Sara DeverFull-Time Social Impact MBA Senior Brand Manager, Wholesome and Whole Earth Brands
“This school really pushes the limit and looks to the ways business will be in the future, not just how it’s been in the past.”
Majoring in English at the University of Georgia with a concentration in creative writing gave Sara a unique perspective and valuable skill set to succeed in business school—the ability to tell stories. “I’m really passionate about being able to analyze and connect the dots for other people through my writing,” she says, “which led me to ultimately pursue a job in public relations for five years before coming to Questrom.”
“I hoped to answer the question of how for-profit companies can be more socially responsible and sustainable, and I found that the Social Impact MBA at Questrom was already trying to answer this question. Questrom is aiming to prepare those of us working in the for-profit world to think about the potential for socially responsible success in a whole new light.”
Sara says the energy at Questrom is what sold her. “I just got that energy, that feeling, when I was meeting professors and students—this school really pushes the limit and looks to the ways business will be in the future, not just how it’s been in the past.” During her time here, she’s had professors and classes she loves, especially her Marketing Management class with Professor Frédéric Brunel. “Since I came from a public relations background, I knew, in theory, the qualitative concepts of marketing, but I’d never really done anything related to the quantitative side. I’ll be honest, the numbers scared me, but Professor Brunel pushed us to learn how to use numbers in our favor; it was truly an eye-opening experience.”
Outside of the classroom, Sara was the president of Questrom’s Internship Fund—a fund for students pursuing social impact internships, run by first- and second-year MBA students. “It really allows people to be able to consider unpaid or underpaid social impact internships. The financial barriers of business school can be a lot, so having a fund like this will hopefully encourage students to pursue work they’re really passionate about, regardless of pay,” she says. “It speaks a lot to what kind of community Questrom is; while there were 15 recipients last year, 100% of the first-year class gave. That is demonstrative of how supportive we are of each other. We believe in our classmates, and we want to support each other’s passions and individual career journeys.”
When it comes to return on investment, Sara is walking away from Questrom with much more than a degree. In fact, after graduation, she landed a job as a brand manager with Charlotte’s Web, a family-owned company specializing in whole-plant hemp health supplements. Today, she's Senior Brand Manager at Wholesome and Whole Earth Brands.
“This program taught me things I didn’t know I needed to know,” she says. “I’ve been allowed to chart my own path and discover things I’m passionate about. Ultimately, though, I’ve found the community to be one of the things I valued most. Having this support system is critical—this is a very pivotal time of your life when you’re pursuing your business degree—so I love getting to be with like-minded students who all want to make a difference.”