Julia entered Wharton with a broad set of business interests, including finance, real estate, and management. As she was deciding on a concentration, a particular class inspired her: “Knowledge for Social Impact — Analyzing Current Issues and Approaches” with Professor Katherine J. Klein, Vice Dean for Social Impact and Professor of Management. During this course, the class examined the nature of two pressing social problems: food insecurity, and barriers to post-secondary education. After an overview of the social impact landscape and existing business and social sciences frameworks, the class met with researchers, business leaders, non-profit leaders, and visited sites in Philadelphia. Julia realized that with the broad business skills she was developing, she could develop her career in a direction that she is truly passionate about.
Julia’s affection for historic places began in middle school. In her hometown of Louisville, KY, she volunteered at a national historic landmark and house museum called, Historic Locust Grove. To Julia, historic house museums are more than old buildings. They’re a way for a community to preserve, connect with, and learn from its history. As a University Scholar, Julia is working on a long-term research project focused on the financial sustainability of historic house museums. By studying six historic homes in Pennsylvania, including four in Philadelphia, she is seeking to quantitatively and qualitatively determine how engagement directly impacts a museum’s financial health.
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Having the opportunity to connect with Penn alumni has been a hallmark of Julia’s experience at Wharton. She was particularly inspired after hearing from Bobby Turner (W’84) of Turner Impact Capital, who spoke to students about how he is using real estate to combine profit and purpose. His focus on creating sustainable solutions for many of today’s societal problems through impactful infrastructure is just the type of social entrepreneurship that Julia is interested in. Whether it is working on historic properties, helping cities improve by using buildings that are old and vacant, and preserving those to be better used in the community, Julia sees real estate as an important tool for shaping cities and communities.
Julia grew up as a dedicated Girl Scout and natural leader. At Penn, she serves as co-president of the campus chapter and leads events for Girl Scout troops in West Philadelphia. Julia is also a member of Wharton Women, a group that facilitates personal and career development of women in business by building a broad network of support. She has served on the Dollar Diva Committee, which hosted a conference for high school girls in West Philadelphia, and on the blog committee for the Wharton Women’s blog called the Walnut Street Journal.
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