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How I Got The Job: Marketing Lead, HP

Apr 27, 2023
Chrissy Castriota (MBA’23) leverages her experience in the entertainment industry to break into social impact marketing

By Eigen Escario

Chrissy Castriota

Chrissy Castriota graduated from Belmont University in May 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Business and Marketing. After extensive experience in the entertainment industry—specifically in tour management and merchandising—Castriota founded her own company, Riot Merchandising, to service high-profile clients like Megan Thee Stallion and Kacey Musgraves.

While she ran her own business with much success, Castriota decided to further her education and pursue an MBA to sharpen her knowledge in areas including marketing and operations. Prior to coming to Vanderbilt Business, Castriota had proficient technical skills using software programs like Excel, where she kept track of inventory and pricing products. Through the Vanderbilt MBA program, she was looking to polish the transferable skills that she had gained through previous work experiences to make her a stronger candidate for management roles in prominent companies.

“I was trying to get out of the world where everything is done over drinks,” Castriota said. “Going into a space where you had to interview was new for me—I’ve interviewed people before, but having practiced with Courtney at the Career Management Center was very helpful.”

Castriota entered the Vanderbilt MBA Program in August 2021. By October, she was already working with Courtney Fain, Vanderbilt Associate Director, CMC Coach, to prepare her resume for the upcoming recruitment cycle. She also cites the behavioral and technical interview practices as an instrumental resource in her professional development and successful career transition.

Castriota was attracted to Vanderbilt Business because of its proximity to a vibrant, growing city, as well as the scholarship she received through the Forté MBA Fellowship. In addition to these pull factors, Castriota says she appreciates the mentorship she found in her Marketing Strategy professor, Kelly Goldsmith, who maintained contact with her over Zoom during her 2021 summer internship at HP.

“She helped me redirect a project that I was working on at my summer internship,” Castriota said. “There’s lots of frameworks and case studies we worked on that helped me make decisions at my job, but just having her as a resource has been really great.”

Much like her unconventional entry to the world of business through informal channels in entertainment, Castriota says she never expected to end up in sustainability marketing. She applied to a total of 88 internships and jobs during Fall 2021, most of which were strategically chosen to leverage her impressive background in merchandising and logistics. She advanced to the final round in all the interview opportunities she received, eventually landing a commercial marketing internship at HP.

During the recruiting process, Castriota placed high importance on differentiation and interpersonal communication, which were determining factors in her landing an internship and ultimately a full-time job offer after just a month of working there.

“I think my personal brand would probably be something like Ted Lasso since I am very light-hearted and encouraging,” she said. “At the same time, I love shaking things up and disrupting things, and that’s something that I talked a lot about in my interview.”

She points to the rigorous interview process for HP that secured her the internship and the job—a 6-day, 9-point prompt, analytical case study that culminated in a presentation to high-level executives in the company. She did so well in her position that they offered her a job in June 2022, and she eventually moved on to become a content lead for a brand new department focused on sustainability impact marketing in November of 2022.

Click through the timeline below to see a visual of how Chrissy Castriota got the job.

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