Profile with Sarah Light

Sarah Light (Massachusetts & Magdalen 1995) is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School. On July 1, 2013, she will become an Assistant Professor at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, where she will teach environmental policy and negotiation.  She holds an A.B. from Harvard College, an M.Phil from Oxford University, and a J.D. from the Yale Law School. She lives in New York with her husband and children.

Rhodes Project: What is your favorite thing to do in New York?

Sarah Light: I would probably say spending time in Prospect Park.

The Rhodes Project: What was the last book you couldn’t put down?

Sarah Light: I read a book called The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, which is about how habits are formed. It is by Charles Duhigg. The New Yorker published an excerpt of one of the chapters, which was about how Target was trying to identify women when they are pregnant, because that is one time that they change their purchasing habits and they consider shopping at new stores. The idea was that if Target could find them, and start sending them coupons for baby-related items, then Target might be able to tap into this new market. It was all about data mining. The whole book is about how habits form, and how habits can be changed.

Rhodes Project: What is currently playing on your iPod?

Sarah Light: Children’s music.

Rhodes Project: What was the first job you ever held?

Sarah Light: For my first summer job, I did data entry for an educational consulting firm in Cambridge. My first full-time job was clerking on the Second Circuit for Judge Walker after law school.

Rhodes Project: What is the best part of your job now?

Sarah Light: There are a lot of great parts about my job right now. I would say interacting with both students and other professors about ideas.

Rhodes Project: What would you say is the most challenging part?

Sarah Light: The solitude of writing.

Rhodes Project: What advice would you give to your sixteen year old self?

Sarah Light: Think about taking a year off to work either before college or between college and graduate school.

Rhodes Project: What do you do to relax?

Sarah Light: I run or bike.

Rhodes Project: What inspires you and why?

Sarah Light: Lots of things inspire me. My children inspire me because they are enthusiastic and curious. My students inspire me; they are also enthusiastic and curious. My husband inspires me. He is starting his own business, and I think being an entrepreneur is a very brave thing in this world.

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