Telling Stories and Keeping Top Employees

LCM and SHS Alumnus Shai Kopitnikoff Helps Companies Thrive

December 17, 2017
Portrait of Shai Kopitnikoff

Need to build a compelling narrative for your company? How about a way to keep your top talent and attract better employees?

Call Shai Kopitnikoff, a graduate of both Lander College for Men and Touro’s School of Health Sciences Industrial Organizational Psychology Master’s program. Kopitnikoff is a consultant for Retensa, a company that specializes in helping clients hold on to their top talent while increasing employee satisfaction and productivity.

“Our goal, as a firm, is to create workplaces where employees are engaged by what they do and inspired by who they work for,” said the polished 25-year-old. “We do that by lowering employee turnover in client organizations and helping those companies retain their top talent. “The best part of my job is having the opportunity to put the puzzle pieces together and tell the story of what is happening in any given organization.”

Kopitnikoff, an Elizabeth, NJ native, spent two years in Israel after graduating high school and decided to attend LCM after visiting the campus.

“I was looking for an experience where I could, not only join a college and strive academically, but strive spiritually and grow in my Jewish values.”

Kopitnikoff majored in psychology with minors in marketing and management. He also participated in an innovative criminal justice internship with LCM’s Dr. Alan Perry.

“It taught me dedication,” said Koptnikoff about LCM’s curriculum. “You need to prioritize your time if you want to succeed with a dual curriculum. The guidance I received from my rabbis and professors helped me excel at my studies and develop strong time-management and organizational skills that were vital to my success.”

Kopitnikoff was drawn to psychology but also felt he had a knack for business. His LCM professors and his family suggested he pursue a career in industrial organizational psychology, a field that uses psychology to improve business practices.

“It’s a mix of the two fields,” Koptnikoff explained. “It’s understanding people in a work environment. I get to make people happier at work while also helping the bottom line of a company. It’s the best of both worlds.”

After spending an extra year pursuing rabbinical ordination, Kopitnikoff began looking for an I-O psychology program. He turned to Touro’s School of Health Science to pursue his master’s in the field.

“I liked the Touro system,” said Kopitnikoff. “Once you are a part of the Touro family you want to stay in the family.”

He enjoyed his time at SHS and felt prepared to enter the marketplace.

“Dr. Elman, the chair of the program, has so many students, but he gives everyone personalized attention,” recalled Kopitnikoff. “I even had the opportunity to conduct research with him, and I’m pleased to say that we’ll be presenting our findings in an upcoming Society for Industrial Organizational Psychology conference in Chicago.”

After Kopitnikoff had an internship with the Orthodox Union, a LCM alumnus put him in touch with Retensa who offered him a position.

“I love the work that I do,” said Kopitnikoff. “We wear many hats and work in every industry.  I’ve worked with dozens of international clients conducting needs assessments, designing surveys, implementing processes, all to add value to the company and their employees. You can never underestimate how important employee satisfaction is.”

Kopitnikoff encouraged other LCM students to consider the field.

“There is an incredible amount of growth in the I-O space, but it won’t come easy. You have to work hard and be dedicated,” he counseled. “You have to constantly do research to be on top of new developments, but it’s an industry where you can make a difference on a huge scale and tell some pretty cool stories.”