Sarah Renwick Long: 2016 Best and Brightest

Sarah Long Georgetown

Sarah Renwick Long 

Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business

Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina 

High School: Groton School, Groton, MA

Major: Operations & Information Management (OPIM)

Minor: Theology

Favorite Business Courses: Developing and Managing Databases, Decision Support Systems, The Miracle of Markets, Business Forecasting, and International Finance and Strategic Management (Taken at Trinity College, Oxford, during study abroad)

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

John Carroll Fellow, 2013–2016

Flagship program selecting the most academically talented and ambitious Georgetown undergraduates (1-2%); seven semester program focused on leadership and research.

President, Carroll Fellows Leadership Council, 2014–2016.  Founder and Co-President, 2014–2015

Lead group responsible for all student-to-student aspects of programManage directory and LinkedIn group; host alumni events; representative to Regents meetings; currently launching network.

President, OPIM Majors Board, 2014–2016. Co-President, 2014–2015

Host multiple events to foster upperclassmen-underclassmen relationships within the OPIM major.  Lead corporate networking events and service projects.

First-Year Seminar Case Competition Coach, 2015. Finalist, 2012 First-Year Seminar Case Competition

Winner, National Huguenot Society Merit Scholarship, 2015

$5,000 prize awarded to one student in national pool..

Romanelli Prize, 2014

Awarded to two sophomores who best fulfill the ideals of the Carroll program.

First place, Hilltop Consultants Case Competition, 2013

Compass Fellow:

One of 15 freshmen selected for intensive entrepreneurship program, 2012–2013.

Where have you interned during your college career?

Financial Services Consulting Intern, PricewaterhouseCoopers, New York, NY, Summer 2015

Developed template for project management dashboard for major fixed-income asset management client;  worked with team to create centralized view of client’s IT initiatives and identify key risk areas; analyzed Insurance Advisory Practice at partner level to assess profitability and staff utilization; distilled survey results analyzing regulatory compliance issues impacting global insurance clients.

Analytics Intern, Quaero, Charlotte, NC,  Summer 2014

Ref-factored code in Quaero’s Database Management Platform from SAS SQL into Python on PANDAS; employed Python to augment read-and-write capability among all database servers in Quaero’s system.

Web Analytics Intern, Georgetown Univ. McDonough School of Business MBA Admissions, Fall 2013

Used Google Analytics to identify most engaging content for website; 2014 site redesign reflected this work.

Analytics Intern and Spanish Translator, Charlotte Community Health Clinic, Summers 2011–2013

Performed analysis demonstrating clinic’s effectiveness in reducing overall healthcare costs by preventing unnecessary Emergency Room visits; presented findings to Board who used results in grant requests (2013); Checked in patients; collected and filed co-pays; scheduled follow-ups in English and Spanish (2011–2012).

Describe your dream job: I aspire to solve the world’s biggest problems by using big data to derive insights and create workable, long-lasting solutions.

What did you enjoy most about majoring in a business-related field? Everything I’ve learned is applicable to opportunities I see in the real world. I never struggle with the question, “So what are you going to do with that?” My program allows me to really understand and appreciate different career paths.  I have truly enjoyed being able to use skills acquired through my studies to address challenges in internships. Applying these tangible capabilities, including my data analysis, modeling, and synthesis skills, has also helped me to drive transformative change in extra-curricular and non-profit situations.

Where would you like to work after graduation? Currently, I have offers from Oliver Wyman, A.T. Kearney, PwC and Strategy&, all to work as a management consultant in New York City. After consulting, I would really like to do business development work at Palantir.

What are your long-term professional goals? In the short term, I will use my degree to secure employment in management consulting, focusing on technology. In the long term, I aspire to solve the problems that most people believe cannot be solved.  For example, when I study supply chain management, I envision breaking the supply chain of human trafficking.  When I study geo-mapping, I imagine tracking and targeting strikes on ISIS.  Ultimately, I believe my academic and career pursuits provide me with useful tools to facilitate profound social change.

 “I knew I wanted to major in business when… I examined what I had gravitated towards in high school, both academically and in extracurricular activities and leadership.  Specifically, as the leader of my high school’s community service group, I increased service participation 40% in one year using fledgling business knowledge.  Using A.P. Statistics tools on a data set of service participation, I identified trends and distilled key themes which guided my reorganization of the group’s activities, better linking students’ desire to volunteer with practical service options.  I restructured board duties by creating accountability and delegating leadership of different projects, using classic management techniques to empower leaders to take ownership. As a result, volunteer participation increased so substantially that it created a need for new service opportunities.  Meanwhile, community service fundraising helped me to discover fundamental economic concepts. For example, before formally learning terms like “elasticity of demand,” I noticed that selling donuts at a lower price caused an increase in volume so great that our overall profits increased. While I loved doing the actual community service work, I realized that I could do more good through data-driven decision-making and organizational leadership. I wanted to gain skills to strengthen those abilities and realized that a well-rounded business education would perfectly suit my interests and future goals.”

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be…minoring in business.  If I were at Georgetown, my second choice of major would be the School of Foreign Service’s Science, Technology, and International Affairs major.  Also, I would take more Spanish classes.”

What was the happiest moment of your life? I achieved Magna Cum Laude status at high school graduation while overcoming an incapacitating illness during my senior year. I contracted Anaplasmosis from a tick-borne bacterial parasite just before the academic year started. My illness was repeatedly incorrectly diagnosed, and I was sent home on indefinite medical leave, failing in my coursework in October. During that time away from school, we got an accurate diagnosis and began proper treatment.  It was a very long physical recovery. I returned, very weak, to school in November, but I did not complete my delinquent and re-done fall trimester work until the end of January, while I also applied to colleges and took my new winter trimester classes. Groton School had never had a senior fall so behind academically and still graduate with her class. I learned that overcoming seemingly insurmountable challenges involves breaking enormous tasks into manageable chunks, choosing to put one foot in front of the other to address those tasks every day, and acknowledging with gratitude assistance and encouragement from both dependable and serendipitous sources. Every time I look at my diploma, with its Magna Cum Laude designation, I am reminded that almost nothing is impossible.

Which academic or personal achievement are you most proud of? In May, 2014, my peers awarded me the Romanelli Prize, given to the top two sophomore Carroll Fellows.  The Carroll Fellows Initiative (CFI), named for John Carroll, Georgetown’s founder, is Georgetown’s flagship program for its most academically talented and ambitious undergraduates, accepting 1-2% of each class. CFI functions as the honors program for Georgetown students; the school bestows special recognition upon Carroll Fellows at graduation. The program is designed to groom students for the Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, and Fulbright fellowships and to train a class of distinctive leaders. Carroll Fellows are known as “thinkers who do,” committed daily to embracing the Carroll mantra, Mentis Vita Pro Vita Mundi: “The life of the mind for the life of the world.” This motto has become central to my mission in college.

As one of only a few business majors selected as a Carroll Fellow, I have brought a uniquely additive perspective to CFI.  One of the ways in which I give back to the program is by using my leadership and organizational skills to enable Fellows to fully enjoy the benefits of belonging to such a unique group, including encouraging them to share the leadership skills learned in the program with other campus groups in which they participate. Within the CFI, I started a leadership board affectionately termed The Magis, “Something greater.”  Embracing the momentum of The Magis, the Carroll faculty advisors turned all student-to-student aspects of the program over to my team. I created an electronic and printed directory, started a student-alumni network, and hosted multiple alumni events. The faculty heads of the program have chosen me to represent the CFI at the annual dinner for Georgetown trustees.

What animal would you choose to represent your professional brand? A butterfly, because it symbolizes great potential and the belief in the possibility of tremendous transformation.  I am fond of a Russian saying, “Butterflies are God’s proof that we can have a second life.”

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My parents, who believe in me and consistently encourage me to stretch myself beyond my comfort zone.  I am very grateful to Dr. Patricia Grant (Associate Dean), my academic advisor who mentors me regarding how I might best learn at Georgetown and also further develop and use my interests and skills to give back to the university community.  I also appreciate Dr. John Glavin, faculty head of the Carroll Fellows Initiative, for requiring me to honestly assess and justify why choose to I do what I do, both academically and in extr-curricular activities, and for pushing me to further develop leadership and organizational skills.

Fun fact about yourself: I was born on April Fools’ Day, which is becoming more funny every year. 

Favorite book: The Winds of War by Herman Wouk

Favorite movie: Joss Wheedon’s production of Much Ado About Nothing: A black-and-white film with modern-day clothing and set design but original Shakespearean dialogue.

Favorite musical performer: U2

Favorite vacation spot: North Carolina mountains

What are your hobbies? Spanish, Krav Maga martial arts, cooking, poetry, swing dancing

What made Sarah such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2016?

“Sarah Long is the quintessential student. She is an ambitious, involved, and dedicated student leader. As the president of two major campus groups, a participant in more than one business-focused study abroad experience, and an undergraduate research fellow, Sarah has distinguished herself during her four years at Georgetown McDonough. Sarah will no doubt go on to excel in the workforce as a consultant with one of the top management firms.”

Patricia Grant
Associate Dean, Undergraduate Program
Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business