Sara Weber- Harvard Business School
Describe a typical day as a MBA student
There is no such thing as a typical day as an MBA student. I had a lot of freedom over my schedule and very little routine, particularly in the second year. After several hours of class, I might go for a run around the Charles River, grab coffee with a classmate, watch a CEO speaker series, join a small group dinner, and do some reading before bed.
Where did you work before enrolling in business school?
I started my career at Cisco Systems, based in San Jose, California. First, I was on the marketing communications team for the services business where I designed and led a social media program. Next, I joined the alliance management team and evaluated potential new partnerships in software and services.
Why did you choose this business school?
During the application and interview process, I felt that Harvard’s program was the best fit for me for several reasons. Most importantly, I found the case method of teaching uniquely attractive at Harvard Business School. The case method turns class into an interactive experience in which students learn from their peers in addition to professors. Other factors that swayed my decision included the students, faculty, and staff I interacted with during the process and the tight-knit campus environment.
What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school?
Don’t stress out! Relax and be yourself in the application and interview. Business school attracts people from all different backgrounds, and diversity is truly valued here.
What is/was the most enjoyable part about business school?
The most enjoyable part of school for me was meeting new people. I came from the technology industry, and it was incredibly rewarding to build relationships with fellow students who have worked in all different areas including mining, the military, entertainment, healthcare, and even the retail sock buying business.
What is/was the hardest part of business school?
Prioritization was the hardest part of business school. There are always so many exciting things happening at once, and it’s impossible to do everything. Making the best choices about how to use your time is very personal and different for everyone. I tried to balance exploration with focus.
Where will you be working after graduation?
I will be working at a startup called Nix. We are developing wearable hydration sensors for athletes, soldiers, and laborers to enable them to maintain optimal hydration, which is important for both safety and performance. I will be doing business development around other use cases for Nix’s biometric sensor technology.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career or at your school?
This is a tricky question! I’m proud of lots of things, but if I have to choose one, it would be the impact I have had on others. I feel very grateful for all the mentors who have provided direction to me during my career, and I am most proud of the times I have been able to give back and provide guidance to others.
Favorite MBA Courses?
My favorite classes were Business, Government, and the International Economy (BGIE), Financial Management of Smaller Firms (FMSF) and Authentic Leadership Development (ALD). In BGIE, I learned so much about the world. In FMSF, we learned about search funds and had incredible entrepreneurs as guest speakers. In ALD, which I refer to as “feelings class,” I learned to better understand both others and myself.
Fun fact about yourself:
I have a pen-pal, and we have been sending each other handwritten letters for 18 years. Her name is Jessica, and she just graduated from veterinary school.