Q&A with SAI Director of HR Audrey Bryce
Hi Audrey, how did you first get involved in SAI?
Freshman year, I arrived on campus as most freshmen do - eager and confused. I was a Biological Engineering major with hopes of medical school, excited to embark on my challenging road ahead and looking for something to complement my academics. I reached out to two family friends of mine, Robby Ainslie (HHMC GM ‘12, President ’13) and Costa Lambrou (Real Estate AM ‘14, GM ’15), for guidance. Both, having worked for SAI previously, encouraged me to apply for a management position. I applied to be the General Manager of TakeNote, thinking it would be a long shot as a freshman with very minimal work experience and no aspirations to enter the business world but figured the interview process would, at the very least, be a learning experience. Then, on October 1st, 2014, HR extraordinaire Peter Devitt (HR ‘14-’15) emailed me offering me the position. At the end of my term with TakeNote in 2015, I was offered the opportunity to stay on as the Director of Human Resources for 2016-2017, which was an offer I couldn’t refuse.
How has SAI shaped your experience at Cornell?
Thus far, there have only been 5 weeks of my time at Cornell when I wasn’t involved with SAI. SAI has been central to my Cornell experience, and for that I am forever grateful. My work with SAI shifted my career goals and major, provided me with my best friends at Cornell, taught me skills I would never have learned in class alone, and helped me cultivate a vast professional network. SAI has been my home away from home - I probably have spent the same amount of time (if not more) at 409 College Ave as I have in my various campus living situations over the past three years.
What is the craziest story from your times on the job at Student Agencies?
Wow, there are so many stories I could go with. I have lived through two, soon to be three, Big Red peaks, which are always an incredibly hectic time in the office. The redevelopment of 409 College Ave into eHub was also a very crazy period of SAI history, when our office turned into a construction site and the usual day consisted of working with the soothing background noises of steel beams getting drilled through. The most specific story I can think of, however, was this past Fall Recruitment cycle, when I moved into the office for 4 days straight to get through the final push of recruitment, going without sleep for much of it. In the end, though, it was totally worth it.
What do you do in your free time, when you aren’t at the office in eHub?
When I’m not in the office, I like to hang out with my friends, explore the outdoors (when the Ithaca weather permits), and play with any and every dog I cross paths with.
What are your hopes for the coming year?
As my time with SAI comes to an end, I hope to train my successor, Danny Sharp ('18, BRSS AM '16), to take over the honor of resourcing the humans of SAI. In the coming year, I’m incredibly excited to see all that Danny will accomplish in the role, and I am confident his history on the SAI management team will serve him well in continuing to elevate the experience, culture, and legacy of SAI. As for me, after I leave SAI in May, I will be working as a Summer Analyst for BlackRock in their Global Marketing and Communications division, after which I will return to campus as a senior for my first semester ever without SAI.
How do you anticipate your time at Student Agencies will impact your future?
So far, Student Agencies has already played a major role in my future, professionally. Going through the internship recruitment process this past year further proved to me the immense value SAI has, and I can 100% attribute my job offer to the work I have done with SAI. Beyond that, SAI has provided me with a vast array of skills and a strong network that will help me throughout my future career. Above all, the friends I have made throughout my almost three years with SAI will undoubtedly remain a large part of my life. I hope to be able to stay involved with SAI even after graduation. Who knows - maybe when SAI CEO Kyle Karnes ('91) retires, I’ll find my way back to 409 College to fill his seat.