As the spring semester comes to a close, Georgetown McDonough is pleased to commemorate the accomplishments of the Class of 2022. This year’s graduating class demonstrated immense resiliency and determination to reach this milestone, and we are proud to recognize their achievements as they start their next chapter as Hoya alumni. To celebrate, Georgetown McDonough is spotlighting several of the exceptional students in the Class of 2022 as they share their personal stories, reflect on their time on the Hilltop, and preview what’s next after commencement.
A Navy veteran, Julie Ferguson (MBA’22) used the McDonough MBA program to transition into a career in investment banking. She also spent the past two years at Georgetown helping other students find success in the finance recruitment process. In addition to her classes and internships, Ferguson served as an investment banking peer advisor and as co-president of the Finance Club, where she was actively involved in supporting her peers in their professional development and hosting events such as Finance Career Day and the Wall Street Trek.
As she prepares to graduate on May 20, Ferguson shared the most important lessons from her time at Georgetown, the faculty and staff who were instrumental in her success, and her career plans after graduation.
What is your favorite memory or proudest moment from your time at Georgetown?
My favorite memory is from opening term. I had the best team during that term. We debated everything because we all cared so much about the outcomes of our projects, but we also worked really hard. Georgetown McDonough did a great job of putting a diverse group together and we each had a unique skill set that contributed to our success. We ended up winning the award for the best company idea (a futuristic car company called Delorean!) and it really set my MBA experience off to a great start.
How do you plan to apply the skills you have learned at Georgetown in the next phase of your career?
When you’re in the MBA experience, sometimes you really aren’t sure if or how you’ll use everything they teach you. It wasn’t until during the Global Business Experience trip that I realized how much I had learned. I found myself constantly using the tools, frameworks, and leadership skills that I had learned through so many of my classes here at McDonough, and I know I’ll be using all of these in my future career as well.
What is one of the most important lessons you have learned while at Georgetown?
As cheesy as it sounds, follow your dreams. If your goals are truly in the cards for you, and you work really hard to make them happen, the universe will conspire to help you achieve them.
Is there a particular person in the Georgetown community that has been instrumental to your success?
It’s too hard to choose just one, so I’m going to choose my top two.
First, Professor Pinkowitz. He made finance fun and easy to understand, which isn’t an easy feat when it’s in the thick of COVID-19 and you’re on your 75th Zoom call of the week. He really cares about his students and it shows. He also went a step beyond his course material and pointed out the nuances that those studying for investment banking interviews should keep in mind, which made a huge impact on my success in both his class and recruitment.
Second, Maureen Cleary [from the MBA Career Center]. Her guidance, support, and advice during the recruitment process contributed immeasurably to my success. She was always there to listen and provide advice (or a therapy session), while doing her best to allow you to make your own decisions. Her high expectations and candid feedback went a long way in setting us all up for success.
What are your post-graduate plans?
I’ll be moving to New York City this summer to join Evercore as an investment banking associate.
What have you learned from your time as co-president of the Finance Club, and how do you see these skills translating into your future career?
I’d say the top three things I learned from running the Finance Club were motivation, delegation, and coordination.
Motivating a board full of unpaid vice presidents was tricky and took some finesse that was learned on the fly. Setting expectations in advance and getting to know people individually definitely helped a lot with that.
The ability to delegate to those same VPs also was critical in the success of the club and something that I will take with me into my career. It’s so much better to have a team tackling large tasks than to try and do it all on your own.
And finally, coordinating all of the moving parts of the club, especially the large events like Finance Day and Wall Street Week was a great learning experience. There also are a lot of moving pieces in investment banking, so I’m sure this experience will serve me well next year.
What advice would you give to the next class of Georgetown students?
Business school is a time management boot camp. You won’t be able to do everything in your two years, so be sure to prioritize what matters most to you. Decide on your career goals early on and work toward them from the beginning, but also be sure to do some traveling, build a network, and make friends because that’s what the experience is really about!