“There’s a really strong place in the economy for people who can read, think critically about what they’ve read, and diagnose it to come up with solutions,” says tech guru Sam Shoolman ’09.

You might assume Shoolman majored in computer science. Actually, the Wayland, Massachusetts native majored in English and American literature, and minored in business and philosophy

But as Shoolman points out, “businesses that are thriving have communications strategies.” 

As director of sales for Hubspot — the creator of marketing and sales software used by companies and organizations globally, Shoolman manages six of the company’s 12 sales teams. He hires, recruits, coaches managers to develop staff, and coordinates with Hubspot’s sales operation and marketing teams. 

Before landing this plum job at Hubspot’s corporate headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Shoolman traveled and worked internationally. More than 40% of Brandeis students study abroad each year; Shoolman chose Madrid, which inspired him to seek out a job overseas after graduation.

“I loved working and living abroad, and knew I wanted to have that experience again,” he says. After graduating he took a job with a Boston-based PR company, then moved to Tel Aviv with them and helped set up their international office. “I wouldn’t have had that chance without studying abroad at Brandeis. That gave me a good foundation.” 

Shoolman said his experience in Tel Aviv made him a more well-rounded candidate for Hubspot, which hired him to work in its offices in Dublin and subsequently Sydney. 

“I like the tech space because it’s vast. There’s a lot of investment in it. Companies are looking to grow and survive, so there’s continuous development from a product perspective.” 

Shoolman encourages those who gravitate toward reading and writing to think about how best to deploy their skills strategically.

“I don’t think it helps trying to have your career all figured out when you’re in school,” Shoolman adds. “Don’t be overly committed to a specific path and put blinders on. You’ll be a different person when you graduate and you’ll grow. The world around you will change and demand a new skill set.”