After the Bubble bursts: Sara Bernstein

Nicole Capozziello

Sara Bernstein, known for her vibrant personality and love of China while at Lawrence is not surprisingly pursuing a career propelled by this love. As Assistant Director of Admissions for a study abroad program for high school juniors and seniors, she promotes the program that first took her to China. A Chinese and East Asian Language and Culture major during her time at Lawrence, she is now the admissions manager for the China and India programs.
“You are a source of inspiration. You could change the course of a person’s life,” said Bernstein, who has acted as an alumni correspondent for the program since graduating at age 17. In the midst of searching for jobs last year, Bernstein received an e-mail from the program informing young alumni of the job opportunity. Bernstein received the good news while in China doing field research, relocating herself to Boston upon her return to the United States.
“I never imagined myself living on the east coast,” admitted Bernstein, who had actually been avoiding that area of the country in her job search. However, she has been pleasantly surprised by Boston, where she especially enjoys the young feel of the city and the peculiar English influence.
Working in Admissions has allowed Bernstein to travel the country, presenting the program at different high schools. During the fall, “I traveled five days a week and saw about eight to 10 high schools,” said Bernstein, who has found herself loving the responsibility. A Midwestern girl, Bernstein was surprisingly enamored with Texas, which she says is like Disneyland. “Honestly, nothing compares to Texas.” On the other end of the spectrum lie the Ohio leg of Bernstein’s journey and Fresno, Calif.
Still, the time on the road can be exhausting. Though she loves her job, there are certain things she misses about Lawrence, including, of course, the amount of break time students get. Something that has specifically struck her since moving east is the laidback atmosphere at Lawrence, which she has really come to miss.
In the next few years, she is planning on going to graduate school for China Studies or Chinese. Afterward, she plans to return to the work force again for awhile before going on to get her M.B.A. in International Non-Profit Management. Later this month, she will be taking her hard-earned vacation time to travel to China and South Korea.
Bernstein has spent the last few months reviewing program applications and following up with high school students, the second stage in the admissions process. After admission, Bernstein will be helping students prepare for their trip. In addition to the typical Admissions duties, she has gotten to attend Chinese language conferences, both as a vendor and administrator.