MBA Student Interview: Sara Kazamias, '17

UNH Student Sara Kazamias

Tell us about your background.

In 2010, I received a BS in Marine Transportation from Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA), a regimented college specializing in training Merchant Marine officers. For six years I was employed by Military Sealift Command, advancing to the rank of Chief Mate, which is second in command of the vessel, as well as direct manager of 40 department personnel. Outside of my academic and professional life, I like hiking and biking and keeping myself busy.

Why Did You Decide to Get Your MBA?

During both my undergraduate career and my six years of professional life as an officer in the Merchant Marine, I’ve developed leadership and managerial skills in a unique, shipboard environment. Many of these skills are universal, but they all maintain a maritime focus. I decided to pursue an MBA so that I could refocus these skills to make me a more effective leader in a shore-side business position. The MBA just made sense to me: if you want to broaden your horizon and open yourself up to new opportunities, an MBA is the way to go. You can bring the subject matter anywhere, and make an immediate impact on any organization.

Why did you choose the University of New Hampshire?

UNH has a strong reputation of offering adaptable graduate business programs that help young leaders gain the confidence and knowledge required to be successful as business professionals. The faculty is incredible, too. I’m learning from the best.

Why did you choose the Full Time MBA program?

My greatest strength is one I have developed over time in various leadership positions: effectively managing projects by keeping the ultimate goal—the “big picture”—in focus while simultaneously maintaining stringent diligence to the process itself.  I approach all challenges, both in and out of work, in an efficient manner, and I enrolled in the One-Year MBA at UNH because the accelerated program allowed me to earn my degree in a relatively short period of time and then get right back into the workforce. Plus, I was at a point in my career where I could dedicate myself 100% to my education. I really see it as an investment: a year to focus on my future.

What do you hope to do with your MBA?

My long-term goal is to transfer my new business skills as well as my experience acquired at sea to a project management position. I’m particularly interested in Defense: Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, etc. The challenge of executing a plan, as well as the feeling of accomplishment when I complete a project with my team, is unmatched. I am confident the skills I’m acquiring in the MBA will help be a more effective leader after graduation.

Tell us about your experience in the program thus far?

The program has been outstanding. For me, working individually is much easier, but this cohort-based program forces you to come at your problems as a group so that you can learn from your peers, all of whom have multiple experiences, opinions, and work styles. Coming from a non-business background myself, the courses were very challenging—in a good way—but the faculty has done an exceptional job organizing and delivering the curriculum. I’ve learned more in the last few months I have over many years.