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JP Steers ’11 Gets Down to Business with Canterbury Students

JP Steers ’11 Gets Down to Business with Canterbury Students
Jim Norman

The Canterbury Business Association (CBA) hosted an enlightening virtual Q&A with Canterbury graduate John “JP” Steers ’11 at the end of January. 

JP is a second-year MBA candidate at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. He also works as a Venture Fellow and incoming Associate at Stepstone Group, where he assists in sourcing and leading due diligence processes to evaluate funds, growth-stage startups, and secondary investment opportunities. 

Advising students about pursuing business careers, JP stressed the importance of networking proactively. “It is not just reaching out when you need or want something,” he explained. “Provide as much value as possible in your interactions without expecting anything in return. I am often getting coffee or hopping on calls with other people in the venture industry, just sharing insights. You would be amazed how much value can end up coming back to you.”

That was a key takeaway for CBA member Henry Vetter ’22. “JP emphasized connecting with people and building relationships,” Henry shared. “So I am going to stay connected with people at Canterbury as much as I can because you never know where they are going to end up. Someone might circle back to me, and maybe we can help each other in the future.” 

JP also offered strategic tips for improving leadership skills. “Watch what your favorite managers are doing. You can learn from what you observed and incorporate it into your own leadership style as you grow your career,” JP said. “But even more importantly, if you have a bad manager, be sure to keep in mind what they are doing that is driving you crazy. It can be frustrating, but if you are able to use that as a learning experience, it can be hugely helpful. There are always positives you can take away from those types of situations.”

His time at Canterbury helped JP develop other important skills as well. “Playing sports every season, being part of a team that you have accountability to, helped instill some of the values that I carry forward in my work,” he said. “Also, the structure Canterbury provided stuck with me in my professional career, when it is largely up to you to build that structure around yourself to stay organized—which ultimately allowed me to take on more responsibility.”

Prior to attending Georgetown, JP earned a BS in Strategic Communications from Elon University and spent five years at MediaLink, a management consulting firm focused on the media, marketing, and technology sectors.