Sarah (Pluff) Barwinski
“An introvert who cares deeply about others and enjoys a good laugh above all else.”
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri (Waterloo, Illinois)
Fun Fact About Yourself: I can recite the alphabet backwards.
Undergraduate School and Major: TCU Neeley School of Business, BBA in Entrepreneurial Management
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: ISN, Account Representative (Beverages & Agriculture)
Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of TCU Neeley’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? TCU Neeley’s intentionality is largely why I chose to return for my MBA. It is evident throughout the entirety of the programming that the student has been considered holistically, taking into account the details and minutia that ultimately compound to create the incredible experience that is earning a degree from TCU Neeley. While the education we are receiving in the classroom is of the highest quality, the softer skills that TCU Neeley is helping us hone may be even more valuable.
TCU and the global network of alumni played a significant part in my decision to stay in the Dallas-Fort Worth area following graduation. The Neeley School (and TCU as a whole) does an incredible job of connecting students and alumni with the larger TCU network, and everyone I’ve encountered to date has been eager to help. Whether that be making an introduction to other industry professionals, sharing advice on career development, or simply chatting with a current student on what they think they want to do next, the TCU alumni network is a force to be reckoned with.
What course, club or activity excites you the most at TCU Neeley? To date, what has been most exciting was the opportunity to present to executives at Dell Technologies in a case competition during our first week of the program. The case was created specifically for our class and culminated in a trip to Austin, where we toured several other companies in addition to a day at the Dell campus.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Pivoting from the land acquisition department of an oil and gas company to a successful stint in technology (software as a service) in an account management and sales role.
What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? “Option B” by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. As current MBA students and future business leaders, the practice of resiliency and our ability to adapt will be essential. This book shares insight into how resiliency can be practiced to strengthen that skillset, both for our professional development as well as applicably for our personal lives as well.
What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into TCU Neeley’s MBA program? Throughout the application process, share what about your experience makes you uniquely positioned to add value to your future cohort’s experience. This could be in relation to your cultural background, professional experience in a particular industry, your interests and passions, or a specific life experience that has had a major impact on your trajectory to date. One of the most valuable traits of the TCU MBA Class of 2024 is the vast differences in our lived experiences, and that has been made evident time and time again in both our class discussions, as well as our interactions outside of the classroom. Our class represents a group of individuals with largely different backgrounds, brought together by TCU and given the opportunity to learn from one another throughout our time together (and beyond).