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Alumni Spotlights

Sarah Sosa-Acevedo

Sarah Sosa-Acevedo

MBA '16

Gift planning officer, East Coast portfolio manager, Smithsonian Institution
Washington, D.C.


Region: Southeast

Sarah Sosa-Acevedo brings passion to her career in nonprofit fundraising.

With a passion to increase Latino representation in the arts, Sarah Sosa-Acevedo (MBA ’16) is making serious headway with a fast-track career at the Smithsonian Institution. Promoted to gift planning officer after serving for one year as an advancement officer for the Smithsonian Latino Center, she will roll out the new Smithsonian Donor Advised Fund and Smithsonian Legacy Challenge and help fundraise for two new museums—the American Women’s History Museum and the National Museum of the American Latino.

Key career moment: Sarah used her BA in arts education to seek an entry-level position at the Madison Children’s Museum. She was quickly promoted to manager of guest experience, managing a staff of 30 people, eight museum programs, and a budget of $750,000. “I knew that if I could get my foot in the door, I could work my way into a leadership position in one or two years. I told myself, ‘I know what I can do. I know what experience I have. I just need to make my way in, and I can make something of this.’”

The impact of a WSB degree: “WSB gave me a wide range of skills, especially empathetic team management. I learned how to holistically problem solve, set strategic goals, and influence stakeholders.”

Advice to students and young professionals: “Do not let the imposter syndrome get in the way of what you want. Recognize that you are qualified to have your position. Shut down that inner critic. Accept congratulations when you’ve earned it.”

Learn more about the Wisconsin MBA.

Read Sarah’s 8 to Watch profile in Update magazine.