Photo by Marisa Allegra Williams
By Sarah Tuff Dunn
As a senior account executive for Twitter, Betsy Bartosiak ’08 chooses her words carefully. “Brevity is the soul of wit,” she says, citing William Shakespeare in her No. 1 tip.
It was the four count, however, rather than the 140-word-count that steered Bartosiak toward her current post. A competitive dancer while attending an all-girls Catholic high school in Connecticut, Bartosiak was in the studio every day after classes, and touring New England at competitions each spring.
“It was a bit like the TV shows ‘Dance Moms’ and ‘Glee,’ but less crazy,” she says. “I never really considered myself artsy, but dancing and singing were always a huge part of my childhood.”
She nearly had to sing for her supper after graduating, thanks to the 2008 recession that saw Bartosiak waiting tables, working in retail for a full year and commuting to New York City for interviews before landing her first office job, at Martha Stewart Living as a Weddings advertising sales assistant. “Hard work can pay off!” says Bartosiak, who earned her degree from UVM in business administration and marketing. She shares her other key words here for career-seekers to follow.
You were a marketing research analyst intern for Ben & Jerry’s — what was that like?
This was an incredible opportunity as part of an invitation-only course during my senior year in the business school, Kalkin, at the time. We helped the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Waterbury evaluate their tour’s effectiveness and customer satisfaction through market research. We collected all the data and provided comprehensive feedback and an evaluation for their marketing department. It was so different than any other college course and gave us a sneak peak into life outside the classroom.
And then you jumped from vanilla beans to coffee beans, at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters — how would you compare the two internship experiences?
They both provided me with hands-on experience at companies I highly admired and felt passionately about. At Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, I worked directly alongside two professionals in the PR department, able to see their day-to-day work and assist them how I could on a regular basis, doing a number of different tasks. I knew I was interested in the field of Marketing, but wasn’t exactly sure which route I wanted to go post-college, so both of these internships allowed me to experience very different fields at the same time.
How did you leverage these internships into posts at such notable companies as Martha Stewart Living, Warner Bros., and NBCUniversal?
These internships gave me the insight and early professional skills to see how ‘real life’ companies operate. They taught me key skills I have used at every job I’ve had: a high drive to succeed, not being afraid to ask questions, perseverance and a curiosity to always challenge myself and learn more.
What did you learn from your time at DailyCandy.com?
DailyCandy was especially interesting because I had been a fan of the publication for many years. It was so exciting to work at a company I really saw as my Bible when I first moved to New York City. I learned how to work inside a smaller company within a larger corporation as we were a division of NBCUniversal. So I was able to be a part of the larger corporate environment while still feeling like I was in a smaller more intimate team. I also really learned how to create custom, unique solutions for my clients, which was a challenge and required new strategic thinking from my prior positions.
From your two years so far at Twitter, what wisdom do you have on communicating in the digital world?
It’s extremely important to practice and refine your communication skills, as attention spans are shorter than ever, and we live in a mobile-first environment. Cell phones are essentially becoming a part of our body, and to stand out and earn attention, consumers and brands need to understand this and incorporate it into your everyday life and interactions. Students and young adults should take their social media presence seriously for future career aspirations.
Any tips on landing a lucrative career in social media?
Networking is key to career advancement. I came to Twitter through an internal referral from an old mentor of mine who was working out of our Chicago office. Also, having extreme motivation for success, learning as much as you can, and not being afraid of some bumps in the road and challenges. Social media is constantly changing, and I am constantly learning on a daily basis. People who can adapt to change, learn, and grow I see as being the most successful.
In 140 characters or less, what’s your one additional piece of advice for current and potential UVM students?
College is what you make of it. Always have fun. But challenge yourself, and never take a day for granted. UVM was my best four years yet!
-Sarah Tuff Dunn is a freelance writer and editor from Shelburne.