Kate Lyons '04

Kate Lyons '04


Describe your path since graduating from Portsmouth Abbey School.

I went on to Providence College where I played tennis for four years and graduated with a Humanities degree (right in the midst of the recession). Given the lack of jobs I decided to head back and get my MBA while working in the athletic department at PC. During an economics project I interviewed a local micro finance company, Capital Good Fund, and ended up working for them and growing the company for the next four years. From there I made the difficult decision to actually leave Rhode Island and moved to NYC. In New York I ended up joining Blackstone where I worked with Portfolio Managers in a new fund to fund group. Most recently, I left New York to head west to Portland, OR with my partner (now fiancé!) and landed at KeyBanc Capital Markets working in emerging technology research for institutional investors. I love my job which allows me to travel, learn new things, and meet new people! I've been incredibly lucky and value everyone who helped me along my path, which includes a ton of Abbey grads! (Patrick Hewett ’00, John Edenbach ’96, Heather Hawes ’96, Heather Breen ’96, Chris Abbate ’88, Whitney Connell ’04, Chris Fleming ’04, Chad Wood ’04, and Kelley McShane ’05.)

How did your experience at Portsmouth Abbey School help you become the person & professional you are today?

I still remember lessons I learned with Mr. O'Connor and Dr. Billings in our humanities classes about how to be more attentive readers and thinkers, something I found to be immensely valuable during my liberal arts education (and beyond). I learned to be a (respectful) competitor at the Abbey, competing in sports gave me a perspective on resilience, teamwork, and persistence I think has been critical in my career. And I learned from the diversity of friendships, visiting friends all over the world and staying in touch with people who knew you at your dorkiest (me, freshman year) has been incredible. 

What is the best advice you could give to a current student?

Appreciate the rigor and uniqueness of your experience. Reading Plato and having your opinion respected, playing three sports and having to travel to other states for away games, sitting in class with someone from another country, even going school on Saturday are things very few high school students are experiencing. Stay in touch with everyone, I was so excited to find that at my five year reunion, everyone felt a sense of camaraderie, even people I hadn't been close with in high school felt like good friends. After the five year, a bunch of us even traveled to El Salvador together to visit a classmate- amazing experience. And finally, reach out to alumni if you need anything. No matter what year you graduate, we all share this truly unique experience of being lucky enough to attend a beautiful school, with amazing staff and students.