Sarah Bourouphael ’08,M’15, Sourcing Manager, Nike, Inc.
As a political science and economics major, Sarah credits her relationships with fellow classmates and professors for her strong critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills. Entering the workforce during the 2008 financial recession, Sarah was one of many who faced adversity in the job market, until 2011 when she landed a job with Converse as a Corporate Services Administrator. She soon moved up into an Assistant Buyer role in Procurement. In 2014 she accepted a position with Nike Global Procurement as a Strategic Capabilities Analyst.
“Relationships with the faculty of both of my majors provided ample training and opportunity to grow those mental muscles. It has helped me become agile across different career paths and secure opportunities in multiple fields, which is the kind of robust career experience I want,” says Sarah.
Sarah is now the Sourcing Manager at Nike, Inc., where she executes global sourcing strategies that include story-telling, developing new talent and project and program management.
“Throughout course of my liberal arts education at Merrimack College provided me four years of rigorous honing two critical skills: curiosity and communication,” she says.
How did your experience at Merrimack help you as a professional?
One of the competitive advantages I have is my ability to question status quo by asking “what if,” and an aptitude for thinking multi-directionally. Another is my communication skills and ability to effectively use language and technology to tell a compelling story. The course work at Merrimack College wasn’t solely designed with book learning as the end goal, but with ample opportunity for self-reflection and self-development in mind, too. In an ever-evolving economy, I think these “soft skills” are more valuable to prospective employers than any hard skill. I feel fortunate that the faculty in my majors prioritized the importance of life skills as highly as they did academic skills.
What is the best advice you could give current Merrimack students?
Network, really network. All too often when you graduate and enter the workforce, your network generally looks just like you, thinks like you, etc. Go out of your way to meet people with different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences. This can be hard for introverts, like me, but I now wish I had found ways to do this back then on my own terms. Try not to graduate with a homogenous network in tow. Challenge yourself and your worldview by exposing yourself to as many perspectives as possible. This is also part of your education, but it’s your responsibility as an individual to drive diversity and inclusion in your own life. By broadening your horizons, you become conscious of all the talent, experience, and opportunities for meaningful friendships out there in the world that you would otherwise be blind to.
What is your Favorite Merrimack memory?
My favorite memories at Merrimack all take place in the economics department and involve sparring intellects with faculty and students in and outside of classroom settings. It was like having a second family I never knew I needed and I will forever be grateful for all the love and support from professors like Jack Amariglio, Charlie Tontar, and Tony Laramie.