Both of Olivia Goff’s parents are longtime entrepreneurs. As a result, she was raised around that energy and grew up watching them build their businesses.
“Seeing their drive and passion, as well as the impact their efforts had on the communities they served, was inspiring to me,” Goff says.
The Linwood, NJ, native says that her position collaborating with founders and management teams as an Investment Banking Analyst for Harris Williams in Richmond, VA, has been a very meaningful and humbling experience for her. It’s a role that connects her with individuals, who like her parents, have “poured their blood, sweat, and tears into their businesses,” and gives her the opportunity to be a part of their success as they achieve an important milestone in their company’s journey.
This, the Finance and Management concentrator’s first position since graduating last year, has allowed her to feel that she is working toward a collective vision that injects her daily work with intention and shared responsibility. “Being a part of one cohesive team working toward something bigger than ourselves has been very powerful,” says Goff. “If you see yourself thriving in a purpose-driven, collaborative culture and want to be an immediate and valued contributor to a team that’s facilitating the growth and impact of businesses around the world, you won’t find a better place to start your career,” she says of her time thus far at Harris Williams.
Having served in a variety of roles throughout her time at UVA to advance educational equity, women’s empowerment, and ethical financial practices, Goff says that meaning and helping others are concerns that remain paramount.
Goff earned her Commerce degree and a B.A. in Economics from the College of Arts & Sciences, and as such, she’s making good use of the skill set she honed on Grounds. “Some days I’ll be creating projection models, conducting valuations, and analyzing data, and others I’ll be brainstorming potential strategic positioning ideas, drafting marketing materials, and speaking with management teams,” she says. “Every day is truly very different, and I’m constantly exercising different parts of my brain, but the consistent themes that underpin each day are collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and camaraderie.”
That sense of community and shared purpose has shaped Goff’s experience at Harris Williams, where she feels her voice is heard, even as someone who has been with the firm for just more than one year.
“Every team member has not only a seat at the table, but a voice as well—regardless of experience level—which has pushed me to lean into some of the more challenging aspects of the job and grow immensely in a short period of time,” she says, pointing out that as an analyst, she regularly finds herself in meetings with C-suite executives, and also, often helps to lead them. Her firm gives her many avenues to stretch herself, as she says she’s encouraged to ask questions and get involved. “Everyone is invested in my development both personally and professionally, and is more than happy to be a resource, sounding board, and advocate for me as I strive to achieve my goals.”
It’s still relatively early days in her professional life, but it appears that Goff already demonstrates the same type of intense dedication that she saw in her parents, and has found a position that is supported by those who are just as interested in seeing her succeed because of that unmistakable focus and commitment.