In 2011, then sophomore Julie Larkin and 40 Catholic University undergraduates gathered with pillows and cupcakes in Ryan Hall for the first get-together of Girl Talk. In 2015, using what she has learned at the Tim and Steph Busch School of Business and Economics, Larkin established Girl Talk as a national nonprofit organization that aims to create a safe space to empower women on college campuses.
"Business is not the main goal. It’s how we interact with the world, how we interact with people, and it’s how we are creative. Serving others is our goal; business is the means to get there."
Larkin graduated in 2013 with her B.S. in psychology and decided to stay at Catholic University for the Master of Science in Business Analysis program, a one-year program for non-business majors. She quickly came to appreciate the way the business school integrates ethics into every aspect of learning with an emphasis on the Catholic principles of human dignity, solidarity, subsidiarity, and the common good.
“Business is not the main goal. It’s how we interact with the world, how we interact with people, and it’s how we are creative. Serving others is our goal; business is the means to get there,” she said.
After graduating from the M.S.B.A. program, Larkin was asked to join the business school staff as the student experience manager. “It was not my plan at all,” she said. But Larkin said she had fallen in love with the business school, its students, and its mission “to be a force for good,” and decided to stay.
Larkin said that guidance from her professors and her work as the student experience manager have informed both the development of Girl Talk and her growth as the organization’s director. Currently she is developing a training program for Girl Talk leaders at several university campuses. “It’s amazing the complementarity between Girl Talk and my work in student experience, from everything I’ve learned through student ministry and through Catholic University. It all points to the person as the most important piece of the puzzle,” she said.
“The way I treat people and the way I live out my faith every day can come out whether I’m designing a marketing plan or managing students or a company. I think that’s really powerful because when we go out in the world, we need to be virtuous and beautiful examples of our Catholic faith.”