My Story

"I had seen them in the cafeteria. The black suits, those thick padfolios, that decisive walk. Who were these sharp young professionals on my college campus? I’m pretty sure I peeked at their table once or twice to see what all the fuss was about, and if their suits and heels didn’t intimidate me (they did), their flyers certainly left me feeling overwhelmed. A business degree in nine months ? Accounting and “Quantitative Analysis”...what did that even mean? Intensive coursework PLUS an internship? No, thank you. Business wasn’t really my thing. I was quite content to remain focused on my senior year of college, devote myself to my friends and extracurricular activities, and most likely apply to grad school for psychology or counseling. My big focus was on helping people anyway, not numbers.

Why I Joined the Program

Well, then life threw me a few curveballs and I decided that pursuing a degree in counseling wasn’t the best next step for me. Now this would have been fine...except that I had spent four years preparing for that ONE thing. What was I possibly going to do now?? My friend recommended that I talk to the director of the Masters of Science in Business Analysis (MSB) Program. I politely declined; she insisted; and before I knew it, I was sitting in the Business School at Catholic University, talking to Stew McHie. That conversation changed my life. I mentioned to him this little program I had started on campus , called Girl Talk. I shared how it began as a response to a crisis on campus, how it quickly spread across all the residence halls, and my passion to help every woman understand her deepest worth and value. And then I (kindly) told him that I really wasn’t all that interested in business. He looked at me with a smirk and said, “Julie, what are you talking about? You just started a business!” I had never looked at Girl Talk from that perspective before. But he was right! Maybe I didn’t just enjoy listening to the concerns of my residents or sharing stories with them. Professor McHie helped me realize that there was a magic to Girl Talk that also involved marketing, managing, and creatively serving the needs of others. Could this possibly be what business was actually all about?

I decided to take the plunge and dive into the MSB Program--a nine-month experience that was truly intensive, incredibly formative, and deeply transformational. It was founded on the principle of “business as a noble vocation,” an outlook that I found incredibly attractive. This program was different. It wasn’t all about the numbers for the sake of numbers. It was about business and ethics--how to use data to drive powerful change for people . I had found a mission that resonated with me, and professors that supported me through challenging work and individual mentorship. They helped me apply all the concepts I learned in the classroom to my startup work with Girl Talk, which laid the foundation for our future success. 

My Success After Graduation

Five years later, I am running my own non-profit and thriving! At Girl Talk , we provide personal programming to middle school, high school, and college women, all with the goal of building a sisterhood of self-worth. Interspersed throughout our conversations about authenticity and vulnerability, I find myself consistently putting the MSB skills I learned into practice everyday. Whether I am shaking hands, speaking in public, crafting surveys, or balancing sixteen different projects at once, I find myself increasingly grateful for the year I spent in those suits and heels. The MSB Program helped me transform my passion into my work--to discover business as a noble vocation."