Program Manager, ANA Educational Foundation
Member Of: Wilson Fund Internship Appropriations Committee, Graduate Assistant, Lubin Media and Entertainment Association
Meet Sarah Ackerman ’21, an entrepreneurial graduate student whose degree concentrations are in Business and Marketing Management. She is able to pursue both concentrations through Lubin’s new 39-credit MBA program. Sarah decided to attend business school when she started dedicating her time to working for a cause near and dear to her heart: food allergy education and awareness. Her resources blog, “Girl Behind the Hive,” landed her a video appearance with Allure magazine that now has over 400,000 views! We talked to Sarah about the journey that brought her to Lubin and her future goals.
You earned your BA in psychology and theater arts. Why did you decide to enroll in business school and why did you choose Pace University for your MBA?
I grew up acting professionally in New York, which is what led me to major in theater arts during my time as an undergraduate. It wasn’t until after graduating that I started to think about pursuing one of my other passions: food allergy education and awareness. After interacting with a number of food allergy families around the country, I realized that is where my true passion lies. Enrolling in an MBA program seemed to be the logical next step as I started to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors. The Lubin School of Business offers everything that I was looking for in a program. I wanted to attend a school in the heart of New York that could provide me with networking opportunities and individualized attention. The small class sizes in the graduate program allow MBA students to forge meaningful relationships with professors. I realized that Pace checked every box in what I wanted from a university so it stood out, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision!
As I explore my future options surrounding my entrepreneurial endeavors, I have found the faculty at Pace to be both receptive and helpful. I have had long conversations with different Deans, Professors, and Career Services Counselors. Each one has taken the time to meet with me to discuss different paths, resources, and potential networking opportunities to help me fulfill my goals.
Tell us a about your experiences at Lubin; what resources have you been taking advantage of?
I am honored to have received a graduate assistantship this semester. I have been working with Dean Eisner, helping him prepare his work for publication. I also served on the Wilson Fund Internships Appropriations Committee, where I reviewed and helped to select host organizations (Pace students have the opportunity to participate in paid internship programs). I found this experience extremely rewarding, as I learned about non-profit organizations throughout the five boroughs that are doing incredibly meaningful work to give back to the community. I also started the Lubin Media and Entertainment Association, but it is currently on hold since campus is closed! As I explore my future options surrounding my entrepreneurial endeavors, I have found the faculty at Pace to be both receptive and helpful. I have had long conversations with different Deans, Professors, and Career Services Counselors. Each one has taken the time to meet with me to discuss different paths, resources, and potential networking opportunities to help me fulfill my goals.
We just launched our new 39-credit MBA program that you were able to transfer into recently. What does this transition mean to you?
The new 39-credit MBA program has allowed me to pursue concentrations in Business and Marketing, and complete my respective programs in two years! Switching into this new program enables me to maintain the traditional two-year timeline of an MBA, even though I did not major in business in my undergraduate studies. I am thrilled by this opportunity and the classes that are being offered in this program. The flexibility of being able to choose from a multitude of concentration courses allows for an extreme personalization of my MBA track. I am able to enroll in classes that specifically align with my future plans, and as an added benefit, I can pick the brains of the amazing professors teaching these courses!
Tell us about the idea behind “Girl Behind the Hive” and your future goals for this initiative.
After meeting a number of food allergy families struggling to adapt to their restrictions, I was inspired to start something. I started “Girl Behind the Hive” a little over a year ago as a blog resource for parents, caregivers, teens, and anyone dealing with food allergies on a daily basis. Since then, the venture has grown exponentially. In the past year, I have been named one of the “Top 100 Women in Food Allergies”; I have participated in panels and corporate focus groups; I have partnered with national organizations: FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) and EAT (End Allergies Together): and I worked with Allure magazine to propel food allergy awareness and understanding. I found that parents of food allergic children yearn for more information and a “growing up with allergies” resource in the mainstream world. And this is a big population, since one in thirteen children in each classroom has a food allergy. Adults with food allergies continue to navigate uncharted territory as the first generation blindly managing their day-to-day challenges. Ultimately, I would like to reach a broader audience and continue to be the voice to help those with allergies navigate their daily obstacles. I hope to share my passion and energy for normalizing life with food allergies through showing how I have adapted and maintained a positive attitude!
What does #LubinLife mean to you?
To me, #LubinLife means being ready to absorb everything. I remember being overwhelmed by the opportunities presented at graduate orientation. One after another different department Chairs and Deans stated how their doors were always open and that they love to meet with students. I am SO glad I believed them. I have met with numerous faculty members and students already, and have learned so much by listening to other perspectives and ideas. Taking advantage of every opportunity is important in order to make the most of your time at Lubin!