Thank you for visiting my blog!
I am an Israeli immigrant living in the US, an Ex-Swimmer, a marketing professional, and an enthusiast.
Currently, the CRM Director at The Sak,
and the President of Michal Sofia LLC Marketing Consulting.
Growing Up in Israel
I was born and raised in Israel as the oldest of four siblings to two immigrant parents from Russia. I grew up in Rosh HaAyin, the center of Israel, and was always (even as a baby), very serious about everything I ever did. At a young age, I stood out from the crowd as a creative person that flourishes with the spotlight pointing at me.
Being a Professional Swimmer
I was a ballet dancer for many years and somewhere in my early teens learned how to swim. The swimming instructor noticed my talent and encouraged me to sign up for the local club team. I didn't want to, but was convinced I should give it a try. Being a kid that loves the spotlight, I wanted to be a model. But my dad always had one rule - you must be enrolled in an athletic activity. He also said, that if I'd quit swimming, he won't take me to my modeling auditions anymore. So I stayed.
A year has passed and I realized how amazing it feels to set goals for myself, and also reach them.
At the age of 15, I was the national age-group champion, and at the age of 18, I was the national champion. I also had the honor of representing Israel at various international competitions.
Swimming built my character more than anything. I developed my identity to be strong, confident, hard-working, determined, and always passionate.
My Military Service
After finishing high school, I completed my mandatory military service in the Israel Defense Force. My service was by far the most difficult time of my life; it was incredibly strenuous. It was largely difficult because of the dysfunctional chain organization culture and the abusive commander-sergeant relationship. Nevertheless, I finished my service feeling more empowered than ever, and having an even stronger sense that there is nothing I cannot accomplish.
Coming to America
At the age of 20, I followed my passion for swimming and wanted to experience studying abroad. I became a student-athlete, studying Communication and Public Relations at Eastern Michigan University. I wanted to experience as much as possible.
I worked at my university as a writer, was a leader of Hillel (the Jewish community on campus), volunteered at the community food coop, and was a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).
The athletic experience was incredibly challenging yet super fulfilling. While having 25 hours/week of swim training in addition to a full-time class load, I enjoyed having a schedule and being a part of a team.
In the US I discovered my identity even further and especially realized what is my identity as a Jewish-Israeli person.
Career Ending Injury
At the very beginning of my senior year, I suffered an accident; I tore my ACL. This prevented me from completing my last season, and thus being unable to contribute to the swimming team that was such an important part of my life. I graduated with a bitter feeling; I knew I must make a comeback to swimming. I remembered my dad’s saying, that I am the one to determine when and how I will be done, and the battle is not over until I am done.
In December 2018, while my team traveled to the annual training trip in FL - I went home to Israel. There, I met Aaron, an Israeli-American swimmer living in NYC. Later that week, we ended up at the same mutual friend’s New Year’s Eve party. We talked most of the night and hit it off immediately. When Aaron left for his flight back to New York, he texted me saying that "Michigan isn’t all that far from New York". Three weeks later, I came to New York (my mom convinced me to take that brave step) and Aaron came to MI that month to take care of me after my ACL surgery.
A year after we first met, between the morning and evening session of Israeli nationals in swimming- Aaron asked me to marry him.
Joining Stony Brook
Six month after my surgery I found out I was eligible for a fourth year of competing as a collegiate swimmer. I realized I had a second chance with swimming – an opportunity to make a major comeback. I didn’t let this opportunity go to waste. On my last and final year at Stony Brook University, I transformed my vision into a reality. I got back into training, into racing, and broke the school record in the 100 Yard Butterfly. I became Stony Brook’s first conference champion since 2011, which was a big honor for me.
The comeback was one of my proudest moments; I achieved my goal, proving to myself and everyone else I do not give up.
Graduating with my MBA
Two semesters into my MBA and right after my incredible comeback in swimming, COVID hit and I was forced to complete the remaining portion of my degree virtually. I took this opportunity to graduate early and run "Michal's Cafe", a professional empowering clinic in collaboration with WISE (Women in Science and Engineering). The cafe consists of 10 clinics about various skills (confidence, public speaking, preparing for a job interview, etc.)
I graduated in December 2020 with a 3.7 GPA!
Since then, I've been working as a marketing content strategist as well as a sales representative for a marketing agency.
Now, I am looking for the next big journey of my career in marketing.
Joining the Marketing World
Shortly after graduating, I joined Social Lady, a Digital Marketing Agency focusing on Social Media. Click here to read more.
In September, I joined Optimove, a medium-size Israeli tech startup that provides a sophisticated mapping of CRM Journies in NYC.
As a CRM Associate, I provide services for tier 1 clients (such as Hard Rock Café, Hanna Anderson, Spanx). Helping the brand utilize the Optimove platform to plan and execute sophisticated campaigns to millions of targeted life cycle customers.