By Taylor Mopress, Senior Marketing Major
Today’s alumni spotlight highlights USF alumnus, Sarah Mangano, a 2014 graduate in communications studies.
Today’s alumni spotlight shines on the 2014 graduate, Sarah Mangano. Mangano currently works as a recruiting specialist at GoPro, the mobile storytelling solution that helps the world share itself through immersive content. I had the opportunity to ask her specifics about her role, handling unexpected career changes, maintaining relationships, and conquering challenges. These are her reflections:
Q: What was your plan after graduation? Has it shifted?
Sarah: Definitely. My original plan was to move back to Boston and ideally work for a creative agency in public relations. Having taken public relations at USF, I had received an opportunity after graduation at a corporate PR agency in San Francisco. It entailed a four-month contract position, however it was not the right fit for me. So, instead of staying at a job I did not love, I took time off for two months and eventually landed freelance work at a communications firms. While it was an unexpected turn of events, it definitely worked out for the best.
Q: What does your role at GoPro entail?
Sarah: Right now I currently have a hybrid role working mainly as a recruiting specialist but also within the “greater peoples team” that is responsible for human resources, recruiting, and facilities. Under my role of recruiting specialist, I seek out individuals for non-tech, entry-level positions, as well manage the programs and systems we use in recruiting and at GoPro in general. In addition, I manage our LinkedIn profile page, assist on the social impact team, ensure all applicants are tracked correctly, and guarantee that our referral program is consistently accepting new influencers.
Q: Is recruiting what you expected it to be? What differences (if any) have you experienced?
Sarah: It definitely is not what I expected. Personally, I think that a lot of people come in to this role thinking that its easy, when in reality it is quite the opposite. While some aspects certainly are easier than others, there are some that are also very difficult, such as understanding all of the different subcategories within your organization. In my specific position at GoPro, that means understanding and collaborating with people in finance, legal, design, engineering, executives, and more. When you’re interviewing someone that could be applying for any of those roles you have to understand how to review them and make sure you not only do your research but understand what they mean when they refer to certain terms or skill sets. In addition, being a recruiting specialist is extremely niche; while anyone can have a conversation with an applicant, you have to know if that person is the right fit for the job, and you have to really understand what your departments and teams really need.
Q: How do you maintain your professional relationships?
Sarah: I always start by assessing my work environment and the people I work with, as well as being aware of who I’m talking to and what that individual’s responsibility is at the company. By understanding your coworker’s role you’ll be able to better understand the kind of relationship you want to maintain. However, at the end of the day I would just highlight that it’s always important to simply be self-aware, read the situation in that given moment, and assess your colleagues’ personalities appropriately.
Q: What are some challenges you have faced while working at GoPro?
Sarah: I have been working at GoPro for about one and a half years, during which the company experienced two massive layoffs. Throughout those difficult times, I sometimes didn’t know if the company would survive or if the company was going to be bought. Sadly, a majority of my friends got laid off, and at one point I lost 90 percent of the team I was working with. Not only was it hard adjusting to some of my incredible colleagues being forced to exit the company but as a result of the layoffs, my work load vastly expanded. Some days I would have to work 12.5 to 13 hours, all while accommodating time differences for clients in Europe and Asia. In addition, not knowing whether or not my job itself was even secure was very difficult to fathom; at that point, you really just have to continue to work hard, believe in yourself, and hope for the best