All-In at Acara: How Mary Rosen Switched Gears from Wall Street to the World of Recruiting

When Mary Rosen began searching for a new job in finance, her engagements with a local recruiter helped her to find her calling in a promising—albeit unfamiliar—new industry. Today, Mary is considered a well-respected veteran in the staffing and recruiting space. As an Account Executive in Acara’s Chicago office, she prides herself on her selfless, client-first approach, one that has helped her to generate dozens of positive relationships since joining the recruiting world.  In the latest edition of our “All-In at Acara” series, Mary sheds light on why she felt compelled to join the Acara team.

Beginnings in the Big Apple

I began my career in New York City as a fresh-faced, 21-year-old trader on Wall Street. Throughout my life, I had always passionate about the finance industry, and my first job seemed like a dream come true. As the first few years of my professional life took place before the advent of computers, I became proficient at processing quick calculations in my head. And as one of the only women in a male-dominated industry, I learned a lot about standing my ground and holding my own on the trading floor.

Scares during the ’08 economic crisis

While my work in the financial services industry was rewarding, it was also extremely demanding. I vividly recall that during the financial turmoil in 2008, my job security essentially disappeared overnight. While I was fortunate to survive the market crash, I knew that my position was not one that I’d be able to stay in forever. Reflecting back on that hectic period in my professional career in 2008 reminds me of the current coronavirus pandemic that continues to impact millions of American jobs. That’s the part that I find so fulfilling about working in the recruiting industry: helping people get back on their feet by providing them with new opportunities for work.

A transition to recruiting

When I finally decided to explore career opportunities outside of finance, I was connected with a local recruiter in the Chicago area. Little did I know that the recruiter would actually persuade me to join her company! Because I consider myself to be someone who thrives in social settings, entering the “people business” seemed to be the perfect fit for me. After beginning at a boutique firm in Chicago, I accepted a new position at a larger executive search agency before joining the Acara team earlier this year.

The Acara appeal

When people ask me what swayed me to join Acara, my response is always the same: the people. Through all of my initial engagements with the company’s key stakeholders, I was blown away by how accommodating and friendly the Acara team was. During my interview process, it was immediately apparent to me how firm the organization is in its commitment to bringing people together with a purpose. The company took its job of creating employment opportunities for job candidates very seriously. Ultimately, I saw Acara as a place where my creativity would be encouraged, my contributions would be appreciated, and my hard work would be celebrated. What more could you ask from an employer?!

A world of possibilities

My two previous roles in the recruiting industry were focused on accounting and finance positions. While I have developed an intimate understanding of the hiring needs that accompany this particular space, I’m excited to begin to work with Acara’s diverse batch of clients from a wide range of industries. That’s yet another reason why Acara was appealing to me. The opportunity to support hundreds of different clients from aerospace & defense and advanced manufacturing to semiconductor and life sciences presents a unique—but intriguing—challenge for me.

A relentless body of work

Both my colleagues and my clients claim that I am a tough and tenacious woman, much of which I attribute to my Irish Catholic upbringing. Growing up in a large, close-knit household taught me the importance of family. Through good times and bad, my parents and siblings have been there to support me. And during the pandemic, I’ve made it a priority to regularly talk on the phone with my 94-year-old grandmother back at home in Philadelphia. Our conversations have become some of the highlights of my week. It’s amazing how much we can learn from the older generations.

Outside of the office

My world revolves around my two daughters, both of whom are flourishing as college students at two top-notch universities. My girls are my biggest accomplishment in life, and the opportunity to watch them succeed is a tremendous gift. They motivate me to be my very best self and embrace the challenges head-on in my life. I’m a big believer in setting—and following through on—personal goals.  That’s part of the reason why I’ve competed in two triathlons and two half-marathons. I also recently decided to continue my education at Penn State University by pursuing a degree in marketing. I’ve learned never to get complacent with my surroundings. It’s always a smart idea to seek personal and professional growth whenever you can.

To learn more about Mary, connect with her on LinkedIn.

Want to find out more about our Acara team? Check out more of our “All-In at Acara” series here.


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