Riley Stefano '16

Major: English

Minors: Business and Creative Writing

What do you do for a living?

I am the Culture Content Creator at a marketing and sales software company in Cambridge called HubSpot. HubSpot is changing the way businesses market and sell by making them more human, more empathetic, and more personable. We are also making the workplace more human, too, by focusing on our culture and creating a company that we love. My team, the Culture team, is dedicated to making sure our employees are happy by creating an environment that is inclusive, inspiring, and fun. 

My role on the team as the Content Creator is to manage our culture and careers blog and social media websites, HubSpot Life. I write and edit content everyday that attracts remarkable people to come work at HubSpot, and I get to educate and excite people about how amazing it is to work at this innovative, fast-paced company. I was a liberal arts girl who found her dream job at a tech company, and I couldn't be more excited about where I ended up.

How did your experience at Saint Michael's help prepare you for your career?

I learned how to write, and to write well. My entire job is writing and editing blog posts and social media assets, so I have to use the skills I learned in 4 years of English classes and Creative Writing workshops in my everyday life. HubSpot believes that content is the direction that marketing is moving towards. Very few people read newspapers or pick up cold calls from solicitors. Instead, people find businesses through blog posts and social media, through the content you read on an everyday basis. That's why we encourage everyone here to learn how to write well, and I had a huge advantage having learned the art of writing and editing during my 4 years at SMC.

What is your favorite memory from your time at St. Mike's?

One of my favorite classes was Professor Sultze's travel writing class for post-study abroad students. Her class was what really inspired me to start travel blogging as a hobby, and my travel blog helped me land my current role at HubSpot. It also has landed me countless freelance opportunities getting to write for online and print magazines, and even helped me land a job where I got to travel to Iceland and write an article on my 3-day experience there. 

Any advice for students at St. Mike's?

Do your research when you're looking for your first job out of college, but also take the summer to enjoy the fact that you just graduated from 4 years of tests, papers, homework, and lots of late night study sessions. You made it to the other side, and it's incredibly bittersweet. As worried as you are about just finding that first job, you don't want to jump at the first opportunity presented to you. I know many friends who did just this and were burnt out in their first year, ready to jump to a new company or even a different career path. Take your time in finding a company that's going to make you excited to go into work everyday and makes you feel empowered by the work you're doing on a day to day basis. You didn't just spend four years of your life studying to end up in a career that doesn't fulfill you.

I took that first summer to enjoy being a kid one last time before "adulting" really hit me. I worked at the restaurant I'd waitressed at all through college and made some great money to be able to save up and move out of my parent's house and into the city when I came back from my post-grad trip to Scotland. Yes, I played hooky from adulthood and went to Scotland, but it was actually the career counseling team at SMC that suggested it. While in Scotland, I participated in the most incredible internship of any internship I'd ever done through college. I got to live in Edinburgh for a month and write a travel guide about the city with 15 other girls from around the world. I lived with a German and a girl from New Zealand, and learned new cultures while enhancing my writing skills even more.

So, my advice: don't dive head first into adulthood without experiencing a bit of the world first. Your dream job could be in Seattle, London, Berlin, or Sydney, but you'll never know if the day after graduation you're sitting behind a desk starting your life as a 9 to 5 worker. Take time to find out who you are, and that will help you find the company where you belong and where you will thrive.



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