Sherry is a 2010 alumna in Communication Studies and Political Science. Currently, she stands as a Human Resources and Recruiting Partner at Tumblr in New York, NY. After graduation, Sherry had a few entry level jobs, one of which included working for Google. During her tenure at Google, she made her desire to get into recruiting known, and through networking, landed a Recruiting Associate position at Tumblr. Two years later, still working for Tumblr, Sherry supports about 20 managers and 65 employees from an employee relations perspective and performs all the non-tech recruiting for the company. She also recently started a Master’s program at Columbia in Social Organization Psychology.
Q: Tell us a bit about the path you took to get where you are.
Sherry Almasi: I wanted to be a lawyer growing up, so I chose to concentrate in Communications and Political Science, thinking the two would complement each other nicely and would ultimately serve as a good combination to prepare me for law school. Long story short, I worked and interned for a few lawyers during college and came to the realization that law was not for me. Coming to this decision my Senior year was absolutely terrifying. Here I was about to graduate, and I had no idea what I wanted to do. I knew the only thing I could do at that point was to start working for a reputable company, talk to as many people as possible, and hopefully start formulating a better idea of what I wanted from there. So that’s what I did. I took an offer with a healthcare consulting and research firm in DC. I slowly came to realize that healthcare was not the industry for me, so I took a chance and applied for a job at Google. Google opened my eyes to the current path I am on.
Q: When did you know what field you wanted to go into? What experiences led you there?
SA: I had a great recruiting experience while interviewing for a sales support position at Google (this was about a year post-college). The process overall opened my eyes to Recruiting as a career path. I knew I wanted to be in a career that made a significant impact on people’s lives and my belief is that finding a job and company you are passionate about trickles down into all areas of your life, both professional and personal. I wanted to help people get a job they would thrive in and make a positive impact on their lives.
Q: What UM classes or extracurricular activities did you find particularly helpful in your job field?
SA: Recruiting and HR involves a lot of psychology, and I would say any courses you can take to learn more about human behavior or organizational psychology will really benefit you. I unfortunately didn’t take any psychology courses when at UM, but I took a number of Political Science classes that touched on the psychology of those in power, which turned out to be applicable as I gained exposure to those who are in leadership positions. World Politics is one that stands out for me, as it shed a lot of light on human nature.
Q: Describe a day-in-the-life at work:
SA: A typical day consists of lots of emails, meetings with both employees and managers, phone screens with potential candidates, meeting candidates, extending offers, and more – really depends on the day!
Q: What is one of the best, as well as one of the most challenging, aspects of your work?
SA: My role right now is divided between both recruiting and HR responsibilities, making it really challenging to do it all and not drop the ball. I love the opportunity I have had to gain exposure to both disciplines, however it does get difficult to manage all the moving pieces from time to time. Staying organized and managing my time is consistently top of mind for me.
Q: What is one of the most memorable moments you have had at work?
SA: Oh wow, there are so many. Extending offers to people is typically the pinnacle of my days. I have had candidates literally scream when I’ve called to extend them the offer. To me there is no better sound than someone who is that excited to start a new chapter in their life. Knowing that I helped them get there is the best part of my job.
Q: Provide a piece of advice for students working towards internships and full-time opportunities in the communications field.
SA: Use your alumni network and all the resources UM has to offer! Talk to as many people as possible, get exposure to a wide variety of disciplines, and take your time figuring out what’s right for you. And don’t worry about making a ‘wrong’ move. I guarantee you that any job you take or decision you make will ultimately result in a learning experience that will help you shape your path and help in the next move you decide to take. The first job you take out of undergrad is not going to make or break your career.