Lisa Zaferakis ’95
Current job title and employer and briefly describe what it is you do: I am an IT Program Manager at Morgan Stanley.
In a few sentences, tell us about yourself: I lived in Boston for eight years before moving to London, U.K. in 2005. I ran my own IT consultancy for 15 years before accepting a permanent role at Morgan Stanley in 2020. I have a 12-year-old daughter, Caroline, and we like to take advantage of all that London and Europe have to offer. My boyfriend John and I love to play golf, travel, and hike — while London is perfectly positioned for all of these activities, I always make it back home to the Adirondacks in the summer.
Please tell us about your Saint Michael’s experience: I look back on my four years at SMC with great fondness. I knew right from move-in day that I had made the right choice! I was among a small cohort of Math majors who collaborated in St. Edmund’s Hall almost nightly. Dorm life was always entertaining and my friends and I loved to linger after meals at the newly-renovated Alliot Hall. Participating as a lector and altar server at the student Mass on Sunday nights strengthened my bond with the campus community. In the fall of my sophomore year, I co-founded and was the first president of the Saint Michael’s Women’s Rugby Football Club, which is entering its 29th season! I am incredibly proud of the 30 of us who started this team and the athletes and coaches who keep it going. I had enormous fun at Saint Michael’s and truly cherish my time there!
What advice would you give to women students:
- Get involved! Saint Michael’s and the surrounding area has so much to offer.
- Keep current and try to maintain a global view of the world.
- Learn how to respectfully debate and listen to those who have different viewpoints from your own.
- An internship is invaluable for making your resumé stand out. I wish I had done this when I was a student.
- Take a class that you might’ve passed over because it isn’t part of your major.
- Travel outside of the US or, better yet, study abroad!
What are some strategies that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations:
- Network, network, network. Find a well-positioned sponsor who is willing to spend political capital on you and keep that person up to date with what you are achieving.
- Form your own set of trusted advisors and mentors who will give you honest, constructive feedback and advice.
- Be polite and gracious to everybody, from the person who cleans the floors right up to the CEO. But fear no one.
- Have courage when things go wrong.
- Don’t be afraid to gamble on yourself!
What keeps you motivated and driven on a daily basis: I am fortunate that I currently enjoy good health, have a loving family, great friends, and a decent career, and I believe that with these blessings comes great responsibility. To paraphrase Luke: to whom much is given, much is expected.
What woman most inspires you and why: I am lucky to have been raised in the orbit of a number of strong women and I would place my mother at the top of that leaderboard. Over the years I’ve met many women both personally and professionally and it’s impossible to choose just one; each of them are inspirational to me in their own way.