch you continue to roar. Proud to call you a “lion for life!”
written by: Jennifer Tuberosa, Vice President/Development