Teresa Briggs Speaks to VSB Students for Women’s Day


Courtesy of Eller College of Management

Teresa Briggs spoke to business students about being a women in the industry.

Lauren Kourey, Staff Writer

On Mar. 12, the Villanova Consulting Group, Technology in Business Society and Women in Business Society (virtually) hosted Teresa Briggs on campus to speak to students within the Villanova School of Business. Briggs served as the West Region Managing Partner at Deloitte LLP and worked at the company for 37 years. Currently, she sits on the board of directors for ServiceNow, DocuSign, Snowflake, Warby Parker and VG Acquisition Corp. 

During her talk, Briggs captivated aspiring consultants with her optimism and extensive life experience. Within the first five minutes, she proudly mentioned being the first in her family to go to college. She received a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Arizona. When one student asked about struggles she has faced being a woman in the business world, Briggs replied, “everyone suffers from some degree of imposter syndrome,” but she reminded the audience that “you wouldn’t have a seat at the table unless you deserved it.” Another student addressed the lack of women in consulting, in which Briggs responded by saying that there are many opportunities for women in the field because it is so male-dominated. 

A well-versed expert in the field, Briggs spoke to the audience of how consulting is a “people business.” Prompted by one student’s question, Briggs discussed the general skill set needed to become a successful consultant, such as strong critical thinking skills, curiosity, maturity and overall interpersonal skills. As a surprise to some audience members, she remarked that consulting firms are looking for a diverse range of new talent, not only students within the business school. 

In the 37 years that Briggs spent at Deloitte, she climbed up the ladder quickly. She started as an accountant in the company’s audit practice and began supervising other accountants by her third year working there. She was promoted to the San Francisco Managing Partner in 2011 until she became West Region Managing Partner in 2013. During her time at Deloitte, she began working with Apple, and she shared her involvement with some of Apple’s fascinating projects. As Apple began to see a “war on talent” in the tech world, new talent was flocking to newer start-ups that were witnessing incredible growth. In response to this problem, Briggs and her team helped Apple develop a multi-year program to reinvent its talent team, including the implementation of Workday software. 

As such a successful businesswoman, Briggs reminded Villanova students that “every time you get promoted, you’re starting over.” She used the analogy of a senior high school student being “top dog,” only to return back to the bottom of the food chain once he or she enrolls as a college freshman. She admitted that, even now, serving on the board of directors for multiple companies, there is always someone more experienced than her. But, this has only served as motivation for her to work harder. 

Working with so many software companies, Briggs has observed that, in the tech world, the biggest focus in the last decade has been “moving everything to the cloud.” Mentioning how Zoom is a prime example of cloud software, she remarked how we can thank “the cloud” for such a surprisingly smooth online transition during the COVID-19 pandemic. Answering one student’s question about predicting upcoming trends, Briggs predicted that the next trend will focus on artificial intelligence incorporation into existing software. One professor who attended Briggs’s talk reminded students that the Villanova School of Business has recently introduced an AI/Machine Learning minor to the curriculum. 

After attending Briggs’s talk, it was easy to see how she has had such a successful career, and she continues to pass milestones. Snowflake, a cloud-based data platform that Briggs sits on the board for, recently broke the record for the largest software IPO in history. Briggs serves as inspiration not only for women, but for all people trying to break into the business world.