“Reflective, big picture thinker who enjoys diving into details, tackling new challenges, and helping others.”
Hometown: Edwardsburg, Michigan
Fun fact about yourself: I’ve gone body sledding in Antarctica.
Undergraduate School and Degree: Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Master of Automotive Engineering, both from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Ford Motor Company, Ford College Graduate Leadership Program – Hybrid Engineer
Where did you intern during the summer of 2017? I’m in the one-year program, so I did not complete an internship
Where will you be working after graduation? Interlogic Outsourcing Inc., Product Strategy
Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: MBA Association – Senior Vice President of Community Outreach; Board Fellow – Neighborhood Resources Connection
Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I’m most proud of the events I’ve had the privilege to organize as SVP of Community Outreach that have resulted in MBAs positively impacting the local community. These events include volunteering, food drives, fundraisers, and blood drives. It’s great to see my classmates come together and give back.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? At Ford, I did a rotation in Advanced Product Marketing. As an engineer, I enjoyed getting to step out of my comfort zone while bringing a unique perspective and skillset to the team. The team I joined was faced with a challenge: the product, as currently planned, was not meeting customer needs. During my five month rotation, I created and led an initiative between my marketing team and several engineering teams that resulted in a new product solution that did meet customer needs. While the project itself was not extraordinary, it changed the mindset of several marketers and strategist on what was possible and resulted in a change to the corporate strategy. Unfortunately, since the product is still in development, I cannot disclose any more details.
Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor Christopher Adkins, my Foundations of Ethical Business Conduct professor. He did an incredible job of bringing in speakers to talk about ethical dilemmas they encountered and he didn’t simply preach what is right or wrong. Instead, he emphasized that every situation is different and gave us the tools to navigate ethical dilemmas and the ability to reflect on past experiences. He is truly interested in learning about his students and he respected the opinions of everyone in the room. From my experience, ethics can be a difficult class to teach and Prof. Adkins made it an open, welcoming, and enjoyable experience.
What was your favorite MBA Course Lessons from Turnaround Situations. The biggest insight I gained is that it’s very easy to get bogged down by the day-to-day details in a business, but to survive and recognize potential crises early, you have to regularly step back, look at metrics, and think about all aspects of a business at a high level.
Why did you choose this business school? I chose Notre Dame for many reasons, two primary reasons being Notre Dame’s emphasis on ethics, including Ask More of Business, and the collaborative nature among the students. Because of these two aspects, I have been surrounded with classmates who, like me, believe business can and should be a driving force for good, and if we work together the unimaginable can be possible. An environment that I love.
What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Be yourself and take time in your Powerpoint to highlight what makes you unique beyond business.
What is the biggest myth about your school? That Notre Dame is in the middle of nowhere.
Traveling to and from Notre Dame isn’t necessarily the easiest, but the local area is striving to become one of the next hot cities and Notre Dame is helping fuel that through supporting innovation and start-ups in the community. The neighboring city of South Bend’s Mayor, Pete Buttigieg, has been taking steps toward transforming the city into a smart city. It is the home of a smart sewage system and has additional projects planned. MBA students who join the Notre Dame community can be a part of the transformation while enjoying local restaurants, breweries, and vineyards.
What was your biggest regret in business school? Not socializing enough with my classmates outside of school, but I am working on changing that with my last few months.
Which MBA classmate do you most admire? In all honesty, I admire every one of my classmates for different reasons. Each person has had their own journey, overcame their own challenges, and has a bright future in front of them. I admire everyone’s passion to do good in this world and continue to grow.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My father is an entrepreneur and my mother used to manage clinics. My parents influenced my decision to pursue business after engineering because business is how the world communicates.
“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…an engineer.”
If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? I would find a way to get more MBA students connected with local businesses in the community in hopes of retaining more talent locally.
What are the top two items on your bucket list? Go backpacking in Patagonia and start a business that has a positive impact on the community and the environment
In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I would like to be remembered as loving adventures, challenges, giving back, and helping others.
What is your favorite movie about business? So Right So Smart. The biggest lesson I gained is when an adaptable leader embraces the triple bottom line and makes it part of the purpose for a company to exist a huge positive impact on society and the environment can be achieved.
What would your theme song be? “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield
Favorite vacation spot: Anywhere I’m surrounded by nature and away from a city
Hobbies? Yoga, running, outdoor sports, reading, and photography
What made Sara such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?
“Having taught business students for almost twenty years, I have had the honor to teach – and learn from – many talented, ambitious, and generous students. Sarah, however, is quite remarkable because she combines the scientific mind of the engineer with the social intelligence of empathic leader. In each class, she came prepared with penetrating questions, seeking to go beyond a surface understanding of the ideas. This curiosity extended beyond the class discussions as she reached out to visiting business leaders to learn about their experiences as a leader.
Sarah’s sharp intellect is accompanied by deep concern for those around her. As someone who specializes on the role of empathy in business, Sarah stands out as one of the most empathic students I have ever taught. In our class discussions, she demonstrated a deep, authentic, and respectful curiosity in seeking to understand the perspective of her fellow students. In seeing Sarah’s involvement in the Mendoza community and with our business leaders, Sarah has the rare ability to signal that she cares not just about what you are saying but about how you are, and as a result, she quickly builds trust with others.
Lastly, Sarah is a humble leader who seeks to build community, and lift up those around her. In such a short time, she has had a powerful and positive impact on the Mendoza community. She also is committed to finding ways that business can be a force for good through ethical leadership and sustainability.
I personally have learned so much from Sarah, and we are so fortunate for the impact she has had on our Notre Dame community. She is truly one of our best and brightest.”
Rex and Alice Martin Director of the Notre Dame Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership
Associate Teaching Professor
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