Mount Made: A Little Birdy Told Me…
Alum lands dream job @Twitter
“The reason I’ve had the success I’ve gained in my life at this point, or whatever you want to call it, has been directly because of my time at Mount Saint Vincent.”
Those 163 characters could, hypothetically, fit in a tweet blasted out by alum Christopher Summo ’15. And while he didn’t actually send it out into cyberspace, we certainly would have given it a retweet.
Majoring in communication during his time at the Mount, Chris had an original interest of pursuing a career as a sports broadcaster. But after taking countless classes with dedicated members of the Mount’s communication faculty—including Associate Professor Brad Crownover, Professor Vincent Fitzgerald, Professor Cynthia Meyers, and Associate Professor Michelle Scollo—Chris found his passion for advertising.
If it weren’t for the guidance and mentorship he received from those professors, Chris never would have found the confidence needed to step out of his comfort zone and launch his career.
“My professors taught me so much that I’ve applied not only to my professional career, but also to my personal interests,” said Chris. “I feel very fortunate and blessed that I had such a strong group of teachers within my major while I was at the Mount.”
After graduating, Chris dove head-first into the advertising sphere. He got his start at Resolution Media, a full-service social media advertising agency for high-growth, future-focused clients. Joining the team as an advertising coordinator, Chris spent the next three years climbing the ranks—moving from strategist to senior strategist and even landing a position as supervisor. During the height of his time at Resolution Media, Chris was leading a team of digital and social advertising buyers across a number of key accounts and platforms—including Twitter.
So in the winter of 2019, looking for a bit of a change of pace and to build upon the relationship he started with the company while at Resolution Media, Chris interviewed and was offered a position as a client account manager at none other than social media giant Twitter. Moving from the marketing side of advertising to the sales side, Chris took on the challenge with diligence and success.
Over the past two years, Chris has contributed to significant sales growth across a number of key financial services accounts for Twitter—prompting him to be promoted to a senior client account manager this past summer after only a year of work with the company.
“Social media and digital advertising are quickly growing industries, and the brands that I work with always need help working through the media they’re buying into,” said Chris. “That’s where I come in. I’m on the Twitter side helping these companies put their advertising plans into action.”
At Twitter, every day is something different and no two are ever the same. Whether he’s managing client budgets, answering questions, or forecasting advertising strategies, it’s Chris’ role to be a resource to the various brands and agencies that Twitter works with. He strives to make sure the brands across his accounts keep a strong relationship with Twitter, meeting goals and marketing quotas.
“The greatest part about working at Twitter is that I feel like I’m in lockstep with the ideals that Twitter has as an organization, and that’s trying to serve the public conversation with a purpose,” remarked Chris.
And with the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, Twitter was well-equipped to make the transition to working from home as seamless as possible.
“I firmly believe that Twitter will be at the forefront of the ‘new normal’ as we transition out of the height of the pandemic—a flexible work schedule, both at home and in the office,” said Chris. “I’ve been fortunate enough to have been working from home for over a year now, and I’m grateful that Twitter worked hard to advocate for all of its employees during such an uncertain time.”
Needless to say, Chris has quickly become a successful and highly-regarded media advertising professional—with much thanks to the start he received at Mount Saint Vincent.
Working with his career advisor in the Oxley Integrated Advising Program, Chris gained experience directly in the field in New York City—the Mount’s extended classroom—interning with companies like WABC, Feld Entertainment, and the Brooklyn Cyclones. The internship positions Chris held set a strong foundation for his career, giving him a sense of what the industry was like before jumping into a full-time role.
And not only was Chris a star student in the classroom, he was involved in almost every area of campus—spearheading several initiatives and engaging in numerous professional development opportunities as a student leader. As a member of the Mount Media club, he had the opportunity to co-host his own sports talk radio show, Going for Two, where Chris was joined by fellow members of the Mount community and discussed sports highlights for both the Dolphins and national sports competitions—all broadcasted over the College’s radio network.
His academic accomplishments were heralded by several honors and accolades, including membership in Kappa Gamma Pi, the National Catholic Honor Society, and Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Honor Society. Chris even served the College’s chapter of Lambda Pi Eta as president in his senior year.
“When I’m busy at work, I sometimes look back and wonder how I managed to juggle so much when I was in college,” chuckled Chris. “I don’t know how I did it! But I like keeping busy, and I liked the fact that I always had something to occupy my time.”
On the field, Chris was a four-year member of the varsity lacrosse team, leading the team as captain during his senior season in 2015. He also supported and advocated for his fellow Dolphins as president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, serving as a liaison between the student athlete community, coaches, and the College administration.
“All of the co-curricular activities I participated in served as a complement to what I was doing inside the classroom because they provided a lot of structure,” remarked Chris. “Being a student athlete, especially, helped prepare me for what I’m doing now—disciplining me to stay motivated and on track.”
Chris’ dedication to the College during his time as a student was also highlighted through his service to the greater Mount community. He worked as a campus tour guide for the Office of Admission—spreading his love for the Mount to prospective students and showing them all the College has to offer.
“My advice to any incoming college first-year students, particularly at Mount Saint Vincent, is to take advantage of all the opportunities that are presented to you,” reflected Chris. “Get involved, find your niche, try new things, and remember that not everyone has the opportunity to spend some of the most formative years of their life in New York City. At the Mount, you’re right in the heart of it.”
Chris’ dedication to the College in the classroom, on the athletic field, and beyond is matched only by his commitment to the Mount Saint Vincent’s mission and values, something he’s carried with him into his personal and professional life.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t use something that I learned in one of my classes at the Mount,” said Chris. “Advertising, marketing, client relationships—it’s all the communication business. The principles of communication as both an academic and human discipline are practical applications that I use in every aspect of my job.”
Now, Chris frequently returns to the College’s Riverdale campus from his current home on the Upper East Side of Manhattan—working with both the Division of Communication, Art and Media and the Department of Accounting, Business, and Economics to mentor students interested in pursuing a career in advertising.
Giving back to the place he once called “home” just feels right for Chris, and he’s lucky to have kept in touch with so many friends, faculty, and mentors.
Now that’s a retweet.
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About the College of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the College of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational, and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary for lives of professional accomplishment, service, and leadership in the 21st century.