Alumni Tale: Sam Mahra ’01

What did you study at UNH?

Communication and Sociology in the College of Liberal Arts

What are some of your strongest memories of UNH?

I was relatively shy and started to gain my confidence once I started getting involved with clubs and activities. I never thought I’d join a fraternity, but I ended becoming President of Tau Kappa Epsilon. I made some great friends across the Greek system.

I loved coming back to homecoming to see how campus has changed and how the affinity for UNH has grown. Some us now have kids, gotten older, and hopefully wiser!

How do you feel your time at UNH has had an impact on where you are today?

I think it’s helped me develop my social skills. I was very shy in high school and before I transferred to UNH. I think being in a new environment with new people forced me to step out of my comfort zone. I met great people and made several lifelong friends.

Tell us about your career path to date… what have been some career milestones in your life?

I unfortunately graduated after the 9/11 attacks and finding a job was difficult. I ended up working in sales and marketing for Kraft Foods and Pepsi. I managed to get the job with Kraft after networking at a UNH Career Fair.

I was still unsure what I wanted to do with my life and took a 4 month sabbatical after my tenure with Pepsi. I knew I wanted to help people or give back in some way. I gave my credit card a workout, but one of my best friends helped me land a job in higher education. I’ve been in the industry for 15+ years working in for-profit, private, and large top 50 public institutions. Right now, I have transitioned into higher ed strategic communications and marketing.

One of my biggest milestones was being able to lead the admissions and recruitment efforts for a NCAA Div I public institution of 35k+ students. During my tenure we boosted the academic profile and now have one of the top 10 best enrollment yields in the country.