Sarah Kretz- Harvard Business School
Bio: My name is Sarah Kretz. I was raised in Amityville, a small town on Long Island, New York. I went to Cornell University where I was an economics major and after college worked for 4 years at Bloomberg LP in the Financial Market Products division. I was a manager of a customer service team and briefly a salesperson covering buyside financial institutions in Canada. After 4 years at Bloomberg, I went to Harvard Business School. After graduation, I began work as a Consultant at Bain and Company in New York City.
Describe a typical day as a MBA student: Wake up around 7, finish reading cases, head to discussion group to meet with 5 other students to talk about the upcoming day’s cases. Begin class around 9am. After two classes, have a lunch break and then either have 1 more class in the afternoon or spend it focusing on recruiting activities, working out, or working on extracurricular activities!
Where did you work before enrolling in business school? I worked at Bloomberg LP in the Financial Market Products division. When I first started I was a Fixed Income Specialist focusing on helping Bloomberg’s clients with the financial market data and analytics software. Then, I managed a team of about 15 of these representatives for two years. During my last year, I was a Salesperson covering buyside financial market institutions in Western Canada.
Why did you choose this business school? I chose Harvard Business School because of its reputation amongst employers worldwide, the quality of the students I would find there, the focus on general management education, and the case method approach to instruction.
What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? Spend time on your resume – the resume you submit to business school should feel different than that which you use for a job application. It should focus on your achievements relative to your peers rather than the specific skills and expertise you have developed. Similarly, spend time on your essay and ensure it tells a story that isn’t articulated elsewhere within your application. It should provide insight into what you were thinking and feeling through whatever experiences you are talking about.
What is/was the most enjoyable part about business school? Making friends with some of the most incredible, interesting, supportive and fun friends you can find anywhere. The people are Harvard Business School are each truly exceptional, and you’ll have so many opportunities to connect with them and learn what makes them tick.
What is/was the hardest part of business school? Prioritizing activities, recruiting, and schoolwork particularly during the first year. The first year is extraordinarily busy. Everything runs smoothly but no one part is particularly difficult other than the need to manage competing priorities. I would encourage incoming students to think critically before they arrive what their biggest priorities are for their very quick two years. Writing them down and referring to them over time will help you keep focused on what is most important to you.
Where will you be working after graduation? Bain and Company’s New York City office
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career or at your school? I’m most proud of the career progress and successes of the people I managed while I was at Bloomberg LP. Seeing those individuals achieve and contribute in increasingly impactful ways is particularly gratifying.
Favorite MBA Courses? The Entrepreneurial Manager during the first year and the Role of Government in Market Economies during the second year. The entrepreneurship course in the first year was really interesting because I hadn’t had much exposure to the start-up world prior to business school and learned a lot quickly about what things to think about during the launch of a business. The Role of Government is a really interesting course, particularly during an election year, about the government’s role in regulating markets. The debates were very thorough and relevant.
Fun fact about yourself: A few weeks ago during my last business school vacation, I climbed a volcano – the highest peak in Indonesia!