THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 119: Sarah Marie Martin, Investment Banker

Welcome to THE BALANCE PROJECT: a series of relevant and refreshingly candid interviews featuring inspiring and accomplished women talking about balance. I’ve always been curious about how women I admire manage the tragically glorified “doing it all” craze. So I asked them. As I suspected, no one really does “it all.” Everyone’s making sacrifices somewhere. And that should make us all feel a little better. I hope the conversation will be steered toward that reality rather than toward the flawed and dangerous assumption that we should try—or even want to try—to perfectly do “it all.”

By the way, looking for THE BALANCE PROJECT novel that was inspired by these interviews? It’s here.

No. 119: Sarah Marie Martin, Investment Banker

Age: 42
Where I live:
 West Village, NYC
Job: Managing Director & Co-Head, Americas Financial Sponsors Group, Investment Banking at Credit Suisse
Kids:
 Two daughters (ages 2 and 18) and three sons (ages 1.5, 5, and 9)

Sarah-Marie Martin - Credit SuisseHave you changed jobs or adjusted anything in your career to have more balance?
I actually did the opposite. When I was in my early 30’s, I moved within my firm from capital markets to banking, which had a worse work-life balance. However, I really love my job as a private equity coverage banker so it was worth it.

Do you think having “it all” is realistic or overrated and why?
Overrated. It is impossible to have a busy job, a marriage, five children, a social life and hobbies, and do everything perfectly.

What part of “balance” can you just not seem to figure out?
How to stop working so much!

What part of “balance” are you getting better at?
Saying no to extracurricular requests; where relevant, repeating the acronym “NMFP” in my head (you can figure out what it means); and savoring every minute with my children, even just sitting on the floor with the babies.

Do you have a favorite time management tool, hack, or other strategy you use that helps you achieve balance?
Getting Things Done by David Allen is a MUST READ–great organization for the office and home.

What was the best advice you ever heard on balance? 
From a mentor/co-worker? 
“Be an A, not an A+, and get out of the office earlier.”
From your mother? “Find a great husband!”
From your spouse/partner? 
“Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
From your kids? The ritual of reciting our “roses” and “thorns” every night at dinner.

If you had one extra hour in each day and you couldn’t work or be with your family, how would you spend that hour?
Talking to my sisters and friends.

What do you wish you’d known when you were 20?
That I was skinny and young looking.

What do you hope to know by time you’re 60?
It’s okay to do nothing/be bored.

What part of your home life do you wish you could outsource?
Organizing toys, closets, shoes, and hand-me-downs for five children—and having it done right and in an organized fashion.

Whose job do you wish you had?
 Maria Bartiromo’s in the late 90’s/early 2000’s when she was the star of CNBC.

Whose job are you glad you don’t have?
Someone who travels all the time–I like to see my kids every day at least once.

Favorite books?
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

What are you reading right now?
Ramona and Her Father by Beverly Cleary to my 9-year-old, Parenting from the Inside Out by Daniel J. Siegel and Mary Hartzell, and The Balance Project by Susie Orman Schnall (of course!).

Biggest vices…
Activity?
Keeping up with lots of friends via email/text/Facebook/Instagram.
Food?
Does wine count?
Website?
Facebook.

How many hours do you generally sleep at night during the week?
7-8.

What do you read every morning?
The New York Post, Facebook, my work and personal email.

Complete the following sentences:
I think I: am blessed with an amazing life.
I wish I: had more time.
My kids: 
are the best things that ever happened to me.

Do you have a personal motto or favorite saying?
“The days are long, but the years are short.”

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family 3_15_originalAbout Sarah Marie:
JS_BusinessCard_Front_FINAL
Sarah Marie Martin is a Managing Director of Credit Suisse within the Investment Banking division and Co-Head of Americas Financial Sponsors, based in New York. She is responsible for covering a number of private equity clients, and she has extensive expertise in originating and executing equity, leveraged loan, and high yield new issues.

Sarah Marie joined Credit Suisse First Boston in 1995 as an investment banking analyst. Prior to joining the Financial Sponsors Group in 2006, she worked in the Equity and High Yield Capital Markets Groups. Sarah Marie earned her B.A. in Quantitative Economics with Distinction from Stanford University, and she received her M.B.A. from Columbia Business School, where she was valedictorian of her class. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Gladney Center for Adoption and the Leadership Council of the Worldwide Orphans Foundation and was named 2015 Working Mother of the Year by Working Mother Magazine.

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WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT WORK-LIFE BALANCE? CHECK OUT MY NOVEL THE BALANCE PROJECT!

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