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Sarah Deborah Austern

at SPS Sarah...

  • Took courses from SPS and the Business School
  • Studied retailing leadership and entertainment marketing
  • Learned negotiation skills at SPS
  • Got an internship with Warner Music
  • Created digital campaigns
  • Completed her Masters in Copenhagen and landed a job…

Your route to a Masters Degree took an off-ramp at Columbia. How did that come about?

I always knew that Columbia was a highly ranked university, so I was very interested in studying there. I enrolled in the business certification program in fall 2012. I could choose classes from both the business school and SPS. At the business school, I studied retailing leadership and entertainment, and at SPS I took introduction to negotiation. After my semester at Columbia, I landed an internship at Warner Music. Things grew from there.

The internship sounds exciting. Tell us about it.

I worked on their online marketing in a group called D2C (digital to consumer). We created campaigns for our artists, such as Bruno Mars’s Unorthodox Jukebox. We also worked with a lot of technical developers to drive the best fan experience. Thanks to the internship, I later got a full-time job at Warner Music Group in London.

How did that come about?

I wrote my thesis for Copenhagen Business School on Warner Music and the digital development in the music industry. While in New York, I was able to interview key people, including Warner’s CEO. Today, I’m a CRM manager here in London. It’s a lot of fun.

What role did Columbia SPS play in your success?

I think Columbia attracts the most talented people in the world. The faculty is outstanding. In my case, it led to building a great network and preparing me for real life business cases. Where I am today is solely because I was a student at Columbia.