Friends of The Village – January 2022


Sara Eisen, financial news anchor for NBC and co-anchor of CNBC’s “Closing Bell,” stopped by The Village recently to answer some of our questions about her career and the advice she can give to other women pursuing jobs in the financial sector. 

  • When did you know that you wanted to become a broadcast journalist/news anchor?

For as long as I can remember. As a kid, I always wanted to have a talk show like Oprah, who I grew up watching. In high school, I created, produced and hosted a talk show of my own, called “Teen Talk” in which I interviewed a few of my friends about school shootings following the Columbine attack. I used a local public access studio in Cincinnati, where I grew up, and they helped me shoot it like a real show. That cemented my interest in broadcast. 

  • Where does your passion for financial markets and the global economy stem from? 

My interest in markets actually came from an internship I did while in college at NYU. It was at a startup website that covers the foreign exchange market exclusively called Forextv. They let me do the on-air market updates for currency traders starting at 6am from the New York Mercantile Exchange, which was an amazing opportunity to actually be on air as an intern. So I learned all about currencies. And anyone that follows forex knows that it’s so much more than currency trading – it’s politics and economics and geopolitics and natural disasters and policy. I maintain that the forex market is the litmus test for the global markets and economy, so it was a great place for me to learn and sparked my interest in all of it. 

  • What is the most rewarding part about your job?

For me, it’s the interviews. Being able to speak to the most important and powerful policymakers, CEOs and investors who literally shape the world we live in. Holding them accountable, hearing their thoughts and predictions, getting to know them, it all drives me and is the most exciting part of my job. 

  • You’ve interviewed many heavy-hitters in the financial industry throughout your career. Who have been some of your favorite interviews?

Some memorable ones. Phil Knight granted me one of the two interviews he did when his book Shoe Dog was released. He never ever speaks and is such a legendary figure who shaped our culture and transformed business. 
I also get very excited about central bankers. Having Fed Chair Jay Powell on a panel of mine last year. Interviewing Bank of Japan President Haruhiko Kuroda or ECB President Christine Lagarde, those are major for me because investors have to turn up the volume and they move markets. 
My other favorites are the ones that transcend business: traveling to Asia with Steph Curry and Under Armour to tell the story of the brand and basketball’s popularity in Asia or interviewing Serena Williams and the late, great Virgil Abloh.  

  • What does a typical day on the job look like for you?

A typical day in Covid world is a lot different than it used to be. It used to be filled with breakfasts and lunches with sources and guests. Now it’s many zooms and phone calls with those folks. Half of my job is booking guests, forming relationships for my show and turning to them regularly for background information. The other half is prep. Most of the day is filled with homework. Studying up on the guests for the show that day and reading analysts and market notes. All of that keeps me busy all day until the show at 3pm and after 5pm, and in between all that, I have two toddlers that have been in and out of school. 

  • The finance industry has historically been a male-heavy industry. As a female expert in the field, what is your advice to young girls and women aspiring to be in historically male dominated fields?

Study. Outwork everyone. As unfounded as it is, men usually get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to credibility and gravitas on tv, so I’ve always just made sure to do my homework so I can prove every day what I’m capable of. Also, I find that so many women in this industry are willing and valuable mentors, who will share their experiences, their lessons, who have considered the same challenges you have in front of you. Be proactive about seeking those formal and informal mentors.

  • Having been to The Village do you think Fairfield County is ripe for a place for creative minds to come together in a way that this area hasn’t seen before?

I love the Village. The space, the view, the food. I was there for a fun evening and when I left, I immediately was trying to think of a way to do a live show from there! I can’t think of a better space to bring creative people together. 

Rapid Fire:

  • Savory or sweet?: Both! mixed. I love chocolate pretzels for instance. And my favorite all-time foods are popcorn and ice cream, so it’s really both for me.
  • Nickname as a kid or today?: I’ve never had a nickname!
  • What are the 3 things you would bring with you on a deserted island?: A heating pad, my family, and my phone
  • Go to drink order?: Whatever peaty scotch is on the menu, neat.