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Alumni Profile

Sara Gerber (B.A. 2009, M.F.A. 2011) Human Resources Business Partner, Monster Energy 

Sara Gerber (B.A. 2009, M.F.A. 2011)
Human Resources Business Partner, Monster Energy

Sara GerberIn a given week, Sara Gerber might write a creative product description, run a job fair, present a talk on company branding, discuss wellness initiatives, and mentor new employees. Sara handles all this and more as a Human Resources Business Partner at Monster Energy, a company where she excels as a creative writer, analytical thinker, and tuned-in communicator.    

In Sara’s eclectic work week, a couple of activities stand out as especially rewarding.  One of these is mentoring all levels of Monster Energy employees—from entry-level staff to senior management—and making sure that they feel valued for their work:  “As an HR professional,” says Sara, “you really have the opportunity to change how people operate in their day-to-day roles, which ultimately influences the business as a whole.”  

Another thing she loves is writing copy for company products.  She works with the marketing department to add a “creative twist” to the company’s new drink descriptions.  It’s been “a blast,” she says, seeing her work on products in local stores. 

Sara received her B.A. in English (Creative Writing Track) in 2009 and M.F.A. in Creative Writing (Poetry Concentration) in 2011—both from CSUSB.  After the M.F.A., Sara moved to Beijing, China, where she was an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher for Disney.  She then returned to California and taught community college and coached water polo before transitioning into human resources.   Her English major skills are assets in the business world.  For one, she says, “I’ve found it extremely useful to be able to read a text and understand the tone, whether a piece of literature or an email from your boss . . . When you understand how tone affects communication and professional relationships (both positively and negatively) you are able to influence situations, which ultimately defines you as a leader in your workplace.”

What she appreciates most about her CSUSB years are her English professors, “who genuinely love what they do and want to share their passion with anyone willing to learn.”  The one thing she regrets about that time is not starting to research job possibilities earlier.  As she approached graduation day, she says, “I had that ‘Oh crap, now what?!’ moment.” 

Thus, to current English majors, Sara emphasizes: “Network, network, network!!!  Get out there, meet people, volunteer . . . Send follow-up emails and calls . . . Those small gestures stick.”  And don’t be afraid to ask. “I’ve been able to shift careers entirely because I worked hard and was not afraid to ask for the opportunity.”