Julia Lilly thinks of her career as a quilt; in fact, as you talk to Julia, you realize her life is a quilt of experiences and places and perspectives that all weave together. And like the comfort a quilt provides on a chilly night, Julia is driven by a desire to help: to teach, to coach, to listen.
Julia began her career as a paralegal to explore whether law school would be the logical next step. After learning that the lawyer life was not for her, she pivoted and wound up in business school. The impetus for pursuing a business degree was Julia’s passion for helping others make a difference in business. Early on in her career Julia discovered microfinance – the offering of micro loans to small businesses, most often in developing countries and to women owned enterprises. The loan programs come with coaching as well as so recipients can “learn to fish” for themselves. Julia loved the empowerment and the international impact of these programs, and they set her on a path to use financial services to help.
Julia is a thinker and a learner. She learns most often by reading everything from books on the psychology of money to World War II fiction. And she learns by open discussion; she is a firm believer everyone comes to the table with different perspectives that add value. That attitude makes her travels around the country and the world a rich experience adding more squares to her quilt. She does laugh at one perspective she did not predict — after a family vacation to Germany exploring museums and cultural sites and all sorts of places, her son reported to his school that their favorite spot was the beer garden. Another avenue of learning…
Julia’s retirement dreams are to live near a University campus, surrounded by learners and teachers and fresh air. She’s eagerly looking forward to getting back to traveling the world…but looks even at this period of virtual living as part of the adventure of life.