Sandy Gross '85, P'18

New England Career Services Coordinator

Founder & Managing Partner, Pinetum Partners LLC: executive search consulting for financial services firms
Greenwich, Conn.

William Smith Student Court
Hai Timiai
Resident Advisor
Student Advisor
Career Counseling Office Intern
William Smith Swim Team
Intramural Softball
United Way Fundraising Bike Team

Majors: Psychology and Religious Studies

Why did you choose Hobart and William Smith Colleges? I had no idea what I wanted to "be" when I grew up, and felt that a small liberal arts college where I could explore many different fields would be best for me. The bi-disciplinary focus and coordinate system enabled me to get involved with the student body in many different ways; sometimes with just women, and other times on a co-ed basis. Small classes and getting to know students and faculty very well was a major bonus. I literally fell into my majors because I loved the professors I had in the psych and religious studies departments!

How do you stay connected to the Colleges? My connection to the Colleges is both financial and personal. Aside from regular donations to help the Colleges, I volunteer my time on an ongoing basis to help the students, the alumni and the Colleges. As a “Professional In Residence,” I have spent days at a time in the Career Office helping students understand various industries with an emphasis on financial services. I conduct mock interviews and help students with their resumes, cover letters, and networking in general. Last year I was thrilled to have been chosen as one of the judges for the Pitch (I was more nervous than the contestants!). I enjoy regional events, staying in touch with Alumni Relations and interacting with other alumni in the area. Joining the festivities at the Hobart vs. Fairfield University lacrosse game lets me connect with both my alma mater and my community. I also enjoy meeting with recent HWS grads to help them explore different career options and ways to make them a reality.

What makes the Colleges special? There is a true sense of commitment, allegiance and passion when it comes to HWS. My friends and family see it all the time. It's as if we all look out for our "own." The unbridled enthusiasm amongst students, alumni and faculty/ staff is contagious. The variety of classes and encouragement for students to take classes across broad disciplines is inspiring as it upholds the true meaning of a liberal arts college and experience.

Why do you give back to HWS? My experience at HWS was amazing. Some of my best friends, classes and experiences will stay with me forever. Although it is hard to make a connection with my majors and my career, HWS launched me. I learned a set of skills that I need in my career today as an executive recruiter: to be adaptable, flexible, a multi-tasker, good communicator and relationship builder. Even at HWS I was encouraged to start something new whether it was a club, a class or a project. This has carried over into my life where I have been driven by passion and tenacity, and not afraid to venture into the unknown. I learned that it is better to try something and fail at it than to never try at all.

What are your goals as a Regional Network volunteer? I wish to provide a line of communication to current students and alumni in my region; to provide information; and to establish activities that will help everyone network more effectively. I also want to be a point person for the region in order to provide feedback to the Colleges on various topics including admissions, careers and speaker events that may be of interest.

What advice would you give to an incoming or current HWS student? Choose your major based on your enjoyment, not other’s expectations for you. I have found that students who majored in what they loved the most, had the highest grades, a more positive outlook and got the most out of their liberal arts education. Just go for it. Everything else will fall into place over time! A liberal arts college is an "invitation" to try different things, get involved and find your true passions. Lastly, I am extremely pleased that my daughter, Dana will be entering Hobart and William Smith Colleges in the fall and joining the class of 2018!


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.