Lisa Vazquez ’99

Portfolio manager at the Mass General Brigham Investment Office

What advice would you give to a girl graduating from Williston today?   

Stay focused on the life you want to build, both personally and professionally. The most important piece of this is the people and relationships you prioritize.  I am surrounded by people I admire and who push me to be the best version of myself.  Professionally, take advantage of opportunities to figure out what you want to do for a living.  Internships, college courses, and outreach to professionals allowed me to explore various career paths.  As you discover your professional passions, keep thinking about the experiences you need to determine your direction.  I did an internship at a law firm because I thought I might want to go to law school after undergrad.  I discovered that I didn’t want to be a lawyer that summer, before paying for law school! Don’t be complacent saying you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up, start brainstorming and figure out how you can test your interest level.

What do you think is next for women in your professional field?

The opportunity to show up as our authentic selves with everything we bring to the table.  I used to joke that growing up playing boys hockey prepared me for a career on Wall Street because in many ways it felt like a men’s locker room.  Two decades later, the industry still has a long way to go, but it has made meaningful progress.  Being personal doesn’t mean being as masculine as possible or pretending that family and outside interests don’t exists.  My office values the perspective I’ve gained by being a mother and an athlete.  On my team, we want to bring the best perspectives to the table when we make investment decisions, and we know a lack of diversity would put us at a disadvantage. The industry is recognizing that not only is it the right thing to do, but it’s necessary to stay competitive.  The most competitive companies are figuring out how to attract and retain women.

What motivates you in your work and life?

The opportunity to contribute and be part of something bigger.  As a Portfolio Manager at the Mass General Brigham Investment Office, I love that I get to use my investment expertise to generate returns that drive health care innovation and patient care.  At home, my husband and I have the pleasure of raising two incredible 13-year-olds.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Pay careful attention to your tool kit and your network.  Thinking about your tool kit in college means worrying about the lessons and not just your GPA.  In your job, it means having a clear goal for the skills you want to develop in the role in addition to the impact you want to make for the company or the resume stamp.

Many people say they hate networking, like that’s a badge of authenticity.  Networking doesn’t have to be transactional or fake.  In fact, it’s the opportunity to know people in your industry at a deeper level.  Building relationships in your network gives you professional allies.  It gives lets people know you are trustworthy and credible. Build and nurture your network.