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In this Women’s History Month, The Den will be honoring Mercer’s most prominent leaders, including women who serve as deans. Eight of the 12 colleges and schools are run by women, and we’re spotlighting each Dean on their dates throughout March. Today, we highlight Dr. Julie Petherbridge, Dean of the Stetson Hatcher School of Business.

Dr. Julie Petherbridge

  • How long have you worked at Mercer?
  • I’ve worked for Mercer for over 15 years.

What was your path to follow to be a dean?

I began my career as an accountant certified by the CPA in 1993. I worked all the time until 2001, when I decided to move to academics while working as a CPA. I completed an MBA in professional Accountancy in 2002 and later a Ph.D. in accounting in 2010 in the same year from Georgia State University.

I joined Mercer in 2007, working as an assistant professor on a visit to the department of accounting. Then, in 2008 I was appointed head of the Master of Accounting program. Before my appointment in 2021 as the Dean, I was the school’s interim Dean and Associate Dean of graduate programs.

What are the things you love most about being Dean?

I love working with staff and faculty on an everyday basis to improve and develop our programs. I also enjoy helping students find their interests. I enjoy when students come to my office, and I can assist them with their career prospects; often, I match them up with our alumni. Our alumni are awestruck by Mercer, and it’s been very satisfying to build relationships with a lot of them.

What subject in your field of study are you most passionate about?

It’s easy since I strive to persuade students to enter the accounting field -You can ask several of them! I’ve had a great time in my job in public accounting, as you can directly influence individuals in a variety of ways. I focused on non-profit organizations and businesses from the moment they begin to grow until they become public, allowing you to collaborate. Being a public accountant made me also extremely flexible since I raised my kids and was able to go to every school party and function, yet still maintain a work.

Do you have any advice you would provide to women about becoming leaders?

Don’t limit your capabilities. Inform others about the positions you want to take on in your professional career. Be a constant seeker of knowledge by seeking opportunities to improve your knowledge via books, workshops, or other programs. You can also connect with other people to assist you in gaining your next job or promotion.

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