Finance Major in the Five-Year M.B.A. Program
“Make hay while the sun shines” is an old saying that suggests we make the most of every opportunity that comes our way. The sun clearly shines brightly on senior Sarah Cullivan as she takes advantage of every opportunity to come her way at St. John’s University.
“St. John’s has provided me with an abundance of opportunities,” explained the finance major, who is in her fourth year of the University’s five-year M.B.A. program. “I explored my home city through class trips; traveled through Rome, Italy; and have had unique opportunities to develop myself in the world of business.”
Like many Queens, NY, residents, Sarah was quite familiar with the University long before her initial days as a student. “I attended various camps and sporting events at St. John’s throughout my childhood,” the native of nearby Glendale recalled. “After touring campus not once but twice, I began to realize all the University had to offer, and I recognized that I didn’t need to travel to a different state. St. John’s had everything I was looking for in a school and more.”
Now, as a Student Ambassador, Sarah leads tours around campus for curious future students and their families.
“I often refer to St. John’s as a ‘hidden gem in Queens,’ because there aren’t many schools so close to the city that provide the feeling of both city and campus life,” she explained.
“The exposure to people of all walks of life, opportunities to get involved with the surrounding community, and Manhattan as the campus’s backyard have affirmed my reasons for deciding to come to St. John’s.”
Like many first-year students, Sarah enrolled at St. John’s without choosing a major, opting instead to explore the University’s various programs. At the end of her first year, she declared finance as her major. “I realized that there is no better place than New York City for my major.”
As a junior, Sarah was accepted into the University’s Global Loan Opportunities for Budding Entrepreneurs (GLOBE) microloan program, which provides monetary loans to entrepreneurs in developing parts of the world. The program is managed entirely by students under the guidance of Linda Sama, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Global Initiatives and Joseph F. Adams Professor of Management, The Peter J. Tobin College of Business.
“Dr. Sama challenged me to think critically,” she explained. “I learned that those living in poverty are actually intensive money managers—not people who live ‘hand to mouth.’”
Throughout the semester, she was able to grasp the positive effects of microfinance and the importance of structuring these institutions around the needs of the borrowers. “Our loans provide borrowers with not only monetary support but emotional, by empowering them to believe in themselves,” she recalled. “My time at GLOBE not only benefitted me academically but allowed me to grow as an individual, as well.”
A proud Irish-American, Sarah serves as President of the St. John’s University Irish Society. “The Irish Society is a way for me to connect with my Irish heritage while sharing experiences with others who are also interested in learning about Irish traditions,” Sarah explained.
Sarah’s love of her Irish heritage led her to apply for an internship with Irish Legal 100—a publication of The Irish Voice—where she worked as a Database Management and Marketing Research Intern.
“During my time as an intern, I assisted in the planning, promoting, and executing of high-profile events,” she said. “The highlight of my time there was witnessing my work come to life as I attended the Irish Legal 100 reception in Washington, DC, at the residence of Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States. There, I had the opportunity to speak with the attendees, who included US Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett.”
For her long list of accomplishments and leadership skills, she was recently included in The Irish Echo’s “Irish 40 Under 40” list.
A member of the President’s Society, the University’s highest honor for students, Sarah is also a Discover New York Peer Leader and member of the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society.
Sarah recently completed the second of two internships with the New York Mets. Her experience with the team shows the rewards of persistence. Originally hired as an intern for the spring of 2020, her plans were dashed when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down most professional sports for several months.
“I stayed in touch with the team, and over the summer of 2021, I participated in a virtual networking internship,” she said. “Toward its conclusion, I learned that their finance department was looking for an intern to help them complete the 2022 budget process. I applied and was offered the position.”
Initially remote, the internship transitioned to an on-site role, much to her delight. “Let me tell you, the view of the field from the offices inside the ballpark never gets old!”
In May, Sarah will complete her bachelor’s degree in finance and is scheduled to earn her M.B.A. at St. John’s in the spring of 2023.
“I haven’t quite determined what my next steps will be postgraduate school,” she offered, “but the endless opportunities I enjoyed at St. John’s have opened my eyes to a world of possibilities.”