SPOTLIGHT ON IIG ALUMNAE: Westover School’s Julia Cooper talks finance, favorite memories, and the future.
How did you first become involved with Invest in Girls?
I attended the Westover School for girls in Middlebury, Connecticut. IIG was a new program when I was a freshman and I immediately took interest in learning about finance and the stock market. I joined and was a member for all three years.
What are some of your favorite memories from the program? What part of the curriculum sparked your interest the most?
My favorite memory from IIG was when we visited the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. I was in awe of what was going on in front of us and of the work the men and women were doing around us. I think learning about financial responsibility throughout the sophomore year curriculum was extremely valuable. Also, being taught what debt and equity is at such a young age and how to be responsible with credit cards is so important no matter what your interests are! I am extremely grateful for all I learned through the program.
What have you been up to since graduating from Westover?
I graduated from Westover in 2015. I am currently a junior at Cornell University and I study Policy Analysis and Management with a minor in Business. I am Coxswain on the Women’s Varsity Rowing team. Last summer I interned on Capitol Hill with Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty. This summer, I am hoping for an internship in economic consulting or investment management.
How did your experience with IIG inform your career goals? What is your dream job?
One of my favorite aspects of IIG is the power it gives to young women. The financial industry is still a man’s game and there is still a thick glass ceiling for women in the industry. We had the chance to hear from many powerful, successful and inspiring women throughout the program. This inspired me as a high school girl to think of them as role models. I am still working towards becoming a successful woman who one day may be asked to speak in front of the next generation of IIG girls.
If you could have dinner with any female CEO or CFO in the world, who would it be and why?
The first woman to come to mind is Sheryl Sandberg. I read her book Lean In when I was entering my senior year of high school and have looked to her for inspiration since then. Her work ethic, mindset and lifestyle is similar to the one I strive for. I think her book is incredibly important for all women no matter what industry they want to be a part of. She fought for her position as an Executive in the technology field. Every day, she and many other women help chip away at that glass ceiling!