Spotlight on…Zoe Sansted ’16

Zoe Sansted ’16 is pursuing a joint MD/MBA program at Columbia.  Read on to learn more about her experiences in both programs as well as her career goals, and don’t forget to take her recommendation and get your Follies tickets this week! zoes

Why did you decide to pursue a joint MD/MBA program?

I’ve always loved science and I became fascinated by the healthcare system in college. I want to be a physician and that is still my primary goal, but in medical school I also became frustrated by the systemic issues facing the healthcare industry. I found myself unable to help patients the way I wanted to given the current broken system. I realized that I want to make a broader impact than just treating one patient at a time. I hope to use my MD/MBA to make healthcare more efficient as well as more egalitarian.

What are the biggest differences between Medical School and Business School?

There are, of course, a LOT of differences: there’s no weekly happy hour in medical school and the work is a little bit more rigorous. But I think the biggest difference is that in medical school the gender ratio is 50:50. This creates a completely different dynamic and makes it feel like a much more equal environment for women. Before coming to business school I had never really worked in an environment that was dominated by men, and I had had many positive female mentors in medicine. Many of the women I’ve met at business school have spent their entire careers as a token woman or one of a small minority. I think we forget to take a step back and reflect on how much of an effect the gender ratio has on the CBS environment and the business world in general. I feel privileged to be going back to an industry where this is less of an issue, and I feel lucky to have been able to work with CWiB to try to increase the presence of women at CBS.

What has been your most memorable class or professor either in the Medical School or the Business School?

In medical school we have a class during first year called Tutorials where we work with patients for the first time. We interview them and practice the physical exam. And for most students it’s the first meaningful patient experience we’ve had, and the first time we’re really thinking like a doctor. I will never forget the patients I interacted with during that class.

How has CBS helped you advance your career goals (either in the medical or business field)?

Being in business school has completely changed my outlook on medicine and healthcare. Doctors see things in a very particular way, and if you never step outside the medical community you can forget how the rest of the world thinks. Simply interacting with people from so many industries and with so many perspectives will have a huge impact on my ability to do what I want to do. And I think I won’t even be able to appreciate how different my perspective has become until I start working in the hospital again.

What advice do you have for students looking to pursue MD/MBA programs?

Getting an MD is a huge time commitment and takes a tremendous amount of effort, so you should only start the process if you at least intend to become a doctor—it’s just not worth it otherwise! For medical students who are considering getting an MBA, I would say absolutely do it! I think we’ll need more people in the future who have both medical and business expertise. I would also say to consider the Master of Public Health degree, and specifically one with a Health Management track.

What has been your favorite CBS moment so far?

Going to Iceland with my cluster was really a highlight of CBS. Björg (CWiB’s VP of Careers) organized it and it was incredible!

What are you most looking forward to for the rest of the year?

Follies!!!!!! Tickets on sale this week! December 3rd . 

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Conference Inside Look: CBS Alumnae Speakers

Conference Week is here and we wanted to give you a preview of our speakers.  We are thrilled that two of our speakers, including our conference keynote, are CBS alumnae. Below are the bios of our conference keynote speaker, Rehana Farrell ’99, and the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award, Anne Neuberger ’05.  Purchase your tickets to our conference to hear these speakers on Friday!

Rehana Farrell ’99, Executive Director of Youth INC 3ec878a

Rehana assumed the role of Executive Director of Youth INC in January 2015. Rehana joined Youth INC from Cain Hoy Enterprises, a private equity firm in New York City, which she helped form as Chief Operating Officer. Cain Hoy was comprised of investment professionals from Guggenheim Partners where Rehana worked as Chief Administrative Officer for Guggenheim Investments since 2012. Prior to that, Rehana spent 8 years at Merrill Lynch where she held a variety of global financial and operating roles. Before joining Merrill Lynch, Rehana worked at Smith Barney in Strategy and Finance, as a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton and at Prudential Financial where she began her career in a management training program. Rehana holds an AB from Smith College and an MBA from Columbia University where she was President of Columbia Women in Business. She remains active with her alma maters and also works closely with numerous nonprofit organizations nationwide. She lives in Princeton, NJ with her two children, Gordon and Mari. Her passion for children and making the world a better place for them – one where the playing field is more level and opportunities are not dictated by the randomness of birth – is what led her to leave the for-profit world to run Youth INC, which she hopes and plans to do for a very long time.

Anne Neuberger ’05, Chief Risk Officer of the NSANeuberger1

Ms. Anne Neuberger serves as NSA’s first Chief Risk Officer and a member of NSA’s Senior Leadership Team. As Chief Risk Officer, she is responsible for creating and maturing a methodology and processes to assess risk across NSA’s mission, and implementing an enterprise risk management process.

Prior to her assignment as Chief Risk Officer, Anne served as the Director of NSA’s Commercial Solutions Center, responsible for NSA’s interface and partnerships with the private sector. Prior to that, she served as Special Assistant to the Director, NSA, for the Enduring Security Framework (ESF), building a deep and effective partnership between leading companies, the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, NIST and NSA, on initiatives across a broad set of technical and policy areas. In this capacity, Anne also led the Department of Defense’s Defense Industrial Base Pilot, defining the first policy and legal framework for government sharing of classified signatures and indicators with Internet Service Providers. Prior to ESF, Anne served on the U.S. Cyber Command Implementation Team which led the planning and standup of USCYBERCOM.

Prior to joining NSA, Anne served as the Navy’s Deputy Chief Management Officer and a Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Navy, with responsibility for guiding Navy enterprise IT programs.

Anne first joined government service in 2007 as a White House Fellow, working for Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. The nonpartisan White House Fellows Program was founded in 1964 and is one of America’s most prestigious programs for leadership and public service.

Prior to joining government service, Anne was Senior Vice President of Operations at American Stock Transfer & Trust Company (AST), where she was responsible for directing operations, including dividend distributions, and complex mergers, and acquisitions processing, for approximately 2,000 publicly traded companies.  Anne joined AST in 1994 as a software programmer, was promoted to the position of Chief Information Officer (CIO) in 2003 and Senior VP of Operations in 2005.  As CIO, she led a team that designed and implemented systems to automate the granting and exercising of stock options as well as online share purchases and sales.  As Senior VP of Operations, she managed the acquisition and integration of the corporate trust operations of Wachovia Bank, NA.

Anne earned a MBA, Beta Gamma Sigma and a Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University.  She graduated from Touro College, summa cum laude, where she was awarded the Hannah Lander Award for Academic Excellence and a Merit Scholarship.

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10 reasons you should attend the CWiB conference

#10 Boost your negotiation skills – In today’s business world, negotiating is more important than ever. The founders of “Ask For It” will teach you how in an interactive workshop

#9 Celebrate Columbia Business School’s Centennial Milestone – Hear from an exciting 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient: Ann Neuberger, the Chief Risk Officer at the NSA

#8 Great value for money – A ticket will get you full access to a full day of the conference and a gift bag packed with goodies from our generous sponsors! Discounted tickets are available for CWiB members, CBS students, CBS alumni, and prospective CBS students

#7 Engage in our first ever co-ed panel – Men and women leaders will discuss the importance of mentoring and investing in top talent, regardless of gender

#6 Network with our corporate sponsors – Representatives from our sponsors (including AMEX, Strategy&, Goldman Sachs, IBM, see full list of sponsors here) will be attending the conference and network with attendees during our 1-hour Speed Networking Workshop.

#5 Network with other attendees that are advocates for women in business! – Attendees come from diverse backgrounds and share a common goal – advancing women in the business world

#4 Get tips on living a “balanced” life – The CEO of Flywheel and founder of Rasa Living will be leading a conversation about the need for being physically, emotionally and mentally fit to be productive and present

#3 Learn how to build your personal brand – Panelists from LinkedIn, Sweetgreen, NBC Universal, and She’s the First will discuss the changing digital landscape and the importance of building a brand, both personally and professionally, including the use of social media tools

#2 Hone your leadership skills – Panelists at the “Adding Value at Any Level” panel will discuss the importance of being a leader and creating value no matter what level within the organization

#1 Spend a Friday engaging in thought provoking panels – Learn more about women who are leaving their marks around the world and participate in conversations that will motivate you to bring your best and balanced self to life! #whorunstheworld

The 2015 Annual CWiB conference will be held on Nov 6th at Le Parker Meridien (119 W 56th St). Check out our website to learn more and purchase tickets today! We look forward to seeing you there!

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Spotlight on…Ruth Zukerman, Co-Founder of Flywheel

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Earlier this week, we had a chance to speak to Flywheel co-founder Ruth Zukerman!  In this interview, Ruth Zukerman discussed the idea behind Flywheel, how she launched the brand, and what it’s like to be one of the leaders of the fitness industry.  Read on for the full story and come to our conference to see Ruth Zukerman speak at a fireside chat!

What sparked your passion for fitness/spinning?

When it comes to fitness, I believe the most important thing is finding a workout that you absolutely love.  As a former dancer, my fitness regimen was always taken care of, so when I gave it up (in my early 20s) I had to find something that didn’t feel like exercise  I stumbled upon a dance/aerobics class (in the early 80’s) that I really enjoyed and eventually was asked to teach at the studio. This was my first foray into group fitness.

My passion for indoor cycling began in 1997, when I first discovered it at my neighborhood gym. I became hooked immediately on its effects of building both physical and mental strength.  Once I started teaching and established a following, I knew I wanted to open a studio.  This dream became a reality when I launched my first boutique indoor cycling business in 2006.  I left in 2009 and shortly after, Flywheel debuted and revolutionized the concept of indoor cycling entirely.

How did you get the idea to launch Flywheel? What made you decide to expand to FlyBarre?

After teaching for several years, I was noticing that most riders were never clear as to where their resistance should be or how HARD they should be pushing themselves.  Because of this, I wasn’t seeing the results that I had expected from my riders.    I wanted to elevate and improve the overall experience so that riders could keep themselves accountable while receiving the best workout possible.  I joined forces with two incredible PARTNERS who shared my vision and together, we opened Flywheel, revolutionizing boutique indoor cycling.

In order to offer the most efficient and effective workout, we developed on-bike and in-studio technology, allowing riders to track their performance in real-time.  Additionally, we put a strong emphasis on hospitality to ensure that every rider and pulser who walks through our studio doors is always encouraged, never intimidated and most importantly, feels welcome.

Flywheel began with indoor cycling classes only.  Eventually we saw the need for an additional workout that would be a perfect complement to the high-intensity cycling classes, an opportunity to strengthen and stretch in ways that would be impossible to do on the bike.  FlyBarre works to quickly reshape the body, CREATING lean, strong, and elongated muscles. Many of our clients combine the workouts, which takes core-tightening and body-lengthening to new levels.

What was the biggest challenge you faced when launching Flywheel? FlyBarre?

Since I had already experienced success in the boutique fitness industry prior to Flywheel, I felt confident that I would succeed again, especially with the innovative ideas that my co-founders and I came up with.  But we knew it was going to be hard work.  My partners and I all had very different strengths and responsibilities – they had experience in finance, real estate and marketing, while I was focused on the creative side of the business. We had to remind one another to remain patient, trust our abilities and keep the faith…that success was just around the corner.  And it was.

What advice do you have for female entrepreneurs?

Always do your research, know your consumer, know your consumer’s needs, know your own strengths and just go for it!

I’m a firm believer in going with your gut. Generally, women have strong instincts but many of us unfortunately fall into a routine where we doubt ourselves, especially among peers and colleagues – we have to push past this.

I have two daughters who are in their early 20s.  I’m watching them now struggle to find their passion and I tell them to be truly open to trying different fields and networking with as many people as possible.  Yes, you will encounter trials and tribulations but they will shape you.  I think the key is to remind yourself (constantly) just how important it is to be patient and positive through it all.  Your 20s should be a learning curve where you take risks, make mistakes, fail and ultimately succeed!

What was the best part of co-founding Flywheel?

My partners and I had an extraordinary amount of motivation and belief in our product.  We had no fear of competition.  With Flywheel, I was getting a second chance and by aligning myself with supportive partners, I was able to build a strong brand and introduce people (and communities) to a form of exercise that our team was extremely passionate about.

We managed to create an authentic experience that is meant for everyone – making every rider feel not only included but important, no matter what they looked like or who they were.  At Flywheel, we pride ourselves on our inclusivity and tight knit community.  Watching riders bond with one another or helping better someone’s life (and hearing about it!) is as gratifying as it gets for me.

How would you describe the Flywheel brand? How has it evolved as the company has grown? 

Flywheel delivers an indoor cycling experience that is not only fun and empowering, but also provides real results.  Our instructors are highly trained to provide the best workout possible in just 45 minutes.  Music also plays an integral role, determining the pace, choreography and overall mood of every class.  Most importantly, Flywheel’s unique performance concept allows riders to set goals and achieve them.  The best part?  Riders don’t even realize how hard they are working because when those stadium lights go down, they are not only transported and challenged, but they are having fun!

In the last several years, we have grown tremendously and will continue to do so.  In this time, never once, have we had to compromise our core values and goals.  I would attribute this to our ability to continuously find employees that reflect our values.  We maintain a family feel and treat both our employees and riders with respect and appreciation.  While I am a co-founder, I remain an instructor at my core.  I initially found my passion for this business through teaching classes and empowering riders with positive thoughts and encouragement.  All of our instructors understand that when teaching, all of the attention is 100 percent on the riders…not themselves.  No matter how many sold out classes they teach, it’s still about each and every person riding in stadium.

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Join us at the 2015 CWiB Conference!

conference logo for facebookCWiB invites members of the CBS community to celebrate the 23rd Annual Columbia Women in Business Conference and the Centennial milestone of Columbia Business School with a day of inspiring speakers, awards and accolades, thought-provoking panels, and unparalleled networking opportunities. This year’s theme is Who Runs the World, and the day will be a celebration of how far women have come and a discovery of various paths to success from women who are leaving their mark around the world.

Featured speakers include:

Ruth Zukerman, Founder and CEO of Flywheel
Donna D’Cruz, Founder of Rasa Living
Anne Nueberger, Chief Risk Officer of the NSA

The event is taking place on November 6th from 9:30am – 5pm at Le Parker Meridien.

View agenda and register for the conference on our website:

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