Alumni connections lead to dream job for 2020 graduate Samantha Rossi

Psychology and business major lands position with digital marketers Tinuiti after challenging pandemic employment search, with an assist from Emily Clay '13, her new team leader

March 31, 2021
Staff/alumni report

Samantha Rossi ’20 reached out to Ingrid Peterson in the Career Education Center with a success story of her job search since graduating in May 2020 and her connection via networking to Emily Clay ’13 that led to a job with Tinuiti, a digital marketing firm (Samantha works remotely from home in Connecticut and Emily is based in the firm’s Atlanta office). The St. Mike’s network comes through again!

Brief interviews with Samantha and Emily follow:

Samantha Rossi ’20, People Operations Team, Tinuiti:

Where are you from? Fairfield, CT

Samantha Rossi

Samantha Rossi ’20

How did you end up at Saint Michael’s? I ended up at St. Mike’s because I loved how as soon as I stepped on campus, it felt like home! Everyone was so welcoming and kind, and the campus culture was truly the best. There were so many opportunities to get involved and having the opportunity to be on the cross-country team really made it feel like I had a family at school. After visiting for an early action accepted students’ weekend, I knew Saint Michael’s was where I wanted to be.

What was your major?  I majored in psychology and minored in business.

What was it like for you to be graduating during the Covid-19 pandemic? Graduating during the Covid-19 pandemic was very difficult. It was hard not being able to say bye to all my friends at school and not having those last few weeks of the semester all together. St. ‘ made graduating virtually the best it could be though! I just can’t wait for the next alumni weekend when it’s all safe to go back!

Were you worried about your job search? I was particularly worried about my job search at that point. Many people were getting laid off, so I couldn’t see how I could be hired in the midst of this pandemic. It honestly took a lot of work, looking, applying, and connecting to finally get a job. It wasn’t an easy process, but eventually it paid off!

How did you land your job and what is it?  I’m currently working at Tinuiti on the People Operations Team. I found Tinuiti after researching Digital Marketing Agencies with great company culture. Then on LinkedIn, I saw that a St. Mike’s alumna, Emily Clay, worked there. I reached out to her and asked to set up a call to talk about her career journey, her company, Tinuiti, and if she had any tips or recommendations for me on my job search. Then in February, I interviewed for the role and got it! Best of all, Emily just switched onto the People Team and is now my boss! My role incorporates psychology with business, which is what I studied at school, and I get to work with, and help, so many different people every day. I love it!

How did the Career Education Center help you throughout your college career? The Career Education Center helped me in so many different ways throughout college. They helped me format my resume to best highlight my experience, as well as draft cover letters. The Career Center did a great job of making students aware of different speakers or panels where alumni would share their stories, as well as any networking events going on, on campus, or off (i.e. NYC networking event I went to over the winter which was fantastic). I met with different Career Coaches, such as Laura and Ingrid, who continually helped me with any questions I had. Lastly, Ingrid adding me to the Alumni Page on LinkedIn has been one of the most beneficial and key tools that I’ve used in my job search. It’s helped me connect with numerous alumni these past few months who have been so willing to talk and help out.

How does your St. Mike’s education contribute to your current job?  My St. Mike’s education contributes to my current job in a few ways. St. Mike’s taught me how to work with a team effectively, whether that was in class, with a club, or on a sports team. It taught me how to be a leader. Small class sizes gave us so many opportunities to showcase our strengths and take initiative on projects or for presentations. Lastly, St. Mike’s taught me how to effectively manage multiple moving pieces at once (which is very applicable to my job now!). I was a student, a team captain, and worked three jobs my senior year. The resources on campus though and the amazing staff helped me manage these things and were always there to provide help.

Samantha writes: “The only other thing I’d like to add which I think might be important is – To all current students and future grads, don’t be afraid to reach out to alumni. We want to help because we were in your shoes at one point. I’m more than happy to speak with any students, and I know I can say the same for every other alumnus. Utilize this network because it’s way more beneficial than some students realize. Even if the alumni’s company that you’re looking at isn’t currently hiring, it doesn’t mean you still can’t reach out and talk about career paths and general tips of advice. There’s always something you can learn. I would have never gotten this role and ended up at truly my dream company if it wasn’t for Emily and the St. Mike’s alumni network. I just wanted to thank you, Ingrid, for helping me take advantage of this awesome network we have. I’m so excited to start my role and hopefully help future alumni!”

Emily Clay ’13, manager, Talent Operations, Tinuiti

What is your class year and major? I am a 2013 grad and I majored in English and political science.

Emily Clay

Emily Clay ’13

What is your job title and a brief description of what you do? I am a manager, Talent Operations. My job is managing a team of four (coordinators & interns), overseeing our onboarding & offboarding process, evaluating and improving the efficiency of our processes, assisting with mergers & acquisitions, and recruiting.

How did you end up in the Atlanta area? This story actually ties directly to St. Mike’s! My college graduation gift to myself was a trip to Atlanta to visit a high school friend who was finishing up her undergrad in Atlanta. On that trip, I met my now-husband — we’ve been together ever since. This spring will be eight years since we met 🙂 We were long distance for about a year and then I relocated to Newnan, GA which is about an hour south of Atlanta.

How did Samantha come to be working for you? Samantha reached out to me on LinkedIn to connect about internships available at Tinuiti. She ended up interviewing for our digital marketing internship program but didn’t receive an offer. At the same time, my team was opening an internship on our People team. Sam connected with me again, we interviewed her with the rest of the onboarding team and she did great! She started in early March.

How is it having a fellow alumna working with you so far from St. Mike’s? It’s been fantastic! Sam has been very communicative, proactive and asks great questions. She has already been making a great impact and contribution to our team.


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