St. Stephen’s Students Take Initiative to Invite Business Alum Back to Campus

In early April during lunchtime, more than 40 St. Stephen’s juniors and seniors gathered in the Student Center to welcome and listen to Amy Bieberdorf ’87 and her success story. Bieberdorf is consulting a medical startup and is president and chief strategy officer of her own firm, Consumer Growth Strategy. Her visit to campus was orchestrated by Charlie Hubbard ’25, Jenevieve Tsai ’25 and the St. Stephen’s alumni office’s Spartans Engage program, a partnership program between the alumni office and the Parents’ Association that pairs students with summer opportunities including internships, networking opportunities and shadowing alumni for a day. 

Arranged much like a fireside chat with pizza and beverages, Hubbard asked Bieberdorf a series of questions about how her St. Stephen’s education helped guide her to Columbia University, The Wharton School, and further defined her own success and more. 

Hubbard: If you really look back at what you did in high school, is there anything you would do differently or recommend or anything that you did that you were grateful for doing? 

Bieberdorf: That's a good question. I think you guys are all so lucky to be here. [St. Stephen’s] is an amazing place and I think the thing that this place teaches you is, how do you explore who you want to be and trust yourself, and trust that what you want to do has value in the world? I think the thing you should do is follow your heart and follow your heart in a way that also is logical and helps you get a job. [At first] I was not following my heart, I was following everybody who told me that I should be a lawyer, and I wouldn't work at a law firm. It's okay to make mistakes, you will make mistakes, you'll get jobs that you think are perfect, and they end up to be terrible and you'll leave them. And then maybe there's some of you who actually feel like you know what you want to do and that your path is clear. And that's good, too. Because it's important to have people like that in the world.

Hubbard: As someone who went to St. Stephen's, to prestigious universities, worked in a law firm, worked in corporate business, and then your business, what would you say is a good takeaway? 

Bieberdorf: That's such a great question because I'll tell you that I showed up at Columbia, and Columbia is, as you might know, a liberal arts college, and it is heavy, heavy writing and a heavy humanities kind of focus there. The core curriculum is all humanities. I feel like St. Stephen's really over-prepared me for that, which was very, very helpful. Because what it did is it allowed me to actually enjoy college in a way without being as stressed out as I might have been.

Hubbard: How do you define success? 

Bieberdorf: I think when I was young, success for me was probably building something, doing something feeling like I was adding value. That was really important to me. I would say now that I'm older, I value a lot more the people I work with, and the ability for me to have time with my family is a lot more important. So what do I have? What do I think now that I might have defined success a little bit differently? I remember sitting in business school and somebody said ‘oh, do you know how much investment bankers make?’ And I remember what I said: $15 million a year, or something like that. And I thought, oh, shoot, you know, you kind of get caught up in this, but for me, what I found was I had investment banking experience – which was not that fun – and I didn't feel fulfilled, So what is success? Success is just feeling like you can split your family and yourself and your lifestyle that you want to keep and also do something that makes you happy. I love that I have both.

Hubbard, Tsai and their student groups play big roles before and after an alumni visit – greeting the guests when they arrive on campus and writing thank you notes in the days following.

Anyone who is interested in coming to campus to speak to students about their careers or offering an internship or shadowing opportunities should email alumni engagement officer David Allen ’19 at or Director of Alumni Relations Michelle Olmstead at
Address: 6500 St. Stephen's Dr., Austin, TX 78746
Phone: (512) 327-1213