Alumna Spotlight: Lydia Walz '16

September 28, 2021 by Alina Peon '22
""

Lydia Walz '16 was a history major and minored in Middle Eastern studies and political science at Bryn Mawr and now works as a Senior Associate in Wealth Management at Aspiriant. 

Lydia is returning to campus as part of the Career & Civic Engagement Center’s programming on Oct. 15, at noon via Zoom.

Walz and Cheryl Holland '80 will talk with students about "Building a Career in Personal Finance." Students can learn more and register via Handshake. Students on campus are invited to a complimentary lunch from Uncommon Grounds and to join together at Campus Center 200 to join the Zoom call. Off-campus students can join remotely via Zoom.

In the below Q&A, Lydia talks about finding her career passion, the value of attending a women's college, and more.


How did you get involved in your current field?

I moved out to San Francisco right after graduation without a job! I had the luxury of staying with my boyfriend’s family (Clay Bloszies HC ’15) rent free for a while but I needed to find a position pretty fast. My friend Joanna Birkner ’16, connected me with her aunt, a financial planner in SF, who needed an administrative assistant.

I reached out to her and she hired me! The work was mostly administrative at first but over time she grew to trust me with account opening paperwork and then some financial planning.

What part of your Bryn Mawr experience has been most important to your professional development?

Two things:

  1. The friends I made. Without knowing Joanna or Clay, landing in San Francisco would have been really difficult for me. To this day I have dinner with or pick up the phone and speak to my best friends from school. They push me. The network you create at Bryn Mawr will last you a lifetime.
  2. Learning how to learn. It’s true I don’t use the facts that I learned in my history classes on a daily basis (though they do come up more than you’d expect!). It is the liberal arts education that I use every day. Bryn Mawr graduates are trained to pick up an uncomfortable topic, research it, learn it and make it ours.

What career advice do you have for current Bryn Mawr students?

Don’t be afraid to ask for a coffee with someone you want to be connected with but don’t know. I have the position I have now because I was rejected for a scholarship for the grad school course I was taking at the time. I reached out to the head of the scholarship approval team for a coffee and conversation to see what I could improve in my application the next year and she is now one of my bosses.

What made you choose to attend Bryn Mawr?

I was flipping through the Princeton Review book of colleges in my junior year of high school and saw the class size on average was very small. I love a small class so I quickly put it down on my list. When it was pointed out to me that it was a women’s college (at the time I called it a girls school) I almost didn’t tour. Arriving on campus is a powerful experience. Walking into a room that is mostly women is overwhelming. The tour guide gave us space to feel that sensation and then wrote a handwritten note asking me to consider attending. I applied early decision and have never had a second thought about it.

History

Career & Civic Engagement Center

"Arriving on campus is a powerful experience. Walking into a room that is mostly women is overwhelming. The tour guide gave us space to feel that sensation and then wrote a handwritten note asking me to consider attending. I applied early decision and have never had a second thought about it." —Lydia Walz '16.