Our Stories

Going with Number One

Maloney makes ‘the obvious choice’ for finance career

Lucy Maloney
Investment Analyst, Cambridge Associates

Vanderbilt MS Finance 2019

Lucy Maloney structured her undergraduate courses at Vanderbilt with the idea of entering the advertising field. After realizing that she preferred the quantitative side of business, she looked to pivot to finance. Her ticket, she believed, was right there on campus.

“I was already in love with Vanderbilt and the city,” she explains. “Owen’s MSF program is number one in the world, so it felt like the obvious choice.”

Still, Lucy approached the open house for the MS Finance program with a degree of trepidation. “I was pretty intimidated because I didn’t know if I would be a good fit, given my lack of finance experience,” she says.

“Then I met Maura Clark, who immediately made me feel welcome and made me feel like my background would not be a disadvantage to me but might actually be a really big selling point in the recruitment process.” Lucy left the open house feeling “empowered” and immediately started her application.

What she especially loved about Owen, she says, was the small size of the community and the resulting opportunities to build strong relationships with professors and other students. She took advantage of those opportunities. During the interview process, for example, she was helped by MBA students who already had strong experience in finance. “They would work through mock interviews with me for hours,” Lucy says. “They already had a lot of the jobs that I was applying for, so they were great mentors.”

She and four MSF classmates were also mentored by Professor Bob Whaley when they took part in the Chicago Quantitative Alliance Investment Challenge—an equity portfolio competition involving several universities. “The challenge gave me great real-world investment experience and confirmed that investment management was the right career path for me,” Lucy says.

Looking back now, Lucy still seems a bit surprised that she was able to change career paths so successfully and so quickly. “If you had told me a year ago that I would be where I am now,” she says, “I would never have believed you.”

Fun Fact: Lucy ran the Boston Marathon during her senior year of high school.

If you had told me a year ago that I would be where I am now, I would never have believed you.