Talent Search

Talent Search: Alumni Behind the Scenes in Arts and Entertainment

Auctioning off a Picasso original or selling a famed Matisse print is part of a typical day at the office for Caroline Sayan. As senior vice president and global managing director at Christie’s, one of the world’s most prestigious art auction houses and dealerships, Ms. Sayan trades in some of history’s most famous and inspiring works of art. “I run a global group that handles about a billion dollars of sales a year,” says the alumna, who was interviewed while shuttling between high-profile auctions in Paris.
Sayan began working at Christie’s in the mid-1990s, in an entry-level job, after earning a bachelor’s degree in art history from Syracuse University. She soon realized that she needed something extra to help her rise to the top of her industry, and that led her to Baruch. Exchanging her art history books for spreadsheets, Sayan earned a Zicklin MBA in international business. “It was quite unique back then to be an art history major with an MBA,” she recalls.
As she had anticipated, her new degree equipped her well for the next stage of her career: launching Christie’s global efforts in China. The New York native relocated her family to Beijing and lived there for two years, building a team from the ground up. Today she is back in New York handling Christie’s Impressionist and modern art, overseeing sales in a number of international regions, the culmination of a career that has taken her to all parts of the world. “It’s been a real adventure,” she says.

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