Britteny Dunson Soto
Senior Recruiter for Green Thumb Industries
Spouse name and family information:
Raul Soto ’13; two children: Madison Maliah, 5; Jaxon Raul, 10 months
Millikin major: Communication
Current employment: Senior recruiter for Green Thumb Industries, Chicago
Why did you choose MU?
The campus sold me – it was beautiful. But beyond the campus, it was the genuinely good, quirky people, from my admissions rep Jessica to all the students I met. It felt like home.
What activities did you participate in as a student at MU?
- Multicultural Student Council – secretary
- Multiculural Greek Council – rep
- Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Inc. – chartering member and new member educator
- LASO (Latin American Student Organization) – member
- Sister Circle – member
- Homecoming Committee 2008 – member
- Homecoming Committee 2009 – talent show chair and host
- The Decaturian – general writer (2008-2009), Views editor (ISCPA Award Winner 2009-2010)
- MilliSTAT (Millikin Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow) – member
- Office Of Admissions – student worker
- Staley Library – student worker
- Kirkland Fine Arts Center – student worker
- Office of Student Affairs – intern
- Media Relations – intern
What are some of your accomplishments since graduating from Millikin?
I have been blessed to have worked for some of the greatest companies in the world. Landed a job at Google (on a complete whim) right out of school through a temp firm. I went from being a one-day receptionist to joining the team permanently as an office assistant. I went from Google to a similar role with a then-tech start-up, Workday. It was through working with the recruitment team there that I fell in love with the HR/recruitment field. I landed a role with a global recruitment firm, Edelman Public Relations, as a recruitment coordinator and the rest was history. I got the chance to work under the director of recruitment, who gave me way more responsibility than I should have gotten and I begged for more. I then felt the urge to try campus recruitment, so I left to join the campus recruiting leaders at Ernst and Young (EY). Then I really wanted to try my hand in staffing, so I spent a couple of years in executive staffing before getting the ultimate chance to join the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago as their talent acquisition lead. I was not only heading the sub department and doing all the hiring solely, but I had to establish recruitment and branding processes that had never existed. I got the chance to do the very same thing for fairlife, LLC – a Coca Cola dairy brand start-up based in Chicago. I got the chance to hire over 40 individuals in one year at fairlife. As fairlife’s business needs started to shift, I felt it was time to take my recruitment powerhousing to the newest and most intriguing industry right now – medical cannabis. I am now the senior recruiter for Green Thumb Industries based in Chicago. I was approached for what was described as my biggest challenge yet and I am soooo excited to take it on.
Over my career, I have gotten the chance to hire over 400 individuals and if I sit down and think hard, I could probably name them all! [Britteny has hired 16 Millikin alumni through her HR/recruitment positions at various companies, and two are in final round interviews with her current company. She has also indirectly assisted 32 alumni in their search for employment by making calls to help arrange interviews, helping with resumes, coaching through an offer negotiation or otherwise acting as a consultant. Alumni from the class of 1991 through recent 2018 graduates have benefitted from her assistance.]
Beyond my career achievements I have managed to have two beautiful children: Madison, 5, and Jaxon, 9 months, and to marry the love of my life, Raul, while residing in Oak Park, Ill.
When not supporting the Big Blue, what is your favorite thing to do?
I love hanging with my little ones, being a huge foodie with my husband, and supporting my sorority Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Inc.
Who is your most memorable MU professor or staff member and why?
Ugh! Just one? Nancy Curtin [associate professor and Communications chair] is one of the best people walking this earth. She opened my eyes to new ways of thinking and just analyzing human behavior. And realizing just how the simple things we do add to the bigger picture.
Honorable Mentions that I could go on and on about:
- Tom Duncanson [Communications professor]
- Melinda Reuter [adjunct faculty member, Communications]
- Pam Folger [director of Millikin’s Career Center]
- Dan Monroe [chair and associate professor, History & Political Science]
- Stephen Frech [English professor]
- The late Dr. Priscilla Meddaugh [former assistant professor of English]
What is your most memorable MU experience?
Hosting the Homecoming Talent Show with THE Loni Love while having H1N1 and not knowing it.
Second to that doozy has got to be late nights editing the Decaturian, trying to race to the print deadline.
What is one concept you learned at Millikin that you use regularly?
The Performance Learning model indirectly made me a corporate goddess. I had no idea the things we were doing and less of WHAT we learned but HOW we learned it, was going to shape me as a global citizen.
For instance, when you are in an organization at Millikin, you have to go through the allocation process – building your budget, submitting it in hopes of gaining funding and ultimately using those funds wisely. When I was tasked with creating a budget and submitting it at the corporate level, it was a walk in the park!
What advice do you give to current Millikin students about preparing for life after graduation?
You don’t have to have it all figured out when you cross the stage. I think it’s easy to get so caught up in the fear of “OMG, I don’t have a job yet!” Truth is, most don’t, and that’s okay. If you are a hard working person that knows your worth, I assure you it will work itself out. But you also have to know that sometimes you have to force yourself into things. You cannot sit at home submitting 500 apps on Indeed.com and wish for it. While applying for 500 jobs on Indeed certainly has it value and still should be done, you have to do more! NETWORK. The power of a referral and a “friend putting a good word in” has so much weight you would never imagine. And most think it’s a shady way of going about things, but it’s not! Think about it this way: You are looking for an amazing new sushi place. Which would you trust more? The ad for Sushi Sama which they paid for that says, “We’ve got the world’s best sushi!” or a friend that says “Yo! Sushi Sama has the best sushi in the world!” If you’ve got the skills, know your worth. It’s very little to do with how you got there … you got there.
Another thing, you will likely NOT work in the field you studied. And that is also okay.
Beat the pavement. Go to staffing firms – these people will literally fight for you. Don’t be deterred. You don’t pay for their services and they can give you a great shot in the corporate community. Even if it’s a temp job, treat it like you are there permanently. Take anything from it that you can.