Recent graduate of the Media Arts and Technology program, Gabrielle Barandiaran, is working as a Jr. Associate Program Manager at SapientNitro. Networking with potential employers was a major factor that contributed to her success.
Gabrielle first developed a connection with a RIT alumna working for SapientNitro while completing her first internship at Partners + Napier in Rochester, NY. After meeting in the summer of 2013, they kept in touch via social media and the alumna asked her if she would be interested in working for the company last October.
Gabrielle sent her resume to the alumna and was flown out to Boston for an all-day face-to-face interview. In the end, she was offered the Program Manager position.
As a manager, her tasks can vary from day to day. Gabrielle’s main focus is on her project/client needs, Sapient’s needs and her direct report’s needs. However, she has a list of routine tasks as well.
“I am consistently responsible for managing staffing requirements of a team of 25+ people, tracking weekly performance and compiling burn decks for my client, and organizing weekly program status from team members in a client-facing deck,” said Gabrielle.
For Gabrielle’s position, three classes in the major she finds to be most helpful are Information Architecture, Type & Page Design and Media Business Basics. She applies the skills she learned from those courses while managing her projects, mocking up webpage templates and monitoring her project’s status and expenses.
Gabrielle loves her job because everyday at the office or on client side is different. Another benefit of her position is being able to interact with many different employees including business analysts, user experience designers, creative directors, interactive developers and content strategists. She also has the privilege of working next to her client.
Gabrielle’s advice for students who are currently looking for a job or co-op in the field is to keep an open mind and network.
“Don’t be afraid to try something new,” said Gabrielle, “I would have never said I would be working at the type of company I do today, 4 years ago.”