About Julia



Julia Hicks de Peyster is a parent of three teenage boys and has worked in marketing and as an HR and Executive Search professional for over 30 years in financial publishing, education policy, health insurance, and non-profit companies. She served as the Assistant Director of the Center for Women's Leadership at Babson College, where she still volunteers regularly. She has provided alumni career coaching to students and graduates from Rye Country Day School, Groton School, and Princeton where she did her schooling. She has also coached regularly at resume and interview practice days at the Harvard Business School.  She draws her clients, typically ages 14-30, from New England area schools, colleges, graduate programs and companies. Julia also works remotely by phone and Skype with students and young professionals throughout the country and in Europe and Africa.


Julia believes that self-awareness, teamwork and organizational skills are the key to success on the job from the teen years into young adulthood. She is an advocate for all students gaining real world experience in a basic local job first - the more tedious the better. Job failure for young adults seems to happen most frequently when  the reality of either a manager's intense supervision or their surprising lack of input and oversight is coupled with the long dull days of a typical entry level role.  Julia clearly remembers struggling under the tedium of her first jobs. She uses empathy to help her clients build their tolerance for the demands of the work environment, encouraging their mastery of entry level skills so that they have a strong foundation for ongoing career success. Her coaching helps young people recognize and enunciate their strengths while identifying their unique abilities and learning the basics so they progress with satisfaction along their chosen path.

Examples of Typical Coaching Engagements

Just some of the students Julia has helped to find a path include: 

  • A college senior and D1 athlete practiced interview skills for her dream job at Teach for America. 
  • A 16 year old explored career options before visiting his dream STEM programs at a range of colleges.
  • A young man in a prestigious tech job who was growing bored with the position planned his move to a more specialized area while simultaneously remaining dedicated to his current job.
  • A 24-year old assistant hockey coach who had lost enthusiasm planned his move into a different career. 
  • A student who had been placed under review by her firm's human resources department took positive learning steps throughout this period.
  • A 14-year old math enthusiast discovered camps and online learning programs that opened up career exploration opportunities.
  • A college junior found a perfect internship and crafted a resume and cover letter on deadline.
  • A champion athlete who didn't quite make the Olympic team selected a sentry level finance job and moved out of his family's home into an apartment in the nearby city.

Fun and Games to Start the Conversation

We can take a 360 ° walk around your dream job or play a word association game to develop a personalized list of adjectives that you can use in all your resumes, applications and follow up correspondence. We can even talk about the very worst, most terrible, frightening jobs you don't ever want to have and you will learn who you are based on who you are not. Like to travel and explore? We often go online together and plan a trip to a city where you might want to work some day, looking at employers, rent, car ownership, food and entertainment costs to learn about earnings and expenses and creating a work/life balance. Career assessment should be playful and fun! It is not solely about proofing a resume or practicing mock interview questions - although those activities are important too.

Spare Time

Believing in the power of good old fashioned correspondence, Julia and her husband Nick contacted Tom Hanks in Fall of  2017 and requested one of his manual typewriters (he has an extensive collection and is known to give them away). He obliged! And now Julia is writing a memoir on life and careers using good old fashioned paper, pen, and the Tom Hanks Olympia typewriter pictured above.

Why Should Young Adults Get Career Coaching

Here's Julia's belief: it is fine to stumble through life experimenting and attempting to find our path.  In fact for much of Julia's life, job opportunities fell in her lap. Some people have a series of jobs, some craft a true career, but most of us give short shrift to the imagining, planning and self-analysis that allows us consistently to match our talents to our employer's needs.  Exploring our unique abilities; selecting appropriate courses in high school, college, and beyond; mastering basic work skills; and having a vision for where we can land is a true -- this progression is a cost-effective gift that parents can give to their teens and young adult children.  Building the self-awareness that career coaching entails is a gift that young adults can give to themselves.