Majors, Careers, and Unexpected Paths

Majors, Careers, and Unexpected Paths

This event occurred in the past

Date and Time

  • Tuesday, October 30, 2018 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.


Mother Rosalie Hill Hall, Warren Auditorium

5998 Alcala Park San Diego, CA 92110




Does your major matter? A panel of USD alumni will share how they picked their major, what they thought they would be doing after graduation, and what they are actually doing. Learn how to prepare for career success, no matter what major you choose.

Refreshments will be served.

Meet the Panelists:

Dr. Rachel Ireland, BA ’98.   Rachel is originally from Northern California, but fell in love with San Diego during her time at USD.  It is also when she met her now husband, Justin.  At USD, Rachel was most involved with Outdoor Adventures, serving as an outing guide all 4 years, including leading rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking and hiking trips around the Southwest.  Her studies were focused on her major in English and minors in Chemistry and Leadership, in addition to pre-medicine requirements.  She obtained her MD degree at Saint Louis University in 2002, completed her Pediatrics residency at Stanford in 2005, and finally a 1-year fellowship in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics in 2006 at UCSD.  She has practiced General Pediatrics and Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at Kaiser Clairemont Mesa since 2007, where she delights in the joy and resiliency of children, and values the privileged role of "trusted advisor” to families.  She is still active in the outdoors, walking her dogs, biking to the store, and serving as an adult leader for her sons’ (ages 12 and 13.5) Boy Scouts Troop.


Madelyn Hersman graduated from USD in 2012 with a double major in Political Science and Philosophy. Although her original plan was to pursue a JD or PhD, she decided to take a year off from schooling after graduation and took a job with E&J Gallo Winery in their Sales Leadership Development Program. She began as a Sales Representative, selling wine and spirits in grocery stores, and hasn’t looked back since. Six years later, she has held four different positions within the Gallo organization and currently manages the Fine Wine Portfolio in southern California.


Ethan Harkleroad graduated from the University of San Diego with a bachelor’s degree in Accountancy in 2016. During his time at USD, Ethan was fortunate to complete a variety of internship experiences in wealth management, insurance, operations, and accounting. Following graduation, he began his career at Ernst & Young San Diego providing Assurance services to public and private life science and medical device companies. Building on his experience in public accounting, Ethan transitioned to a role in operational reporting at Pacifica Enterprises, a dynamic real estate investment firm based out of Rancho Santa Fe. Ethan works with the Company’s directors identifying, designing, and automating Key Performance Indicators to provide actionable data enabling the company to meet objectives. He leads several operational performance improvement initiatives and performs process and business venture analysis to support ownership investment decisions. Ethan is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the state of California and is a member of two local community boards. Ethan loves paddle boarding, spending time with friends and family, and visiting the wine country where he plans to start his own accounting/consulting group for wineries in the future.

Khea Pollard

Khea Pollard is a Community Representative and Health and Human Services Policy Advisor for County Supervisor Greg Cox, advising the Supervisor on issues pertaining to children and youth, child welfare, juvenile justice, safety net and eligibility programs, behavioral health and the County Probation Department. She coordinates the Supervisor’s Neighborhood Reinvestment and Community Enhancement programs and represents him in the community with special focus on the neighborhoods in Southeastern San Diego. A native San Diegan, Khea graduated from the University of San Diego with a B.A. in English and a B.A. in Ethnic Studies. She held multiple leadership positions during her time at USD and is a recipient of the prestigious Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges, an award recognizing academic excellence, leadership in extracurricular activities, citizenship and services to the school, and potential for future achievement. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Leadership and Management at the University of San Diego and has worked on numerous nonprofit consulting projects in the areas of finance, strategic planning and civic engagement.

Chase Tushaus

Chase currently works as a Financial Advisor for The M&T Investment Group at RBC Wealth Management in La Jolla.  Prior to joining his team he worked as a Quality Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer, and Product Line Manager for L-3 Communications Telemetry & RF Products from 2011-2013 and 2014-2016.  From 2013-2014 Chase worked at SpaceX as a Quality Engineer.  After graduating from the University of San Diego in 2011 with a degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering, he continued to stay involved with USD as a Resident Minister and helped lead the New Orleans Immersion Trip for alumni.  Chase is active in the community serving as a core member for the Gathering Youth Ministry and as a board member of the Linda Vista Town Council.  Chase is married to his wife Julia and they are parishioners of St. Charles Borromeo in Point Loma.

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