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Dancing As Fast As She Can

Sabina SebastianSabina Sebastian ’08 thanks Fast Track MBA program for success in marketing field

Ever since Staten Island native Sabina Sebastian ’08 graduated from Stony Brook, she hasn’t slowed down. That might be because she was among the first students to graduate from the MBA Fast Track Program, a five-year course of study offered by the College of Business that enables a student to complete his or her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the same time. Now Sebastian is fast-tracking her career — for which she credits Stony Brook.

Being adaptable has always served Sebastian well, both in school and in her job as account supervisor at direct marketing agency MRM, the digital arm of McCann Worldgroup, where she began working in 2009. In just four years she has been promoted three times and manages an array of clients, including Verizon and Microsoft.

“I can’t tell you how many times a vice president or senior vice president will tell me as little as five minutes before a major meeting that I’m leading the call or the presentation,” Sebastian said. “Being able to do that on a moment’s notice right out of college made me stand out in the crowd within my first year on the job.”

She said her ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment was evident while still at Stony Brook.

“Most MBA programs take at least two years, but having the flexibility to take graduate courses in my senior year allowed me to get a head start and finish my MBA before I entered the workforce,” Sebastian said. “The Fast Track MBA offered the best solution for me because I wasn’t sure that I could go to school part time once I graduated. It was really intense, but for someone who is self-motivated and focused, it was the perfect fit.”

Sebastian said that her job is never boring. “I love how no two days are the same,” she said. “One moment you could be convincing a client that they need to pursue a new strategy to make their ads work. Another time you could be the one person in a room of 10 telling your creative director that a concept for an ad that’s been in the works for four days is all wrong.”

Sabina Sebastian at Stony BrookShe said that being a double major in economics and business management at Stony Brook had helped train her to take charge of many situations, no matter the degree of difficulty.

“I have the confidence to stand up in front of Fortune 500 clients and convince them that I can run their business and help them succeed,” she said. “Stony Brook gave me the competitive edge in the business field by developing my public speaking and leadership skills. Almost every class required a presentation of some sort. This eliminated any residual stage fright I had.”

Having a background in performance may have helped alleviate some of that stage fright as well. When she was still a student, she was president and choreographer for the South Asian Dance Troupe Thillana and was on the dance team Déjà Vu. These days she indulges her passion for dance by performing with the New York City-based company Navatman Dance. Being a member of Navatman requires rigorous training in Indian classical dance as well as carving out rehearsal time to practice and study choreography. This past May, she participated in a tour of East Coast cities on weekends with the dance company.

“Dance is a lifelong passion of mine and having the opportunity to perform all over the East Coast is truly a blessing,” she said. “I’ve always tried to keep one foot in the real world and another in dance.”

As if she’s not busy enough, there is yet another activity near and dear to Sebastian’s heart: Last year she was inducted into the Stony Brook University Alumni Board of Directors, which meets quarterly to plan alumni and student events.

“Being able to work in advertising, collaborate with the Alumni Board and dance as a professional has been my dream,” Sebastian said.

By Glenn Jochum


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