35 Under 35: Sam Miranda, Senior Talent Acquisition and Inclusion Specialist, Gate City Bank

Written by: Brady Drake

Tell us about yourself. Tell us who you are and what you do.

Hi friends! I grew up in a small town (shoutout to New Rockford!) in North Dakota and have been lucky to call the FM area my home since coming to college! I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in English with a Minor in Business Administration from NDSU in 2020, and went on to complete my Master’s in Leadership from the University of Jamestown in 2021! If you were to describe my personality as a color, I am a HOT pink girl (it also so happens that my wardrobe is 85% this color).

For my 8-5, I am extremely fortunate to work for a great company, Gate City Bank. I have been here for nearly three years and hold the title of Senior Talent Acquisition and Inclusion Specialist. Long story short, I get to work with people every day—whether it is recruiting, inclusion, or more—what could be better?

Outside of work, I’m married to my high school sweetheart, Matt, and we have the two cutest rescue dogs (I’m biased) named Kodiak and Reno. We are passionate about adventure, experiencing life, bucket lists, and travel. My favorite fun fact is that we JUST finished traveling to all 50 states together in 2023 and can’t wait to revisit our favorites! In my off time, you’ll probably catch me either playing (or coaching) volleyball, listening to Harry Styles, or making a super lastminute decision to do a weekend road trip somewhere fun!

Who are some people who have been influential in your journey and why? Who inspires you?

I consider myself incredibly fortunate to be the product of two exceptional people I get to call my parents. My dad has taught me the value of a strong work ethic in both the personal and professional spheres. My mom is an incredibly strong woman who has been my biggest supporter from day one and has always encouraged me to embrace who I am and celebrate it. I am so thankful for their influence on my journey.

On the professional front, I have been extremely lucky to have been mentored by some phenomenal female leaders— Bre, Betsy, and Heather—who have played pivotal roles in shaping my career. These women have been instrumental in my growth—allowing me opportunities, challenges, support, and so much more.

What drives you?

I am definitely driven by my passion to make a positive impact on the lives of others—which I am so grateful to get to do every day in the recruiting field! I find so much fulfillment in guiding individuals throughout their career search, helping them navigate the job search and interview process, and, hopefully, making it seamless and exciting! In my role, I’m focused on fostering an inclusive and supportive environment where individuals not only potentially secure meaningful employment but also have an individualized experience along the way. Being able to contribute to someone’s success story, and then being able to watch them grow their career with a great company and develop along the way is what fills my cup.

What do you think can be improved in our business community?

I would love for our business community to offer more educational opportunities in relation to hiring college students with temporary work visas, like OPT/CPT, and team members who may speak English as a second language. There is a talent that is barely tapped into—and providing education on not only the benefits but also the procedures associated with hiring can contribute to a more culturally rich workplace. I think many employers feel these topics may sound intimidating or like a hard process, but it doesn’t have to be with the right education! Also, being able to acknowledge the skillsets and perspectives that bilingual team members can bring to the table is essential. I would love to see these educational initiatives happen to foster a more inclusive workplace, disrupt biases, and empower employers to make more informed decisions!

What are some important life lessons you have learned?

I have definitely learned the importance of finding comfort in discomfort and embracing the lessons that come with it. Entering into the workforce during a pandemic was extremely stressful— and I was absolutely someone who was terrified of the unknown, especially what that looked like for a career! As I’ve progressed, I’ve come to recognize how valuable it is to face challenges and learn how to thrive in unfamiliar spaces. I would also say—it is perfectly fine to break into dance at any moment to the music playing in your own head— even if no one else can hear it! Life is too short not to have fun!

What are you hoping to gain from the United Way 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program?

I am so excited to have an element of both personal and professional growth during my participation in this program! This opportunity is incredible to not only establish meaningful connections but also learn from the different perspectives of some rockstar women in our community! I know this group is full of encouragers and supporters—and I’m so excited to have that community going forward.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers of Fargo INC?

Love yourself! It isn’t always easy, but you are a unique individual with so much to bring to the table. Go you!

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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.