Q&A with Kassidy Hof-Mahoney: Sharpening research skills through executive search

by Taylor Rouse

Kassidy Hof-Mahoney is a research intern at Charles Aris Executive Search and a graduate student earning her master’s degree in library and information science. With previous experience working in library and museum archives, Hof-Mahoney says applying her research skills to an industry outside of her focus area has only sharpened her abilities.

Taylor Rouse, a marketing intern at Charles Aris, sat down with Kassidy to learn more about her role at the firm and how she’s been transitioning her archivist skills to recruiting-based research.

Taylor: What made you interested in the research intern position at Charles Aris Executive Search?

Kassidy: The position was recommended to me by my advisor because many of the researchers at Charles Aris are alumni of my program, and it seemed like it would be a really interesting position and a way to learn a lot. I’ve only ever worked in museums or academic libraries, so I was really interested in getting to learn more about corporate industries.

Taylor: How is this role different from your past positions?

Kassidy: My past positions were more centered around getting information out to people and teaching. I’ve worked at local history museums in their library and archives where I was helping with research appointments, which involves helping people look through the archives and find the information they need. 

I’ve also worked in an academic library where I taught students how to research or helped with classes and instruction. This internship is more focused on the deliverables of research. We use the skills that we have to research and find candidates.

Taylor: How did the onboarding process prepare you for your internship role?

Kassidy: I think it was a really good introduction to everything, and once the onboarding process was done, I definitely felt I had a pretty good handle on the basics [to then] get into more research-focused topics.

Taylor: What area do you feel you’ve had the most personal or professional growth in?

Kassidy: I’ve definitely learned a lot on the backend of things in terms of what clients are looking for in people. I also think I’ve improved my research skills. Even though we’re using different databases than my past positions, a lot of the strategies are the same. I think it has really helped me hone in on the research process and [learn] how to determine what is most important … [in order to] find results quickly and efficiently.

Taylor: What do you feel has been your greatest accomplishment so far?

Kassidy: I helped out with a path in which we were looking for a Vice President of Finance for a company. We searched through many companies within specific parameters and once we found those, we plugged them into LinkedIn. I used the descriptions of the companies I had found to [identify] more keywords. We ended up finding about 40 people total. They accepted all the people we found, and the company said they were all good candidates. I was very proud that I helped with that.

Taylor: What has been the most challenging part of your internship experience?

Kassidy: I work a lot with Z codes and parsing, which consist of finding contact information for people. Sometimes their contact information is a lot harder to find with Z codes, so it can be difficult to determine when it is okay to move on [to the next person].

Taylor: How do you feel Charles Aris will prepare you for success in the workforce?

Kassidy: I’ve gotten a lot of experience working both collaboratively and individually, because there are a lot of projects in which the researchers work together but also projects that I work on independently. I think it’s been a really good experience working in different ways within a workplace.

Taylor: What do you hope to take away from this experience?

Kassidy: The biggest thing I’m hoping to take away is expanding what I know, especially about researching, in different areas than I would in any other position I’ve been in before. 

No matter what field I go into, whether I go into academic libraries or more industry-focused libraries, I think having this experience in the background … will really help me move forward when I’m trying to help people find the information they need.

To learn more about how to intern with Charles Aris, visit