When Sara Ganz MFA2017 completed her undergraduate degree in Economics and Psychology from Harvard College, she was looking to supplement her broader liberal arts experience with a specialised finance master’s programme. “My older brother earned a Masters in Management from London Business School in 2013. I was influenced by how stellar his time in London was, and how much he developed personally and professionally within the scope of his one-year programme.”
Keen to experience the same benefits, and enticed by the reputation of London Business School (LBS) as a global hub for innovation, Sara joined its inaugural Masters in Financial Analysis (MFA) programme. And whilst she was already firmly committed to LBS, the scholarship she was awarded on entry heightened her desire to give back to the School community. “Receiving the 50th Anniversary Merit Scholarship was an overwhelming and humbling experience. I’ll never forget receiving the call.”
Sara took her responsibilities as a scholar seriously. Passionate about interacting with the broader LBS community, she was involved in planning the annual TEDxLondonBusinessSchool conference, the Retail & Luxury Goods Club e-Commerce Conference, and an early careers conference exploring biases affecting women and diversity candidates in the workforce. “I also launched the LBS Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign to educate women (and men) about the benefits of early detection for those at risk of developing breast cancer,” says Sara.
A global traveller
Programme highlights were plentiful - exploring China with LBS friends was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. “We travelled to Hong Kong and Shanghai with fifty classmates on a Global Immersion Field Trip (GIFT), visiting international companies like Estée Lauder Companies and 21st Century Fox, as well as start-ups and other established corporations native to China,” Sara says. “I gained first-hand insights into Chinese business practices, negotiation strategies, and techniques to facilitate successful western corporate integration.”
Studying in a cohort representing so many different cultural, religious, political, and social backgrounds heightened Sara’s overall MFA experience. “It exposed me to new global perspectives - I learned so much from my classmates through one-on-one discussions about their backgrounds, belief systems, and thoughts on global phenomena. It’s provided an invaluable foundation for my career within a global company.”
That global career has taken Sara back to Estée Lauder Companies in NYC (where she previously interned) as a Senior Presidential Associate within their post-graduate rotation programme. “I now have a vast understanding of the intricacies of the financial industry, and a practical understanding of financial modelling. The MFA has given my career a jump start on the business side of the beauty industry.”