Investing in Women
Rachel Gibson ’15 excels in the male-dominated finance industry
by Matt Hughes
When she was still in elementary school, her parents would joke, “Your brother likes trucks, your sister likes dolls, and you like commerce.” By high school, Rachel Gibson ’15 was poring over investment guides.

“I’d always been intrigued by the buying and selling of goods and what makes one business more successful than the next,” says Gibson. “I knew if I could find a job that married this curiosity with my interest in the markets and investing, I’d never feel like I’m working a day in my life.”

Today, she balances a full-time MBA program at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business with steering Darden Capital Management, a student-led program that manages approximately $27 million of UVA’s endowment. In April 2020, Gibson became the first woman in the program’s 30-year history to hold the CEO position. Her next role will be as an investor with J.P. Morgan Private Bank.

Rachel Gibson headshot
Photo: Heather Dodge
Rachel Gibson ’15 balances an MBA program and endowment management.
At Bucknell, where she majored in accounting & financial management, Gibson was a student caller and “cared about helping women learn about the finance industry and get involved in Bucknell’s Student Managed Investment Fund, a course where students manage approximately $2 million of Bucknell’s endowment.”

Before beginning her MBA, Gibson spent four years stewarding pension funds with Cambridge Associates, a firm with strong female leadership that she first connected with through a Bucknell career fair.

The mentors she found there, at Darden and at Bucknell have shown her how critical champions are for women to succeed in the still male-dominated finance industry, she says.

“I think companies right now are doing a great job of at least trying to get the women in the door,” she says. “But once they’re in the door, women should continue to try to step up into leadership positions. Having visible role models within financial services will help younger women see that there is a path to decision-making roles.”