Our Stories

Winning as a Team

Collaboration helps basketball captain reach the next level.

Kaitlyn Judge
Strategy Consultant, EY-Parthenon

Vanderbilt MS Finance 2022

As a college basketball player, Kaitlyn Judge knew from experience that winning is less about individual talent than playing cohesively to make the team greater than the sum of its parts. When she decided to pursue a graduate business degree, she knew she wanted to be part of a team environment even before she realized what discipline she wanted to enter.

“I had a general idea of where I could fit within the business world but needed the extra time and experience to find my ideal job,” Kaitlyn says. Initially, she wasn’t even considering finance until she “stumbled across” the Vanderbilt MSF. “[The program] caught my attention because it was a perfect balance of getting the academic challenge and technical skill set that I wanted, but it also had the leadership development and opportunities to work with people who were from different backgrounds and interests.”

From the start, she says, Kaitlyn knew Vanderbilt was the right fit. “I was blown away by the emphasis on collaboration, leadership development, and achieving excellence. Personally, I was looking for a business school that not only had a successful track record in academics and jobs for graduates but where I would truly enjoy working with my peers and professors. It quickly became obvious to me that Vanderbilt offered this great team fit where I would get to work with and be challenged by smart, ambitious, and genuinely kind people. Here, it was not about ‘how can I get ahead by putting you down?’ It was about ‘how we can get ahead doing it together?’”

During her year in the program, Kaitlyn had the opportunity to serve as a practice player and manager with the Vanderbilt Commodores women’s basketball team—an example of the personal-scale experiences at Vanderbilt that, Kaitlyn says, gave her opportunities to not only stay connected with the sport but to learn more about leadership.

After landing an internship with a Charles Schwab team based in San Francisco and a permanent position with EY in Boston, Kaitlyn is more convinced than ever that she joined the right team when she decided to come to Nashville.

Fun Fact: Kaitlyn captained the women’s basketball team at the University of Texas at Dallas.

I was blown away by the emphasis on collaboration, leadership development, and achieving excellence.