Our Stories

Learning about Herself as Well as Business

Jessica Bialas gains insights from others as well as from the classroom

Jessica Bialas
General Management Apprentice, Fidelity Investments

Vanderbilt MBA 2017

Jessica Bialas vividly recalls something she heard as part of a group of prospective students that visited Vanderbilt. “This was the only school,” she says, “where I heard anyone say they were honored that we had chosen to think about coming to Owen, rather than the other way around.”

That way of thinking not only helped cement Jessica’s decision to come to Vanderbilt; it’s affected how she has come to think about opportunities to learn from other students. “Getting to have conversations with all sorts of different people here,” she explains, “really knocked me down a peg from what I thought I knew before I started the program.”

Jessica, who served as president of the Women’s Business Association at Owen, also enjoyed broadening her horizons beyond the field of investment management, where she had worked for four years after graduating from college. “I loved taking classes outside of my concentration (finance and strategy),” she says. “That was especially true of the HOP classes. It was so cool to see business through many different lenses.”

Yet, looking back, Jessica is especially grateful for what the experience taught her about herself. “I love the Leadership Development Program,” she says. “I learned how to recognize my personality traits and how to be transparent with peers about my ‘style.’ My work with the LDP team rounded out what I learned through the classroom, my internship and my experience leading the WBA.

“I have done a lot of personal reflection over the past two years. Now I have the tools going forward to do it continuously.”



Fun Fact: Time spent in France gave Jessica a love for good wine and cheese.

“This was the only school,” she says, “where I heard anyone say they were honored that we had chosen to think about coming to Owen, rather than the other way around.”