An Alumni Spotlight on Sarah Danzig-Simon ('00)
Sarah Danzig-Simon ('00) grew up in New York City and attended Fieldston Day School for the majority of her early life. When it came time to begin her college search, Sarah was drawn to Cornell and its ILR program. Sarah was intrigued by the opportunity to attend a school within the college and so, when accepted, she chose the ILR School at Cornell. Once here, Sarah quickly became involved in the Cornell Fitness Centers. From freshman year through sophomore year, Sarah was one of the first student managers. With that managerial experience under her belt, Sarah was perfectly prepped to take on her role as a student manager within Student Agencies.
When Sarah first joined, she was the manager of Hired Hands. One of the most interesting aspects of Sarah’s experience as a manager was being a young woman who had to hire and manage men older than she was. Back then, HHMC sourced its labor from the local Ithacan population to carry out moves instead of Cornell students. The challenges posed by finding and training a labor force gave Sarah a lot of confidence as she handled the logistics of orchestrating an entire moving company.
From there, she moved onto the Human Resources executive position. In both of these positions, Sarah gained immensely valuable experience. Between hiring new students, managing salaries, navigating labor regulations, and balancing a busy schedule, Sarah developed skills that laid the foundation for her professional career post-college.
Being a member of the Student Agencies team “felt very special.” Under the guidance of former Student Agencies Managing Director Dan Kathan, Sarah received invaluable mentorship. “At Student Agencies, Dan wanted our businesses to succeed, but most importantly, he wanted all of us student managers to grow. It was a special relationship where we were being pushed to do our best, but we weren’t motivated out of fear of failure— more out of a desire to make him proud and see our businesses flourish.”
For her first nine years out of school, Sarah worked in various roles within the finance industry. While she enjoyed working, when Sarah’s daughter was born, she soon realized that she could not balance motherhood with the demands of a finance job. During her short stint as a stay-at-home mom, Sarah soon realized that she couldn’t do that either. To strike the right balance between her work and home life, Sarah pivoted towards working with non-profit fundraising that would allow her the flexibility to raise a family. Having previously worked in investor relations and business development on the asset management side of finance, Sarah’s skills transferred over seamlessly. She began as the Director of Alumni Giving at the Fieldston School—Sarah’s alma mater. Over the course of ten years, Sarah advanced to the position of Assistant Head of School, assuming an integral role in the management of the school’s fundraising and strategic projects.
In her current role as the Chief Advancement Officer for The Boy’s Club of New York City, Sarah has faced enormous challenges. Having started her position in February of 2020, Sarah’s uptake of her new role coincided with the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdowns. In the face of this obstacle, Sarah has made it her mission to find unique ways to provide a great experience to the children The Boy’s Club serves. Moving operations to a virtual platform and finding ways to offer programs to the kids without interruption are a few of the challenges Sarah has faced over the past year. While it has been hard, “seeing these initiatives through and seeing that we have provided valuable opportunities for these kids at such a critical time has been rewarding, to say the least.”
Currently, Sarah is working to help spread information about vaccines to these underserved communities. With the spring rollout of vaccines, she is hopeful that The Boy’s Club will be able to resume operations of their summer sleep-away camp. Working hard to help those who need it most, we are so proud that Sarah Danzig-Simon, an inspiring servant leader, is a member of our Student Agencies family.