Lifelong Friendships & Navigating Co-Education: Kate Moore '95 Reflects on her Journey at Lawrenceville 25 Years Later
Outside on the McClellan House porch, Kate Moore '95 and her friends spent afternoons enjoying the warm weather while blasting music from their dorm room speakers.
Outside on the McClellan House porch, Kate Moore '95 and her friends spent afternoons enjoying the warm weather while blasting music from their dorm room speakers. Moore and her friends had turned their speakers to face out the windows in order to listen to music as they completed their schoolwork. Moments like this have become some of her fondest memories at Lawrenceville.
Now the Head of Thematic Strategy and a Portfolio Manager at BlackRock, an investment management company, Moore attended Lawrenceville when it was just a few years into co-education. A member of the Cromwell, McClellan, and Reynolds Houses, she was engaged in many different aspects of student life, such as athletics and visual arts.
Although Moore found ways to immerse herself, she experienced gender discrimination in athletics in particular. When she first arrived at Lawrenceville, Moore showed interest in the ski team, as she was an avid ski racer. However, she was told that the team was strictly for boys, preventing her from trying out even after she asked for a chance to prove her skill level.
"When I was told the ski team was just for boys, I said 'Well I'm as good as they are. Why don't you give me a chance,'" Moore recalled. It was not until her III Form year that Moore was allowed to try out. After taking on this opportunity and finally becoming a member, she overcame the initial obstacles that had hindered her. In fact, she even became the captain of the ski team in her V Form year.
Moore ultimately took advantage of Lawrenceville's culture, which was still transitioning into co-education, and found opportunities to discover her interests and defy stereotypes. In addition to the ski team, she was part of the field hockey team and ran track in the spring, while also representing Lawrenceville at women's golf tournaments.
Moore was not only involved in the School as an athlete but also became invested in the studio art and photography programs at Lawrenceville: "I feel like I had a good balance between being involved in the arts' side of things while definitely being a jock, and of course, I loved my schooling." Within her education, she also discovered ways to diversify her studies across academic subjects; one of her favorite interdisciplinary classes from III Form was focused on the study of rivers in the context of history, literature, economics, and other lenses.
Moore's rigorous and varied academic experience at Lawrenceville "prepared [her] better for college than many of the people [she] went to college with" at the University of Virginia, where she majored in Political and Social Thought. Having no initial exposure to the subject, Moore dove into her studies in the selective interdisciplinary program with a focus on political theory and policy. As she did at Lawrenceville, she continued to immerse herself in various academic realms. For example, she decided to take Mandarin; not only did she learn the technicalities of a new language, but she also gained interest in the Chinese culture as the only non Chinese-American in her class. Moore believed that utilizing the abundant courses available to her at college was essential to setting the foundation for a strong career. "The skills that help to train your mind, to understand problems, and to frame things in a historical context, which, in a period like today, is incredibly important. They really only develop when you have a diversity of classes and experiences at university," she commented.
Nevertheless, even with her strong academic background from college, Moore faced challenges while navigating her career in the investment workforce, which is historically male-dominated. Although her male colleagues respected her in a professional setting, Moore found that there was "a tremendous amount of unconscious bias," leading to men often excluding her from certain conversations and partnerships. With her experience overcoming similar marginalization at Lawrenceville, Moore knew that she had to persevere in order to be successful. "I had to work really hard to remind them that I wanted a seat at the table and that I was going to bring something to the table," she said.
Motivated by her passion for investment, Moore prevailed over these obstacles and has held positions at Moore Capital Management, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and the Private Bank at J.P. Morgan, before moving to BlackRock. In her current position, she takes on many responsibilities, which include interacting with global sources, working with data sets, and discussing investments in the media. Her varied skill sets and academic experiences from college equipped her well to interact with different sources and to think critically in her profession. When describing her profession, Moore said, "The kind of investing I do is like solving a puzzle, and it's something that never gets old."
Within her career, Moore found that having a shared experience of attending Lawrenceville has introduced her to a broad professional network across generations of Lawrentians. Overall, the Lawrenceville community has proved to be a constant presence in both her professional and everyday life.
She looks forward to attending alumni reunions and reconnecting with the lifelong friends she made at Lawrenceville. When asked to give advice to current Lawrentians, Moore emphasized that one's decisions in high school do not determine his or her entire future.
"You're going to pivot a million times in your career and in the path of your life. Make lateral moves and be creative‚Ä¶It's only going to get better, so cherish the people you meet and the experiences you have," she said.