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Alumna leverages diverse career background in new role

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July 5, 2017

By Barbara Hein, Photo by Tommy O'Laughlin '13

Amy Bay Robinson’s career has spanned both nonprofit and corporate. She’s worked in retail, health care, marketing agencies and the coffee business. Now, sitting in a fifth floor suite of an office building just across the interstate from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Robinson has taken on a new challenge — education — and she couldn’t be more thrilled.

“When I read the job description, it was one of those moments where everything fit," Robinson said. “They were looking for all of the things that I had been building throughout my career.”

The 1993 College of Saint Benedict graduate is the new Vice President of Marketing and Brand Strategy for Scholarship America, the nation’s largest nonprofit scholarship and education support organization with the mission of making postsecondary success possible for all. Her task is to create a comprehensive brand and marketing strategy for Scholarship America — spanning all three of the organization’s pillars:

  • Delivering financial and other support to students in need
  • Designing and managing education assistance programs for the private sector
  • Engaging stakeholders and influencing policies that advance equity in higher education

“At the end of the day, why I landed here is to impact peoples’ futures. Ensuring students understand how to navigate and get access to college, even if they didn’t see that as a possibility for themselves. I want them to know there is a door for them to go through.”

Robinson, who majored in communication and sociology, describes her time at CSB and Saint John’s University as transformational.

“At CSB/SJU there was such empowerment to think broadly, jump in and try ideas out all within in a very supportive community," Robinson said. "It gave me the foundation for so many of my successes, not just in work, but also in life. I cherish who I became while I was on campus my college years.”

That transformational experience Robinson had at CSB/SJU is what drives her in her new position with Scholarship America.

“Education can be that bridge between having dreams and achieving them. And for some people, it’s not as accessible as we wish it was for everybody — that’s where our organization makes an impact and removes barriers.”

VISIT CSB/SJU

Vital statistics

Amy Bay Robinson

Amy Bay Robinson '93

Career Path

Robinson comes to Scholarship America from Caribou Coffee where she was Director of Marketing, responsible for leading the global Caribou brand. Prior to Caribou, she was Vice President, Marketing and Brand Strategy at CaringBridge, and before that served in marketing roles at Target, Hanley Wood and Express Scripts.  She began her career in public relations at Evans Larson Communications.

Activies at CSB/SJU

While attending CSB/SJU, Robinson served on Student Administrative Board — the predecessor of the Saint Ben’s Senate. She was also involved with the Joint Events Council (JEC) and worked in student development as a student employee.

Advice to students looking to go into marketing careers

Robinson lists two key things as critical for a career in marketing:

  1. Be brave
  2. Always be curious

“Marketing requires a high level of curiosity and delivering unique solutions. You have to be willing to take bold action and fail forward while always keeping your eye on the bigger picture,” Robinson said. “The goal is to inspire people and create connections.”