Alumni Profile: Sara Eisen

Sara Eisen PhotoSara Eisen (Nivo 2000), originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, has been preparing for her current profession ever since she was a camper at Ramah Wisconsin who woke up bright and early every morning at 7:45 a.m. As a co-anchor of two CNBC morning news shows, Sara rises at 3:00 a.m. to start her day. She heads to CNBC headquarters in New Jersey for her 5:00 a.m. show, Worldwide Exchange, and then returns to Manhattan for her 10:00 a.m. show, Squawk on the Street, at the New York Stock Exchange.

Camp Ramah may be a contributing factor to why she first got into television work. Sara claims she did not have the strongest vocal abilities as a camper, and consequently was never a lead in her aidah’s musicals. But Sara did have a formative experience with lights and action when she landed a very important role in her Machon musical, Pirates of Penzance. Cast as the ship maiden, she spent the show attached to the front of the ship. “The spotlight was on me for the entire play,” she fondly remembers. Despite a less than prolific camp theatrical career, Sara took the kikar by storm every Friday afternoon; she knew all of the kikar dances. When asked about her favorite camp meal, she remembers getting creative in the chadar ochel. “My friends and I invented something called ‘sparkle butter,’ where you put peanut butter on bread and sugar and sort of brush off the sugar so it looks like it sparkles,” she explains. She also liked Wednesday night dinners when the whole camp would congregate on the kikar for a BBQ.

A few summers down the road, Sara came on staff as an aerobics instructor, which she did for two summers. Her first summer on staff turned out to be her favorite summer at Ramah. She jokes about how being a part of sports staff was ironic because she didn’t play any sports. Even though she “was not a very physically active person,” she ended up teaching seven classes a day that summer, which she admits “is a ridiculous amount of aerobics to be doing. I have never been that in shape in my life.”

After that summer on staff, Sara went off to New York University for her first semester of college. She feels that her transition was a smooth one because of camp’s role in her life. She noticed how friends who had not gone to summer camp had a more difficult time adjusting to the college lifestyle and constantly being surrounded by people. It was “a much more drastic transition for them,” she says, “I was used to living with friends.” Camp was a meaningful place for Sara because of the people. She emphasizes how important it is to be among others you can relate to because they come from a similar background. Sara grew up in a traditional home, and Ramah reinforced a lot of the traditions she learned from her family. “It was nice to get that continuity at camp because I didn’t have it in school or around me in Cincinnati,” she says. For the first time, she was surrounded by kids who grew up as she did.

Sara has continued to be surrounded by a network of Ramahniks everywhere she has lived. She had a community of Ramah people in Chicago when she got her masters in broadcast journalism at Medill, Northwestern’s School of Journalism, and reconnected with old friends when she relocated to New York City for her first job at Bloomberg TV. At Bloomberg, she co-anchored the show, Bloomberg Surveillance, and was a correspondent on issues relating to currencies, global markets, policy, and business. Sara has been with CNBC for the past two and a half years where she focuses on the global consumer and stocks.

When asked about hobbies outside of work, Sara notes eating as one of them. Gone are the days when Sara delighted in ‘sparkle butter.’ Together with her new husband she enjoys exploring New York City restaurants, following food trends and up and coming chefs.

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