Each month leading up to BMA’s 50th anniversary celebration on June 12-14, 2020, we present to you a fellow academy alumnus/alumna. Join us as we look “Inside the Den”, learn about how the academy has evolved over time, and gain new insight on how the school shaped these Burkie Bears’ lives in ski racing and in life.
Since its inception in 1970, the academy has been home to 1,178 students, including 36 who have gone on to compete in the Olympics and 145 who have been members of national teams representing the USA, Australia, Canada, Chile, Estonia, Great Britain, Japan, South Korea, and Spain. Above and beyond the athletic success of its alumni, BMA has always embraced a progressive educational model that focuses on engendering creativity, curiosity, and problem-solving in all of its graduates.
This month, we present you to Katie Lucas. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Katie graduated from BMA in 2002 and now calls Chicago home where she works at Oppenheimer & Co. running the Investment Grade Credit Sales business and facilitating client transactions in Corporate Bonds.
Why did you choose to attend BMA?
Coming from the Midwest, I didn’t know very much about ski academies. BMA appealed to my parents because of the strong academic reputation and excellent ski program. When I visited BMA in the spring, I was in awe of everyone’s passion for ski racing and excited about the opportunity to become a part of this unique community. Attending BMA allowed me to continue to pursue my ski racing ambitions at a higher level than if I stayed at home in Wisconsin.
What memories stand out the most from your Burke days?
We spent so much time on the road entertaining ourselves between homework and training. This is where my best friendships and lasting memories were formed. One of my most memorable trips while at BMA was racing throughout France one winter. There were adventurous van rides filled with Euro-pop, ski adventures across the border for lunch in Italy and epic powder days when racing was canceled.
Did you have a favorite workout at BMA?
I don’t know what it means for a downhill skier, but I loved timed hike and any workout that involved climbing up the mountain.
Is there a memorable academic experience from your time at BMA?
The small class experience at BMA is not like any other academic experience I’ve had. Tommy D always taught a memorable class and somehow was able to engage every student in class on the current book we were reading.
What did you do after graduating?
I studied Economics and Math at Colby where I was able to thrive thanks to learning how to manage my time as a student-athlete at BMA. At Colby, I was involved in many campus activities and most enjoyed my experiences on the ski team and studying abroad in London.
After graduating from Colby College in 2006, I joined the Sales & Trading division at Goldman Sachs. I’ve continued my career in Institutional Fixed Income Sales for the past 14 years at William Blair and currently work at Oppenheimer & Co. I run our Investment Grade Credit Sales business and facilitate client transactions in Corporate Bonds.
I love sitting down at my desk each morning and not knowing what the day ahead will bring. I’m reacting to events in the markets and changing client activity – you have to be decisive and concise in many different types of situations.
What lessons did you learn at BMA that you’ve carried forward in your adult life?
The biggest lesson I learned at BMA was how to push myself to new limits beyond what I thought was possible. I initially experienced this in Fall physical testing and carried into other aspects of my life. I’ve made sure to surround myself with a strong community, realizing that reaching new limits doesn’t come without risking failure. I carry this lesson into my professional life to stay motivated and passionate about what I do.
What projects and passions keep you busy now?
I like to get out of Chicago on the weekends and channel my competitive energy on the golf course with my husband, Drew, or friends. I also serve on the Board of Trustees and co-chair the Development Committee for Marillac St. Vincent Family Services. It’s an impactful non-profit that serves the most vulnerable populations in Chicago. I love experiencing the energy of the kids we serve in the after-school programs and special events we host.
What is your relationship to skiing now?
I try to take a ski trip every winter and get out at the small hill I grew up in Wisconsin, Heiliger Huegel. Skiing in Courmayeur, Italy last winter brought back great memories of racing in Europe while at BMA.
Do you plan to attend the 50th?
Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it to the 50th because my husband Drew and I are expecting our first child in late May!*
*While the 50th Anniversary Celebration has been postponed, we do hope everyone will be able to join us once the date is rescheduled!