Embracing serendipity and synchronicity is key to career advancement, says Sara Brito '92

by Saniya More

February 26, 2018

Sara Brito is the co-founder and president of the Good Food Media Network, a non-profit which aims to educate and inspire eaters.

A photo of Sara Brito '92
Sara Brito '92

To Sara Brito (who went by Barbara Geiben while studying at Newhouse), good food is about more than just the taste. 

“Good food is good for every link in the food chain: the environment, plants and animals, producers, purveyors, restaurants (including workers) and eaters,” Brito says.

This revelation was part of the reason why she first started the Good Food Media Network. Brito’s initial goal was to start a conversation around individuals and businesses that are changing the food system.

According to Brito, the organization’s mission is to shine a spotlight on those who are “truly putting their money where their mouth is” when it comes to supporting good food.

When she looks back on her professional journey, Brito says her career path probably looks very different from many traditional Newhouse graduates.

“When people look at my career, they might think […] that I wasn’t using my degree, that I could have gone to school for something else. But I very much credit my experiences at Newhouse and my ability to be open to opportunity in all shapes and sizes,” Brito says. “Now, at the age of 47, I feel like I am doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing with my life.”

Initially a magazine major, Brito eventually switched to advertising. After graduating, instead of joining a media company or advertising agency, Brito started her professional path in the retail world, working as the manager of internal communications in the former May Department Stores Company.

She credits the people at Newhouse for teaching her valuable life lessons and skills.

“What Newhouse really instilled in me was this openness to ideas and change, and this excitement of being a part of what’s new and what’s next,” she says.

After leaving retail, Brito transitioned into the digital agency world, working at companies like Bloomingdale’s and Digitas. Next, Brito moved to Boulder, where she helped lead Domino’s Pizza’s award-winning “Pizza Turnaround” strategy. This got her involved in the food industry and eventually starting the Good Food Media Network.

At the Good Food Media Network, Brito started Good Food 100 Restaurants, a list of restaurants—from fast-casual to large food service companies—that are willing to be transparent with their purchasing practices and work towards a sustainable and healthy food economy.

Brito says current students should always be open to opportunities, which can present themselves in unusual and unexpected ways.

“Given how fast the world is changing, and the fact that it’s always going to change, I think we should always be open. Be open to the idea that opportunity may not show up in your life in the way you expect it. It might not come with the job title that you expected, it might not come in the company or industry you expected. But if you stay open and you give your 100 percent... those experiences can then open the doors to even greater experiences."

Saniya More is a junior broadcast and digital journalism major at the Newhouse School.