Kathryn Trainor has always loved technology and its ever-evolving nature, but she didn’t want to spend her career solely focused on tasks like coding. So, she found a job at Hightouch in New York City that combines her love of technology and people. 

“I wanted my role to involve connecting with people and fostering relationships,” said Trainor, who is a technology partnerships associate at the company. “In whatever professional endeavor I pursue, my overarching goal is to make a meaningful impact. That’s one of the cool things about Hightouch. In a company of this size, the direct influence of your efforts on the business is palpable.”

Hightouch is a 100-person Series B tech startup SaaS platform that helps companies get more value out of the data in their cloud warehouse. Trainor began working there in 2022 as one of the first sales development representatives, focusing on generating the top of the funnel sales pipeline primarily through outbound efforts like emails, LinkedIn and cold calling. 

The role gave her a solid foundation in sales and business processes, and she learned how to communicate the value of a technical solution in a concise and effective way. She was promoted to the partnerships team seven months later. 

“Things change fast, and the team is always trying out fresh ideas or building something,” she said. “I feel fortunate to be surrounded by exceptionally intelligent colleagues who provide a constant source of learning and inspiration.” 

Prior to Hightouch, Trainor graduated from Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies in 2021 with a bachelor of science in information management and technology and a bachelor of arts in psychology from the College of Arts and Sciences.  

“I was interested in the iSchool because I wanted to better understand how technology can solve real-world problems and how I could be a part of that,” she said. 

Some of her best college experiences came from being a Literacy Corps tutor in Syracuse public schools, being part of Kappa Theta Pi (the iSchool professional fraternity) and working as a peer educator in the health promotion department at the Barnes Center. 

Trainor discovered the iSchool after taking the intro IST class and knew it was a perfect fit for her goals because of its interdisciplinary approach. 

“I gained knowledge in technology, business, and communication, all with a liberal arts core. It taught me how to talk about tech to both tech-savvy and non-tech folks,” she said. “I also got a solid understanding of tech fundamentals, like data warehouses, SQL, and information systems, along with honing my teamwork skills.”

The iSchool’s immersion trips opened her eyes to endless possibilities. Trips to New York City, Washington, D.C. and Dublin, Ireland, exposed her to companies of all sizes, from giants like Google and EY to smaller startups. 

“These experiences not only broadened my perspective but also helped me form lasting bonds with peers and professors, connections I still cherish today,” she said. 

Trainor encourages current iSchool students to build a network of people who can help support them and to make plans for a career while still being flexible. 

“Careers are very long and your first job won’t be your last, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself,” she said. “If you don’t love the job you have right out of college, you will still learn something from that experience or make a connection that will benefit you down the road. Nothing is ever wasted, and there is no linear path to your career.”