Meet Chicago Booth’s MBA Class Of 2021

Sarah Presant

University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

An extraverted, passionate, creative amphibian who loves eating and wants to solve climate change.”

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I know what it feels like to be a fish out of water; in high school, I participated in America’s Junior Miss, San Diego competition, and performed a water polo rap in a bathing suit and cap to an audience of strangers where my jokes failed to land.

Undergraduate School and Major: Brown University, Environmental Studies

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Google, Program Manager for Search Ads

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment is having the courage to create my own role at Google and asking for support from peers, mentors, managers, and VPs to make this a reality.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? A diverse, ambitious, intellectual, curious bunch who are not afraid to question and challenge the conventional.

What makes Chicago such a great place to earn an MBA degree? It’s a foodie town that happens to be colder than anywhere I’ve ever lived- of course, I love a good challenge!

Aside from your classmates, what was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? Flexibility to define my own MBA journey. There’s no cookie-cutter approach at Booth- it’s a place where students can “find their own adventure”.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? Random Walks – I love to travel and I’m excited to explore a foreign country with peers before school starts.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I am potentially a bit different from other people. I love my current job and team, but I knew I was missing the skills I needed to succeed and pursue my passion for sustainable business; I knew an MBA from Booth would provide me with a great platform to build quantitative skills to make the pivot.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I applied to eight other programs: MIT, Northwestern, UC Berkeley, Stanford, UCLA, Dartmouth, Harvard, and Duke.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? After numerous chats with alumni, co-workers, and current students from the various schools I applied to, I realized that I wanted my MBA experience to really push me outside of my comfort zone in every dimension (location & weather, academics, socially, etc). I wanted to maximize my growth and go somewhere I hadn’t lived before so I could meet people who were completely different from me. I wanted to be somewhere that would push me out of my comfort zone where people may not see eye-to-eye with me about the impacts of climate change etc.; Booth is well known for being data-driven, which has applications across every field today; I feel fortunate to have learned to leverage soft skills at work, but I’m looking to refine my leadership skills, to challenge myself to think more analytically so I can not only learn to understand the language of business, but also how to speak it and build teams that can tackle one of the biggest challenges of our generation.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? I see myself using technology to solve climate change.

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