Our first-ever Career Development Panel hosted by the NorCal Auburn Alumni Club. This event is an engagement opportunity targeting young alumni, those who are aiming for a career change, and people interested in hearing more about navigating the Bay Area job market.
Our diverse speaker panel will share about their jobs, career paths, education, and skills required to be successful.
We covered a bit of everything:
- linear vs. non-linear career paths
- the future of remote work
- traditional and non-traditional work environments
- building a network and leveraging it for opportunities
- balancing work and family life
And we would like to extend a special thank you to Scott, Wendy, Justin and Joanna who graciously dedicated their time to talk through their career path, and the challenges and opportunities they experienced along the way.
Joanna is currently a hospitality and wine professional at Bricoleur Vineyards. She graduated in ‘16 and holds a degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management from Auburn University.
“Auburn was essential in helping me establish connections within the wine industry and encouraged me to move to California to pursue my dreams of working hands-on in some of the best wine regions in the world. In my current position as Hospitality & Education Manager for Bricoleur Vineyards, I work closely with our winemaking team, culinary partners, distribution force, and some of the top food & wine charitable organizations in the United States.”
Justin P. Saia
Justin P. Saia is the Acting Vice President of Marketing Communications for Silicon Valley-based Bloom Energy, tasked with leading brand, public affairs, and communications globally. Justin is responsible for elevating Bloom’s reputation and profile as a leading energy technology company and enhancing the company’s brand awareness in the hydrogen sector as it charts a course to a net zero future. He is also an adjunct faculty member at the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University.
At his core, he is a corporate affairs strategist with a demonstrated success influencing stakeholders, shaping public opinion, and building compelling brand narratives for both public and private companies. He has spent much of his career helping companies at pivotal stages across their life cycle manage financial, regulatory and reputational challenges, guiding them through crises, navigating market disruptions, articulating their brand, and preserving their permission to operate.
Justin began his career as a speechwriter for Alabama Lt. Governor Jim Folsom, Jr., before serving as a Legislative Assistant to U.S. Representative Parker Griffith. Prior to joining Bloom Energy in 2020, he served as Vice President, Corporate Communications for the world’s leading cyber security company, Symantec. His previous experience includes service as a spokesperson for both Nissan North America and BP America, as the company responded to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and service at a Wall Street management consultancy, where he provided counsel to clients around critical issues impacting their enterprise value and reputation.
Wendy started her career in 1997 after graduating with an Industrial & Systems Engineering degree from Auburn University. Her career spans 25 years in the Data Science & Strategy field and includes both corporate and consulting experience in the eCommerce, airline, utilities, communications, and media & entertainment industries for household name brands like Delta, Turner, Macy’s, Western Union and the U.S. Army. Presently, Wendy runs The Catalyst Partners, an independent consulting firm that specializes in business transformation through the application of data and advanced analytics.