When Nashville native Trey Ferguson was growing up, he soaked up his grandfather’s sage advice—full of lessons about integrity, community and selflessness.
“The lessons that he instilled in me were critical to who I am now and how I interact with others,” said Ferguson, who is earning a dual J.D./MBA degree through Vanderbilt Law School and the Owen Graduate School of Management. “I think he would be the most pleased with my constant desire to empower others—making sure that I never overlook my duty to share my expertise as I strive toward accomplishing personal goals.”
His grandfather, Adolpho Birch Jr., was the first Black chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court and a huge cheerleader for his grandchildren.
“My grandfather always emphasized doing the right thing, and often the hard thing, even if no one is looking,” Ferguson said.
SUPPORTING FUTURE LAWYERS
Ferguson has prioritized his grandfather’s instruction while carving out his own path at Vanderbilt. In a specific desire to help underrepresented law students, Ferguson wrote a book packed with advice called A[mateur] to B[arrister].
“It is simultaneously a play on words for ‘A to B’ and a guide for first-year law students on how to overcome barriers to success in law school,” he said. “It discusses how to excel in the classroom, prepare for exams and successfully recruit for a legal internship.”
This past August, Ferguson shared the book’s contents in learning sessions at Vanderbilt Law School’s orientation.
Additionally, he is president of the Black Law Students Association, where he oversees BLSA’s strategic, professional and academic initiatives. Outside of Vanderbilt, Trey serves on the advisory board of Afro Scholars, a nonprofit organization dedicated to diversifying the legal profession, and as a board member for the Nashville Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.
BUSINESS OF HEALTH CARE
Ferguson gravitated to the joint law-and-business program because of his interest in working in private equity. His mom and sister work in health care, which also inspired him to leverage his skills in health care private equity to improve delivery and outcomes for others.
“My family’s support has played a huge role in in my development, and I have enjoyed speaking with them about various industry dynamics I noticed during my internships,” he said. “Getting to hear their practical experiences also layers my understanding of the sector’s intricacies.”
Ferguson said he is excited to start his career in New York City after Commencement.
“I have enjoyed my time at Vanderbilt, and I am focused on remaining present during this last semester to absorb as much as possible from my courses and extracurriculars,” he said. “But also, I am very excited for what’s to come because of the great things that lie ahead for me at Warburg Pincus in New York.”
WHAT DREW YOU TO VANDERBILT?
Several things. I wanted to attend an institution near my family that also had a strong pipeline to New York City. The four-year J.D./MBA program also provided an extra summer for me to gain professional experience and expand my knowledge base. I was also attracted to the diverse faculty and to the small class size because it helped me build robust relationships with my classmates and professors.
HOW HAVE YOU EVOLVED IN YOUR TIME AT VANDERBILT?
A number of ways, but most importantly I have become more intentional about how I allocate my time.
HOW DOES DARE TO GROW RESONATE WITH YOU?
To me, dare to grow means consciously being uncomfortable. We are all wired to stay in equilibrium; however, I recognize that the greatest growth comes on the other side of disruption. If I am going to fail at something, I want to fail fast and then consistently iterate from that mistake. This approach has and will continue to make me a better student, colleague and leader.”
Watch “Four with a ‘Dore” below to hear more from Trey.
Learn more about VU2024’s Trey Ferguson via the link in our bio. #fyp