Recent Columbia Business School graduate, Sarah Brown, took a quick break from her busy life as a healthcare consultant for BCG to chat with us about her life since Princeton. Sarah tells us about running (and triathaloning!), exploring new cities (and returning to old ones!), and her Instagraming cat, Atticus! Thanks Sarah!
At Princeton, I split time between being an English major and being pre-med. This balance made for a well-rounded course load, and I’m grateful I was able to see two very different sides of Princeton academics.
I also split time between being a student and an athlete. After deciding not to run in college, I decided I missed racing too much and walked onto the cross country and track team during freshman year. This proved to be a challenging but wonderful adventure, and I made lasting friends among the runners.
I also dabbled in The Daily Prince and student government, and was (am) a proud member of Cap & Gown.
Talk about what you’ve been up to since Princeton. What are you currently working on? What has the path been like to get to where you are today? What’s next?
After considering medical school, I decided I was better suited for, and more interested in, the business side of healthcare. I worked for a healthcare investment bank in Boston for a year and then spent three years at a healthcare consulting company in Washington, DC.
In the fall of 2013, I moved to New York to attend Columbia Business School. I was swayed to Columbia in part because my brother decided to attend at the same time. We spent two years as classmates and roommates, and—yes, it gets weirder—both decided to work for Boston Consulting Group (BCG) after school. Robbie (Emory ’07) is based out of BCG’s Atlanta office, and I am back in Washington, DC.
I’m continuing to focus on healthcare clients, primarily pharmaceutical companies. Given BCG’s on-the-client-site model, this means a lot of time back in New Jersey. I’ve even been on a case in Princeton, bringing me full-circle back to runs on the tow path and muffins from Olives!
Who is a Princetonian who has helped you along the way? Can you talk a bit about how this person has been an influence on your life or career?
Looking back, there were countless faculty members, coaches, and friends who said or did something that impacted my time there and life afterwards. More than any one person, though, the Princeton name itself has been the best currency I carry. It seems that everywhere I go, I continue to connect with Princetonians and be helped by the school’s incredible reputation. I will forever be grateful to be a part of that community.
What about your life now would your Sophomore-year self be most surprised by?
Sophomore Sarah was mentally headed to medical school with the aim of being an orthopedic surgeon. While I still find the medical field fascinating, I’m grateful to the orthopedic surgeon I shadowed who encouraged me to also consider healthcare consulting. My close friend Amanda Smith (’09) and I made the decision to switch career paths around the same time, and I know we’re both glad we did.
I also had assumed I would end up back in Atlanta, where I’m from and where my family still lives. While I know my parents would love if I moved there (and Mom, yes, it still could happen), I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much DC now feels like home.
I think life-long-runner Sarah would also be surprised that I now spend as much time cycling and swimming as I do running. I’ve done a few marathons since college but prefer the balance of being a triathlete.
What’s your favorite thing about your life right now?
I have a wonderful home life with my boyfriend Bert and our cat Atticus (Follow on Instagram @Catticus_Brown). We spend the weekends taking long bike rides or road trips and relaxing with friends.
Is there anything else you’d like your classmates to know about you?
I’d encourage anyone who hasn’t to sign up for alumni interviews. I’ve done this since graduating and have found a lot of pleasure in helping others learn about Princeton.