First-Person

Sara Nelson

Sara Nelson
MBA 10

Internship:
Marketing Intern
E&J Gallo Winery
Modesto, California

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The first thing Sara Nelson did when she learned she had been accepted at Haas was make a dinner reservation at Chez Panisse-the world-renowned restaurant founded by chef Alice Waters. Only then did she make her plane reservations to get here in time for orientation. Naturally, Nelson viewed the Bay Area as the perfect place to help her embrace her love of food and wine, as she moves her career away from technology and towards the culinary scene.

"One project that I worked on as part of the Global Social Venture Competition brought together two of my interests: food and marketing. Two teachers launched Operation C.H.E.F., a pilot cooking and nutrition education summer camp. Subsequently, I teamed up with a classmate, Dan Park, who had finance and consulting expertise, while I contributed marketing and sales experience. Together, we helped the founders create a business plan for future growth."

"I'm a huge believer in experiencing the world. That's why I spent two years in the Peace Corps. International experience is just as important in business. I went on the Japan Trek and participated in IBD. One of my International Business Development projects supported Elephant Pepper in Zambia, an organization that encourages farmers to plant chili peppers on the edges of their fields to reduce human/elephant conflict-apparently, elephants hate chili! My team developed an online marketing plan to sell their branded chili sauces to the US and European markets."

"Haas students have this wonderful optimism, a sense that all things are possible. The professors are genuinely interested in their students. All of them kept repeating that we were welcome to get in touch or visit their offices whenever we had a question or wanted advice - not just while we were in their class, but anytime, ever. And they totally came through."

"I hadn't fully realized how much the core curriculum built on itself until I took my Strategy final exam at the end of the spring semester. I found myself using so many of the theories and tools that I had learned in Microeconomics, Statistics, Finance, Marketing Strategy, and other classes. It all tied together."

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