A Conversation with...
Sarah Koves, BS'06, MBA'09 (Florham)
What are your fondest memories of your student days?
I really enjoyed being able to walk around such a beautiful campus and interact with so many classmates and faculty on a daily basis. One of my best experiences during my undergraduate program was a study abroad in Costa Rica where we focused on sustainable tourism and agricultural industries that do business with companies like Whole Foods and Starbucks.
What was special about being a student at FDU?
FDU was a special place to be because you could make anything out of it that you wanted. As a freshman, I teamed up with a classmate to start a marketing club called "The Marketing Mix" as a platform for marketing students to reach out to the campus and local companies for experience, networking and learning. Our marketing professors and the school were very open and supportive. There were many other similar instances like this in my years at FDU. If you raised your hand to be a part of something, the sky was the limit. I have carried this spirit into my career and learned that you can be entrepreneurial even within a structured organization. It just takes identification of opportunities and drive.
What impresses you about the University today?
I am impressed that the University continually evolves the curriculum, technology, and approach over time to align with the needs of students, outside organizations, and alumni. It is noticeable every time I go back for an event or to speak with a class.
What’s the best part of your job?
The best part about being in a marketing career at Wyndham Worldwide, is that you can have many marketing roles within this large organization without ever leaving the company. We have three business units, many marketing functions and continue to grow in size and performance. I have had six job titles in nine years and am always learning. I also love the social aspect a large global company creates. I always have the opportunity to interact with and learn from many people from many walks of life.
What’s your philosophy on life?
Since I was a kid I always had this inner need to achieve and grow. That didn’t change as a college student or as a professional. However, it never came without hard work and focus. In school I often had to study much more often and much longer than my colleagues to get an A, but it was always possible that I could do it. I try to pass this along to students I meet. You can do anything you put your mind to and you can be anything you want to be, you just need drive and dedication.
In addition, relationships are so crucial to propelling your career and should never been taken for granted at any level. It was great relationships with professors and alumni that got me my first job, and it continues to be strong connections that help propel me in my career.
Lastly, what drives me the most, is the desire to have a fulfilling life. Part of that are the family and friends I love being around, my career, and the things I love to do and experience, like travel and golf.
Sarah Koves has served at Wyndham Worldwide for the past nine years, currently as director of Elite Level Programs for Wyndham Rewards. Prior to her role in loyalty marketing, she held various positions overseeing brand marketing for eight of Wyndham Worldwide's fifteen hotel brands.
About Sarah Koves, BS'09, MBA'09 (Florham)
Sarah previously worked for Kraft Foods in consumer promotions and, as an undergraduate, held an internship in brand marketing for Radio City Entertainment.
She says that her experiences at FDU "inspired me to work hard, learn to lead, be my best self, and, as a result, get the opportunity to help build iconic brands."