Sara Londono

Why this psychology major chose to pursue a Master of International Business

Sara Londono (MIB ’20) is an incoming Emerging Leader Associate at Paylocity. This recent graduate of the Master of International Business (MIB) program tells us more about what her future holds and how the experience she gained in the MIB program helped her get there.

Londono (second from left) with her MIB classmates at a Samba school in Brazil as part of the Global Immersion Experience.

Q: Tell us about your background.

Londono: “My name is Sara Londono, I am a second-generation Colombian, and I grew up in St. Augustine, FL. During my formative middle school years, my family and I moved to the south of France, living in Pau then Toulouse, for a collective of 4 years. There, I learned how to speak French fluently, and this experience sparked my passion for meeting new people with different backgrounds. When our amazing time in France came to an end, we came back to St. Augustine where I finished off my high school in an International Baccalaureate (IB) program. I applied to the University of Florida following the footsteps of my sister who had started at UF one year earlier. At the start of my undergrad, I followed my primary interest of understanding how and why people make decisions and chose to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, while also minoring in Business Administration, because I enjoyed mathematics and strategy, and French because I wanted to keep my fluency.”

Q: Why did you join the MIB program?

Londono: “’Why would a Psychology major pursue a Master of International Business?’ I have been on the receiving end of this question many times and to date, I have not met anyone from the Psychology department who took this less traveled path. Yet to me, it makes absolute sense.

Sara Londono with her classmates pose in front of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

Londono (second from right) with her MIB classmates. “Shoutout to Jacob, Alex and Summer for helping me through classes, being my networking buddy, and interview prep help!”

I love working with people from different backgrounds and cultures and was hoping for an international career post-graduation. I dedicated 5 semesters of my time at UF to teach English to international students. While developing my skill sets of communication and collaboration, this experience also led me to question how organizations function, the role of management in employee satisfaction, and employee commitment to an organization. Meanwhile, I also had a hands-on experience as Fundraising Coordinator in my Psychology lab to improve the efficiencies and strategies of our organization. Applying lessons learned from my business minor, I spearheaded a fundraising strategy that improved our profits and added structure to the Fundraising department. I realized that through data analysis, strategy and working with others, I could create a positive financial impact on our lab.

In my final year prior to applying to the MIB program, I pieced together these experiences and realized I loved collaborating with people and international populations, I wanted to live abroad again, and I wanted to keep making macro-level strategic decisions within organizations. Thus, the decision to take my professional career to a graduate and global level in the space of business was a no-brainer.”

Q: What did you enjoy the most in the MIB program?

Londono: “By far, what I enjoyed most was creating meaningful relationships with interesting people who had very different backgrounds from me. Throughout this time, I created friendships that I hope will last a lifetime, and I learned many valuable lessons that will surely help me in my future professional career, such as networking, JMP software, Project Management and Excel.”

Sara Londono and her husband pose for a photo in front of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. They wear graduation caps and gowns.

Londono and her husband Fernando, who also graduated in 2020 with a master’s degree in civil engineering.

Q: What is your advice to current MIB students?

Londono: “I will repeat what a friend of mine told me at the start of my own journey with the MIB program (thanks Jose Iglesias!). Go to ALL the events; professional development, recruitment, networking with peers and alumni, coffee chats, all of it. Each opportunity represents a moment for you to develop personally and professionally, and maybe make a new friend. Do not let a single opportunity to open a new door pass by without notice!”

Q: What are some tips for MIB students who are job searching?

Londono: “Take some breathers, it is okay to be overwhelmed – we all were at one point in time in our job search. I would follow the wise advice of Brittany Tyree who helped me attain my job: pre-work is KING, make a schedule, and commit yourself to bite-sized goals. Even if you only apply to one job a day, that is still making good progress! I would also add to find a networking buddy. On those days where you are feeling unmotivated to log onto that virtual recruiting event with a panel of strangers, it makes a night and day difference if you have a friend join the same event so you can support each other and both ask your questions!”

Q: What are you doing after graduation?

Londono: “After graduation, my husband and I will move to Orlando where I will start my full-time role as an Emerging Leader Associate at Paylocity. I am so excited to start my career at a phenomenal company with an incredible culture! I cannot wait to learn all that I can from their leadership program and eventually transition into a managerial role within their Operations department.”

Summer Londono with her husband and husky.

Londono with her husband Fernando and dog Summer in her hometown, St. Augustine, FL.

Q: Where do you see yourself 5 years from today?

Londono: “I hope to be happy, energized, and in good health with my friends and family. Within my professional career, I hope to continue learning from incredible leaders and aspiring to Go Greater. It would also be a dream come true if I could live abroad for a few years!”

Q: Tell us 3 cool things about you.

Londono: “I have an incredible husband who I met at the University of Florida (at the Reitz in front of Croutons), we have a beautiful, rescued husky-mix named Summer (surprisingly the same name of one of my best friends I made in the MIB program), and 4 years ago when I first started my undergraduate at UF, I never would have imagined life would take me on this journey to where I am now.”