Featured

Prepare for Next Fall: Tips and Resources to Help you During Course Request

It is that time again; time to start thinking about next semester and to start developing your class schedule for the fall. At the moment, it may seem that next fall is so far away and we are not quite sure what next semester will entail. During these stressful times I wanted to write about resources I found that helped me create my schedule for the next semester. The process can be stressful because you feel like you don’t have time to see your advisor while trying to create the perfect schedule with no time conflicts. I know many of us are organized students and I am sure some of you may already know these things, but I wanted to put all of the important information in one area for anyone that has questions or needs more guidance! I hope you find this helpful and hopefully by the end of the article you will feel confident, or more confident, in creating your schedule for next fall. I hope by next semester we will all be back in Blacksburg and attending the football games!

course requestThe first thing we should start with is where can you find out when Course Request opens, and when does it close. The best place to receive this information is on your Virginia Tech email. Typically, your advisor will send out an email the day course request opens. In that email it will say when it will close and resources you can use for help. The image on the left is taken from the email that my advisor sent me with the course request information! Since Virginia Tech has moved classes online, your advisors should be offering 15 minute Zoom virtual meetings. If you would like to schedule a Zoom meeting, you need to reach out to your advisor in order to know their availability. This may not seem ideal for some, and some of you may like seeing your advisor in person, but each of Virginia Tech’s colleges will help you in any way that they can considering the circumstances. Otherwise, if you have any questions I would recommend you simply just email your advisor. Your academic advisor is the best resource to start with if you have any questions or concerns regarding your academics. Thankfully, they have given us two weeks to complete Course Request instead of one, so you don’t have to feel rushed or pressed for time! Another resource with useful information regarding Course Request is from the daily emails from each of the colleges (i.e. Pamplin or the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will send daily email updates with on-goings related to the specific college your major is in). They may feel monotonous, and I know that in the past I disregarded these emails and just labeled them as spam, but they have useful information such as event dates and information regarding academic advising. I would suggest reading these emails if you aren’t clear about something.

The best resource, once you have figured out an idea of what courses you should be taking, is the TimeTable of classes. This is used to look up courses in the fall and see what times they are offered. This is a great resource I like to use because it will give you the CRN number of the classes you look up, and this is helpful because for Course Request, you only type in the CRNs for all of the courses you would like to take. This is also where you can see at what times the courses you are interested in are offered and from here you can start to piece together your schedule with ease! The next resource to go to is your four-year plan schedule that is typically made by your advisor. This has been one of the most helpful things for me when I am trying to plan my schedule for the next semester. I am a visual person, so it is nice for me to see my four year plan laid out in front of me so I can physically see what each semester of mine will entail. Another helpful thing about this is it provides the course number, which you need for Course Request and it will also inform you of particular classes where you need to get a C- or better in. Personally I always like to make sure which classes are the ones where a C- is required for planning purposes.

My last tip is to talk with your peers, friends, and professors. This can be helpful if you want to know for example, if there is a certain professor that is recommended for a specific class. This has been helpful for me in the past and has made my class schedule a lot better. A great resource especially for CWIB members is to consult your peer mentor if you have one. Do not hesitate to reach out to them with any quesImage2articletions or concerns, because I am sure they would be willing to help as much as they can, and I say this because I am a peer mentor myself and I always like helping as much as I can! In the past, I have also used my friends for help, as we try to plan out our schedules so we request certain classes together. It is always nice to have a friendly face in your classes! In the last article I wrote, I discussed the benefits of studying with friends. Having classes with your friends is always helpful and has helped me so far in my six semesters at Tech. I don’t know how I would have gotten through certain classes without having the help of my peers.

As said earlier, I am sure most of us know how this process works and are very apt in doing it with no help, but I remember my freshman year when I was stressed out because I was worried I would forget about Course Request, or I would  not complete it correctly, so I hope that someone in CWIB finds this helpful. Lastly, I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe especially during these difficult times! Like I said earlier, hopefully we all find each other back in Blacksburg in the fall!

By: Ashley Mattson

Featured

Business Fashion

When entering the workforce for the first time or switching jobs, figuring out what to wear and when to wear it can be a struggle! Work attire can differentiate between companies, job types, seasons, and occasions. In this article, we will explore 4 different business fashion dress codes and when to wear them.

Casual

Casual business attire might be worn if you work in an informal office where many of your co-workers may wear t-shirts, jeans, etc. However, even if your workplace has a casual dress code, you should avoid dressing down when meeting with clients or in interviews. Things you can wear in a casual work environment include: t-shirts, blouses, sweaters, jeans, cropped pants, or khakis. Shoes may include sneakers, low heels, or sandals. Casual does not mean inappropriate or sloppy, so make sure to avoid wearing stained, wrinkled, overly revealing, or offensive clothes. The following pictures show two examples of casual attire.

Smart Casual

Smart casual is another form of casual business attire but with a stylish twist. This dress option incorporates trendy pieces to elevate a casual outfit into a more semi-formal one. This dress code is often very similar with casual and business casual attire, however the main difference is the incorporation of trends and statement pieces  for jewelry/accessories, as this makes you look cleaner and more put together than casual, while allowing more flexibility than business casual. Smart casual is a very versatile dress code with lots of options! Some items include dresses, sweaters, trousers, skirts, blouses, heels, flats, jewelry, and scarves. Footwear can remain casual as well — flats and open toed shoes are appropriate.

smart casual photo
Smart Casual attire

 

Business Casual

Business casual is very common in many offices and is a great default dress code when unsure what to wear to a particular setting. Business casual is a step down from a business professional look but is still very polished and professional. Business casual is suitable for luncheons, meetings, and the like. It is often seen at technology companies, as well as marketing or public relations departments. Common business casual clothing items include dress pants, khakis, blouses, and tailored blazers that achieve a balance between professional and relaxed. In terms of footwear, stay away from open-toed shoes and stick with either flats or low heels. Opt for neutral colors such as in a business professional dress code, but you can add small pops of color through accessories.

business casual
Business Casual attire

 

Business Professional

Business professional attire is generally a more conservative and formal look to portray yourself in a professional manner. This dress code is more traditional and is very common in industries such as accounting, banking, finance, government, or law. Typically, women can wear a skirt or dress of appropriate length with pantyhose, a neat top, a blazer, a pantsuit, appropriate heels (typically no higher than 3 inches is a good rule of thumb), or tidy flats. Minimal jewelry and belts can be used to accessorize! When dressing in business professional attire it is recommended to stick with more neutral colors such as black, grey, tan, navy blue and white. This dress code is very typical for interviews and high-level meetings.

business professional
Business Professional attire

Generally, an interview calls for business professional attire. The more important thing to consider when you’re dressing for a job interview is that you need to look professional and polished regardless of the type of position you’re seeking. As college students, this is very important because it shows that you know how to behave professionally. How you dress yourself for an interview will give off a particular first impression and you want this to be a positive one! I’m sure you all have heard the saying, “Dress for success,” or “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” Keep these in minding when deciding upon your interview attire.

Now that you know the different kinds of business dress codes, you may be wondering how do I know which to follow? After being hired by a company the easiest way to figure out the dress code is to just ask! It may feel awkward, but feel free to ask your interviewer, supervisor, or human resources representative because it would be a lot more awkward showing up underdressed or overdressed!

As more and more companies switch to telecommuting many interviews may take place over zoom or videoconference. Remember, you still need to look professional even if it is just what is seen on the screen. For example, sweats and slippers on the bottom are okay, but you need to retain a professional, clean, showered, and polished look on top as you would normally. However, if an interview is taking place over a video conference it is most likely unnecessary to wear business professional attire such as wearing a full suit, but you must still look presentable by wearing a nice blouse and some jewelry.

As members of CWIB, we are so lucky to have a big, supportive group of women to back us up and give us advice. If you’re still feeling unsure about your workplace attire, don’t be afraid to ask anyone with job or internship experience! Reach out to friends and co-workers to get their advice on which styles would help employers perceive you best when interviewing or at various business events! Don’t forget to have fun with your personal style! Personalize your outfits in ways that represent who you are, while sticking to the guideline presented in this article.

By: Lindsay Barnes

 

 

 

 

Featured

Power Panel Update: Your Guide to CWIB’s Biggest Event of the Year in the Face of COVID-19

I’m sure you all were excited to attend Power Panel, may this be your first or final experience. Rest assured that although the rest of our semester will not look like what we hoped it would, CWIB is hard at work to ensure Power Panel 2020 will still occur, even if we cannot meet together in person at Virginia Tech. Our amazing members deserve to hear the empowering stories of our panelists and should be able to learn what “She Is” means to them in their respective careers. While the event experience may not be the one we expected, I can promise you it will not be one you want to miss.

Since we cannot hold Power Panel on campus this year, the leadership team has opted to transfer the event to a virtual platform. There are several possible platforms being discussed such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Facebook Live. In the big world of technology we now live in, our options are endless for being able to connect with the panelists. We are confident that whatever platform we choose to utilize, you all will be able to effectively hear the panelists and ask any questions that may arise. We want to confirm that the platform used can accommodate as many attendees as possible, so you all will be the first to hear “where” Power Panel will take place once it is decided! Power Panel will still occur on Wednesday, April 8th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.

PP graphic

One big shout out goes to Abby Riggs, our VP of Showcase. You all were probably not privy to see all that she did behind the scenes of organizing Power Panel. Between reaching out to numerous women to gain their interest in being panelists, to contacting the Inn at Virginia Tech with our menu preferences, and creating a promo video for the event, Abby put her heart and soul into making this event one we would all find so empowering, inspiring, and fun! We definitely shouldn’t discount all the hard work she put towards a successful Power Panel, so here’s a big thank you to Abby! We know Power Panel will be just as empowering and exciting as she planned it out to be.

For an official update on virtual Power Panel, I have included the statement from CWIB’s Facebook post:

We will be sending out a virtual invite for Power Panel in light of COVID-19. We will be sending out more information soon!

In the hopes of empowering, preparing, and connecting women, Collegiate Women in Business hosts our annual Power Panel. Our panelists will discuss a wide range of topics from how to start your career, to advice about navigating your path as both a woman and a businesswoman, to even personal stories about rising above their most difficult challenges. Each year, our panelists serve as an amazing support system and a great resource to learn more about pushing past adversity in the business world.

Featured panelists include:

Jill Mills; 737 Captain — United Airlines

Christina Daves; Publicity Strategist — PR for Anyone

Vicki Petrides; Principle Research Statistician — Abbot Laboratories

Admission is free and all are welcome. No advance registration is required.

We are still more excited than ever as this years’ Power Panel will be another one filled with uplifting, inspirational testimonies from successful women who were once where we are now. We can’t wait to see you all tuned in to the event! Be on the lookout in the next few weeks for Lauren’s Power Panel Preview article where she interviews the panelists and gains insight into their personal and professional endeavors. She introduces them to us so we can get a feel for who we will be hearing from at Power Panel. From steps they took to reach their goals to fun facts, you won’t want to miss out on meeting our panelists! While Power Panel will be set up differently, the benefits reaped from this event will be unlike any other. Keep an eye out for more updates to come and make sure not to let the unsettling times during COVID-19 keep you from doing your part to better yourselves, continue your learning, and help serve as a reminder to make our world a safer place in any way we can.

By: Emma Harwood 

 

 

 

 

Featured

Nashville Trek Recap

above first paragraph

This past week, from February 27th-28th, some of our CWIB members participated in a trek to Nashville, Tennessee. They got to enjoy the sights and sounds of the country music capital of the world, as well as visit the Creative Artists Agency, Dollar General, and Nissan. Creative Artists Industry (CAA) is a talent management agency representing all kinds of performers, from music and acting to sports. They focus on collaboration within the workplace to provide a holistic approach to client representation. Dollar General is an American retail store that, according to their motto, focuses on “serving others” by selling a variety of products at accessible prices. And lastly, Nissan is a household name in the car industry that originated in Japan and now operates as a successful multinational enterprise. At each of these companies, our members were able to network and to hear from panels of female and male speakers, who all spoke about their experiences in their respective industries and within the company itself.

below first paragraph

One of the most memorable aspects of the trip for all of the members I contacted, in addition experiencing Nashville, was the advice they gained from the panels they attended. Paige Horn recalls that the women in the panels recounted their time in the working world thus far and their experiences within their companies, which varied greatly due to differences in background, level of experience, age, and skill. The women the members talked to at Dollar General, for instance, were newer to the workforce than that of the other companies, and thus provided advice that was more applicable for recent college grade transitioning into the workplace, explained Samy Febles.

Some of our members had a piece of wisdom from these panels in which they found especially great value. Sarah Viebrock claims that her favorite piece of advice from the panelists was that you are not limited by your degree. If you find a company that provides the best fit for your skills and lifestyle, it can allow you to move around and try different tasks internally. Laurel Rubens learned that “stepping up to challenges” and taking ownership for your actions without going overkill on apologizing, a habit for some, can improve your interactions with others at work and your satisfaction with your work. Paige Horn also notes that the importance of finding a mentor was mentioned, and that being open to critique and advice while maintaining confidence in your abilities is key as a woman in the workplace.

Apart from tips on adjusting to the workplace and workplace culture, each company educated our members about specific aspects of their business. Nissan representatives discussed the struggles of managing a very large corporation, as well as how to market automobiles to a globally diverse audience. Dollar General focused on retail strategy and their approach to supply chain management. They also included a fun tour of the company and a trip to the “Dollar General Museum.” Lastly, CAA discussed the experience and skills needed to represent major artists and build personal brands. At CAA, our members also had the opportunity to meet with an agent who recently helped world famous performing artist, Harry Styles, book his tours.

belowfourthparagraph

When I asked what their biggest takeaway was from this trip, I received some very poignant and empowering responses. A theme throughout their responses was being unafraid to put 100% of yourself into attaining what you want, especially in your career. Laurel Rubens learned that pursuing your great idea for a new product or company could change your life for the better, so don’t be afraid to follow that dream! Both Samy Febles and Sarah Viebrock emphasized the importance of being unafraid to push yourself and take risks. With great risk often comes great reward, and some of the most successful people in business made it to where they are today by learning how to take calculated risks. Our members seemed to have learned a lot about becoming trailblazing women in business!

abovelastparagraph

Treks are truly great experiences for any member of CWIB to be a part of. The members I contacted expressed their appreciation for the unique networking opportunities these trips provide, as well as the wealth of knowledge they gained from talking to women in business directly. Treks often provide more diverse and realistic perspectives of the working world, and having the ability to ask specific questions can help members personalize their experience and do their own research on different industries in a fun and open environment. Sarah Viebrock says that the trek “opened [her] eyes to many possibilities of a business degree.” Visiting diverse varieties of companies that all fall within the category of “business” can indeed broaden the horizons of what opportunities lie in wait for your specific skill sets or degree. Furthermore, treks are great for bonding with other members of CWIB. The time spent in the car during the trip actually a great chance to get to know everybody and grow closer to each other, and was one of Paige Horn’s favorite parts of her trek. A new opportunity to participate in a trek is always right around the corner, so if you’re interested in making friends, travelling, or exploring what options are waiting for you after graduation, make sure to keep your eye out for CWIB’s next trek! CWIB would like to thank Creative Artists Agency, Nissan, and Dollar General for networking with our members, providing insight to their company missions and cultures, and fostering a welcoming atmosphere while on this trek!

By: Lauren Miles

 

Featured

Remain Focused: Study Tips to Stay Motivated and Focused Until Spring Break

Are you already thinking of the warm and sandy beaches you will be on in less than two weeks? Have you already checked out of the school mindset and are planning what you will be wearing on the beach? With spring break looming around the corner, it can be difficult to stay focused and keep on track in school. It is especially important during the last few weeks leading up to it because, it seems that professors always schedule projects, quizzes, and exams all around this time! It sometimes feels like we are drowning in all of the work we have to do right before we can go on vacation. I know in the past I have struggled to stay completely focused on my schoolwork with spring break coming up so soon. It seems that the thought of spring break is always in the back of your mind and you are thinking, what am I going to pack? Which clothes and bathing suits should I bring? All of these questions and thoughts pop up and then distract you from getting your work done. In this article I will touch on a few good study tips on how they are beneficial to you as a student. Some of these study techniques I have used in the past have worked well for me. I hope that this article will help you achieve your study goals and help you stay motivated and focused up until spring break!

beach

My first study tip is one I use all the time and it is to study in groups. This can either be with your friends, or peers from your classes. I have found that studying with other people helps me a lot more than if I were to only study by myself. While sometimes you need to study alone, working with other people also proves to be a strong tool that can help you get the score you want on that exam. The reason why I like working in groups is because it allows me to discuss topics and in return, I end up learning more. Another reason why study groups are so beneficial is you get to help other people and explain certain concepts to them. I find that once I am able to explain a problem or a concept to someone without hesitation, I fully understand the material, and this is achieved through working with others! I also did some research to see if there were any studies done to support this, and I found one article that conducted a study at a university and compared students’ grades that work in groups to the other students’ grades that do not work in study groups. Through this study, it was found that participating in a study group resulted in positive achievements for those students. This particular study also found how collaborating with other classmates in turn motivated each member of the study group to be efficient when studying alone, and resulted in better outcomes when the students would study by themselves.

One interesting point that Graham Hendry made was the importance of who you are studying with. He discussed how to be selective of who you will be studying with and how that can affect your time. It is obvious that if you are friends with the people in your group and you all get along, there is more of a chance that working together will result in positive outcomes, as opposed to working with people that do not get along well. So, with these results, forming groups and collaborating with your fellow students can foster higher test scores and a deeper understanding of your class’s material. While we all know that sometimes studying with your friends or peers can be distracting, the positive consequences outweigh the distractions that can sometimes result from study groups.

Bio-Studygroups-Image-341x166

The next tip I would like to discuss is the importance of taking breaks. It is sometimes hard enough motivating yourself to sit down for a long period of time and grind out all of your work, but it can be even more difficult to do this if you are sitting down for four or five straight hours with no breaks. Also, it is helpful to clear your head, de-stress, and take mental breaks in order to be efficient during your studying time. Here are some dos and don’ts for breaks:

Firstly, you want to keep your break shorter rather than longer. A suggested time length would be 10 minutes. This way there is less likely of a chance you can get distracted and it will be easier for you to get back on track, as opposed to taking, lets say, a 30 minute break. It is also important to make sure you aren’t sitting down for extended periods of time; periodically get up and stretch your legs, or when it is time for a rest, incorporate movement during it. In the end though, you know what works best for you, and also when it is time you need a break.

Like previously said, it seems that professors dump what it seems to be an endless amount of work the week before spring break, and it can feel extremely overwhelming. It is important to stay focused and positive so you can be efficient and do well on your exams and assignments. As members of CWIB we are all motivated and successful young women, but sometimes we all struggle with staying focused especially with spring break so close! I hope that these study suggestions will be useful and will in turn result in positive outcomes with your school work. We have one more week until break, so just hang in there and finish this week off strong!

By: Ashley Mattson

 

Featured

Self Care: Take Time for Yourself

As college students, we can get swept up in the importance of homework, exams, projects and everything else that can be thrown our way. Your success in and out of the classroom is extremely important, but so is your self care & mental health. By the end of this article I want to convince each and every one of you to take a step back, take a deep breath, and dedicate some time each day to your self care.

First of all, what is self care really? According to clinical health psychologist, Helen L Coons, self care, “is one’s action is around our physical, emotional, relational, perhaps professional, educational, and, for some people, spiritual well-being that reflects the way that we take care of ourselves on the most fundamental levels.” For the most part, self care revolves around doing activities that make you the happiest, while reducing your stress levels.

Studies have shown that your success and productivity is directly correlated with your self care, which in turn, helps your mental health as well. Here are some tips on ways that you can improve your self care!

sleep

Get some sleep!

Getting sleep can be hard as a college student, but it is so important. I’ve found that going to bed early and waking up early are two of the best ways to maximize the amount of sleep you can get while also increasing your productivity. If you plan on going to bed early, say around 10:00 PM, you will start to plan your days accordingly and get your work done early. Going to bed early goes hand in hand with waking up early, as getting a jump start on your day will enable you to make the most out of it!

happy

Do at least one activity a day that makes you happy

This could literally be anything. It could be watching one episode of your favorite TV show on Netflix, riding a scooter around campus with a friend, taking a bath, or reading a chapter of a book you’re reading. In reality, self care is different to each and every person, but it is important to find what self care means for you. At the end of the day, doing something that makes you happy and increases your well-being will allow you to be more productive in the long run.

exercise

Exercise! 

Exercise is one of the best ways to increase your endorphins. Endorphins are naturally occurring chemicals that are released in your brain when exercising and trigger a positive feeling in the body. It has been shown that after working out, people feel more productive and more accomplished. Working out is also a stress-reliever and can serve as a nice, productive break from your classes or studying schedule. Exercise can be anything from going for a walk, taking a group exercise class, swimming, or lifting weights; the important thing is to find what works for you and will help you get moving consistently!

reflect

Reflect

Lastly, taking some time each day to either journal, or jot down some notes about how your day went can help prioritize your problems, fears and concerns while also figuring out how to tackle these things head on. Journaling also helps you visualize your goals and ambitions by giving you a space to write down the mini-milestones that you need to accomplish in order to reach your dreams. Finally, reflecting in a journal enables you to give yourself encouragement by writing down what you have accomplished that day, or that week, thus giving you the chance to see all that you have done, in addition to inspiring you to stretch your strengths and talents in new challenges.

Ultimately, self care is a major part of being happy and successful in and out of the classroom, regardless of the outside noise that you may have going on. I strongly encourage each and every one of you to take some time for yourself to do one of the things that is mentioned in this article. Maintaining good mental health and participating in self care activities empowers you to be the best you, and gives you the authority to be in charge of your own happiness, success, and growth.

By: Paige Horn

 

Featured

Mentors: Your Guardian Angels in the Workplace

When reading articles or watching educational videos on developing your professional career, most people will advise you to look into mentorship. Mentors are experienced professionals in your workplace who can assist and teach you about skills valuable for building your career. Such skills can be as general as writing up your resume into its most appealing version, or technical and specialized skills that are unique to what you do. To help new Collegiate Women in Business members adjust to the organization and the different benefits it provides such as events and networking, the mentorship program was developed. We asked VP of Mentorship, Elizabeth Sweeney, some questions to help inform members about the CWIB mentorship program.

elizabeth sweeney
Elizabeth Sweeney, VP Mentorship

How would you summarize the mentorship program?

The mentorship program is a place for girls of various backgrounds to come together and simply help each other. Helping them with school work, personal, or social aspects of their lives. The mentorship program is what you make of it. If you want to see your mentee/mentor at the monthly meeting, you can save a seat for them. If you want to go out and have lunch weekly, go for it!  The whole purpose is to pair up two ladies and hopefully allow them to use our three pillars and encourage each other.

What are the benefits of having a mentor?

Mentors can help with whatever you need. As previously mentioned, the mentorship program is what you make of it. I have heard feedback from girls that have had their mentors go above and beyond. Mentors have texted random encouraging texts, helped with job and internship activities, met up for lunch, and even go for a fun night out of bowling. Having said that, the benefits can be any amount of anything, but it is truly creating a familiar face in a time of your life that can be crazy.

What made you want to become VP of Mentorship?

VP of Mentorship has been a position for years. The reason why the mentorship program is run the way it was is solely based on two facts. First, I wanted young Hokies to find somebody that can be more than a friendly face. Getting involved as a freshman and seeing other girls already know what their major is and who their friends are can be intimidating. I want women to feel empowered and loved by girls in the room.

Secondly, I wanted somebody to help young Hokies, knowing what I needed help with my early years at Tech. I needed somebody to tell me that there is free tutoring offered on campus. I needed to learn basic things as a new Blacksburg local. I was in the mentorship program last year. In my head, I thought that it can be a strong associate to CWIB. With a little bit of rewiring, I think steps to continue to improve the program are in place.

kobu-agency-7okkFhxrxNw-unsplash

CWIB Mentorship

Participating in this mentorship program can be greatly beneficial for internships or jobs, having a second opinion on professional questions, and all things Collegiate Women in Business. Not only do you have another familiar face in the many women who are in the organization, you also have a guide to help you with professional questions that you might not know who to ask. Plus, previous mentees can eventually become a mentor to other new members and pass down the knowledge they have acquired!

Many students go off to find professional mentors in their workplace for advice stemming from personal experience in their chosen career path, or simply wanting someone to help further their knowledge in their respective field. There are countless benefits to mentors, who can be a support system, advisor, and coach all in one. You can look through your company’s Human Resources department to see if your workplace provides a mentorship program, or search outside the office such as on LinkedIn or other networking sites. Finding a professional mentor can be especially helpful for those just starting to work in the real world, and are not sure where to begin learning. Befriending those in your department is always an additional way to find a support system when just starting out, which will benefit your collaboration abilities and help you to work on solving problems with others. There is never a time when having a network of professionals to turn to won’t help you with your career! Begin surrounding yourself with those who have goals, ambitions, and are looking to support others now!

By: Gyu Ri Kim

 

Featured

Job Hunting: “Where Do I Start?”

above the problem

The Problem

Need some extra cash? Looking to build experience? Trying to land that dream job? Job hunting can be motivated by a variety of factors, each of which contribute to the level of urgency and professionalism needed in your search. Once the need to find a job arises, you may want to get started right away, but find yourself overwhelmed and confused. Knowing where to look, how much to ask for, and how to find the right fit for you is not always obvious, especially for first-time job-hunters. While looking for a job is not the same process for everyone, there are some key steps you can take, resources you can utilize, and general information everyone can benefit from. By acquiring some tips and tricks, you can become more confident and comfortable with pursuing this process. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and work for what you want!

above first steps

First Steps

The very first step you can take is looking inward. You can’t start looking without knowing what you want! Good questions to ask yourself are:

  1. Are you motivated by money or experience?
  2. How quickly do you need a job?
  3. What kind of work are you comfortable doing or would like to do?
  4. Do you have any skills or preferences that are applicable to a certain line of work?
  5. How often and for how long are you available to work?
  6. How much effort are you willing to put into your search?

If you already know the answers to these questions, or have a dream job in mind, that’s great! If not, in addition to asking yourself these questions, you can take some time to fill out some free assessments online that may help to match you with a certain career path. This “career cluster” interest assessment is just one of the many free online resources that can help you understand your preferences a little better if you are pursuing a full-time career (https://www.mynextmove.org/explore/ip). If you are making big decisions about what career you would like to pursue, doing thorough research about the field of your choice is also crucial. This includes understanding potential growth in that field, average pay, typical working hours, and much more.

Here are some reliable resources to aid your research:

Once you have a general idea of the direction of your search, the next best step is to make a plan. This plan may be more structured if you have time constraints or need to find a job quickly. Utilizing a planner or your phone calendar to map out your next moves can help you use your time more efficiently. Action items you should consider including in your plan are creating or updating your resumè, investing some time looking on popular job search websites, contacting any LinkedIn connections for prospective job openings, and scheduling interviews and informal meetings.

To find part-time or  full-time jobs near you, you can easily browse some popular job search sites, like Indeed, Monster, and Glassdoor. Companies will post positions they are looking to fill along with their respective responsibilities and wages. People who have worked at these companies in the past can leave reviews, which helps you choose a work environment that suits you best. Creating or updating a LinkedIn profile is also highly suggested for anyone looking to enter the workforce.

These steps may seem easy upon first glance, but this process may take some time. It is important to try to maintain a positive attitude and to stay patient during your job hunting experience because it can be easy to become demoralized by lack of positive responses. Keeping your chin up and persevering until you find the perfect opportunity for you will make your success even sweeter in the end!

above tried and true advice

Tried and True Advice

For college students in particular, there are some specific pieces of advice that can be especially helpful. Your school recognizes the need for resources dedicated to job hunting, so there will most likely be career fairs and networking events you can attend. Networking can include connecting with recruiters, alumni, and even your professors. If you excel or have an interest in any particular subject, your professor may be a great resource for job opportunities, research programs, and references for your resumè.

Additionally, keep an eye out for recruiters or recruiting events hosted by certain companies. These opportunities can be a direct pipeline to a full-time job! Networking is truly a key opportunity for college students to take advantage of whenever possible. Remember, networking is not only limited to high-ranking professionals; it is good to connect with anyone who can help you get where you want to go.

Furthermore, your campus most likely has a career services office, or something similar. VT certainly does! The career services office will host events to build students’ professional skills and knowledge and can be a good place to visit if you need career counseling or help with job hunting. You can ask questions and personalize your experience to suit your needs.

In terms of finding a quick part-time job, finding a position on campus that is easily accessible is usually very beneficial. You can play a contributing role in your school’s daily functions and acquire some student discounts, while being only a stone’s throw away from your classes. Working on campus can be a great way to explore different careers if you are fairly new to the working world, as on-campus jobs can include anything from food service, to retail, to graphic design.

above ready for takeoff

Ready for Takeoff!

Pursuing a new job or career path is tough. It takes persistence and strength to put yourself out there to new people, especially those you wish to impress. But, do not let it intimidate you! Someone out there is looking for someone just like you, with your unique skills, background, and personality. Just remember to utilize all of the resources available to you, take advantage of opportunities that come your way, and be confident in yourself because only you can make it happen!

By: Lauren Miles 

Featured

Protiviti Spotlight

CWIB would not be possible without our sponsors who provide networking opportunities, jobs to CWIB alumni, and insight into the corporate world. Protiviti, a global consulting firm, is one of these sponsors and I had the opportunity to hear more about this company from three CWIB alumni currently employed at Protiviti.

protiviti

 

Andra Scaliti, a 2019 graduate with a Business Information Technology degree, says she found Protiviti through other CWIB members and a Pre-Business Horizon’s event. She says, “What stood out to me immediately were the people, each one of which I could easily have a friendly, open, and candid conversation with.” Lauren Carey, another 2019 graduate with a degree in Finance and Management found Protiviti through a workshop they held with CWIB and also from CWIB members newly employed there.

Heather Sangalang, also a 2019 grad who found Protiviti through connections in CWIB, says Protiviti stood out to her because, “everyone has been so warm, welcoming, and inclusive. The passion they have for Protiviti’s culture and mission, as well as their genuine desire to see their peers succeed, are evident.” She is, “so thankful to have a job that allows me to enjoy not just the work itself, but the people I work with as well.” Lauren mentions their new Foundations Program, which allows new employees to work on a range of projects, is what drew her to Protiviti and says “I was excited to be a part of this program to help me to figure out what I am actually interested in and have the opportunity to work with multiple clients.”

The transition from college to the real working world can be a tough one, but Protiviti provides assistance in many ways to help new employees feel at home. At the “training school” Heather says, “You get the opportunity to travel to a cool city with hundreds of other new hires to learn about what the firm is like, how to implement our methodology, what basic consulting skills are, and how to network.” Andra mentions this eased “the transition from college to corporate life.” Lauren says Protiviti’s mentorship program greatly helped her transition. She became friends with her peer advisor and says, “she was there to answer all of my questions and help me navigate my first months with the firm.” She mentions while the transition into the workforce has been difficult, her mentors have greatly helped.

Andra, Lauren, and Heather are all current consultants at Protiviti. Andra explains, “While consultant level responsibilities vary greatly across engagements, some common functions include attending client meetings, generating work papers, and completing risk assessments to enable our clients’ success.” Heather is currently working on a project with a large software company and with her team, “is conducting a risk assessment, which means we are evaluating the client’s current processes and identifying what risks exist that may impede their day-to-day operations, customer interactions, and profitability.” Lauren is currently working on an anti-money laundering project and is “in charge of account analysis and reviewing people’s accounts to determine if there is suspicious activity.” Andra is a Foundations Consultant in New York City and works “across multiple solutions including Technology Consulting, Business Performance Improvement, Risk and Compliance, and Internal Audit.” Though these women have similar job titles, their responsibilities and interests vary greatly and all have been able to find their place at the company.

Heather says in addition to working with clients, she has, “been able to help with campus recruiting, get involved in network groups (i.e. Women in Technology group), and plan social events.” Andra appreciates the experience Protiviti offers her and says “Protiviti enables rapid growth for its consultants’ skillsets, both technical and interpersonal.” Lauren says she has been given more responsibility in her first six months than she expected, which has made her feel valued and respected in the company.

If you are anything like me, you are probably wondering how to land a job at such a great company right out of college. Andra says in addition to being involved in CWIB leadership, she played Club Soccer and Club Lacrosse at Virginia Tech, “which built work ethic and taught team dynamics which apply directly to my day-to-day.” Lauren’s experience working at Wells Fargo part-time helped her “learn how to balance work and school. At my job now, my clients are mostly large banks so working at a bank has helped me to understand the customer facing side.” Heather, who was involved in various CWIB positions all four years at Virginia Tech, says in her roles she, “learned how to communicate within a team to execute things for the organization, which has helped me tremendously in my job now because I collaborate with people every day.” She was also a Student-Athlete Tutor, an experience that taught her to “think about how I communicate my thoughts and knowledge to others in order to transfer the information successfully”.

In an attempt to recruit other promising hires such as these women, Protiviti provides both internships and externships.” The internship is an eight-week program that allows interns to get real consulting experience. You get staffed on 2-3 short engagements throughout the summer. It may seem like you wouldn’t get that much experience in that short period of time, but you’ll be surprised how much you can learn,” explains Heather. Andra mentions “Virginia Tech is one of Protiviti’s target schools for recruiting and can be found on campus multiple times throughout the year for Business Horizons, Pamplin events, and of course CWIB workshops. Protiviti applications can be found on Handshake and the firm even provides convenient on-campus interviews for students. Protiviti hires interns, full-time hires, and offers its Summer Leadership Conference for sophomores to get involved early in the Protiviti community.”

As not only Virginia Tech graduates but CWIB alumni, I was curious what advice these women who are a few steps ahead of us could offer. Lauren suggests saying yes to as many opportunities as possible your first year at a company will help you get to know the people in the office and gain respect. Andra warns against imposter syndrome and says “Harnessing your abilities, taking ownership of your successes, and making your voice heard is a sure way to combat imposter syndrome, impress coworkers, and stand out among peers.” Heather says making connections now is extremely important and suggests, “Whether you introduce yourself to the speaker at a CWIB monthly meeting, ask for the business card of an interesting employee you meet on a trek, or start a conversation with the person sitting next to you in class, any small step is good practice!” She reminds us “As women, it’s important to have a strong support system in this male-dominated industry, and the more comfortable you are with making those connections, the more prepared you are to be successful in the business world!”

I would like to thank Heather, Andra, and Lauren for taking the time to give such great insight into their personal experiences at Virginia Tech and with Protiviti. Protiviti’s partnership with CWIB provides many valuable opportunities for its members and I encourage you to look for them at the next job fair or networking event!

By: Grace Farmelo

 

Featured

Why We Love CWIB

Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day, CWIB! To share the love during this holiday, I wanted to feature all the many reasons why our leadership team, committees, and general membership appreciate what they are provided with through being a part of CWIB. All of you are integral pieces of what makes this organization a success, so take the time to read about why we love CWIB!

With CWIB’s pillars being empower, prepare, and connect, I can’t help but notice how “empower” resonates with the majority of us the most. I honestly can say I have never left a monthly meeting not feeling empowered and inspired by all that our leadership team executes, the advice our amazing guest speakers provide, and the day-to-day opportunities you all pursue in order to reach your goals. One of our Co-CEOs, Ashton Hughes, seems to agree as she “LOVES being surrounded by such a large group of driven, intelligent, and multifaceted women.” Since we all bring unique talents and skills to our jobs, classes, and extracurriculars, it always keeps things interesting hearing about the opportunities we all have going on for ourselves. It truly shows how passionate we are; we each can inspire each other every day by sharing our personal experiences, because our stories are meaningful and empowering.

The reason we all feel so empowered being apart of CWIB is that “the friendships you make here are built on support from the beginning, so you know you can always lean on each other and ask for help when you need it,” as our COO Kaelyn Petrides said. Never having to question whether our friends will genuinely encourage us is a wonderful feeling. CWIB prides itself on empowering all women to make real, lasting connections, and this is evident through the bonds we hold with current and former members to this day. Another reason Kaelyn loves CWIB (I really love this reason myself) is that she “gets to be a boss without the fear of being called bossy.” She can be the “strong and professional and compassionate woman that she wants to be in the workplace.”  CWIB sets us women up for success by teaching us to embrace our thoughts, opinions, and ideas because they matter! We are exposed to practicing this mentality before we enter the workforce so that when we do, we are better negotiators, more equipped to collaborate with others, and confident in the work we accomplish. Being able to network with others in order to make connections is another crucial aspect we will have to tackle in the workforce, which is why our CMO Abby Mercatoris-Morrison loves CWIB. She tells me “I love CWIB because of the connections I’ve made and the friendships I’ve gained.” I’m sure you all want to be friends, or at least on good terms, with your coworkers on day, and it’s much easier to feel this way when you are supported by those around you. Abby realizes this too as “she feels confident being surrounded by supportive women.”

Our Chronicles writers shared what they love about CWIB too! Lauren Miles states, “I love CWIB because it gives me so many opportunities to learn about the workplace and meet talented and successful women.” As a freshman, Lauren appreciates gaining experience from older members and getting a feel for what they did as an underclassman to set themselves up for success. It is important to learn these skills early on in our collegiate careers, which is another wonderful aspect CWIB provides. Our senior members feel honored to share their knowledge with the eager underclassmen; being able to teach others what you were once taught is extremely empowering and a main aspect of growing up. This is something our guest speakers can resonate with as I’m confident they enjoy imploring their knowledge and skills with us, after all they were once in our shoes. Gyu Ri Kim states she feels “the empowerment after guest lecturers come share their stories with us.” She loves hearing their successes and appreciates that CWIB gives us the platform to learn from these successful women.

With all the amazing organizations Virginia Tech has, CWIB has a special place in our heart for our dedicated members. It may seem overwhelming finding your place here at school, but Lindsay Barnes tells the Chronicles that CWIB was the first organization she joined when she got to Tech. “CWIB gave me a lot of direction in terms of my major and the ability to get involved in something so early on,” Lindsay says. Even if you do not know other women in the organization at first, our members are always welcoming and eager to meet others! Grace Farmelo states that she “always ends up having a good time and talking to other women [she] has a lot in common with” at the variety of CWIB events. She loves the uplifting community CWIB is, and that she can attend events without the worry of not being able to connect with someone.

We all come to college looking to find resources that help us in our professional and personal endeavors. Ashley Mattson loves all the activities, workshops, and events CWIB gives us. The resources we provide are unlike other clubs’ and the possibility of advancement in leadership positions is quite evident. Shannon Kelly appreciates the growth opportunities in certain positions and the self-confidence you gain from being a part of committees. The fact that new leadership teams and committees can continue the work of the previous one represents the great passion we have for continuing the success of CWIB.

As for myself, I love that CWIB has helped me gain life skills such as collaborating with others, not being afraid to speak up, and making meaningful connections. I have leaped out of my shell since joining CWIB and I can see that many other women have too. No matter your major, professional goals, or collegiate stage of life, CWIB has something we all can take advantage of to better ourselves. I hope you feel the CWIB love after reading all these inspiring testimonials and don’t forget to do something kind for someone today, try something new, and spread the love you have for all the amazing women (and men!) in your life.

By: Emma Harwood

 

Featured

CWIB Member Feature: Gabriela Oporto

CWIB began in 2014 as an organization for women who were in the business school, but over the years the club has grown exceptionally and stresses how CWIB is open to all majors. For this feature I contacted non-Pamplin students and asked them certain questions pertaining to their education and how CWIB has affected their collegiate careers. The member featured in this article is Gabriela Oporto.

headshot
Gabriela Oporto

Gabriela is a junior studying statistics here at Virginia Tech. She found out about CWIB through her friends who were Pamplin students. I asked why she decided to join knowing that CWIB is thought of as a business organization, since she is not a student of Pamplin. She explained that she decided to join because CWIB wasn’t a “stereotypical” club for business majors. She also discussed how she liked that we focus on our three pillars (empower, prepare, and connect) and how these words resonate with members to prepare them for the workforce. This supports the club’s mission which is to:

“Inspire and develop world-class leaders in business, foster interactions with successful role models, and build the confidence, courage and the will to create meaningful impact.”

The goal of CWIB does not only pertain to business majors, but all majors because eventually, everyone ends up working for a business of some type, or they even start up their own business! Either way, CWIB is a club in which many students with all different backgrounds can come together, learn, and inspire each other to become empowering women in their field. Tying into the point just made, Gabriela was asked what opportunities CWIB has provided her outside of the stereotypical business setting, and she replied by talking about how CWIB has allowed her to connect with other students that share similar experiences as Gabriela. She also discussed how much easier it is for her to connect with other girls via club meetings and events. This is a great example of the third pillar, Connect. As stated in the mission statement, one goal of this club is to foster relationships amongst women in the collegiate world, and also in the business world. Gabriela is able to take advantage of this through numerous organizational events.

CWIB provides many opportunities for their members which allow members to meet others and create meaningful memories with each other.  I asked Gabriela about a favorite memory she has from an event or meeting that resonated with her. One of her favorite memories was at a monthly meeting where a guest speaker presented. Gabriela described how the guest speaker, Dana Hummel-Smith, used to babysit her and how she was an important person in her life. She explains how inspiring it was for her, later in life, to hear Dana speak about her experiences and to see how far she has gone. This is another great example of how CWIB uses connection to empower its members, and also it shows the power of networking!

As a club that inspires young women and also fosters relationships amongst collegiate women, we are always looking to expand and invite more members to join the club. When asking Gabriela about how she would convince her friends to join and what she would tell them, she stated that she would simply tell them about the “positive environment” the club provides and would recommend it to anyone who is willing to network. She would also tell them about all of the fun activities and events CWIB participates in!

CWIB provides a great environment to learn about business skills and grow within the business world. I asked Gabriela about what this club has taught her in the time she has been a member. She said that the club has taught her how to be more confident, how to believe in herself, and how it has helped her achieve a more positive mindset. Gabriela is a great example of how CWIB helps its members in a positive way and how the club encourages their members to grow into confident young women in the business world.

Outside of being a member of CWIB, Gabriela spends most of her time working at the West End dining hall. She discusses how she has recently been more driven and motivated to do “simple” tasks and also she has been more motivated to look well because she believes that it will lead her to more leadership opportunities within her job, which she says, CWIB has made an emphasis on. I was very excited to hear how CWIB impacted her in this way in another aspect of her college career!

Lastly, to wrap up the interview, I asked Gabriela what her professional goals are and how being a member of CWIB will help achieve her goals. She aims to get an internship for this upcoming summer working in data analysis in order for her to hopefully land a full time career in that field. She once again talked about how much CWIB has taught her about how to be more confident in herself and how she can make herself stand out to employees, which will in turn, hopefully land her the internship she wants. There are many successful graduates of Virginia Tech who were involved with CWIB that have gone on to do amazing things. I can’t help but think that being an active member of this club, has helped them along the way, as shown by this interview with Gabriela.

Throughout this interview, Gabriela has shown the many benefits CWIB has provided her even without being a Pamplin student. This shows the numerous opportunities this club can provide to its members, and how these opportunities can pertain to everyone and not just business majors. It was a pleasure hearing about Gabriela’s experience of being a member of CWIB because she comes from a different perspective than most members. It is amazing to hear about all of the wonderful outcomes members like Gabriela receive from CWIB and how we set up our members for success in their everyday lives.

By: Ashley Mattson

Featured

Wisdom for the Workforce

Over winter break, many students finalized their internships or job offers for the summer. For those who haven’t, fret not as there are countless opportunities still out there for grabs. You can find these offers on Handshake, LinkedIn, or any other job board such as Glassdoor or Indeed. For those who already have their summer plans set, it can be an overwhelming time as you anticipate what’s to come- especially if this is your first internship. However, Collegiate Women in Business and other resources on campus offer many resources for students to utilize to help ease their adjustment to their new jobs.

CWIB Events

One such resource is the Campus2City event on Wednesday, February 19th at 7:00 pm. Campus2City is a new Collegiate Women in Business sponsor who is hosting a workshop to help students who will be relocating to New York City after college. If you are busy worrying about your job duties and responsibilities, Campus2City will help take some of the load off of your back by answering all of your questions pertaining to New York relocation for your job. The event will consist of real estate practices and insight on what a career in real estate would look like. For those interested in the area, there will be job opportunities if you are still looking! Even if you are not a Real Estate major, expanding your interests to explore different career opportunities while getting involved is a good start to figuring out what you may want to do in the future. You may even fall in love with a new potential career path! If any of this sounds interesting to you, come out and enjoy some Chik-Fil-A while learning more about the Campus2City platform!

Another Collegiate Women in Business event coming up is the Dress for Success workshop, which will be hosted by Loft. The event will take place on Tuesday, February 25th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Loft on First and Main Street. It can be hard to figure out what to wear for a job, especially when there are countless types such as business casual, business creative, or business formal. During this event, Loft will help assist members on determining what kind of business attire is appropriate for different kinds of settings. The clothes you wear can impact your job greatly, since confidence in your appearance can also make you confident in the work you do. After you leave the Dress for Success workshop, you will feel much more informed on what kind of clothes you can wear to different business settings and how you can feel your prime during your job. After the workshop, Loft will stay open after hours for members to shop with an exclusive discount. Light refreshments will also be available, so show up to Loft on First and Main Street for a good time!

loft

Our Monthly Meetings are just about the best opportunities to hear from professional women in the workforce about their experiences and how we too can achieve our goals. I hope you all made the February meeting yesterday where we heard from the amazing Lindsay Burton, CEO and founder of Kayo Conference Series. Her inspiring story of her transition from Wall Street to starting her company gave us all insight into how we can be just as courageous in our professional endeavors. She stressed how women should not be afraid to be entrepreneurs as we all bring special skills and passions to what we choose to pursue. As Lindsay said, combining a passion, skills, and a way to make money is crucial in your professional success. As you determine what passions and skills you have, the money will come; it is important to focus on ambition over prestige when starting out in your company.

kobu-agency-7okkFhxrxNw-unsplash

Job Fairs

For those who have not secured an internship yet, Virginia Tech offers many job fairs for students to explore different companies and what they offer. On Wednesday, February 18th, The Career and Professional Development department is hosting a job fair at the Commonwealth Ballroom from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. There will be more than 125 companies represented at the fair offering positions from co-ops to internships, or even full time jobs. Examples of employers who will be at the event include the CIA, Geico, and the Peace Corps. Make sure to research the company before you arrive, and carry your resume and cover letters in a padfolio so you aren’t scrambling for papers.

Before heading to a job fair, ensure that your resume is updated and as professional as it could be. Virginia Tech often hosts resume workshops throughout different organizations. On Monday, February 10th, come to the Career Course 101: Resume and Cover Letter Basics events at Smith Career Center from 2:30 to 3:00 pm. You can get all your questions about your resume answered, as well as receive extra advice on small mistakes you might not have even been aware of. Make sure to RSVP on Handshake, if you plan to attend, since resume workshops are limited space. CWIB puts extensive efforts into conducting resume workshops, networking events, and publishing articles like this one intended to help you at job fairs! Keep your eyes open for these opportunities before the next job fair.

van-tay-media-Kab_-4M4I74-unsplash

Part Time Jobs

If you are unable to find an internship or want to take some time off before entering the workforce, finding a part time job can also be a great option for gaining experience in vital skills such as customer service, teamwork, or sales. Many students, especially those studying business, prioritize internships above all else and do not consider a part time retail or restaurant job when making summer plans. However, all job skills are transferable, and as long as you learn valuable lessons that will help you in the future, it is easy to express how integral part time jobs were in building your career.

College is often the first time students are exposed to the professional workforce. To help ease this transition, Virginia Tech and the Collegiate Women in Business offer many resources. Make sure to prioritize attending these events and workshops since gaining new skills and networking with professionals are invaluable to employers. CWIB sincerely appreciates our sponsors and members for taking the time out of our busy schedules to make the most of these events!

By: Gyu Ri Kim

 

Featured

Alumni Spotlight

Throughout college, there are a variety of ways that we find meaning and connection to our peers, community, and future career. Collegiate Women in Business is an amazing organization that we choose to identify with, which brings meaning into our time here at Virginia Tech. To get a better understanding of the impact that CWIB has had on members of our organization, I reached out to Andra Scaliti, Angela Zadrima, and Heather Sangalang to get their perspective on college, as well as life after graduation.

I think that all of us wonder what life is like after college, as it is an inevitability: we are all going to graduate, have real jobs, rent an apartment, and finally do things on our own, possibly for the first time in our lives. This is a scary thought for some of us, but at the end of the day, reality. Luckily, we have some amazing women who have gone through this transition that have been more than welcome to share their experiences with us. Here are their responses regarding their experiences, memories and careers.

When did you graduate from Virginia Tech, what was your major, and what do you miss most about Tech?

Andra: “What I most miss about Tech is the Blacksburg community. The sense of comradery and spirit is entirely unique and unmatched.”

Heather: “It is so hard to pinpoint only one thing that I miss most about Tech, but the first thing that comes to mind is being in close proximity to my friends all the time. We lived within minutes of each other, and jumped to “Enter Sandman” every fall Saturday together. . . Blacksburg’s tight-knit community is rare and should be cherished while you still have it.”

How did CWIB help you during your time at Virginia Tech?

Heather: “CWIB helped me feel empowered when I was at Virginia Tech. I went to the first meeting and the rest is history. The leaders and members of the organization were all ambitious, and I really wanted to surround myself with people like that. I immediately joined the Marketing Committee, then transitioned to the Magazine Committee during my sophomore year, which led me to become the Editor-In-Chief of the CWIB Chronicles my Junior and Senior Year. My increasing responsibility in the organization empowered me to know that I can do whatever I set my mind to and know that I am capable of taking on responsibility and leading and inspiring others.”

Angela: “CWIB gave me the confidence I needed to secure my job offer and make everlasting connections. I also met some of my best friends through CWIB! The women in this group are not only incredible resources but incredible people – you each possess different strengths and add so much value to the organization and Virginia Tech.”

Describe your career path since graduating from Virginia Tech.

Angela: “My career path really solidified after attending Business Horizons my sophomore year. After speaking with all of the Big 4 accounting firms, I ended up participating in an externship for KPMG that summer. That externship led to an internship offer, which I accepted and worked the summer of my junior year. The internship led to a full-time offer, and I started working as an audit associate in September.”

Andra: “Upon graduation, I started my career in New York City as a Consultant at Protiviti, a large global consulting firm, the offer for which I accepted upon my internship with the firm the summer following my junior year. My start date was not until September which allowed for a long, relaxing, and reflective summer after graduation to prepare for this exciting new chapter.”

What do you think are the most important skills to possess when going into the workforce? What are the skills that are most important to you in your day to day job?

Heather: “In my opinion, good time management and communication are the most important skills to possess when entering the workforce. Good communication is crucial because most jobs require you to work with others. Whether it’s revealing the status of your deliverable, asking for help on something, providing constructive criticism, or simply sharing your ideas, you need to have good communication skills to effectively get your points across.”

Andra: While skills obtained in the classroom are essential for workforce success, it is soft skills that often differentiate entry level employees from their peers. The pinnacle among these is professionalism. I’ve learned the single trait that stands out the most to seniors and managers is a mature level of professionalism in terms of written communication, dress, respect, and overall personability.

What is one piece of advice that you want to share? 

Angela: “Put yourself first. It’s easy to become bogged down by whatever is stressing you at the moment – school, romantic relationships, friendships, family. It’s ok to be selfish and take care of YOU. Forget arbitrary expectations and don’t spend time comparing yourself to others. Everyone has a different path. I failed 2 classes, broke up with my boyfriend of 3 years, lost friends, stayed in when everyone else went out, spent entirely too much at Al’s  (RIP), got my car totaled on 81, broke my foot, got tonsillitis 4 times – and I’m still here. You’re all gonna be ok. Savor every day you get to wake up as a student of Virginia Tech.”

Heather: “The one piece of advice I want to share is to always do what is best for you. As you get older, you’re going to have to make more and more decisions for yourself.. . . It is okay to make mistakes and I am confident that each and every one of you CWIB members are strong and smart enough to learn from them and move forward. Life is short and you shouldn’t spend it feeling unhappy, unfulfilled, bored, and/or not challenged. Do yourself a favor and “Be you, Do You, For You.”

It is overwhelmingly clear that these women greatly valued their time at Virginia Tech and treasure the memories that they made here. Not only did they work hard in school, they went beyond, became involved, and created lasting connections and friendships within CWIB. An underlying theme that went through all of their responses is to fully appreciate and value every day that we get to spend here at Virginia Tech and as a part of CWIB.

Lastly, I want to sincerely thank Andra, Angela, and Heather for sharing their responses with us and wish them the best of luck in their careers!

By: Paige Horn

Featured

Inspiration in the Mundane

With a new decade, year, and semester often comes hopes, dreams, and goals for the future. We write them down, make reminders, post about them, and the first few days go great. Then, reality hits and the classes we were so motivated for get a little boring or we find ourselves going to bed at 1:00am knowing we have an 8:00am. Suddenly, this semester looks just as stressful and sleep-deprived as the last one.

Often when the year starts going, obligations kick in and passions take a back seat. The “new year new me” wears off and sometimes all we can see in front of us are the due dates and an uncertain future. While the grind is good, we do not have to be a slave to it. There are always things you can do to give yourself a break and maybe help you feel a little less stuck. Here are just a few of them:

pasted image 0

 

Get back to what you loved as a kid 

It is all too easy to get lost in current obligations, majors, and classes that we forget what life looked like when it was simpler. Not only that, but what we did as kids often has a lot to do with our passions now. What did you do when you had time to do anything? I’ll bet if you liked to draw a lot as a kid, you might like to draw now. If there was a sport you played in high school or even a sport you quit before high school, chances are you would still have fun playing it now. Find a simple hobby that you love, and make time for it during the week!

pasted image 1

Remember that having fun doesn’t look the same for everyone

Like the extremely varied interests we had as kids, everyone’s idea of fun is different. It’s important to not get sucked into the idea that going out means having fun or hanging out with a large group of people means having fun. For some people, being surrounded by a ton of people or being able to get lost in a crowd is exactly what they need after a long week. But for others, going to Target alone (I mean when is Target not fun) or just spending time with a few friends can be just as fun. Decide what is fun for you and do that.

 

today

Make a list of what you like about this season of your life 

We love to wish for the next thing — for next summer, for a job search to be over, for a new apartment, but wishing the future was here takes away from the unique time that is now. We are often told “enjoy right now” or “you’re gonna miss this.” It is difficult to enjoy right now when right now just feels like that last place you want to be, but accepting where you are now can help you appreciate the good things about this season. For example, I’m a freshman and live in a dorm. Not exactly the ideal living situation, but I know next year I’ll miss being so close to the dining halls, the gym, and my friends. So for now, I will do my best to be thankful for where I am, despite living in a tiny space.

 

selfcare

Actually put time for yourself in your schedule 

Whether you write everything you need to do down or just keep it all in your head, make sure time for yourself is on that list. That could mean something fun, something that makes you feel more in control of your life, or something you have been meaning to do but haven’t quite found the time for yet. I’d suggest things such as organizing your closet (or any space that’s a mess), getting coffee with a friend (just a coffee date, not a study date), going for a drive, going for a run, really the possibilities are endless. Taking breaks and doing something that is not work for you will help improve your mentality and productivity.

 

journal

Journal 

I hear the recommendation to journal all of the time but I’m including it because I believe the hype and it has made such a difference in my life. You don’t have to be a writer to journal and you don’t have to start a specific way or meet a certain word quota. The beauty of journaling is there are no rules. You can write pages of paragraphs, use bullet points, use a “question a day” journal, even just write a sentence about how you’re feeling that day. Journaling helps to clear your mind, get emotions out, and even learn more about yourself. Sometimes when I do not feel my best and don’t know why, writing out what I am feeling or just what has happened that day helps me sort out why I am experiencing certain emotions.

 

phonecall

Call the voice of reason in your life

We all have someone who just brings us down to earth, gives us a little perspective and makes us realize everything will be okay. Whoever that is in your life, I encourage you to reach out this week, especially if you haven’t talked to them in a while. Sometimes all it takes is calling someone to boost your mood, make you laugh, or just improve your day.

Whether this semester is shaping up to be your best yet or your most challenging yet, I hope you are able to use some of these tips to find inspiration in what can sometimes feel like a mundane routine.

By: Grace Farmelo

 

Featured

Businesswoman Feature: Nely Galan

above who is nely galan
Nely Galan, TV executive and producer

Who is Nely Galán?

The story of TV executive and producer, Nely Galán, proves that ambition drives success, and that no one is too small to make it big. Her confidence and desire to uplift both herself and others has made her an icon for aspiring women in business everywhere.

Early Life

Galán’s story begins when she and her family immigrated to the United States from Cuba in 1968 when she was only five years old. She and her parents did whatever they could to make ends meet in their new home, which included Galán selling Avon as a middle school student to pay for her school tuition. From living in this environment as a young girl, Galán learned the value of hard work and of making money in an “honorable, humble way.”

While many girls idolize their favorite TV and movie stars, Galán obsessed over successful Hollywood executives. To work towards that dream of one day running the show behind the scenes in Hollywood, she started as the station manager of a small Spanish TV station in New Jersey when she was 22 years old. Unfortunately, that job only lasted for a short while, as the station was suddenly sold three years after she started that position. Galán remembers working very hard and being heartbroken when it came to an end. However, this setback only propelled her forward in her career.

above career

Career

From there, Galán began working even harder towards achieving her dream of being a Hollywood executive. She started her own production company kickstarting TV stations across the globe and consulted for other TV networks. Galán struggled with this endeavor for four years until she finally started making a profit. Her entrepreneurial efforts, while challenging, did get her some recognition and valuable experience. In fact, it landed her a job being the first Latina president of Telemundo, one of the largest Spanish TV networks in the world. After many years of hard work, her dream finally came true.

Galán thrived in her new position, and her success in Hollywood empowered her immensely, giving her the courage to continue producing TV shows and other media under her own production company after her career at Telemundo came to a close. Galán Entertainment has been responsible for launching ten Latin American TV channels, as well as producing over 700 episodes of English and Spanish TV content, since 1994. Her most noteworthy creation, The Swan— the reality show on Fox, has been viewed all over the world .

above other endeavors

Other Endeavors

Seeing her own success as a way to uplift other women similar to herself, Galán used her desire to teach others to publish a book containing her advice on how to be a successful female entrepreneur. SELF MADE: Becoming empowered, Self-Reliant, and Rich in Every Way promotes women pulling themselves up by their bootstraps and working hard to fulfill whatever professional dreams of success they may have. This book has become a New York Times bestseller since its publishing. Galán also created The Adelante Movement (this translates to “let’s get going” in Spanish) in 2012. This movement encourages Latin women to empower themselves, be ambitious, and helps to train them on key entrepreneurial skills via large-scale events. This movement has ended up attracting and including women of all different ethnic and racial backgrounds .

Currently, Galán manages her production company, but also invests her time being on the Coca-Cola Advisory Board, being an Emeritus Member of the Smithsonian Board, working on the Hispanic Scholarship Fund to empower Hispanic students across the U.S., and speaking publicly about female entrepreneurship and diversity at some of the influential institutions in the United States. She emphasizes utilizing her influence and success in media to uplift and improve her community and fellow entrepreneurs .

above galans advice

Galán’s Advice

From her many years of entrepreneurial experience, Galán has a few pieces of advice she would impart to any woman looking to be self made:

  1. Don’t wait for someone else to be your “prince charming.” Galán says not to rely on your boss or your company to provide you with all of your opportunities and to do everything for you. You should look out for yourself and be confident in what you can do!
  2. Fear and failure are normal challenges of living a fulfilling life. Galán emphasizes although many people believe that she is fearless, that she of course, is not. She advocates for accepting fear and failure and working towards what you want, even if it scares you.
  3. Use challenges in your life, or your “pain,” to help to construct your personal brand by embracing them, working hard to overcome them, and becoming an “expert” on how to overcome those particular struggles.
  4. Your cultural identity can be one of your biggest assets. Be proud of where you came from and utilize that fact about yourself to build on your personal brand, or take advantage of it when connecting with others and building your business.
  5. Try looking at your goals from a different perspective. By making your goals for both your professional and your personal life long term, instead of focusing on instant gratification, you can increase your quality of life and create better, more fulfilling plans for the future.
  6. Remember to advocate for yourself, but also to “pass the torch” to others who want to be where you are today. Support female entrepreneurs by paving the way and bringing them up to the top with you!

 By: Lauren Miles 

 

Featured

Exams with Ease

Final exams week is infamously known at colleges all around the world to be a stressful time. Professors can expect their students to retain all the information from the semester and apply it during one exam, which is also often a majority of the grade. All of the exams for the courses are periodically spread throughout the week, which may make many students panic that they will not have enough time to prepare. However, with proper planning and healthy habits against cramming, students can ensure a high grade without too much stress!

1

The first and most important tip is to plan ahead. Over time, students can find themselves procrastinating more and more when it comes to studying. This can be because in the face of such a huge task, people can get easily overwhelmed and will choose to not complete the task entirely. However, remember that the earlier you start, the less you will have to stress and cram. Divide your chapters or modules by the number of days you have left, and dedicate a specified hour everyday for that class. Remember to review previous information with each time you study to test your brain on your memorization skills and retain more information.

Another way to prepare for final exams is to use online resources such as Quizlet or other course materials your professor has provided for you. By taking practice tests that have to do with your course, you will be able to evaluate how you might apply the class material you have learned into ways that your professor is most likely going to test you. This way, you will be able to train your brain in a way that will be most beneficial for the exam.

If you have been cramming already and are reading this article by the time you think it is “too late”, do not worry! There is a lot more you can do to make up for lost time. For starters, make an outline of all the objectives you have learned this semester. Highlight the ones you are not completely confident in, and start by studying those sections. If you have time left over by the time final exams come by, go back to the other objectives you were more confident in and make sure you know everything about that subject!

Studying repetitive information for a long time can cause your brain to burn out by the end. That is why giving yourself rewards and practicing self care is important! Treat yourself for finishing a particularly difficult module, or put on a face mask while reviewing your notes. By feeling good about yourself and practicing wellness, you can ensure that your mind stays in a positive, sane state instead of progressively putting more and more stress on yourself. For most students, it is their own self that puts the most pressure on them than the exam does. Trust yourself that you will be able to do well, and that you in the future will know exactly everything you need by the time exams come around!

The night before an exam, the most important thing is to get at least eight hours of sleep, not cram and pull an all-nighter. Your sleep is much more important in making sure your mind is prepared in the morning, than the little tidbits of information you will fit in at that time, so be sure you do everything you can to prevent yourself from becoming so far behind that you feel the need to stay up all night. Drink lots of water and in the morning, make yourself a healthy breakfast. Try to refrain from consuming any caffeine and if possible, get some yoga or meditative exercises in!

person-holding-orange-pen-1925536

During the exam, remember to keep your cool and do not stress over the questions. Skip any questions that you will have to think longer than a minute, and come back to them later at the end of the test. Be sure to take occasional water breaks and keep your hands from cramping up. A big part of the exam is being confident that you know the material, so finish the exam with an expectation that you grade will come out much better than you might think!

After the exam, it is normal for one to question him or herself and progressively feel unconfident in their answers. To make sure you do not spiral into a state of confusion and anxiety, remember that stressing over the past will not change anything! By prioritizing your time, practicing successful study methods, and taking each exam one by one, you can rest assured the grade will take care of itself. Remember to reward yourself after your exams; it is finally time for a well-deserved break, so don’t start it off stressing too much about how you did! I believe in you CWIB! Good luck on all your finals!

By: Gyu Ri Kim

 

Featured

Tips for Landing that Internship!

I know we’ve all been there, stressing about what internship to apply for or where to even start in obtaining one. It’s best to be proactive in your search as many applications for the spring and summer positions are currently being accepted. In this article I’m going to provide you with some great tricks and tips on how to secure that desired internship.

Step 1: Preparation

First and foremost, preparation is key. The first step in being prepared is having a straightforward resume that highlights your achievements and accomplishments. (And freshman, don’t be worried if you still have items listed from high school! Most recruiters take your age into consideration and value your commitment to positions held prior to college). Another major factor in preparation is your appearance. I know that may sound a little odd, but you always want to make sure that you are dressed in an appropriate manner, whether that be business professional or business casual. Along with these two steps in preparation, knowing what you want is vital. If you know what type of internship you want and have a direction to go in, it is much easier navigating Handshake, LinkedIn and other job networking platforms that lead to internships. Research is also an integral aspect of preparation and allows you to be exponentially more confident when talking to recruiters and networking at events. It is impressive to show a little background information on the companies that are interviewing you!

2

Step 2: Research and Networking

Speaking of research to learn about companies, along with this preparation comes networking. Luckily, Virginia Tech has abundant resources to help you get your foot in the door with events such as Business Horizons (in both the fall and spring!), Careers in Science, the Spring Civil Engineering Fair, and so many others. Before attending these events, it is important to do your research! Look at the list of companies that will be attending your career fair and highlight the ones that you are interested in and know are taking interns for your specific major. After doing so, make sure to research each company so you feel confident in talking to any recruiter you may network with.  I know that networking can seem like a daunting task, but most recruiters are Hokie alumni and would love to reminisce about their time at Virginia Tech. Once commonalities are established between you and the networker, highlight your interests and how they align with their company. I also recommend connecting with the recruiters you meet with on LinkedIn, and possibly follow up with an email expressing your interest in their programs and internships. On a side note, a lot of companies offer externships which are a great avenue towards getting a summer internship.

1

  • Important note! Networking can happen anywhere at all times. Always be talking to your friends and classmates because you never know when an opportunity will arise, simply through word of mouth! Your professors are also incredible resources as many of them have experience in the field that you are interested and may even guide you in the right direction for internships and other opportunities. Don’t hesitate to reach out! There is never any harm in trying.

Step 3: Mock Interviews 

After going through the process of researching, networking, attending events, and following through with the companies you talk to, hopefully an invitation for an interview will come your way. For interviews, it is important to feel confident in yourself so the hiring manager sees your interest in the internship. Most interviews nowadays are behavioral and you should answer these questions with the STAR approach. The STAR approach stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result. In order to feel comfortable answering these types of questions I highly recommend researching STAR behavioral questions and jotting down a couple of scenarios that fit the top 10-20 questions. I have also found that asking a friend to do a mock interview with you is extremely beneficial so that you can work through the kinks in your answers. Make sure to find someone who won’t be afraid to provide you with constructive criticism! This will help you in the long run.

Mock interview

Step 4: BE CONFIDENT

I know, easier said than done. And, confidence in these skills comes with practice. However, I know that each one of you are strong, tenacious women who can have a meaningful impact in the industry that you choose to go into. Our CWIB women will always be here to provide you with encouragement and support! Work hard and believe in yourself; the rest will come.

By: Paige Horn 

 

Featured

Putting off Procrastination

above_what'stheproblem

What is the Problem?

Procrastination is the enemy of productivity. Putting off work is a common past-time of students and professionals alike, with few being able to say they have never avoiding doing a certain task. The American Psychological Association claims that 80% to 95% of college students in particular admitted to procrastinating on their schoolwork (Karr). The cause of this staggering statistic: “fear of failure” (Karr). Students are not the only culprits. 95% of adults admitted to putting off work, according to the author of The Procrastination Equation, Piers Steel. There are a variety of systemic causes related specifically to workplace procrastination, including not feeling engaged in the workplace, to which 30% of workers worldwide relate, as well as not liking their job, to which 48% of workers worldwide relate (Vaughn-Furlow). These rates of employee disengagement are often caused by perceived job insecurity, lack of reward or incentive for hard work, lack of challenging tasks, and poor leadership from managers and supervisors (Vaughn-Furlow).

These factors seem to be primarily external, but we also experience internal drivers to procrastinate. We can enable ourselves to put off that important or urgent task because we are bored, we feel inconvenienced by the task, we feel stressed or overwhelmed when trying to complete the task due to it being difficult or unpleasant, or we experience a lack of self-discipline because we find the task to not be intrinsically rewarding (Bailey). These factors may apply more to students, but certainly are felt by many graduates. Whatever the cause may be, habitual procrastination inhibits productivity and can end up wasting our time, as well as that of our coworkers and classmates.

above_doiprocrastinate

Do I Procrastinate?

While most people have purposefully delayed their work at some point in their lives, it is always helpful to gauge our personal tendency towards procrastination. What may come to mind when thinking about procrastinating behaviors are common activities, such as scrolling through Instagram or watching one YouTube video after another. These are certainly activities that can help us endlessly put off work, but there are some latent behaviors that contribute more to chronic procrastination. Some examples would be (Vaughn-Furlow):

  1. Making unrealistic or unattainable plans
  2. Promising more than what is realistic
  3. Not planning at all for work, events, activities, etc.
  4. Not following through with promises
  5. Responding slowly to a demand or request on purpose
  6. Putting work off because we believe we can work better under pressure

*The assumption behind this last behavior is often untrue or exaggerated

above_overcomingprocrastination

Overcoming Procrastination

The first step towards addressing our procrastinating behaviors is to be aware that we procrastinate. Understanding our own behavioral patterns and what motivated us to procrastinate can help us personalize our response to each behavior (Vaughn-Furlow). There are some common behaviors that can be mitigated with proven strategies, the most prevalent being to set small goals, or work in smaller time intervals, in order to make the task seem less intimidating (Bailey). On a similar note, finding our “resistance level” in regards to how much work we can do before we resist completing the task, is a unique way to help us work smarter. One way to do this is to start with an increment of time, let’s say one hour, then work in increasingly smaller increments of time until one is found in which doing work is not difficult or delayed (Bailey). Addressing our lifestyle can also fix more deeply-rooted problems that lead to procrastinating. Evaluating the balance between work and home life to create a more equal relationship between the two can relieve underlying stress and anxiety that cause us to look for distractions and avoid work (Karr).

Finding internal motivation is key, so making typically onerous tasks feel more rewarding is an effective strategy for almost any task (Bailey). Setting goals or providing yourself with small treats are two ways to approach this strategy. One of the easiest ways to beat procrastination is to at least start a task (Vaughn-Furlow). Studies have shown that we are less likely to forget about a task we have left incomplete, and that we are more likely to come back and want to work on it later. For external factors of procrastination, getting rid of distractions is crucial (Bailey). There are a variety of ways this can be accomplished, in order to better focus on the task to be done. Installing an app on our phones or a program on our computers that can lock us out of specific apps and websites for a certain amount of time are helpful for those who tend to endlessly scroll on social media or habitually shop online. We can also work alone, if noise, chatter, and other people tend to be distractions.

Sometimes mental clutter can be a source of distraction, so try to schedule non-negotiable time to work on a certain task and work on prioritizing what needs to be done (Vaughn-Furlow). Using a physical planner or journal can be beneficial if we tend to like using pen and paper, but digital calendars and planners can work as well. These tools can help lay out what we need to do in a visual format, which can aid with memory and motivation. Lastly, avoid perfectionism. While procrastinating may seem to oppose perfectionism, the two are actually related. We can be more likely to give up or not even start a task if completing the task seems intimidating (Vaughn-Furlow). Looking at tasks realistically and being more accepting of our best efforts are not only good for beating procrastination, but can also help with long-term improvement of our emotional wellbeing.

above_summary

Summary

Minimizing procrastination starts with being aware of the problem and being willing to address it. The best way to work against procrastination is to prevent ourselves from feeling overwhelmed or intimidated by a task. We can accomplish this by breaking the task down into segments, either by amount completed or time spent working, making tasks more enjoyable, making standards for completing tasks lower, and by motivating ourselves to start a given task. At the end of the day, procrastination is an internal problem, although motivated by external contributors, and it is only solved when we agree to take control of our attitude and approach to work. Changing a habit is hard, but it only requires a little motivation and a positive mindset.

By: Lauren Miles 

 

Featured

Mastering the Handshake

The handshake is not a new movement, in fact its beginnings date back thousands of years. Historians believe that the gesture began as a way of conveying peaceful intentions, that by extending their empty right hands strangers could show each other they did not hold any weapons and intended no harm. Although the handshake has evolved over time, it eventually became a part of commonplace etiquette and a sign of courtesy and friendliness.

However, there is so much more that goes into a handshake. The handshake is a first impression, it can be a make or break in a job interview, and it may influence whether you strike a big deal or not. The handshake can play a part in many different business decisions, which may sound silly, however a great handshake makes you appear confident, professional, and more trustworthy. A handshake is a personal connection between two people; it displays mutual respect. Even when it is impersonal, a great handshake can help convey your personality and intentions towards the other person. When is the appropriate time to shake someone’s hand? When being introduced to someone, when saying goodbye to someone, at the beginning or end of a business meeting or interview, and whenever deemed appropriate within a business context, such as sealing a deal.

handshake

There are a few guidelines to remember in order to have an unforgettable handshake. First things first, you have to be ready for it! Make sure your right hand is free. Move anything out of your right hand well before you know you’re about to give a handshake, that way you’re not awkwardly fumbling your items around. If you’re sitting down, rise before shaking someone’s hand. Have your hands out in the open rather than in your pockets – you will look more confident and trustworthy. Then, extend your right hand straight out. Don’t have your palm facing either up or down; the palm should meet with the palm of the other person. Next, you will take the other person’s hand in a firm, but not knuckle crushing, clasp making sure the web between your thumb and fingers meets the web of the other person’s hand. While keeping your hand parallel to the ground, pump your hand up and down about two or three times.

In a job interview, the handshake is crucial. Don’t spend a lot of time stressing about it beforehand, however you should always prepare. Sweaty hands can be common before a big interview as we all get nervous! However, make sure to wash, dry or wipe off sweaty hands right before your interview. One tip to impress the recruiter or interviewer is to be the first to reach out, this shows great confidence. If you follow the handshake tips as mentioned, your interviewer will be impressed with you before you’ve even said anything!

Although a handshake may sound like a simple action, it is actually not that hard to do it wrong. Let’s go into some things to avoid. First, the limp shake is a big no. This gives off the impression you’re shy or lack confidence. Try to follow the tips mentioned above and, when in doubt, just mirror the other person’s grip. There is also a “knuckle crusher” handshake that is the opposite of a limp handshake, but must be avoided as well. Again, use moderate pressure so that the handshake is firm but not hurting the other person’s hand. Another mistake people make is shaking hands for too long. Try to stick to about 2 or 3 pumps in order to avoid an awkwardly long greeting. Lastly, steer clear from the “politicians’ handshake”. This is when you’re shaking someone’s hand and then place your left hand on top. This kind of handshake is to be avoided unless it is a more personal greeting.

Don’t forget about your body language! Stand up tall as if there is a string pulling you to the ceiling and face the person directly, rather than a side stance. Make sure to speak clearly and confidently to block out any nerves you may be feeling internally. Don’t fidget, as this can be distracting to the other person and they may perceive you as nervous or shy. Lastly, as you break away from the handshake do not look down. Looking down after a handshake will also make you appear shy, nervous, or untrustworthy. Most importantly, use plenty of eye contact, this will exert your confidence in the situation.

 

politician handshake

As members of Collegiate Women in Business we are lucky to have many opportunities to practice our handshakes. Whether it’s at coffee chats, monthly meetings, networking opportunities, or treks, we have plenty of time to perfect the handshake with fellow members, sponsors, and professionals before it comes time for the first big job interview and beyond. Remember, the handshake is a seemingly simple formality, however it is an opportunity to make a lasting impression, Keep these guidelines in mind and you’ll be shaking hands like a pro in no time!

By: Lindsay Barnes 

 

Featured

Charlotte Trek Recap

This past week, on November 14th-15th, some of our members had the opportunity to go on one of our treks to Charlotte, North Carolina. During their time in Charlotte, the attendees visited Apex Systems, Duke Energy and LendingTree. Apex systems is an IT staffing and workforce solutions firm whose mission is to, “bring clients the best digital and data transformation services.” Duke Energy is an electric power holding company that is dedicated to sustainable energy. The culture at Duke energy is inclusive and committed to transparency, honesty and integrity. Lastly, LendingTree is an online marketplace that connects borrowers and lenders so that people can find the best deals on loans, credit cards, deposit accounts, insurance and more. LendingTree guarantees excellent customer service and wants to empower its clients to feel confident in their financial choices through education, support and guidance. CWIB members were eager to learn from all three of these powerful companies.

Apex
Trek attendees at Apex Systems

In addition to visiting influential companies and networking with prominent business people, members also had the chance to create closer bonds with other women in CWIB. I reached out to some of the attendees about their favorite memories from the trek. All of the members who participated in the trek mentioned how much they loved getting to know the other members in CWIB and highlighted how they would not have been able to make these tighter bonds without this trek.

Rania recalled, “sitting in the lobby telling scary stories from people who have studied abroad, as we waited for our rooms.” Izzy also mentioned her respect for the upperclassmen in CWIB, and because of the bonds she has made on this trek is much more inclined to reach out to them for insight they may have regarding school, internships, and life after college. Paige echoed what other members said, stating that her favorite memories of the trek were “the van rides and all hanging out in our hotel room. It felt like a sleepover. I feel like it’s a great way to meet your fellow members and make new friends.”

Along with emphasizing the importance of creating meaningful relationships within our organization, participants also emphasized the networking aspect of the trek. As many are aware, networking can be a highly intimidating task, and for many students networking events are anxiously awaited. Many professionals consider networking to be one of the most important skills in business and as such, students and prospective employees need to be confident when speaking to recruiters. During the trek, members of CWIB were able to experience networking firsthand and were able to relieve some of the stress relating to meeting important businesspeople.

Izzy learned that a crucial part of networking is being prepared as she observed that “not everyone is as professional and intimidating as they appear, most of the time they’re just prepared.” Rania highlighted that networking can happen at any time, whether it be at an airport, at the grocery store, or during happy hours after work.

CWIB
The companies at the trek were very welcoming to our CWIB members!

I also asked the attendees about their biggest takeaway of the trek. Many of the members stated that they feel much more confident in the path that they are pursuing, as they are part of such an amazing organization that helps them take the right steps to set them up for success in the future. Izzy highlighted that going on this trek allowed her to take a step back and be able to “visualize my end goals and give me reassurance that I’m doing the right things as a freshman.” In addition to this, Rania expressed that many of her fears about the business world were resolved during this trek:

“All those things I worried about, before, diminished a significant amount as a result of all the tips and diverse advice we got from various employers at each company we visited. I felt like at each company I gained more confidence and it facilitated my ability to communicate with business professionals. It was truly empowering to see how successful women can become in the business world. Lastly, I felt more confident in regards to finding the right place after graduation.”

Charlotte Trek Picture
CWIB members awaiting their company visit at Duke Energy.

After conducting these interviews, I realized how abundantly clear it is that treks are a great experience; all members who participate gain invaluable advice and insight. With Charlotte being a major city, home to companies that hire Virginia Tech graduates, attendees knew this experience wasn’t one to miss out on. I highly encourage all members to apply to future treks in order to meet and connect with other empowered and influential business women! Keep an eye out for the places CWIB will be going in the spring!

By: Paige Horn

 

Featured

Women Empowering Women

Many times, we are put in situations where it seems that we are each other’s competition, when in most cases, we are not, and we shouldn’t feel like we are. Instead, we need to be supportive of one another because I believe when women support other women we can truly feel empowered. As young women, it can sometimes be intimidating majoring in a field that is predominately male. It seems that most business majors are male, especially at Virginia Tech. I can speak from experience because in most of my classes, there always seem to be more men than women, and sometimes, that can be intimidating, even though it shouldn’t have to be. That is why it is important to be supportive of the women in your lives. CWIB does an amazing job in presenting material to its members in a way in which the organization makes everyone feel motivated and excited about their potential as young women in the business world. There are several reasons why women should empower other women as this brings about benefits for us all.

empowerpic1One reason ties into the point made earlier about being in a great organization like CWIB. It is incredibly important to have a network of women and only women. As Victoria Pynchon explains in her article Why Women Need Women-Only Networks, she discusses how crucial it is to have a judge-free zone. As women, we are judged more often than not, and the ability to have a “room of our own” is essential to get rid of the uncertainty many women feel when they walk into a room. Many times, women feel like they are taking up space in which they do not belong, so by having, in a sense a “safe space”, women will feel more comfortable and feel like they fit in, which could translate into being more productive in their work (Pynchon). Most of us do not have full time jobs right now, so this may not pertain to you currently, but think about the close girlfriends you have right now in classes, clubs, and internships — those are networks for you to take advantage of!  College, as we all know, can be stressful and daunting at times, so it is crucial to have that cushion of support that you can rely on during arduous times. It always comforts me knowing I have many girlfriends that I can go to for advice, or receive comfort from whenever I’m stressed, worried, or anxious. CWIB is one of those supportive networks toempowerpic2 be apart of as young, aspiring professional women because it is a place where its members can grow in confidence while networking with other young women in a safe environment. I always feel inspired after the meetings presented by the club and through networking with members; inspiration is a huge part of empowerment. This is where your empowerment can start, with your group of friends!

Research shows that women who support other women are more successful in the workplace. The Harvard Business Review found that women with a network of only women were more likely to get promoted to executive positions, whereas on the other side, there was no correlation found between close-knit networks among men (Zalis). Zalis explains how women who strive to climb the ladder of leadership often face more struggles and obstacles than their male coworkers. One way to deal with these obstacles is to develop close connections with the women in your workplace who have been in the position that you are in right now (Zalis).

Overall, we should strive to encourage and support each other because everyone needs a support system. Make yourself that person who gives someone the support she needs for the day. Everyone has bad days, and now with our last midterm exams coming up and finals looming over our heads, it seems that we are preparing for the inundation of the empowerpic3work that is to come. So, we might have more stressful days than usual. I encourage all of us as CWIB members to be that person who empowers another, because who knows, you might have just made someone’s day. By complimenting someone’s outfit or make-up, or by congratulating someone about an internship she just accepted, however big or small the encouragements are, they make a difference and mean more to someone than you might realize. These small acts of empowerment are the driving force which distinguish great women. So today, go out of your way and compliment or congratulate a fellow woman. These are all ways of empowering other women; you may have just given her a small enough amount of motivation to finish that application for her dream internship or to keep studying for an exam coming up.

There are many reasons and benefits as to why we should find ways to empower our friends and colleagues. Luckily for us, we are a part of an influential university, Virginia Tech, that in many ways prepares us to become successful business leaders one day. So, from creating a “room of our own” for a judgement-free zone, to having the capability to become more successful due to close-knit networks among women, empowerment amongst women is an essential component of our lives as young women. I will leave you with this quote from Zalis’ article:  “…a woman alone has power; collectively we have impact.”

By: Ashley Mattson

Featured

Distancing Distractions

We all suffer from distractions. Perhaps the most frustrating part is that we know what is distracting us. It is our phones, social media, friends peer pressuring us to get ice cream at midnight, the urge to re-watch Friends before they take it off Netflix, a social event you opted out of, then went to anyway because you are only in college once, right?

Graphic

Here are some solutions that will help keep you motivated and actually complete your work so that, hopefully, you are in college only once and not longer than your bank account, or poor grades, allow.

Try out a Diffuser

You have probably heard about essential oils and their natural benefits. A diffuser is similar to  a mini humidifier and is great for clearing the air and scenting a room. If certain scents help clear your mind and ease your stress, take this tip into consideration. Here’s a list of basic oils to diffuse to help you focus throughout the week:

  • Lavender: calms (good for sleep), makes a room smell great
  • Peppermint: boosts energy and increases focus (helpful to wake you up)
  • Lemon: clears the air and relaxes

Use the Pomodoro Studying Technique 

The Pomodoro Technique is a method of productivity that involves about 25 minutes of work followed by a short break. There are YouTube videos about two hours long you can “study along” with or use your own timer. This may not be for everyone, but it for sure helps me when I am struggling to get in the zone or do not know where to start on work. The technique helps jumpstart something, which sometimes is all you need. This method is also effective when you have several chapters of material to study for. It is quite difficult to review so much in one sitting, so break up the work!

Track your Sleep

track your sleep

A huge distraction to college students is the urge to sleep. Whether due to lack of sleep or simply that a nap sounds better than writing a paper, sleep can sneak in a steal time away from you. However, if you know why you want to sleep, you can adjust your schedule accordingly. Prioritize what you need to get done at certain times so that a nap can fit into your schedule. Plan to wake up earlier to finish homework that way you can fall asleep at a reasonable time the next night. Something that works for me is using my smartwatch to track my sleep; I highly recommend this if you have one. The Sleep Cycle app also does a great job and is an easy download to your smartphone. What sleep tracking does for you is lets you know why you feel tired. If you lacked quality sleep last night, a thirty minute nap may be beneficial to your productivity. If you slept well last night, maybe coffee would be more effective for you to get work done, rather than sneaking in an extra nap.

Space out the Coffee

Speaking of coffee, it is more or less every college student’s best friend. When you drink coffee (or any caffeine) can have a significant impact on when the stimulant kicks in. If you feel well rested in the morning, I would suggest holding off on the coffee until the afternoon to avoid a midday slump. If you start to feel tired throughout the day, think about when you need the most energy. For example, if you have class soon but need to write a paper right after, caffeine would probably be best after class when you need to focus more. Try to plan ahead like this instead of reaching for caffeine every time you feel slightly tired. Grabbing coffee could also be a time to get together with friends, rather than feeling pressured to spend time with them right before a big project is due. However, too much caffeine could have negative effects on your health such as headaches or troubling sleeping that night, both which distract you from work or rest.

Invest in Blue Light Glasses 

They are cute, fun, and will save your eyes. As college students, we stare at computer screens often. Blue light glasses help to reduce the strain on your eyes and increase the amount of time you can look at a screen. If you constantly feel the need to get off the computer due to headaches, clearly not much work is being completed. A piece of advice I have is to keep these glasses on whenever doing online school work, rather than just mindlessly scrolling social media. This way, you are motivated to complete assignments when the glasses are on, and know you can relax when you take them off. Not to mention, the glasses are super trendy and can be worn in everyday life. Amazon has cheap ones, as well as more expensive brands like Warby Parker. Prescription glasses can also be made with blue light protection. Check these out if staring at screens all the time distracts you from getting your work done.

Compartmentalize your Digital Life

What is worse than pulling an all-nighter? Pulling an all-nighter when next to your Google docs tab is your Netflix tab where you have an unfinished episode of The Office sitting. If it makes sense for you, keep two accounts on your computer- one for school and one for everything else. That way when you sign into one, you are not distracted by the other. Additionally, only keep certain tabs visible when you are doing work. You can make the Netflix tab its own window and minimize it so it’s out of sight, but is accessible later.

Productive Breaks

productive breaks

While breaks are necessary, you want to make sure you are utilizing this time wisely. Clean up your desk in between study sessions, do your dishes, or workout. Breaks are much needed for your academic success as no one can be expected to constantly work on class material. Productive breaks help to keep an active mindset and are more conducive to studying than scrolling through Instagram. You still keep your mind and body engaged, but in other methods than studying. After these breaks, you will feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle the next assignment. By the end of the day, you will feel great about what you accomplished in multiple areas of your life.

Of course, there are several more ways to distance distractions such as putting your phone in another room or listening to study playlists, but I hope these tips will give you practical ideas to help your productivity in ways you might not have thought of before. And yes, this is also your reminder to binge watch Friends over break because it will be taken off Netflix at the end of this year.

By: Grace Farmelo

 

Featured

“Did I Post That?”: Being Professional on Social Media

undertitle

What’s the Problem?

Posting on Facebook is important. Really. It helps us to keep up with distant friends and family, as well as to network and pursue opportunities in our professional lives. However, there is a difference between how we should DM our friends and how we should connect with our bosses and coworkers. Staying professional online can be a challenge, and deciding what is appropriate to share with which people is often a grey area. And, when we do accidentally post something inappropriate for the workplace, it can have a very negative impact on the way we are viewed by important business connections, recruiters, and employers. It has cost some the respect of their coworkers, and others their jobs. As daunting as it may seem, using social media should not be a tense and frightening activity, but should be fun and beneficial to our personal and professional relationships. Only common sense and a little caution are necessary.

Mindless Mistakes

Knowing the reality of making an unfortunate or ill-informed post on our social media accounts can help us understand the gravity of our words and actions online. What we say really does matter, especially to our employers and supervisors. One cringe-inciting example of making a major mistake on social media is that of a recent grad in 2009, Connor Riley. Riley, shortly after accepting a job at Cisco, a major technology company based in California, posted on Twitter that she would now have to “weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work” (Sun). This sentiment was not only seen by her friends and family, but by an associate at Cisco, who informed her that they would be making a visit to HR about her comment. Riley’s offer was most likely withdrawn, thereafter.

Posting something off-color or offensive is never appropriate and can have ramifications that extend far beyond workplace reputation. Gilbert Goddfried, the ex-voice of the Aflac duck (as seen in their numerous TV commercials), once tweeted some insensitive statements regarding a recent tsunami in Japan, in 2011. He joked, “Japan is really advanced. They don’t go to the beach. The beach comes to them” (Sun). The lack of sympathy and respect he showed for the Japanese people, who were struggling with a major catastrophe, was evident even to Goddried’s employers, who quickly relieved him of his position. Not everyone’s sense of humor is the same. It is crucial to consider if what we may think is funny, may actually be offensive or hurtful to others, and would be better left unsaid.

aboveheadingwhatdowedo

What Do We Do?

Deciding what is ok to post and say in front of our employers and coworkers can be tricky. What should they be able to see and know about in regards to our personal lives, hobbies, and interests? Here is a guide to help distinguish what to do and what not to do on our social media accounts in order to maintain a clean and professional appearance online:

1. Pay Attention to Privacy   Configure privacy settings, so it is easy to monitor who requests to follow your account. This way you can control who sees what you post and say. Address any accounts that do not seem familiar or that write unwanted comments on your posts. Similarly, pay attention to pictures others tag you in. People can tag you in pictures without your permission, so it is crucial to un-tag yourself or request for the picture to be removed if it is embarrassing or detrimental to your image online.

2. What You Say Matters  When commenting on other people’s posts or direct messaging other people, make sure to use appropriate language. Avoid swearing, inappropriate slang, derogatory names and terms, and hate speech. Using colorful language can leave a bad impression on those who wish to learn more about you as an employee. In terms of conversation, try not to talk about sensitive or inflammatory topics that could easily incite conflict or outrage. Especially if you feel as if your opinion on the subject is unpopular. You have a right to express your opinion, but it is better not to purposely start fights online. This includes expressing support or condemnation via liking and commenting on certain posts, as well as following certain personalities online. Lastly, keep rude comments about coworkers, friends, and employers to yourself. Additionally, do the same for complaints about work, pay, and other people at work. This is pretty obvious — it looks bad when you criticize your place of work in public.

3. The Golden Rule   Treat others how you want to be treated. This means being polite and civil in all exchanges you have online, whether it be replying to comments or conversations you have with others. In being polite, you should always respond quickly and thoughtfully to messages and questions. Stay positive and patient in your responses, taking care not to start arguments or say anything offensive, as seen in the previous rule.

4. Oversharing Overload  These days, everyone seems to put their entire lives online. With all of the oversharing that happens on social media, overloading our followers with deeply personal information or hundreds of pictures per day is truly something to avoid. First and foremost, ensure that all pictures you choose to share of yourself online are both free of obscene images and embarrassing or revealing situations. You should be appropriately dressed, not participating in any illegal or dangerous activities, and not doing anything that could damage your reputation or that you would not want a coworker to know about. Finally, know what moments should be shared, and which should be kept private. Sensitive personal or family information or situations are all moments that usually should be kept to yourself.

beforeconclusion

In Conclusion

Don’t let social media scare you. Yes, it is important to consider what we post carefully and always try to present ourselves in the best possible way, but that does not mean that we have to constantly worry about what other people think about us online. Post about what matters to you, but always keep it clean and civil. Whatever you put online will be difficult to take back, so try not to show or say anything you would soon come to regret. Social media is a great tool to help us build relationships with others, and should be approached in the same way as any other tool; with a good understanding of how to use it properly. As members of CWIB, we can utilize our social media accounts to connect with each other, as well as with new job opportunities and other interesting organizations. Even if we use this tool every day, it is always helpful to remind ourselves of the impacts of our presence online and consider what we can do to improve how we approach such an integral part of our lives.

By: Lauren Miles 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

Climbing Up the Ladder: A Guide to Attaining Leadership Positions

Being a business major has to do with a lot more than just reading a textbook or completing complex math problems. It has to do with networking, getting involved on campus, and exhibiting leadership skills that not enough classes may take into their own hands to teach to their students. However, those who have been getting involved in organizations such as Collegiate Women in Business are already ahead of the game. Collegiate Women in Business has helped us with the skills already included in our pillars: empower, prepare, and connect, which are all valuable tools in such a competitive and popular career field. However, many of us are now asking ourselves, “Where do we go from here?” What can we do to go beyond what we have already achieved, and impress those who will review our resumes in the near future?

Leadership Positions

There are over 700 organizations at Virginia Tech, and many more leadership positions within these organizations. Multiple positions can exist for each organization, including President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, or Historian. In fact, Collegiate Women in Business offers a variety of positions to its members- a marketing committee consisting of multiple members with roles fit to their unique skills, and writers for the Chronicles, an online blog of CWIB’s. By inquiring the leaders of different organizations in order to understand their perspective on how they developed such skills, you can already get a lead on attaining such positions by showing interest in getting involved.

CWIB Leadership diagram

Most of recruitment for leadership positions occur in the beginning of the fall semester, but for those who are still seeking leadership positions, do not fret – there is a lot of preparing that you can get done during the next year, and it is much better to be a dedicated and involved member in your organization before signing on to the executive board. And most of all, being in a club to begin with shows a lot of commitment in working hard for your future, especially in an organization such as Collegiate Women in Business, which emphasizes all the skills necessary for success. Attend workshops, meetings, and treks to get a grasp on what CWIB prioritizes. This is no different than being an active employee and engaging with your bosses and peers. The level of commitment you put forth will be recognized, whether you notice it at first or not.

Application Process

Because being an organization leader can come with a lot of responsibilities, there is usually an extensive application process that precedes being appointed to a position. For Collegiate Women in Business, one can get involved during the beginning of the fall semester. During the 2019-2020 school year, an email was sent out in October with a sign-up link for those who wanted to get involved in either the marketing committee or the Chronicles. This sign-up was also announced during the monthly meeting, and new members were able to gain more insight on what responsibilities came with these roles by listening to current officers. Pay attention to the little details of each organization, internship, or job regarding their application process — overlooking something trivial may end up being a disadvantage to you in the end.

Many of these leadership applications consist of a written portion, either a short answer or an essay. These questions can be about anything, such as your leadership skills, experiences, or why you want to get involved. The best way to write these answers is to show genuine interest in what you want to do for the club, internship, or job. Mention events you have attended and showcase the small details that show the application committee that you are dedicated. Then, make sure you highlight your skills to guarantee your ability in being a great asset to the organization. Don’t forget to utilize buzzwords that allow the application committee to connect your skills to the ones they seek.

Interviewing

Once you pass the initial application, you should be notified about the next step of the process. Most clubs will hold interviews because of how much one-on-one meetings can provide insight into your abilities, people skills, and dedication. You can do a lot to prepare for this step, and at least a little preparation is necessary to have a successful interview.

One way you can prepare is by writing down your top achievements and skills, anything that would help assure your interviewers of your capabilities. Next, you can search on Google for potential questions that might come up for your particular position. For example, when searching for questions that might come up in a position for the Chronicles, you might want to search for “interview questions for journalists.” Practice answering these questions using the bullets you wrote before, and get a good grip on what you would want to say, or not say, during the interview.

Another way to prepare is to get a friend to ask you interview questions on the spot without any preparation beforehand. This way, you can improve your ability in quick but knowledgeable responses, and get a good idea on what questions might be asked. For any particular questions you get stuck on, make sure you review these thoroughly in case your interviewer asks a similar one. By preparing well for your interview questions, you can go above and beyond the expectations of the interviewer and take a huge step towards the position you want!

Acceptance

For most positions, the last step will be waiting to hear back on whether you landed the position or not. For those who do, congratulations! However, it is important to revisit the responsibilities of your new position and reevaluate if you will be able to uphold these requirements. If so, you can accept your new position and wait for further instructions. Always remember to thank the committee for your offer!

If you do not get the position you desired, there is no need to worry! Rejections will happen more often than not, but new positions open up every year, and you should not settle for a role that you do not have much interest in. Take the time to build your skills, and by the next time you apply, your organization will have a much better idea of who you are and your commitment to the position.

Competitive career fields can require skills such as leadership and communication. To demonstrate these skills, you should join organizations and seek leadership positions that you are interested in. By putting your full effort into the application process, your organization should be able to see your dedication and skills and accurately evaluate whether you will be a good fit for the position or not. Going through with these processes in college will not only make you a contributing member of your organization, but also prepare you for real-world applications of these steps! Get a head start and don’t be afraid to take advantage of leadership positions here at school, and especially in Collegiate Women in Business, to gain those much needed abilities!

Leadership team 19-20
Collegiate Women in Business’ 2019-2020 Leadership Team

By: Gyu Ri Kim

 

Featured

Faculty Advisor Feature: Nadia Rogers

Meet Nadia Rogers, a CWIB faculty advisor, successful business woman, professor, and a member of the community. A Virginia native, Rogers found success in public accounting and is now using that experience as a professor here at Virginia Tech. Outside of Blacksburg, she was recently appointed to be the educator member of the Virginia Board of Accountancy by Governor Northam.

nadia
One of our wonderful faculty advisors, Nadia Rogers!

Rogers earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Virginia Tech in Accounting. She came to Tech because, “Throughout my childhood, my family visited campus and I loved the excitement in the air and the beauty of the town.  Most importantly, I knew that I would receive a world-class education from Virginia Tech.” Her family holds a legacy here as multiple family members, including her father, graduated from Tech as well.

After earning her Master’s degree, Rogers worked for KPMG’s Audit Practice in Richmond for eight years. She then worked with Creedle, Jones & Alga, P.C., a small public accounting firm. Prior to this work experience, Rogers taught Principles of Accounting as a graduate student and says she, “knew in my heart that I ultimately wanted to teach.” Her professional success, love for Blacksburg, and passion for teaching has led to her dream job of being a professor at Virginia Tech. She is now an Associate Professor of Practice in the Accounting and Information Systems Department as well as the Director of the Master of Accounting and Information Systems Program. Rogers is a great testament to the fact that it is okay to change around your career and chase your passions! She learned  “the combination of [her] practical experience and passion for Virginia Tech,” has been exactly what she needed to make her dreams a reality and she enjoys helping students understand and fulfill their dreams when it comes to education and career paths.  You can read more about her passion for teaching here.

Rogers decided to become a CWIB faculty advisor because she loves CWIB’s mission, which is to “inspire and develop world-class leaders in business, foster interactions with successful role models, and build the confidence, courage and the will to create meaningful impact.” She says, “Given that I graduated from Virginia Tech and then pursued a professional career, I felt that I could provide a helpful perspective and be a great resource to our members. I’ve been where they are – studying to earn the highest grade possible, interviewing for jobs, filling internship positions, etc.” Her experience and belief in our pillars: empower, prepare, and connect, makes her extremely valuable to CWIB and a great resource for our members.

Rogers says she’s excited for CWIB to “continue to fulfill our mission and increase awareness and membership.” This year, she wants members to “leave meetings with the same sense of fulfillment that I have when I leave meetings – empowered, connected and prepared to conquer her next step, whatever that may be!”

Originally from Clarksville, Virginia, Rogers continues to enjoy the beauty of Virginia in the “gorgeous views” of Blacksburg. She equally loves the students and community of Virginia Tech and Blacksburg. She enjoys spending her free time with her family.

CWIB would not be possible without faculty advisors like Rogers who are willing to support our organization and offer their knowledge and time. Rogers is a valuable resource for all our members and is happy to do what she can to help, whether it be professional or career advice, including resume reviews, etc. or helping with the understanding of course materials. If you would like to reach out, her email and office hours are listed below.

Finally, we would like to thank Nadia Rogers for the inspiration she is to us aspiring business women and her dedication to CWIB.

Email: narogers@vt.edu

Office Hours: M/W 11:30-1:30

By: Grace Farmelo

 

Featured

Public Speaking 101

Imagine being able to stand in front of any crowd at any time and know your audience understands you and your message perfectly. Well, most people have a long way to go before achieving that level of confidence in public speaking. Nobody enjoys the nervous anticipation that builds up right before having to speak in front of an audience or the thoughts that race through your mind: “What if I forget what I want to say?” “What if the audience doesn’t understand?” “What if my nerves get the best of me?” We have all experienced these fears when it comes to public speaking. Whether it’s in front of a small class, a large audience, or a room full of professionals, it can be daunting! Unfortunately, public speaking is a fear that must be overcome to be successful. Being able to present information to others is a very important skill to have in order to convey messages in a professional manner. Luckily, I am here for you! Keep reading for my guide to successful public speaking to discover tips to get over the pre-speech butterflies.

orange present1. Take a Deep Breath  We have all heard the classic line “picture everyone in their underwear.” It sounds silly, but if it works for you, then why not! Like I said, public speaking is scary, so first things first: take a deep breath. Calm yourself right before you begin by focusing on your material, not the audience. Remember, being nervous is normal! However, the goal is to convert nerves into positive energy. Find what works for you. Some people use the underwear strategy, others have motivational quotes they can refer to, or you can give yourself a pep talk in the mirror. If possible, get to the presentation room early and picture yourself giving your presentation. Walk around, check out the configuration and size of the space and get acquainted with the set-up. Try to get a goodnight’s rest the night before so you don’t oversleep and eat a good meal, that way you’ll be energized and ready to deliver an impactful message!

2. Develop Talking Points  Talking points are like a mental to-do list. They provide a quick way to stay on track and avoid going off on a tangent mid-presentation. To create a list of talking points, start by identifying your main message, then come up with a few points to support your message  A great way to do this is to consider the “rule of three.” The rule of three means structuring your talking points around the three most important ideas you want to highlight. Think of talking points as elevator pitches, they should be made up of keywords or short sentences. Don’t make them too long, as talking points are meant to be remembered at a quick glance. Providing specific examples that are personal and impactful will also support your talking points and be more memorable for you and the audience.

3. Express Excitement  If you’re enthusiastic throughout your presentation, your energy will transfer to your audience and they will be more likely to fully engage in what you have to say. Get excited about your topic through research and facts that you are eager to share with others. Share your passion by using inclusive language. For example instead of saying “I,” use “we” to integrate the audience into your ideas. You’re speaking to inform, persuade, and motivate. If you make your speech come alive, you will be more persuasive and motivational and, overall, a more interesting speaker.

speech picture

4. Master Body Language  Using your body and facial expressions while presenting can allow you to convey your message successfully and with confidence, if done right. Putting your hands in your pockets or fidgeting with them may display your nervousness and can be distracting to the audience. Try to keep your arms in front of you and emphasize words with hand gestures when making an important point. If information is attached to a movement, the audience will better remember it. Leg movement is also important to  control. Try not to move your legs restlessly as this gives away feeling nervous. Posture is very important. Stand up tall and confidently as if a string is connecting your head to the ceiling. This will make you appear much more professional than if you were to slouch. Making controlled, concise movements will convey that you are a natural presenter and will keep the audience more engaged, than if you were to stand in one position. Lastly, don’t forget to smile! Smiling will engage the audience, reduce your own nerves, and  make everyone involved more comfortable.

5. Practice Makes Perfect As Virginia Tech students, we are lucky to be surrounded by available resources to help improve our public speaking skills. Start by asking professors for feedback after a presentation. They will be more than happy to critique you and give advice or tips. Another excellent resource  on campus is the CommLab, located on the second floor of Newman Library. The CommLab has undergraduate and graduate students trained in public speaking and groupwork ready to coach students through the speech-making process from topic selection to speech delivery. Although appointments are highly encouraged, a visit to the CommLab could make all the difference in your presentation! There are also clubs that you can join that will help you develop public speaking skills. One is Toastmasters, a club operating worldwide for the purpose of promoting communication and public speaking skills. Toastmasters Blacksburg is open to anyone and meets on the first and third Thursdays of each month at 7:00 pm in the VT Language and Culture Institute, as well as the second and fourth Fridays of each month at 12:00 pm in Room 2034 of Newman Library. Although Toastmasters has a $20 membership fee, it offers another great way to improve your public speaking skills outside of a classroom setting, both here in Blacksburg and beyond. Finally, utilize your CWIB resources! Reach out to upperclassmen who have had more experience public speaking for advice or constructive criticism. Attend workshops relevant to presenting yourself in the best light in front of peers, professors, and future employers. If you’re still working up the courage to take advantage of these resources, another great way to build confidence is practicing in front of friends and family first.

 

 

The most important thing is to have confidence in yourself, if you don’t believe you can successfully public speak, then it will be much more challenging to improve. Constantly ask yourself “what can I do better?”. Self assessment following each presentation will help guide you in further growth. I hope this guide has put you in the right direction to learning how to become more confident in your public speaking skills as well as made you feel more prepared for upcoming presentations. Through practice and experience, it will slowly get easier and more natural. Good luck everyone!

By: Lindsay Barnes 

 

Featured

Washington, D.C. Trek Recap

This past week on October 24-25, CWIB went on a trek to Washington D.C. This trek provided a great way to improve on members’ networking skills while meeting new companies, such as Protiviti, Cvent, and Capital One, while also allowing attendees to meet other members of CWIB. Treks enable members to connect with professional companies, and hopefully, in the future, help them later down the road when applying for internships and jobs. I contacted a few members that attended the DC trek, and asked about their favorite experiences:

Billy Clarke said that his favorite part of the trek was visiting Capital One’s new campus in McLean. He described their campus as “impressive” because of the resources Capital One provides to their employees. Lauren Miles stated that she found it helpful how the trek allowed her to get to know the other members of CWIB. Emily Fusaro shared that she appreciated learning about the companies they met with, and meeting members from CWIB.

Since CWIB met with Protiviti, Cvent, and Capital One, who are companies that hire Virginia Tech graduates, attendees ran into several alumni. They got to meet with alumni who were also a part of CWIB, such as Gigi Jones who was the former CWIB CEO and Heather Sangalang who was the former Chronicles’ Editor-in-Chief. This trek not only let current members meet each other, but enabled alumni to meet the new CWIB members to further expand on the network of our organization.

DCTrek
Trek attendees meeting with Protiviti employees.

Protiviti is a mid-size global consulting firm that provides business solutions for numerous areas such as internal audit, data analytics, and risk & compliance. Cvent is a privately held software service company that offers software solutions for event planning. The last company they visited was Capital One. Capital One provides numerous services in the banking industry such as credit cards, savings accounts, and loans.

When meeting these companies, CWIB sat down with each of them and learned about their initiatives through panels. The attendees on the trek learned several things from each company. The most frequent response to the question “What did you learn from the companies you met with?” was that you are not limited by your major or what you learn while in college. This is an important aspect to know while applying for jobs and internships because you should never limit yourself to opportunities just because you think you aren’t qualified or have all of the credentials checked off. Many of the employees they met with from each company expressed the amount of new skills they learned after starting their new jobs. While applying to jobs and internships, it is important to know that companies do not expect you to know everything going into a new job. It is comforting to hear from multiple employees the amount of new skills they learned after starting their job! It goes to show that you should apply for positions you may think are not a good fit for you, because as long as you express your passion and commitment to learn, companies will be convinced you have the applicable skill set to expand on! It is also important to do this to challenge yourself, because you never know of all of the possibilities that will come to you by doing so. By attending the DC trek, the members learned that it is important to step outside of their comfort zone and learn new things that may seem challenging at first.

DCTrek-6
Protiviti’s presentation to CWIB members.

I also asked the attending members to explain any new networking skills they learned while on the trip.  Billy Clarke talked about learning to utilize the skill of maintaining his confidence in himself throughout the trip. He talked about how it can be very intimidating talking to highly ranked professionals and how it is easy to get nervous. He concluded by saying that professionals appreciate talking to students who display some level of confidence. This is an important skill to have and to practice on because when you are speaking to professionals, you want to come across as more confident than not, as you are representing exactly why you deserve the position. Some other pieces of advice the members received from the companies about networking were the importance of communicating respectfully and also following up after meeting with companies in person.

DCTrek-42
Learning how to network the right way could land you a job here, at Capital One!

Lastly, I asked a few of the attendees why they would recommend going on the treks to other members in CWIB. Emily Fusaro explained that treks are a perfect opportunity to “get your feet wet in exploring businesses.” Meaning, that treks provide experiences to explore different companies that provide vastly different services. Protiviti, Capital One, and Cvent are all very different businesses, with different missions and services. By meeting with three diverse companies, it allowed the CWIB members to learn about different career options for future internships and jobs. It is important to keep your options open when learning about different companies, because you never know, you might become very interested in a company that you never thought you would be! Laruen Miles would recommend going on the treks because of the connections and friends you make while on them. She said it is a great way to get to know other members involved in CWIB while also making fun memories.

DCTrek-47
CWIB members posing for a group shot. Attend treks to get to know your fellow members!

Overall, the trip up to D.C. provided CWIB members with great opportunities to network with VT alumni and meet with diverse companies. It is a great way to improve upon your networking skills and learn about different opportunities within the business field. While connecting with professionals from companies, you are also connecting with members of CWIB! Make sure to apply for the next trek in order to feel more involved in our organization and reap the same benefits the DC trek attendees did!

By: Ashley Mattson

Featured

Meet the CWIB Chronicles’ Writers!

The CWIB Chronicles is your go-to resource for articles intended to empower, prepare, and connect our readers. I’m very excited to introduce you to the faces behind the amazing articles you will be reading! I’m honored to work with these talented ladies and know they will provide the best writing to you all. Keep reading to meet your 2019-2020 Chronicles’ writers!

Lindsay BarnesLindsay Barnes

Lindsay is a freshman majoring in Business Management, and hopes to pursue a Spanish minor. In addition to being a Chronicles writer, Lindsay is a member of the Love Your Melon Campus Crew and Snow Club. She loves the school spirit Virginia Tech provides, especially through attending football games. She has enjoyed meeting people of different backgrounds and the fact that there are so many activities and clubs here. Outside of school, Lindsay enjoys hanging out with friends, staying active by playing sports like field hockey, soccer, basketball, and skiing, as well as watching Netflix. Lindsay is excited to be apart of the Chronicles so that she can become an involved member with CWIB, as well as have a group to go to for support. With that, comes a great opportunity for her to grow her writing skills! She hopes members feel inspired through CWIB and know that we are always rooting for each other to succeed! She wants them to take advantage of this great group of women who are always around to offer academic and professional support.

Lauren MilesLauren Miles

Lauren is a freshman majoring in Marketing Management and Statistics, with a career goal to work as a Market Research Analyst. She is involved with the Japanese Culture Association and Beekeeping Club, as well as working at Hokie Grill here on campus. Lauren loves how kind everyone at Virginia Tech is, and thinks the on-campus food is great! In her free time, she enjoys reading, eating, being with friends, and watching movies. Lauren wanted to be a part of the Chronicles so that she had a creative outlet where she could help provide fun and insightful articles to our members! This year, Lauren hopes members can experience an inclusive and empowering community through being a CWIB member. She wants us to feel supported by each other, whether it is through exploring career paths, networking, or learning more about our unique individualities.

Gyu Ri KimGyu Ri Kim

Gyu Ri is a sophomore majoring in Marketing Management, specifically Digital Marketing, and hopes to work as a Marketing Manager. Here at Virginia Tech, she is a business manager-in-training for the Bugle, and is on the events and social media team for Her Campus. She appreciates how open everyone is to being your friend here, and how easy it is to get involved in organizations. For fun, Gyu Ri likes to cook or bake, spend time with friends, and watch movies. She is most excited to exercise her writing skills with the Chronicles, as this can give her a break from practicing math problems in her classes! Of course, she is also ready to make new friends within the organization! Gyu Ri hopes members will be able to share empowerment amongst other strong and intelligent women in business, and feel inspired to do great things in life!

Grace FarmeloGrace Farmelo

Grace is a freshman who is currently Business Undecided, but is leaning towards Management or Entrepreneurship, with a minor in creative writing. One day, she wants to run her own equestrian center. Here at school, Grace is involved with YoungLife and hopes to start playing intramural sports and ride horses in Blacksburg. In her free time, she enjoys going to football games, riding horses, playing rink soccer, and getting coffee with friends. Through the Chronicles, Grace is excited to apply her passion for writing in order to empower our readers! She is ready to inspire her peers and better her writing skills through publishing articles. Grace hopes members find a sense of community within CWIB, since this is what she loves most about Virginia Tech. Additionally, she hopes they find the inspiration to pursue their degree with passion and feel empowered after reading Chronicles articles.

Paige HornPaige Horn

Paige is a sophomore majoring in Management Marketing. Ultimately, she wants to help others by working for a company that promotes an inclusive and progressive atmosphere. Not only is Paige invested in the Chronicles, but she is also a member of the business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi and sorority Alpha Chi Omega. Because of these organizations, Paige feels that Virginia Tech truly is home, and values the supportive and accepting community here. When Paige isn’t hard at work, she enjoys spending time with friends, hiking, playing soccer, and watching Netflix. By being a Chronicles writer, she is eager to share her voice on business topics and expand upon the guiding principles that encompass the culture and goals of CWIB. Overall, Paige wants members to feel empowered through CWIB, academically and socially, to achieve their personal and professional goals.

Ashley MattsonAshley Mattson

Ashley is a junior majoring in Business Information Technology and Finance. She hopes to work within the government, and then for the FBI. In addition to being a Chronicles’ writer, she is a mentor within the Mentorship Program at CWIB and is looking to start showjumping as a horseback rider here in Blacksburg. She feels Virginia Tech professors and students provide a supportive atmosphere where we all can succeed, which is why she loves the community within this school. For fun, Ashley enjoys playing field hockey, spending time with friends, watching movies, and running! She is excited to work on her writing with the Chronicles, since many of her classes do not involve writing. She believes that writing is a very important skill and is ready to take advantage of this opportunity to write more often! Ashley wants members to utilize the Chronicles as a valuable tool to guide them through various aspects of their professional endeavors, as well as to provide a source of inspiration.

cwibfall2019.jpgEmma Harwood

Emma is a junior majoring in Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise with a concentration on Dietetics. Her career goal is to work within pediatric nutrition and dietetics. In addition to her role as Editor-in-Chief of the Chronicles, she is a manager for the Women’s Basketball team, works at McComas, and is a member of the Student Nutrition and Dietetics Association. In her free time, Emma enjoys working out, skiing, cooking, and spending time with family and friends. She feels fortunate to attend Virginia Tech where they offer excellent academic opportunities in line with her professional goals, as well as being the place she has met some of her closest friends. Emma aims to give her writers the confidence she was given as a staff writer, and help them develop their writing skills so that they feel proud that their pieces are positively affecting our readers! She hopes members read the Chronicles and feel empowered to take the steps needed to accomplish their goals, prepared to tackle difficult situations, and connected to other women by being inspired by those around us.

By: Emma Harwood

Featured

CWIB’s Story: Insight from the Founders on Establishing our Organization

It is astonishing to think that Collegiate Women in Business  was founded only 5 years ago, given the number of members we have gained, the incredible sponsors who endorse us, and the impactful events at which we have made our mark. Have you wondered how all of this is even possible? I wanted to provide you with an in-depth background of how our professional organization came to be, based on the vision our founders had for CWIB’s success at Virginia Tech. After interviewing the women who helped CWIB gain its presence, I feel that their passion and drive for our organization is apparent through the steps they took to help us be where we are today.

Corrigan Serpa, Shannon Cabrey, Catherine Kidwell, McKenzi Macdowall, and Shannon Lavery are the founding women of CWIB. All five women had great team chemistry and worked well together to get the process started. They all agreed that this organization would better Hokie Nation, so they sought out a method to achieve their goal. Serpa told me, “The idea came about during a female lunch meeting at the Innovate LLC [Living Learning Community] in the Fall of 2013.” They realized other universities had similar organizations and believed Virginia Tech should be one of those. Serpa soundly felt that our school should provide a platform for “women to be equipped with the right skills and network to build their careers as they wish.” In order to be an established organization, they needed to find a faculty sponsor. Cabrey describes how “Gina French stepped into that role to provide us with advice and passionately lead us forward as we got started.” The next steps were to “register our group as a formal student organization through the university, create a website and a page on GobblerConnect, and start to try to get the word out as we grew.” Serpa is grateful that “Gobbler Fest, Pamplin Picnic and renting booths in Squires helped us” start to gain the presence they wanted on campus.

Gina and McKenzi
Gina French and McKenzi MacDowall at Pamplin Picnic

There were several more obstacles they faced throughout this process, one being establishing the proper pillars as the main core of what CWIB should represent. Empower, Prepare, Connect stemmed from the desire that women should feel “empowered to accomplish, prepared with the skills necessary to successfully accomplish, and connect them with a network of business professionals, peers, and alumni,” Serpa explained. Cabrey breaks down the method the founders used to put together these pillars so eloquently:

“We sat together one evening with VT faculty member Derick Maggard, and he led us in a discussion and an activity to determine our core values. Derick had the five of us simultaneously create lists of words that we wanted CWIB to stand for, represent, and accomplish with its existence. This was a timed activity and… once we were done, we found several words that were common across each of our lists.”

By initiating these pillars as the principles CWIB stood by, the “goal was to build a community at Virginia Tech that women felt comfortable and at home in, would be challenged by, could learn from to stretch their thinking, and would find lifelong friends and mentors within,” Cabrey told me. In doing so, “CWIB will empower students and prepare women with the knowledge and skills they need to have the career that they choose,” Serpa explained. Kidwell tells the Chronicles how the founders aimed to “not empower women in the workplace, but in general. Those verbs [pillars] have duality.” Personally, I have found these statements to be incredibly true based on my experiences within CWIB. The fact that the founders pushed for a professional organization for all women is something we cannot take for granted. As a non-business major myself, I still reap the benefits CWIB provides and know that the founders thought this through when creating CWIB. The workshops and advice we are provided with will help me in my field just as much as it will help a woman in Pamplin.

Serpa with 18-19 leadership
(From left to right) Morgan Beavers, Corrigan Serpa, Erica Sullivan, and Gigi Jones and our first monthly meeting of the 2018-2019 year!

In order for us to excel in our respective careers, the founders wanted to bring in sponsors for CWIB who would be a point of contact to assist in our professional endeavors. Serpa remembers calling every contact she could think of; they graciously accepted the help that was offered, especially since not every contact was providing sponsorship. She also explained how “… it felt awkward asking for sponsorship as a student. In each email I asked to set up a phone call to further explain CWIB and answer any questions. I think picking up the phone was essential; they could then fully understand how passionate about the organization we were.” Being able to thoroughly explain their goals for CWIB gave sponsors a sense of the founders’ determination, which was a convincing way to support CWIB as a legitimate organization. In addition, acting as an all-female organization was a way for CWIB to individualize itself and advance womens’ careers. “All companies are emphasizing diversity and inclusion and backing a women in business group is usually a no brainer if they understand what that funding will be applied to long-term,” Kidwell felt.

Taking this intimidating step to reach out to business professionals proved to be one of the best decisions the founders made, as CWIB now is sponsored by many successful companies such as KPMG, Accenture, Altria, and Deloitte. Cabrey talked about how Gina French helped them get in contact with one of their very first points of contact, Deborah Golden, who leads Deloitte’s US Cyber Practice. Cabrey explains how “A few of our founders were able to sit down with Deborah and find ways for her and her organization to get meaningfully involved with our members, which ended up evolving into our very first Power Panel, with Deborah as a panelist.” Golden continues to support CWIB as she has hosted several workshops over the years! Engaging in these initial conversations can lead to some pretty fantastic connections, which have undoubtedly assisted CWIB in gaining more sponsors in a short amount of time.

Building connections through various communication routes, effective planning and organization tactics, and leadership opportunities in a team setting are only a few of the fundamental skills the founders believed they gained by being so involved with CWIB. Communication is a skill that will never disappear and Serpa feels that because of CWIB, she feels more comfortable in the business world where she is constantly speaking with other professionals. The fact that CWIB always has events taking place, thus requiring constant scheduling and planning, helped Cabrey with her general organization skills. “Keeping track of meetings and implementing strategic goals and action items” for CWIB kept Cabrey on her toes by giving her the experience she needed to prioritize her time. On a more creative note, CWIB let her express her visual design skills through “creating flyers for Power Panel and designing our logo and merchandise.” Her diverse skill set is thanks to CWIB’s preparation for success in the professional world!

aesthetic Gobblerfest
Our creative booth decorations at this year’s Gobblerfest, featuring the CWIB logo on our mugs!

As CWIB continues to grow, the founders are hopeful for further empowerment, preparation, and connections that will derive from being a member. Serpa feels strongly that “this [CWIB] connection motivates alumni to remain connected to the students and one another.” This stems from the initial goal of bettering Hokie Nation; the fact that alumni and current students can be connected due to their membership in CWIB can foster a continuous Hokie family where we can all relate to shared experiences. Cabrey states, “I think the group strikes the right balance between professionalism and skill building, all the while making lasting friends and connections that will last years beyond college.” Between attending monthly meetings, workshops, and socials, Cabrey hopes members “are able to make connections with other students across campus to study with, interview prep with, and just hang out and have fun with as friends!” There’s no better way to express the principal goal of CWIB as “people-oriented,” as Kidwell would say. She aimed for CWIB to provide its members with “a sense of inclusion and the toolkit to succeed outside of Blacksburg.”

Gina and some founders
(From left to right) Gina French, Shannon Lavery, Corrigan Serpa, and McKenzi MacDowall

I would say that CWIB has made the founders proud as leadership, membership, and sponsorship continues to grow and develop each academic year. The founders’ main goals for the organization continue to advance as we strive to empower, prepare, and connect women from all over Virginia Tech in all that we provide. New leadership teams implement these core values while incorporating their unique ideas as CWIB expands in its presence. I hope you all are as proud as I am to be a part of CWIB and feel inspired to take more initiative to get involved, better yourself, and better someone else as you connect to fellow CWIB members. Many thanks to our founders for endorsing and believing in CWIB in order for us to reap the benefits and make our own mark within the organization!

By: Emma Harwood 

Featured

Summer Experiences: What Members Learned Through their Internships

CWIB members are some of the most proactive students at Virginia Tech in terms of landing internships. Whether they occur throughout the summer, winter, or full semester, CWIB encourages each of its members to pursue at least one internship during their collegiate career. Specifically, summer internships are the most common among college students, and the most recommended among recruiters! Internships foster an environment of growth, and they assist in determining potential career paths one may want to engage in after graduation. Immense opportunities can come from gaining experience interning for established companies, such as the development of technical and interpersonal skills, potential for full-time job offers, and more insight into specific industries.

Four of our own members, Gabrielle Bryda, Samantha Mottes, Elizabeth Sweeney, and Abby Mercatoris-Morrison, have experiences to share about their own internships this past summer. They each took part in a unique internship following the collusion of their junior year. Read below to see how they gained new skills that are applicable in their current academics and everyday lives!

Gabrielle Bryda: 

Gabrielle Bryda is a senior majoring in Computational and Systems Neuroscience and Economics. During the summer of 2019, Bryda interned at Deloitte as a Business Technology Analyst. As part of her internship, she conducted market research and authored a white paper, or a specific document intended to inform the reader about a certain subject. In Bryda’s case, that subject focused on being agile while meeting traditional project management requirements. Bryda shared, “I learned client relationship management, business research, and networking skills,” regarding her client work. In addition to her client work, Bryda was a part of D2international (D2i), a social impact fellowship developed specifically for Deloitte employees.

The D2i Program provides interns with the opportunity to develop solutions directly for a nonprofit. Bryda worked with a small team of interns to analyze and optimize daily operations of a Colombian nonprofit called La Juanfe, which seeks to empower teen mothers by providing child support, psychosocial counseling, and job training to escape poverty. Bryda revealed, “I learned collaboration across teams, building relationships with new partners, and analytical and problem-solving skills,” from her experience brainstorming, developing, and executing deliverables for La Juanfe. The D2i program concluded with a week-long solution delivery trip to La Juanfe’s headquarters in Cartagena, Colombia. In addition to the amazing work Bryda completed, she served as her team’s liaison, coordinating between workstreams to provide information and structure for her team. She even participated in weekly calls with leadership from La Juanfe!. Her most memorable experience this summer was presenting her team’s solutions to the senior leadership of La Juanfe, and speaking directly with the women whose lives the nonprofit is changing.

We are so proud of all the work you put in during your internship, Gabrielle!

GB
Bryda’s professional headshot from this past summer!
GB 2
Bryda in Cartagena, Colombia with her team during their solution delivery trip.

Samantha Mottes: 

Samantha, or “Sam,” Mottes is a senior majoring in Public Relations. As a rising senior, Mottes took part in an internship at Immersion Consulting, a firm that aims to provide clients with applicable business solutions. Her internship consisted of various duties, mainly involving marketing sales and recruiting. Regarding marketing sales, Mottes promoted brand awareness by developing innovative tactics to increase market presence and gain the attention of those in the current market. She also managed and leveraged the LMS, or Learning Management System, which monitors and evaluates training progress and development of the company. She even presented her findings in an LMS walkthrough at the firm! Mottes assisted with the recruitment process of the consulting firm as well, learning more about ins-and-outs of hiring operations. She handled important forms regarding new hires as part of the company’s recruitment policies. Finally, Mottes was given the task of implementing SEO’s, otherwise known as Search Engine Optimizations. Through this assignment, she analyzed target markets and tested optimization. According to Mottes, she is appreciative of, “Getting amazing experience and building connections,” in regards to her summer with Immersion Consulting.

We are so proud of your contributions at Immersion Consulting, Sam!

sam with collegues
Mottes (far right) and peers posing on day of presentation for Immersion Consulting.
Sam Presenting
Mottes during her Immersion Consulting presentation.

Elizabeth Sweeney: 

Elizabeth Sweeney is a Senior Marketing Management major with an ENVG, or Entrepreneurship: New Venture Growth, minor. Sweeney spent her summer at Ferguson Enterprise in Beltsville, Maryland as a sales intern. Her internship incorporated tasks derived from multiple different business operations. Sweeney shared, “I learned every aspect of the business, from filling orders, to dealing directly with the client in outside sales,” about her diverse position. Sweeney also helped a published author create media for his new publishing agency, C-N-J Publication! She relied heavily on her Marketing skills to assist her in developing media that properly showcased the author’s brand and mission. One exciting component of Sweeney’s summer internship was the Summer Interns Project, where she and her team presented to an audience! Sweeney improved multiple skills during her summer at Ferguson Enterprise, including her patience, face-to-face customer communication, and leadership abilities within a team. Being in a diverse sales role led to her development of a wider range of skills! Sweeney states, “The most memorable aspects of my experience were living in a different area, making new friends/connections, and experiencing a different kind of work atmosphere.”

Elizabeth, we are so proud you reached outside of your comfort zone at Ferguson Enterprise!

Elizabeth Sweeny
Sweeney (second from left) and her team posing after their 2019 Summer Interns Project presentation.

Abigail Mercatoris-Morrison: 

Abigail, or “Abby”, Mercatoris-Morrison is currently a senior majoring in Marketing. Mercatoris worked in Seattle as a summer intern with Frito-Lay. She served as a sales intern for the multinational corporation. Mercatoris worked on a significant project that was in the early stages of development. She assisted with the rudimentary, or beginning, stages of the project in order to ensure the final product would stand on an effective foundation. Mercatoris’ team’s goal was to save time for sales representatives in the overall sales process. They helped the specific sales representations who stocked the shelves with products in order to assist in keeping their jobs more organized. Her team focused greatly on precision ordering methods. Mercatoris shared, “I learned the importance of communication among co-workers and managers. I also appreciated the work-life balance with this company.” A large factor of this sales internship that interested Mercatoris was the idea of traveling around the Pacific Northwest and getting the opportunity to work with unique individuals from various backgrounds. Her hard work all summer paid off, as she was offered a full-time position for Frito-Lay at the conclusion of her internship!

We are proud of you for working so hard and getting that job offer, Abby!

abby mm
Professional headshot used for Mercatoris’ internship with Frito-Lay!

We are honored to have members like the women featured here who made the most of their summer experiences. Through gaining the knowledge to work in diverse places with talented individuals, they developed the communication skills, connections, and technical applications of delivering real-world projects. We know they will put these skills to good use throughout their classes, jobs/internships here at school, and during CWIB events!

By: Allison Wood

 

 

Featured

The CWIB Events Guide

CWIB Leadership manages a lot of their time and effort putting together several events for members throughout the year, but what’s the difference between them all? We want to make sure you all know what events we offer and why you should attend as many as possible to get the most out of this organization! Hopefully this guide to all-things CWIB events helps clarify any discrepancies you may have and encourages you to come out to the exciting events we have planned!

Monthly Meetings

Monthly meetings are probably the most well-known events we have to offer. The first Wednesday of every month, we meet for about an hour to socialize with members, inform members of upcoming events, hear from inspiring speakers, sell merchandise, and answer any questions or concerns members may have. Sometimes we even provide free food! Monthly meetings are a great way to get acclimated with all that is happening during the particular month and make sure you mark your calendars so that you know when everything is going on! Most monthly meetings begin with business-related ice-breakers or trivia questions that allow you to work with fellow members and get to know each other. Each meeting will normally have a theme to follow along with all the information that is provided. For the 2019-2020 academic year, we will focus monthly meetings on our pillar, “Empower.” We highly encourage members to attend every monthly meeting, as they only occur once a month, and really help keep you up to date so you don’t miss any important information! We’ll see you at our first monthly meeting of the semester on October 2nd in NCB 260 at 7:00 pm!

6c32b6_896edf877d4b48089f907051b624e126~mv2
A room full of members attending a Monthly Meeting!

Socials

Socials are organized by our Chief Operating Officer, VP of Operations, and Events Committee. They are casual get-togethers that allow members to have fun and interact outside of professional events. For example, last year we went to Sinkland Farms for our pumpkin patch social, held a Halloween themed game night, and a Galentine’s Day movie night. These are great ways to spend time with friends and meet new people in a laid-back setting! Some socials will occur on campus, while other times we are out in the Blacksburg community. The Events Committee determines when to hold socials, based on when other events are taking place; however, they aim for an equal number of socials to happen in the spring and fall semesters. You will hear about the time and dates for socials through attending monthly meetings and reading our weekly newsletter.

halloween game night
CWIB members having fun at our Halloween-themed game night!

Coffee Chats

Coffee chats allow members to speak with professionals in the workplace in a relaxed atmosphere. Normally, we invite one individual to sit down with us and chat about her personal experiences throughout college, such as how she came to hold the position she does, what she studied as an undergrad, and any advice she has for us moving forward in our career search. These personal situations alleviate any nerves of talking to professionals in a more structured setting by allowing members to ask questions and get to know the individual. We encourage you to take advantage of coffee chats as these are opportunities where successful women have the time to sit and speak with us and answer any of our questions! We have had businesswomen from Cvent and Deloitte, as well as professors from international universities sit and chat with us. I find coffee chats very genuine and leave them feeling motivated and inspired.; these experiences have opened my eyes to career possibilities I hadn’t even thought of pursuing.

Workshops

CWIB is fortunate to collaborate with our sponsors each year by running workshops dedicated to career advancement. At these workshops, we cover skills such as resume building, diversity and inclusion, and negotiation, to name a few. Learning these skills from business professionals is a privilege that gives us a hands-on opportunity to the insight on real workplace practices. Our sponsors dedicate time out of their busy schedules to work with us, so it is important we take advantage of these resources we are provided! We hope you didn’t miss out on our first workshops of the semester where Protiviti hosted a resume building and Business Horizons prep, and The Select Group helped us work on making a great first impression! Don’t worry if you weren’t able to make it; we have plenty of workshops planned that will help you strengthen your professional skills.

Power Panel 

Power Panel is our biggest event of the year which takes place in the spring semester. We invite business professionals to sit on a panel and answer pressing questions related to a particular theme. For example, last year we were honored to have three influential business women talk to us about their experiences finding courage in the workplace. Frances Reimers, Tricia Harper, and Allison Sitch graciously spoke about the companies they work for, difficulties they faced as professional women, and gave advice for us starting out in our careers. Prior to the panel, a private networking session for CWIB members only was held where we were able to introduce ourselves to the panelists and get to know each other. Power Panel has always been a success, so make sure you don’t miss this event in the spring! Be on the lookout to see who our guests will be this year…

IMG_3179
Tricia Harper, Allison Sitch, and Frances Reimers (middle left to right) with CWIB leadership!

Treks 

Treks are a fantastic opportunity to gain real-world experience. Our Chief Development Officer and VP of Treks plan around 2-3 treks a semester where a group of CWIB members get to attend events hosted by different business in order to see what their culture is like, what a typical day on the job consists of, and network with professionals. New York City, Nashville, Atlanta, Raleigh, and Washington, D.C. are a few places we have either been or are planning to visit! Not only do you receive an impressive professional experience, you are able to grow closer to other CWIB members and sight-see in a major city! Now I know you all can’t wait to sign up for the first trek, so let me explain the application process. Every CWIB member who wants to attend a trek must apply. Questions range from how many previous CWIB events have you attended, to, what qualities do you believe make a good leader? These questions are designed to gauge your commitment as a CWIB member, as well as get a feel for the types of responses you would give to business professionals if asked. Treks do cost money; however, with all that is included, the prices are extremely reasonable! Be sure to pay attention for more information on upcoming treks, and if you have any more questions about them, reach out to some of the women who have attended previous ones! We are so excited to hear about how our first trek went when those who will be attending the NYC Women in Business trip this September 12th-13th return to Blacksburg!

Cheese! (2)
Want more insight on treks? Check out our Chronicles articles to get a sense of what members got out of going on treks!

I hope something about each of these events caught your eye and that you’re ready to get involved with CWIB! I’m so proud of all the hard work put forth in making these events so successful, so be sure to attend as many as you can! We can’t wait to see you all soon!

By: Emma Harwood

Featured

Gaining Confidence for Business Horizons

With Business Horizons quickly approaching, it is easy for those last minute nerves to creep up on you. We all experience them and know that they inhibit our confidence to present ourselves in the best light to possible employers. Read Emma’s advice for keeping the faith in yourself to successfully tackle Business Horizons!

Adhere to a nighttime and morning routine

It’s common to feel the need to stay up all night preparing your elevator pitch and deciding what to wear, but your body and mind need rest in order to perform to the best of your abilities. Be sure to get to bed at a reasonable hour so that your mind is clear for the next day. Lay out your professional attire so that it is ready to go in the morning. When you wake up, eat a good breakfast, practice your pitch one more time, and make sure you have your resume ready. Head to class just as usual and go about your typical day. When it comes time to make your way to Business Horizons, you won’t feel as overwhelmed as you would have if you spent the whole night cramming last minute information into your brain.

Read over company information 

Get an idea of what companies will be attending by reading over the list and researching those who sound interesting to you. Be aware of who is hiring based on your major, minor, or concentration. This will help narrow down who you spend your time talking to, rather than waiting in line for a company who, for example, doesn’t even offer an internship for the position you are seeking. I would suggest researching the culture and mission of two or three companies that are of serious interest to you. It is impressive to come prepared and know some background on the company, instead of simply selling yourself the entire time. Try to explain how your skills will align with the company’s vision. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions when something is confusing or you would like more insight on the topic at hand. Recruiters will see your passion for your work more so than if you nod your head and go along with everything they say. You will undoubtedly feel more confident by preparing for these conversations ahead of the event. Check out the Business Horizons website for more information on companies in attendance this year.

amazon_logoTarget Logoibm_logo

Refrain from comparing yourself to others

This is something I know I am very guilty of doing, but it is so important to remember that your individual accomplishments are, in fact, your own. Try to focus on all that you can bring to a job instead of worrying about how many internships everyone else has held or “cooler” experiences they have had. Every job, internship, class, you name it, prepares you for the next one! Most of the time companies want to see quality over quantity, so if you do not have as much corporate experience don’t worry! If you put a lot of hard work and effort into one or two positions, then companies will see you have the same experience, and maybe even more leadership qualities, over someone who may have worked for more businesses, but never progressed in said business. You are unique and talented; the right company and position will find you if you are willing to put in the time and dedication!

Utilize your support system

If your parents are anything like mine, they love hearing about how you’re doing. When something great happens or if I’m not feeling my best, I know they will always be there to provide guidance and support. If you find yourself stressed out, give your parents a call and talk with them about how they prepared for career fairs! I bet they will be more than happy to provide insight on helping you prepare for the workforce. Similarly, your best friends, significant other, CWIB mentor, or any others you hold a special relationship with, know you better than anyone else. Sometimes all it takes is hearing about the confidence these important people have in you for you to realize it in yourself. Don’t be afraid to reach out, communicate your feelings, and work through your thought process with the people who know your strengths and weaknesses. I guarantee you’ll feel more confident in yourself after reflecting with those who never lack confidence in you.

Take advantage of your Clifton Strengths

Virginia Tech requires its students to take the Clifton Strengths Finder when they are freshmen. Initially, I thought this test would be like any other skills finder that I didn’t foresee predicting my true personal strengths, but I found that my results were extremely accurate of my personality and how I tackle situations. If you’ve taken this assessment, truly familiarize yourself with your strengths and determine how you can make these apparent when talking to companies at Business Horizons. I’ve had a boss tell me that once she realized how to include her individual strengths in interviews and elevator pitches, she was able to confidently sell herself since she truly believed in what she was saying. To use a personal example, my top strength is “Harmony.” I would incorporate this trait in my elevator pitch as to how I bring a collective and team-centered attitude to any goal we are trying to achieve. Since I have several anecdotes to back up this claim, recruiters will get a true sense of how I value relationship-building, and how I would prioritize this at their company. If you have not completed the Clifton Strengths Finder, you can search for the program through the Virginia Tech website and enter your PID and password to take the individualized test.

clifton strengths image

Reach out to your CWIB community

We are so fortunate to be members of an organization where women from all over Virginia Tech, not just Pamplin, can share their professional experiences and offer advice. Reach out to other CWIB members to see how they are preparing for Business Horizons. While it is crucial to refrain from comparing ourselves, we can still use each other to practice elevator pitches, hear about previous BH experiences, and even walk to the event together! I am always so empowered after hearing about how CWIB members have overcome obstacles and succeeded in their goals; it is reassuring to feel surrounded by like-minded women who are passionate about the same things you are.

CWIB Crest dark purple

I know Business Horizons can be intimidating, for newcomers and returners alike. Take advantage of these pieces of advice and I guarantee you will feel more confident in yourself. No matter how cliché it may sound, these recruiters are just people too. If you show your confidence in yourself, they will take you seriously and realize your potential. Good luck at Business Horizons CWIB!

 

Business Horizons will take place at Squires Student Center on September 5, 2019 from 10am – 4pm.

 

By: Emma Harwood

Featured

CWIB Fall 2019 Preview

Hey CWIB! I hope your summers have been fun and productive and you’re enjoying what is left of them! With the fall semester rapidly approaching, it’s almost time to return to classes, but it also means we’ll get to catch up with our CWIB friends and start a new semester off strong! Whether you’ve been interning, working, volunteering, traveling, or pursuing something else this summer, we hope you’ve learned a lot and are excited to leverage that experience. The beginning of the fall semester is packed with events that CWIB encourages you to participate in. Here is a preview of upcoming CWIB events so you can mark your calendars and not miss out!

First up is Pamplin Picnic, happening on August 30th which is the Friday of our first week back in classes. The picnic is from 4 to 6 pm on the Holtzman Alumni Lawn and you are all invited to enjoy food, music, and games (for free) to kick off the semester with Pamplin! Stop by the CWIB booth and visit the leadership team at the event to hear how our organization makes an impact not only within Pamplin, but also throughout the Virginia Tech community.

Pamplin Picnic
CWIB Leadership team tabling at the 2018 Pamplin Picnic!

On Wednesday, September 4th, CWIB is hosting its first workshop of the semester with Protiviti! The topic of the workshop is Business Horizons 101 and representatives from Protiviti will discuss resume building and elevator speeches. Many CWIB alumni, including the co-founder of CWIB at Virginia Tech, work for Protiviti, so it is a great company to build connections with through CWIB! Come out and get valuable Business Horizons tips from an employer’s perspective before Business Horizons the following day (September 5th from 10 am – 4 pm). Plus, food from Jimmy Johns will be provided by Protiviti at the workshop. Speaking of Business Horizons, click on the link above to view the attending companies and start planning which ones you want to connect with this year!

PRO_Logo_9.29_final

The busy week continues after Business Horizons with Gobblerfest on Friday, September 6th from 4 to 7 pm on the Drillfield. Stop by and visit the CWIB booth to gain more information on all we have planned this year, get to know members, and be inspired from your leadership team! Bring your friends too; we are so excited to meet future members!

On September 9th and 10th, CWIB is holding new member information sessions at 6 pm (location is still TBA). Come out if you’re a new member looking to join or tell your friends if they are interested in joining CWIB! That same week, the NYC Women in Business trek is happening from September 12th through 13th, so look out for more details to come on that, as well as information on other treks to take place this semester.

Our first monthly meeting of the semester is on Wednesday, October 2nd at 7 pm in NCB 260. Mark your calendars and come out to the first monthly meeting to reconnect with CWIB friends and hear from the new leadership team about what is in store for the fall semester! Our “Welcome Back” newsletter will be sent out next Monday, August 19th, outlining other important information, so be sure to give it a read!

october calendar
Mark your calendars for our first monthly meeting of 2019! October 2nd at 7pm in NCB 260.

 

We can’t wait to see you all at these events this semester and hope you’re excited as well!

By: Allison DeSantis

 

Featured

Helpful Business Resources

With a world as complex as ours, it is often hard to stay up to date on current events. During the summer, this may be even more difficult as we are not in class constantly hearing about business trends or corporate news. Technology, stock market fluctuations, growing innovative mindsets, demands of consumers, and many more individual factors make the business world especially difficult to stay up to date with. As women beginning our journeys into the corporate world, it is important that we remain knowledgeable about what is happening within it. That knowledge should include both large events as well as daily happenings, ranging from current events, to informing ourselves of the newest entrepreneurial tactics, business insights, and career advice. Our world is changing rapidly, but we can do our part to change it for the better. If we remain knowledgeable, we can make a difference as women in the business world.

No matter the platform(s) you choose to use as your resources, select one that empowers you with rich information and helps you grow as a businesswoman. You can look into social media pages, websites, podcasts, journals, printed options, and much more. Do your own research of the platforms and news sources you prefer and feel comfortable using weekly, and even daily. Many websites even allow you to modify and personalize what information you wish to see. According to our CWIB members, podcasts are a favorite when it comes to recent business news and operations. Below are suggestions of helpful business resources that many of our members use to help you get started!

Podcasts: 

So Money: This podcast is hosted by financial specialist Farnoosh Torabi. It aims to inform listeners of strategies involving money, developed by top business professionals. They share financial philosophies, wins, failures, and habits to provide insight into what listeners should or should not do involving their finances. You can even ask Torabi financial questions you may have!

So money

Business Daily: Staying up to date with international business is very important, as markets around the world are interdependent. This podcast is a perfect source of information regarding international business! It consists of weekly reviews of business news from around the world. This can be beneficial for our members who study abroad or are interested in working in another country at some point in their professional careers.

Business daily

Skimm’d from the Couch: On this podcast, co-founders and co-CEOs, Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg, share their journey of how they started their company from a couch. They have influential female leaders and businesswomen as guests on the podcast as well. They discuss careers, failure, and what the road to success is truly like. It is a raw environment that shares the truth of the business world!

Skimmed from the couch

The $100 MBA Show: Hosted by Omar Zenhom, this podcast shares actual business lessons from real entrepreneurs. Zenhom reaches out to top experts to serve as guest teachers on the show. This podcast delivers solid business advice, in an attempt to provide applicable, actionable information for all listeners.

MBA show

RISE: New York Times Best-Selling Author, Rachel Hollis, hosts this tactical business podcast. She holds bold conversations with business powerhouses as well as leaders in personal development. She hopes to provide listeners with valuable information that they can apply to their own real-life situations. This podcast is a great source of empowerment for anyone listening!

Rachel Hollis

How I Built This: One of the most popular podcasters, Guy Raz, speaks about some of the world’s best-known companies. He talks about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the movements they formed. You can hear all about the extensive journeys of these companies and individuals involved.

npr_hibt_podcasttile

Newsletter: 

Morning Brew: This newsletter sends out a daily briefing to its targeted audience, millennials. Specifically, it is designed for young business professionals. The newsletter consists of a stock market recap, a few short briefings of the most important daily business news, and a small lifestyle section. Students enrolled in Foundations of Business at Virginia Tech were even required to subscribe to this newsletter!

Morning Brew

Magazine: 

Bloomberg Businessweek: This is an American magazine that is published weekly. It provides information about recent events in the business world. That information includes insights and interpretations of the people, companies, events, and trends that are involved in how and why the corporate world operates the way it does.

Bloomsberg

Newspaper: 

The Wall Street Journal: As a business-focused newspaper, The Wall Street Journal provides international daily news involving the business world. It is published six days a week by Dow Jones & Company, which is also a major stock market index. All students taking Introduction to Finance even have to subscribe to this newspaper, which can be accessed online or in print.

wall street journal

Book:

How Women Rise: Leadership expert Sally Helgesen and leadership coach Marshall Goldsmith co-authored this book, hoping to motivate their readers. Helgesen and Goldsmith reveal the most common habits that hold women back from getting a raise, promotion, or job. Specifically, women face different obstacles while striving for success in the workplace. This is both an inspirational and helpful read!

How women rise

No matter the resource(s) you choose to use, CWIB hopes that you use these suggestions to help further your own knowledge of today’s business world and its operations. By preparing yourself for all that the business world entails, you have a step up in your professional career. We cannot wait to see all that you do in the future!

By: Allison Wood

Featured

Member Spotlight: Camille Pacheco

Individual Camille picture
Camille Pacheco, a Sophomore majoring in Marketing Management, created Druzy Dream as a way to fundraise for a mission trip. Photo via @druzydream on Instagram.

Meet Camille Pacheco, an entrepreneur and upcoming Sophomore majoring in Marketing Management from Ashburn, Virginia. Besides being a CWIB member, Camille is also involved with Tri Delta sorority. In high school, Camille created her jewelry business, Druzy Dream, as a way to fundraise for a mission trip to Kentucky. Instead of more common methods of raising money, Camille and her friend, “came up with the idea to raise the money by making unique handmade bracelets using all semi-precious beads and selling them,” Camille says. “Our plan was to harness the power of social media, primarily Instagram, to post [pictures of] our jewelry. We shopped at our local craft store using coupons and set our price knowing the cost of our supplies. Much to our surprise we sold the first 10 bracelets within a matter of days and we were quickly developing a local following. What happened over the next year was nothing short of miraculous. We surpassed our goal of the $2800 needed for our trip in just one summer and Druzy Dream took off!”

Camille and Friend
The two founders of Druzy Dream! Photo via @druzydream on Instagram.

While Druzy Dream initially began as a fundraiser, the small business gained popularity both locally and nationally. Camille’s handmade jewelry was not only being sold and shipped locally, but her products began to be sold in boutiques in other regions, such as New England. With its growing customer demand and social media following, Druzy Dream was established as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). As her business grew, Camille was responsible for not only taxes and accounting, but many other functions as well. “I was now managing the Instagram page, creating new designs, shopping with wholesalers, managing inventory, making the jewelry and shipping. With so much demand we decided to create a brand ambassador program and website for Druzy Dream called Druzy Dream Designs,” she says.

Many entrepreneurs encounter challenges when starting their own company. For Camille, one of the main challenges she has experienced with Druzy Dream has been risk taking. “I take risks each time I invest money ordering supplies for new designs thinking that they will sell and not knowing for sure if the market is going to want them. A substantial amount of time is spent making and promoting jewelry that could potentially not sell.” Pacheco said. She also faces difficulties with product pricing while making sure the company profits, as well as time management since she is still involved with Druzy Dream during the school year. “It is difficult trying to balance the time I spend working on the company as a college student. My schoolwork is my priority now, [so] I work on Druzy Dream in any free time that I have… [For the school year,] I brought all my supplies with me to Virginia Tech and sell jewelry to students locally in Blacksburg.”

Druzy Dream IG screenshot
Go check out Druzy Dream on Instagram! They feature all the different kinds of jewelry they make and sell. Photo via @druzydream.

Druzy Dream is very much involved with philanthropy fundraising on campus. The company has been incorporated into fundraising events for Tri-Delta’s philanthropy, St. Jude’s, by donating 20% of the proceeds and plans to offer this opportunity for other sororities on campus in the coming years.

Camille has been able to use what she’s learned from her business and inspire other women in their ventures as entrepreneurs. When it comes to her biggest piece of advice for women who aspire to be entrepreneurs, Camille says, “the most important advice I would give is to not be afraid to take risks and to do something different that you feel passionate about. Even though starting a company is a lot of work and filled with some sacrifices, it is an amazing feeling to be able to call something your own. In the end, all the hours invested and social activities and plans you have to forgo or cancel will be worth it. Druzy Dream has brought me such a feeling of pride and accomplishment… [and has given me] opportunities to inspire others to become entrepreneurs [through] workshops with women in shelters and been able to share my story with so many young people in my own community, a few of whom went on to become young entrepreneurs themselves.”

As she continues her education at Virginia Tech, Camille plans to apply what she’s learned in Pamplin to Druzy Dream and her other business ventures after college. “As a CWIB member, hearing how successful businesswomen were able to fulfill their goals and achieve their dream jobs gives me hope for my company and its success when I am older. These women have shown me what drive and persistence is needed to implement your goals.”

Don’t forget to support our fellow CWIB member Camille and give Druzy Dream a follow on Instagram! We are so proud of what she has accomplished so far and can’t wait to see where the company goes!

By: Abby Perkins

 

Featured

Seniors Spotlight

It’s that time of the year when seniors are eager to graduate and conquer the next stage of their lives, while also reminisce on all that they will miss about being a student at Virginia Tech. As sad as we are to see our amazing seniors leave, CWIB is beyond proud of the monumental impacts these women’s efforts have had on our organization, each other, and the Hokie community as a whole. Each one of them possess unique talents and abilities that will aid them in whichever direction they decide to pursue throughout their personal and professional endeavors. I’m very excited to highlight some of these seniors’ accomplishments, inspirational advice, and most memorable moments so that you too can make the most of your time here in college.

Kinsey graduation cap
Kinsey Donovan’s decorated graduation cap! Photo via Kinsey Donovan

CWIB’s pillars are to empower, prepare, and connect our members to internal and external sources that will assist them in accomplishing their professional goals. Several seniors have taken full advantage of this mission as they will go on to work for some very successful companies. Many CWIB members will be working for Protiviti, a global consulting firm, in their various offices in Northern Virginia, Charlotte, NC, and New York City. Andra Scaliti, Heather Sangalang, Lauren Carey, and Gigi Jones are among some of these seniors employed by the company. “Big 4” firms were also eager to hire from CWIB as Shannon Keye and Angela Zadrima will be working for Ernst & Young and KPMG, respectively. Additionally, Kinsey Donovan will be employed at Deloitte and Cara Yates accepted an offer from Marriott. All of these women were able to land these positions due to their hard work and excellent use of networking skills to prove they were the right fit for the job!

By being able to obtain these jobs, these women owe so much of their achievements to CWIB. Andra Scaliti tells The Chronicles, “CWIB taught me the high standards I currently hold myself and others to.” Being surrounded by other empowered women helped Scaliti gain the strength and confidence to tackle the business world in her own way. Cara Yates believes “CWIB gave me the opportunity to put myself out there and try things that I never thought I would when I came to Virginia Tech my freshman year.” After hearing those seniors’ experiences, Yates was inspired to be like them, so she applied for  leadership positions and is honored to now be one of the seniors younger members look up to and take advice from, especially through her writing with The Chronicles. Editor-In-Chief of The Chronicles, Heather Sangalang, owes so much of her professional experience to CWIB. “Through this organization, I have met successful fellow students, alumni, and other business professionals who have given me advice that has forced me to look at myself, see that I can be better, and work towards improvement,” Sangalang said. Similarly, Lauren Carey will take away skills such as “improving public speaking skills, coordinating and planning events, and communicating effectively with other members,” through being on the leadership team. While professionalism is at the core of what CWIB aims to convey to members, the personal aspect of being a part of the organization is also something the seniors will never forget.

CWIB has left a personal impact on each of these women. “My most memorable experience as a CWIB member was my first time on the NYC trek sophomore year,” Angela Zadrima said. She had never felt so inspired through an experience such as this trek. Going on treks with fellow members truly helped establish relationships among these women and was a main factor in growing closer as a group. In addition to group goals, personal achievements are also a priority for CWIB to highlight. Shannon Keye effectively put on all the events, workshops, and coffee chats that we were all privy to attend this year. She hopes that members got something valuable through attending. She feels that “You will get so much more out of your college experience by having access and opportunities (that others don’t have) to meet tons of different women who want to give you advice, tell their story, and help you succeed.” These opportunities are things many of us take for granted, just as receiving a degree from this university is an achievement we often forget means so much. At the last monthly meeting of the semester, Gigi Jones reflected on all the hidden treasures Blacksburg has to offer. Whether it is cute coffee shops or free access to Rosetta Stone, she wants to remind us of all that Virginia Tech has for us to discover and how we should take advantage of these resources. Stepping out of her comfort zone of the D.C. area and into Southwest Virginia is a personal triumph she is so grateful to Virginia Tech and CWIB for providing.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Several seniors on this year’s leadership team. Photo via Kinsey Donovan

Once I realized that CWIB is where it is today because of these ladies’ efforts, their legacies are ones I will take with me moving forward. As simple as it may sound, approaching a new member at the first monthly meeting truly goes a long way, and half of us would not be as involved with CWIB if one of these leaders had not reached out to us. Kinsey Donovan believes this is her legacy — being able to connect with younger members. “I have had members come up to me and ask about my experience in my internships as well as if I can meet with them to talk through things, and that has been very rewarding, “ Donovan said. One method CWIB has truly reached members’ needs is through our online blog, The Chronicles. This resource is Heather Sangalang’s legacy as she is beyond impressed of how far it has come. “I wanted to turn this blog into something useful and impactful and I think that I was successful in that because I love it so much that I worked really hard on it until I got it to where I wanted it,” Sangalang said. Through inspiring her writers, providing helpful content to readers, and growing as a leader herself, Sangalang is truly the reason this blog is so successful as she was the main initiator of establishing all that it has accomplished. The only way to reach such high levels of success is through an attitude of complete professionalism. Andra Scaliti is an exemplary role model of what it means to be professional in your “words, dress, actions, and overall demeanor.” Her senior quote which really resonated with me is “It’s not what job you do, it’s how you do the job” encompasses the concept of professionalism. She is the most proper representation that “attention to small details goes a long way.”

Heather's first group of writers
Heather (front row, middle) and her very first group of writers! Photo via Heather Sangalang

These women have accomplished some pretty amazing things for themselves and all of us in CWIB through their time at Virginia Tech. They each have a piece of advice they want to leave us with:

Angela Zadrima reminds us it’s okay to be selfish. “I learned the importance of understanding my own values and creating a life for myself that reflects those values. Sometimes this involves making difficult decisions, however you will get through it and you will be so much happier.”

Shannon Keye believes the only way to grow is to take advantage of opportunities. Don’t be afraid to ask for something you deserve.

Cara Yates doesn’t want us to second guess ourselves. “Rejection is scary, but not knowing what could’ve happened if you had just took the plunge is even scarier.”

Marissa Wharton stresses the importance of hard work. Even if you don’t know the exact direction your career, life, or relationships are going, working hard for what you want will never go unnoticed.

Lauren Carey reminds us not to wish every day away. “My four years here feel like they were gone in a blink and I wish I could stay here longer.”

Heather Sangalang wants us to make decisions that are best for ourselves. Whether this be academically or socially, prioritizing what you want out of your college experience will help it be all that you desire.

Gigi Jones tells us to take advantage of all that Blacksburg has to offer! Go beyond your comfort zone to explore and try new things.

Kinsey Donovan hopes we strive to be a “water fountain leader.” Be that person who others gravitate toward for advice and encouragement.

Andra Scaliti shows us all what professionalism is. She has realized that she is just as worthy as her male counterparts, which reminds her to speak up and always add something valuable to the conversation.

After reading their empowering advice, personal growth stories, and the thanks they have to CWIB, I hope you all take away that going after what you want is so much more achievable than you may think. We wish all these women the best in their respective personal and professional careers and are so excited to see the positive impacts they have on the people around them!

seniors grad pics
Some of our CWIB seniors at their graduation photo shoot! Photo via Gigi Jones

By: Emma Harwood

 

 

Featured

How to Conquer Finals Week

As the end of the semester is upon us and final exams and project deadlines are rapidly approaching, there are many strategies and coping mechanisms that we can use to help us manage our time, studying, and stress. Finals season is commonly considered a stress-inducing time in college, but with a little organization, effective study strategies, and attention to your health and well-being, it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some tips to keep in mind as we head into finals season!

1. Schedule and plan

First and foremost, create a schedule for your finals studying or final project work time. Planning when you want to start studying for each final exam and how much time you want to dedicate to that exam will help you avoid cramming, pulling all-nighters, and feeling underprepared! With multiple final exams, it can be tempting to put off studying for your later exams. Starting your studying for an exam earlier rather than later is always the best option and making a study schedule can help you do that. Take a pen to paper and actually write down your study schedule or put it in your Google calendar, but just make sure to hold yourself to it! Set specific goals for each block of studying, like “Monday evening, I will review chapters 14-16, go over my class notes for these chapters, and do 10 practice problems from these chapters.” This will help ensure that you’ve allotted enough time for reviewing all the material you need to study. If there were concepts and chapters that you didn’t quite understand at first, allow yourself more time for studying those sections. Creating a schedule for finals studying is a great way to stay organized and better prepare for your exams.

study_schedule
Make a detailed study schedule and stick to it for finals! Image via Pinterest.com

 

2. Maintain balance in your life

Studying isn’t the only thing you should include in your schedule when planning your time for final exam season! Carving out time for exercise and connecting with friends is important to maintain your physical and mental health. According to this Active.com article, exercise signals the release of several key hormones which help us focus and feel better, thus improving our memory, attention, and accuracy over time. Of course, getting sleep and eating should not be blown off during this time in the semester. If you want to retain information and perform your best on your finals, getting enough sleep is vital. According to this PsychCentral article about improving your memory, eating healthy and getting a good night’s sleep are essential to improving your memory. Eating meals can also serve as a time to take a break and socialize with your friends. Finding time to spend with friends is a great way to reward yourself by taking time away from studying in order to stay motivated during finals season.

3. Utilize good study strategies

Utilizing study strategies can be very helpful if you want to study for long periods of time. Try studying in intervals by setting a timer for 25-30 minutes where you focus fully for that period of time, then take a five-minute break when the timer goes off. This is referred to as the Pomodoro technique, which you can read more about here. When there is a lot of material you want to review, making study guides and summarizing your notes for each chapter is a great technique. Form study groups to make studying for final exams a little less painful. Your study partners may be able to help you understand topics that you struggle with and vice versa. Explaining concepts and topics to others will reinforce your knowledge of the material.

pomodoro
The Pomodoro Technique is one method for studying in intervals. Image via Naturalfactors.com

4. Minimize distractions

Minimize distractions like the TV, your phone, and music that you like to sing along to while studying. Having your phone nearby can affect your focus and productivity if you are tempted to constantly check your messages or go on social media. Try putting your phone somewhere out of sight when you’re studying. If you have to check it, try to avoid opening social media because scrolling through social media feeds can suck you in, consuming more time than you might have anticipated spending on your phone. Listening to music helps a lot of people focus while studying, but try to avoid songs and artists that will make you want to sing along rather than focus on your studying. Opt for music that is more lowkey, soothing, and maybe doesn’t contain lyrics, like classical or instrumental music. Recently, I’ve been searching “study” on Spotify and there are a lot of playlists that people have created with non-distracting, chill study music that helps you focus!

study zone playlist
Find a good study music playlist that you like and isn’t distracting! Screenshot via Allison Desantis

5. Alternate your study space

Another tip for studying for long periods of time is to switch up your environment. It is easy to lose concentration when you’ve been in the same room or spot for hours. If you’ve spent a lot of time studying in your dorm or apartment, change up your environment by studying in the library, an academic building, or a coffee shop. Tidying up your study environment in your dorm or apartment is also a great way to feel refreshed and de-clutter your mind in preparation for your studying.

studyspace
Squires is one option for a finals study space and is offering free coffee, snacks, and de-stressing activities like yoga and playing with therapy animals during finals week! Image via Student Engagement and Campus Life at Virginia Tech

These tips might seem basic, but they are important to keep in mind as you start thinking about final exams. Stay positive during this time of year and remember that your grades and GPA are not the only things that define you. Good luck finishing up this semester; I know you are all capable of conquering finals!

By: Allison DeSantis

 

Featured

Following Up with Recruiters

Networking is an important aspect of the job search process and can be a great way to get to know recruiters in a more relaxed setting. Often times, recruiters will give you their contact information for after the event. Following up after an event may be unfamiliar but it is an avenue to foster a relationship with recruiters you meet, ultimately creating a great resource as you navigate through the job search process and transition into the corporate scene. These guidelines for following up will help you gain a solid foundation for contacting recruiters after networking.

calendar

1. Try to follow up within a few days after the event. It will be easier for your recruiter to remember you and your conversation if you follow up sooner rather than later.

2. Include the event name, time, and place you met. For example, “Hi ____, it was nice meeting you at Hokies On Wall Street on Friday.” This will help jog the recruiters’ memories and confirm that you were paying diligent attention to all aspects of the conversation during your time networking.

conversation bubbles

3. Incorporate a memorable aspect of your conversation from the event in your message. Recruiters often meet and interview many students during recruiting season. Adding a memorable topic will ensure that the recruiter will remember you. For example, “I enjoyed speaking with you about marketing and aspects of building your own brand.” This will also help elicit further conversations on the job responsibilities you are most interested in pursuing.

4. Ask for advice. At the recent Hokies On Wall Street, an employee from Resy said, “Email people you networked with and ask for advice. It’s a great way to continue your conversation and learn from them.”

Thank you

5. Thank the recruiter. As recruiters are very busy, it’s important to express appreciation for speaking with you. This common courtesy will never go unnoticed and is crucial for maintaining your positive reputation in every professional interaction.

6. Connect on LinkedIn, which will make it easy to stay connected with your recruiter. When you send a request on LinkedIn, make sure to send a message with it so they know who you are. This can also open doors to connections with other business professionals. You never know who knows who, so expanding your network is always an asset in obtaining your dream job. There are many ways through which to follow up with a recruiter besides LinkedIn, such as Email or even a thank you card to a recruiter if he or she has gone out of his or her way to connect you with helpful resources.

coffee

7. Suggest meeting again. If you’re interested in continuing your conversations, suggest meeting for coffee, which is a good option to get to know each other in a more casual and personal setting.

8. Always proofread every message you send a recruiter. It’s always a good idea to have a peer look over your message before sending to make sure there are no errors. Little mistakes like punctuation or grammar errors reflect a lack in attention to detail and convey a sloppy work attitude. No recruiter wants to have this impression of you.

envelopeFollowing up after networking can show recruiters that you are dedicated, interested, and engaged, whether that be in them personally or the company they work for. While it can feel intimidating to reach out to a recruiter or if you fear that you are coming across annoying or pushy, do not let these thoughts stop you from pursuing an opportunity. Employees love to talk about the great companies they work for, so more often than not they will be more than happy to share more knowledge with you! If you follow these guidelines for contacting recruiters, you will be better able to stay connected with and build your professional relationships.

By: Abby Perkins

Featured

Summer Break Preparation

As finals approach and this year comes to an end, it is hard to keep our minds off of summer break. With that being said, CWIB has a few suggestions to help you plan for the most productive, yet revitalizing, summer possible! As college students, we often find ourselves overwhelmed with the stress of managing heavy course loads, extracurriculars, social events, and much more. The summer months can serve as a great opportunity to take a step back, catch your breath, and plan for the future without the pressure of deadlines weighing on your conscience. Whether you have an internship, summer job, or are giving yourself a summer off from either, here are five simple guidelines to ensure you make the most out of your break:

 

1.Keep a calendar, planner, or schedule- Just as you would during the year, managing your time during the summer is essential. You can include events relating to academics, socializing, personal time, or anything else important in your life. Regardless of what it is, staying organized can make a big difference in helping you establish what activities you want or need to accomplish. You have to make the most out of the three months we call summer, and planning can help you decide how you want to spend those months. Remember, it is important to balance work and play. Stay focused on your goals and aspirations all while enjoying your ample free time.

picture #1
Photo credit: PicsWe

2. Take time for yourself- Your body and mind have been through a lot over the course of the past school year. Stress can take a toll on us all, and it is important to give yourself time to recuperate. We often find it difficult to devote time to ourselves due to the hectic schedules we have during the school year. The summer months give us an opportunity to change that! Working out, eating healthy, and resting are just a few ways to nourish our bodies. Do whatever works best for you, but continue to make it a priority throughout the summer!

picture #2.jpg
Photo Credit: DeskGram

3. Do something you love- You only have a limited number of summers as a college student, so make them memorable. Spending your days doing something that gives you joy can go a long way in bringing you happiness throughout the next year. Whatever it may be, do it for you and your own enjoyment. Taking care of our own happiness is one of the most important things in life. As human beings, we conform to what others want to do far too often, but this summer can be a fresh start in taking care of ourselves and fulfilling our own desires! You have worked hard this past year, and you deserve to do something you love this summer.

picture #3.jpg
Photo credit: Pinterest

4. Think about the future. Planning for your future academic and career goals during a time that is not filled with stress can be very beneficial. You can rationally form the steps you will need to complete in order to get that job, internship, position, or any other aspiration. Ask yourself what do I want my future to look like? Then use this summer to your advantage. It can be a great way for you to grow into who you want to become! If you want something specific out of the upcoming school year, what can you do this summer to work towards that goal?

picture #4
Photo credit: J Miller & Company Twitter

5.Be proactive. It is easy to say you want something, but it takes strength to go and get that something. If you set a goal for yourself, work towards it. If you want to do a specific activity, do it. It is easy to waste away summer days because there is not a set schedule of classes or meetings you have to attend but strive to avoid those wasted days this summer. No one ever remembers the day they sat inside watching television for 14 hours straight. They remember the days they accomplished a goal or experienced something new. Make every day count.

picture #5
Photo credit: JuliaDub

No matter what you plan to do this summer, we hope you use the time as a way to grow, destress from the past school year, and make memories that will last you a lifetime. Use the upcoming summer months as motivation to work hard throughout the end of this semester!

 

By: Allison Wood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

CWIB Spotlight: Ashton Hughes

ashton
Member: Ashton Hughes
Year: Junior
Major: Finance, Concentration of Certified Financial Planning
Fun Fact: Ashton’s favorite CWIB memory was going on the New York trek! She had a great time touring companies like Google and hearing from passionate women, and spending the weekend with other CWIB girls made the trip one to remember!

Ashton Hughes has been a member of Collegiate Women in Business (CWIB) since September of 2016! She joined CWIB as a freshman because she had an older friend who went to Virginia Tech at the time who told her about it. Ashton decided to join the organization because she felt inspired by the CWIB founders and their professionalism. She has not left since. In the three years that she has been involved, Ashton has grown as a professional woman in business, and she now wants to apply her lessons to empower, prepare, and connect other CWIB women!

IMG_1096
Besides from being a CWIB leader, Ashton is also a Hokie Ambassador! Photo credit: Ashton Hughes

In her career, Ashton aims to be a financial planner for individuals, families, and small businesses. Her personal goal is to continuously help guide others through every financial milestone in their life. On her journey to achieve her career goals, she was able to obtain an internship with Canal Capital Management, an independent financial planning and investment firm, this summer! Ashton credits CWIB with teaching her the skills that are necessary to go after the career you desire and empowering her to self-advocate and gain opportunities.

As Ashton prepares to enter her senior year, she wants to help empower younger members in ways CWIB has helped and empowered her. “CWIB has been an integral part of my career journey,” Ashton said. “CWIB taught me how to make my first resume, the do’s and don’ts of interviewing, and how to build my personal brand. This organization has given me alumni mentors and a network that has been so generous to me. Most importantly, CWIB has empowered me to feel confident in the professional world.”

IMG_1099
Photo credit: Ashton Hughes

Ashton’s biggest motto in life is “I am my best advocate.” She found this motto when she realized that filling out an application with a resume and a transcript was not going to get her the best opportunities. She has learned about her strengths and her passions and now wants to teach others that succeeding professionally involves recognizing your weaknesses and capitalizing on your strengths. “School hasn’t always been a walk in the park for me,” Ashton said. “But I am intensely passionate about helping others succeed, and my strengths lie in communication. I learned that I had to make the extra effort to meet in-person with people, and have a genuine conversation.” Advocating for your strengths and knowing your weaknesses gives you the ability to present yourself in the best manner and succeed!

One piece of advice that Ashton would give to other CWIB members is to not wait around for opportunities but to instead go out and seize them yourself with confidence. She believes that if you want something to happen in your life, it is your place to make it happen. “If you see an internship or job with qualifications and you don’t meet every single one, apply anyway. Reach out to professionals for lunches, coffees, a phone call, and LEARN from them,” Ashton said. She believes that asking for advice from professionals can bring many opportunities, and that could all stem from just one email! Taking the step to put yourself out there is the only way for people to know and remember you.

IMG_1098
The network of women which CWIB connected Ashton with has empowered her to advocate for herself! Photo credit: Collegiate Women in Business

Ashton has found CWIB to be a place of education, empowerment, and mentorship and she has many goals for the future of CWIB! As the incoming Co-CEO of CWIB, Ashton wants the organization to be a network of driven women who are rooting for each other’s success. “As CWIB gets older I hope we can really tap into a strong alumni base all over the country,” Ashton said. “The job for us now is to really cement a clear and unique identity not only here at Virginia Tech, but beyond it as well.” She has committed to seeing this organization reach its potential and provide strong value to its members. “The fact that we have such a devoted and talented leadership team, staff writers, and general membership is what makes Collegiate Women in Business at Virginia Tech so special.” Empowering women is rooted in CWIB’s culture and Ashton wants that to see that continue for years to come.

Ashton is a prime example of someone who has seen the value that Collegiate Women in Business can bring its members. Anyone can pay dues, but if you really want to set yourself apart to get your dream internship and job, get involved in the organization! Ashton, we are looking forward to seeing you continue to empower other women in CWIB as one of the Co-CEO’s next year. Our organization is very lucky to have such dedicated, successful, and inspiring leaders like you!

 

By: Lina Al Taii

 

 

 

Featured

CWIB Hokies on Wall Street

2019.04.4_Hokies on Wall Street_299
CWIB members at Hokies on Wall Street. Photo credit: Pamplin College of Business

On April 4th, fifteen CWIB members headed to New York City to join Pamplin alumni for the annual Hokies on Wall Street event. Hokies on Wall Street is a networking event for Virginia Tech alumni and current students of all majors to come together and interact with each other about everything from their careers to their favorite memories in Blacksburg.

This year’s event was hosted by CitiGroup in their Midtown office. The event kicked off with a panel including Omar Asali, Chairman and CEO at One Madison Group, Tracy Castle-Newman, Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, and Lynne Doughtie, Chairman and CEO of KPMG. Dean Sumichrast moderated the panel and asked them questions about their career journey.  When asked what one piece of advice she can give to people who want to grow their career, Tracy Castle-Newman emphasized the importance of commitment. She admitted, “Every time I got a promotion, I would stay at the office until 11 PM for a couple of weeks in order to learn the job and become good at it. I made that choice.” Omar Asali’s piece of advice was: be passionate about what you do. He explained that “if you do what you love, everything else falls into place.” The panel ended with the question: why is giving back important? Lynne Doughtie shared that she has been contributing money to Pamplin since she graduated. She went on to say, “When I got my first paycheck, I donated $15 to Pamplin. It wasn’t much, but it was something. Virginia Tech gave me so much and I have always believed that it was right to donate what I could.” The panelists did a great job inspiring the audience to work hard in their career to reach their goals and remember that Pamplin helped get them to where they are today, so there is value in giving back. After the panel, there was a networking reception where attendees chatted while munching on the delicious catered food. CWIB members thoroughly enjoyed interacting with many successful Hokie alumni.

2019.04.4_Hokies on Wall Street_354
CWIB members with KPMG CEO, Lynne Doughtie. Photo credit: Pamplin College of Business

CWIB members also had the chance to visit a couple of the world’s most iconic companies. On Friday morning, trekees visited IBM. CWIB members sat down with three women in marketing who explained their paths to IBM and offered advice on reaching one’s full potential and becoming successful in business. Allison Wood, a sophomore majoring in Marketing and Management, shared that the IBM visit was one of her favorite parts of the trek because of the inspirational women she got to meet. “They are each so successful but are only a few years older than us. It really showed me what I can accomplish in just a few years if I put my mind to it,” she shared. In the afternoon, the CWIB members traveled to the New York Stock Exchange. The group was treated to a personal tour of the company from Laura Seamon, a Manager in Enforcement Counsel. Heather Sangalang, a senior majoring in BIT, shared that her favorite part of this visit was being on the trading floor. She admitted that “It was a surreal experience being on the famous trading floor that you see in movies. I found it really interesting to hear that the number of traders decreased from 5000 to 500 over the years due to the adoption of advanced computer programs and algorithms. It proved the significance of technology in business.” The visit ended with a panel featuring women who work in regulation. CWIB members asked them questions about their job roles, how they handle work in a male-dominated field, and why they think internships are important. After this visit, the group was free to roam New York City with each other, which allowed them to bond with new and old faces!

IMG_0831.JPG
CWIB members during their visit to IBM. Photo credit: Neha Shah

Emma Roby is a freshman studying Finance who participated in the trek to expand her network and connect with professionals from companies she’s interested in working for. When asked about her most memorable moment from the trek, she shared, “My most memorable part of the weekend was touring the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, getting to experience what goes on down on the floor in person was incredible.” Roby encourages other CWIB members to participate in treks because they offer the opportunity to meet professionals in different fields, which can be helpful in deciding which career path you want to pursue.

20190405_122836
CWIB members on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo credit: Gigi Jones

Lauren Carey, a senior studying Finance and Management, has attended Hokies on Wall Street for the past three years, explaining that it is her favorite event of the year. She enjoyed visiting the New York Stock Exchange for the opportunity to tour the trading floor and speak with a panel of women in the regulation sector. Lauren admits that her favorite part of the trek was bonding with other CWIB members. “I have made some of my best friends from CWIB and I cannot picture my college experience without it,” she says.

Kinsey Donovan, a senior studying BIT and Management Consulting, also considers Hokies on Wall Street her favorite event of the year and describes the trek as engaging, enlightening, and inspiring. It was her third and last year participating in the trek and explains that the Hokies on Wall Street networking event is what makes the NYC excursion worthwhile. “Being on the top floor of a New York skyscraper under the city lights talking to amazing people who love Virginia Tech and want to invest in the students makes the quick trip so worth it,” she explains. Her biggest takeaway from the trek was a piece of advice she received from an alum she talked to. He explained that the start of your career is a time to spend observing – observing managers, coworkers, and leaders in your company, so when you get to their level you’ll know how you want to interact with everyone.

seniors.png
CWIB seniors at their final Hokies on Wall Street. Photo credit: Lauren Carey

Abby Perkins, a sophomore studying Marketing, explains that she was pleasantly surprised by the trips to IBM and the New York Stock Exchange. Representatives at IBM focused on product marketing, while CWIB members got to learn more about the legal side of trading at the New York Stock Exchange. Abby appreciated that the company visits consisted of more than just finance and BIT-related topics. “This trek taught me that there are so many opportunities for all majors at companies you wouldn’t normally expect, so you just have to keep looking for the job you want in places you might not be expecting,” she explains. The IBM visit was the most memorable part of the trek for Abby and she enjoyed how relatable the women were. “The women we talked to were very down to earth and you could tell that they wanted us to succeed in our endeavors. We had a great discussion not just about business but life as well and how transitioning from college into a job was for them,” she shared.

IMG_0815
There are plenty of opportunities to bond with your CWIB friends and explore the city you’re in during treks!. Photo credit: Neha Shah

CWIB treks are a great opportunity to make connections with professionals, discover new companies, and get a feel for a city you may see yourself working in. They are also a chance to bond with your fellow CWIB members and grow a network of supportive friends who share similar aspirations to you. Freshmen and seniors alike take away something valuable from treks, whether that be learning about different career paths or making new connections at a fun, annual event!

 

By: Allison DeSantis

 

Featured

Preparing the Way for More Women in Sports

Sports are a major way to connect people of differing backgrounds. They bring about intense emotions as athletes and coaches can inspire the everyday person to reach for greatness. However, more often than not the image that pops up in our heads is of a male athlete, coach, or sports announcer. Women continue to struggle for equal respect in their athletic abilities. While women do not receive the same attention as men do when it comes to sports, we are taking the steps in the right direction. This comes from the support of male-dominated organizations providing women with equal opportunities.

A recent ESPN article caught my attention as the headline stated, “Buccaneers hire 2 female assistant coaches.” Lori Locust and Maral Javadifar were hired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as assistant defensive line coach and assistant strength and conditioning coach, respectively (Schefter). This accomplishment made these two women the first full-time female coaches in the Buccaneers’ franchise.  

Locust and Javadifar .jpg
Locust (left) and Javadifar (right) were the first female assistant coaches hired in Buccaneers franchise history. Image via FOX.

Both women were extensively qualified for these positions as Locust has had coaching experience with the Baltimore Ravens as an intern and as defensive line coach for the Alliance of American Football’s Birmingham Iron. She has additional experience playing the sport herself at the semi-professional level (Schefter). Javadifar comes from an athletic background too as she played college basketball at Pace University. She furthered her education at New York Medical College where she received her doctorate in physical therapy; from there, she completed her sports physical therapy residency at Virginia Commonwealth University (Schefter). There was no question that Locust and Javadifar take their work seriously. Thanks to Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians, he took their accomplishments seriously too.

The National Football League (NFL) is predominantly composed of male athletes, coaches, and general managers, so women may often be overlooked when it comes to their inclusion within this organization. Tampa Bay Head Coach Bruce Arians stated, “I know how hard it can be to get that first opportunity to coach at the highest level of professional football. Sometimes, all you need is the right organization to offer up the opportunity.” While general NFL viewers would not initially picture women as a part of the team staff, Arians realized that it shouldn’t matter whether a man or a woman is a coach, as long as he or she knows how to coach. ” ‘I have known Lori going back to my days at Temple University, and I’ve seen firsthand just how knowledgeable and passionate she is about this game,’ Arians said. ‘I was equally impressed with Maral’s background in performance training and physical therapy, and I know she will be a valuable asset to our strength and conditioning program,’ ” (Schefter). Arians recognized the abilities of these women and that’s all he needed as confirmation they would be successful contributors to the team. Their gender was never a second thought.

Bruce Arians
Bruce Arians is the head coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and made the decision to add Locust and Javadifar to his staff. Image via INSCMagazine.

Arians is known for his support of female coaches as he previously hired Jen Welter as a training camp intern for the Arizona Cardinals in 2015, where he was previously the head coach. She is considered the first woman to hold a position with the NFL (Schefter). Hopefully, he can serve as an example to other coaches that hiring women to work in sports is not such a crazy thought after all.

Locust and Javadifar join a total of 55 women working for NFL teams in football operations (Marvez). With the increased number of women working in this field, many would assume there is added pressure on them to prove themselves worthy of the position. In an article from Sporting News, Samantha Rapoport, the NFL’s director of football development, states, “ ‘What we don’t want is the spotlight on one female and her feeling it rests on her shoulders for women to succeed or fail,’ ” (Marvez). One woman’s accomplishment should be something special to her; it should inspire others to do the same, not frighten them that they will not live up to their own potential. So far, this has not been a problem among employees within the NFL as Rapoport complements the organization as being “an absolutely incredibly open, welcoming place to work.”

Samantha Rapoport
Samantha Rapoport is the NFL’s director of football development. She is “tasked with helping ensure females are afforded chances to prosper at all levels in a male-dominated league,” (Marvez). Image via McGill News.

Women who work in sports are becoming more and more common in the world we live in today where increased diversity is not only recommended but demanded by organizations. We can see this past the NFL as the National Basketball Association (NBA) has several women working for their teams, such as the San Antonio Spurs’ Becky Hammon, who became the first female assistant coach in NBA history. Sports reporters like Erin Andrews and Laura Rutledge are paving the way for women in sports media positions. We can see that the opportunities for females in the sports industry are ever increasing across several aspects of the field.

Women such as those mentioned above are role models for women and young girls everywhere that they can be just as successful as men in the sports field. In the future, we can expect to see more women in leadership roles within sports organizations, so if this is something that is of interest to you, don’t be afraid to apply for internships that show you possess these same qualities and skills to be successful in the world of sports!

There are numerous jobs in the sports business. Be sure to check out Teamwork Online at this link to find opportunities that match your strengths and passions, and how they can fit into the sports industry.

 

By: Emma Harwood 

 

Featured

Lynne Doughtie: Inspiring Women to Climb to the Top

doughtie
KPMG CEO and Chairwoman, Lynne Doughtie. Photo credit: KPMG Website

In a time of more women holding executive positions in companies such as International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) and General Motors (GM), Virginia Tech alumna Lynne Doughtie serves as an inspiration for women with a goal to excel at their jobs and reach their goals. She is a huge believer in building confidence and taking risks in order to have a long-lasting and successful career.

Lynne Doughtie is currently the CEO and Chairman of KPMG, one of the Big Four accounting firms that offer financial audit, tax, and advisory services. In 2015, Doughtie became the first female CEO of KPMG and has also held multiple leadership positions during her time with the company. As the CEO, her goal is to foster an environment in which the next generations are nourished and can face challenges the right way.

Doughtie began her career with KPMG in the company’s audit practice after graduating from Virginia Tech in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. She originally found her love for accounting when she helped with her family’s business growing up, and decided that this was what she was meant to do.

Staying involved in Virginia Tech has remained an important part of Doughtie’s fulfillment. She is a current Cabinet Member and has served as President and Cabinet Chair for the Pamplin Advisory Council. She has also served on the Pamplin Accounting and Information Systems Advisory Board. Doughtie received the Virginia Tech University Distinguished Achievement Award in May 2018 and the Pamplin College of Business Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2007 for her involvements and contributions to the university. Aside from her awards received at Virginia Tech, Doughtie has also been named one of Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women in Business and Accounting and Today’s Magazine Top 100 Most Influential People.  

lynnedoughtiepamplin
Doughtie with Dean Sumichrest at the 2018 Pamplin Commencement Ceremony. Photo credit: Dean Sumichrest’s Twitter

Lynne Doughtie was invited to participate in a panel discussion at this year’s Hokies on Wall Street event that a handful of Collegiate Women in Business members were able to attend. During this event, she emphasized the importance of giving back to Pamplin. She said that she has been donating a part of her paycheck since she started her full-time career. Doughtie stated, “I only gave $15 and I was so proud of it. Virginia Tech did so much for me, so it has always been important for me to give back.” The CEO is a prime example of someone who lives out Ut Prosim in her life despite the fact that she graduated many years ago.

Doughtie is very involved not only in the Virginia Tech community but also on the Board of Directors of other organizations such as the National Academy Foundation (NAF), cancer-focused nonprofit LUNGevity and the Partnership for New York City.

Building confidence in your career is crucial if you want to reach your goals and have a fulfilling career. In an interview with Business Insider, Doughtie explains the way she thinks confidence is gained. She argues, “…it shouldn’t just come because you say: “I’m smart and I can do this,” I think it comes from action. It’s actually just — jump in, do it, impress the heck out of yourself, that’s how you get confidence. And then as each new challenge and opportunity comes, you jump in again.” This is a valuable point made by the CEO because no matter how well you do in your classes, it won’t matter if you don’t practice applying it somewhere. Therefore, it is a great idea to get involved in organizations on campus, do well on your projects at your part-time jobs, and/or get internships so you can apply what you learn in the classroom to these organizations. Just go out and do it.

doughtieinterview.jpg
Doughtie’s interview with Business Insider. Photo credit: Business Insider

Like all of us, Doughtie has experienced many challenges and disappointments in her career but has kept going by learning in new positions and experiences. In the same interview with Business Insider, Doughtie stresses the importance of your professional growth of always raising your hand for new opportunities and being confident in your abilities when taking risks.  She says, “When you feel you’re most uncomfortable… that’s actually great because it means you’re growing.” In continuing on this theme, she attributes her ability to take risks as the reason why she got all of her promotions because it’s the driver for growth in your career. She explains, “Careers are really long. At 13 years it seemed, like, “If I don’t do this one thing, my career’s over.” No, it was just starting. And I think that my ability to rise through the ranks at KPMG, I was clearly benefited by having a variety of experiences.” While it may seem scary to take on a new role or ask for a promotion, Doughtie’s career showcases that it is one of the ways that new doors will open for you that can present you with new opportunities to learn and grow.

pasted image 0 (1)
Lynne Doughtie speaking at the Women’s Leadership Summit hosted by KPMG. Photo credit: Forbes

Becoming the first female CEO in KPMG’s history made headlines in 2015. Lynne Doughtie recognizes that this is a huge accomplishment and continually strives to empower women in the business world to help them know that success is attainable. She believes that her success is due to watching others. She explains, “I feel a sense of responsibility to reach in and encourage and sponsor and mentor, and to show women that they can do this, and that’s very powerful. It goes full circle to how we started the conversation about even just me seeing my mother and my father, and the things that they did…and you can see yourself doing that.” As women in the business world, we should empower other women and be good examples of what a successful woman looks like. Here in Collegiate Women in Business, we strive to create a supportive environment that makes our members feel ready to achieve anything they want to. Female support is a powerful thing!

Lynne Doughtie has and continues to encourage women to use their unique talents and abilities as they strive for success in their career. As she continues to pioneer the way for women in the business world through her past and current leading roles, she truly sparks inspiration for women to climb to the top.

Featured

Power Panel Recap

On Monday, March 25th, Collegiate Women in Business (CWIB)  hosted their biggest event of the year: the 2019 Power Panel. This is an annual event in which CWIB invites the entire Virginia Tech community to take part in a night filled with networking, panelist speakers, and empowering insights. The theme for this year’s Power Panel was Choose Courage: Unleash Your Full Potential. Our three panelists, Frances Reimers, Tricia Harper, and Allison Sitch (refer to the CWIB Chronicles’ article: Meet Your 2019 Power Panelists for more information), inspired attendees with their own courageous experiences of being a woman in business.

DSC04244
Our three Power Panelists: Tricia Harper, Frances Reimers, and Allison Sitch. Photo courtesy of CWIB historians.

The night began with a catered networking session with the panelists for CWIB members only, giving our members a unique opportunity to speak one-on-one with these incredible women. After networking, students from all across Virginia Tech’s campus arrived eager to hear from the three leading industry professionals attending the panel. The panel was then moderated by CWIB’s Chief Communications Officer, Neha Shah. Shah asked prompting questions throughout the night, and the panelists were excited to share their life experiences with the room.

Frances Reimers as CEO of Firestarter Communications, Tricia Harper as Partner at KPMG, and Allison Sitch as a PR representative for Marriott Hotels collectively highlighted four main ideas to live by in the corporate world:

Interests and Passions:

In order to reach your full potential, it is crucial to discover and define what you are truly passionate about. This can be anything from your major to a small interest in your life, and it can occur at any time in your life, as we are always growing. Reimers revealed how her majors and personal interests were very different, but in order to excel in her industry, she combined her knowledge and passions for each. Reimers shared, “The bridge may be foggy at the beginning, but with every step, it gets clearer,” referring to one’s journey in finding themselves and what they choose to do with their life.

Harper was focused on sharing the importance of being open-minded in terms of your passions. She advised the room to be grounded in who you are as a person and ask yourself what excites you. Then, you must be open to where that will take you in life. If you think about what you love, you will find things that are uniquely you, and those qualities will take you far in life if you let them! Simply put, “Do something that you will love,” said Sitch, agreeing with Harper. Motivating factors are a big aspect of discovering what you are passionate about as well. Harper announced how she is motivated by having an impact, even if it is small, every single day. “Everyone wants to change the world but no one is willing to make an impact on the person next to you,” she proclaimed. No matter what gives you passion or feeds your interests, find those factors and incorporate them into your everyday life, both personal and professional.

DSC04269.JPG
CWIB members bonding and networking. Photo courtesy of CWIB historians

Finding the Right Company:  

A big factor in determining your happiness while having a professional career is finding a company that fits you as a person. Knowing what qualities you hope to find in a company can go a long way in ensuring you have vast opportunities in the future. As an employee for Marriott Hotels, Sitch shared how important it is that a company recognizes the right that everyone has a future and potential. She finds joy in working for the family company, Marriott, because it is welcoming to all, not just to other companies, but to individual workers. In fact, the new president, David Marriott, has worked every role in the hotel. From making beds and checking people in, to handling the financial books, Marriott has developed a sense of gratitude for each and every employee, creating a work environment that benefits all who are involved.

Similarly, Harper wanted to find a company where she could have countless opportunities to further her career. KPMG allowed her to work with C-level executives directly out of college, and from there she began her journey to become a partner for the firm. Harper revealed that the people and values of KPMG are what has kept her at the company for nearly two decades. She noted the importance of finding a place to work where you will enjoy spending the entire day with the people, as your career is a big time commitment in your life. Reimers added how she always made sure to take part in nonprofits and give back to the community while she was working for other agencies, as well as in her own company. In starting her company, Reimers actually incorporated all of the aspects she desired to have in different companies into one single company. As she put it, she connected the dots!

Finally, finding a company that supports your goals as a woman is crucial. Marriott Hotels, Firestarter Communications, and KPMG all support women in the workplace, which is reassuring to hear. For example, KPMG has previously offered Harper sabbaticals, time off, and flexible work arrangements when her professional and personal goals were both prominent in her life. As a mother of three, and a successful partner at KPMG, Harper revealed her gratitude for the firm, as she did not have to choose between her career and her family. Harper proclaimed, “We always talk about work-life balance, but really it is all life,” and KMPG realizes that in its employees. Go out into the corporate world and believe that you can have both professional and personal ambitions!

DSC04262.JPG
Our wonderful panelists pose with CWIB members, Neha Shah and Andra Scaliti. Photo courtesy of CWIB historians.

Risk Taking:

A common theme among the journeys of each of the three women on stage included the idea of taking risks. Being unsure about the future is one of the scariest feelings in the world, yet it can lead to some of the greatest results. With risk and courage, comes growth as well. Growth becomes an indefinite journey and a significant one in our transitions throughout the business world. Sitch stated how important it is to always be motivated to learn, transform, and “become better.” “Success is never really final,” she added. Each panelist has taken risks in their careers, and it has led to great success for each one of them.

Sitch shared that the biggest risk she took in her corporate career was moving to the United States. Encouraged multiple times, Sitch agreed to leave her position overseeing 94 hotels around the world and transition to overseeing 5,300 hotels in America alone. She revealed that a mentor of hers once said, “As best you can allow your career to unfold,” and she has lived by that ever since her transition. Although the transition was not easy, Sitch declared, “I had the ability. I had the company. I had the courage.” Change may not always come easy, but taking risks can lead to amazing benefits. You simply have to know and believe in your own abilities.

Reimers believed in her ability to part ways from the advertising agency she was with to form an agency of her own, grounded in her desired ideals. She had to create a company from scratch, funded by her own savings. She personally came up with the brand, social media, logo, and many more details concerning the blossoming company. “We as women often talk ourselves out of something, and we need to stop that,” she announced to the audience. Having the courage to know where she wanted to be and what she wanted to do was the foundation she built her company on.

Lastly, Harper decided the normal, linear path to partner was not one she desired. She decided to take a non-client-based path, despite people telling her she would not make partner with that course. She relied on her courage to persevere in her journey to make partner. “Courage is really about anchoring to your cores values,” Harper said. She did not let those around her who were discouraging affect her perseverance, and neither should you!

DSC04272.JPG
Five of our CWIB members at the networking session prior to the panel. Photo courtesy of CWIB historians.

Relationships:

Building connections is an important aspect of developing your professional brand and your personal relationships. Harper advises that you begin with a network you are comfortable in, and expand from there. Sitch recommends that you go into every discussion with an open mind, believing that people are good, and genuinely talk with those around you. Reimers reassured the audience not to let what happens in the office impact the relationships that mean the most to you. In our strive for success, we may experience failure, but we cannot let those difficult times define us. “Know the difference between what you can control and what you cannot,” stated Reimers. Another key component Reimers highlighted in relation to building strong relationships is understanding that life is not a competition with your neighbor. “You are enough, so stop worrying about how you measure up to others,” Reimers revealed in an empowering statement. Be present, and your abilities will guide you to success!

IMG_3179
Present and upcoming members of the CWIB leadership team stand with the panelists. Photo courtesy of CWIB historians.

Overall, the night was filled with encouraging insight from our three panelists, Frances Reimers, Tricia Harper, and Allison Sitch. We hope you take the advice given by each of these women and use it to make strides in the business world. We at Collegiate Women in Business cannot wait to see all that you become!  

 

By: Allison Wood

 

Featured

How to Get Experience Outside of Internships

As business students, the pressure to find an internship that will lead to the perfect job is thrown upon us as mere freshmen with no knowledge of how to do so and why it is so important. Simply put, getting an internship is the most common way to get experience, and in the business field, gaining work experience is the most important precursor to getting a job. As a result, many students strive to land the perfect internship and spend much of the academic year either trying to get interviewed for them or preparing for them once they have received them.

However, many don’t realize that there are other alternatives to getting internships! These can be smaller, but they still build your resume and give you that experience, without the stress of spending a whole year looking for them. Although they are smaller, they can still make a huge difference, especially for students who can’t afford to work an unpaid internship for the whole summer or have struggled to get any interviews. Ultimately, getting an internship would be ideal, but if you don’t get the perfect internship, you can still build your resume in other ways!

internships-feed-644x439
As a business student, one common misconception is that getting an internship is the only way to get a job! There are many other ways! Source: Capital Research 

 

1.Personal Projects

Starting a personal project is mostly about finding a way to display your abilities and build your experience in your career. For example, you can have a personal project in software development or code, and share this project with future employers during interviews! This definitely isn’t to be confused with any class project, as employers will immediately be able to tell if you show them something like that. Make it authentic and work hard on it for at least a few months to show your commitment to it. Also, more valuable lessons are bound to be learned if you spend more time on the project and you can share those lessons with your interviewer!

2. Externships

Although internships are the most common, externships are still out there and they can be very beneficial as well!  Externships are offered by many companies and are great opportunities to show your interest in a company! Although externships are unpaid and time-consuming, most of them don’t last as long as a regular internship. Times can range from a day to a month, but it all depends on what you get offered! Taking an externship gives you the opportunity to learn about your career through watching, but you will not get any hands-on experience from it. Many companies offer these as a precursor to actual internships! For example, Ernst & Young, one of CWIB’s sponsors, offers an externship targeted towards sophomores, with the purpose of it leading to an internship the following summer. This is also a great way to get ahead and get your internship planned out early!

3. Organizations

Whether you have realized it or not, the organizations that you are involved in have the potential to make a huge difference on your resume. Showing your commitment and growth in one area is extremely important. There are many organizations at Virginia Tech which can help you get experience in your field. For example, you can apply to SEED, a student-managed endowment fund to get real-life experience in investing and networking. If you are interested in gaining consulting experience, you can apply to join the Consulting Group at VT. The last example of organizations that provide amazing real-world experience is PRISM because they work heavily in marketing and advertising. You can even get these types of experiences in organizations that aren’t targeted towards business students by working hard and joining the leadership team! Do your research beforehand and be sure to find what works for you. These opportunities are the easiest to take advantage of because they are mostly free or highly-affordable, and much less time-consuming than summer internships.

4. Treks

Treks are something that only CWIB can give you and are so incredibly valuable in your resume building experience. On treks, you can travel to many different cities and visit many different firms. These are rare opportunities, and the costs are fairly-priced. Taking advantage of treks can give you connections with firms and people who you can reach out to in the future! On these short trips, you can learn about how each company runs and see first-hand what the job looks like. Needless to say, this is an extremely helpful experience to have before entering the workforce and all CWIB members should aim to go on at least one trek in their college career!

IMG170883666361196373
CWIB girls got to meet with employees at SiriusXM in New York this past fall and this was a fantastic way for the trekees to gain industry exposure! Source: CWIB

Ultimately, it’s important to not get discouraged! Interviewers want to see that you are capable of learning and are passionate about your field. Even if getting an internship doesn’t work out, there are plenty of ways to get experience for your career and build your resume! As a CWIB member, you will be given many opportunities to meet with recruiters at workshops or get first-hand experience on treks. These opportunities are highly valuable to your resume and you should aim to actively learn from each one.

 

By: Lina al Taii 

Featured

How Entrepreneur, Komal Ahmad, is Fighting Hunger Through Technology

Komal Ahmad is a woman on a mission to solve what she believes is the world’s dumbest problem: hunger. Her start-up company, Copia, is a technology platform that connects businesses with excess food to nonprofits. The businesses schedule pickups of their excess food on the app, Copia Connect, and Copia drivers come to pick up the food and deliver it to nonprofits in need. Nonprofits create profiles on the app to indicate their food needs and constraints and request recurring or on-demand food donations so that they only receive food on days when they are able to accept it. Copia has recovered over 1 million pounds of food and delivered over 900,000 meals according to its website. The 29-year-old was featured on Forbes 30 under 30 and Copia is recognized as one of the top three startups run by a woman in the U.S. to name a few of the numerous awards and recognition Komal has received.

komal1
Ahmad was featured on the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 List. Photo credit: Forbes

Komal studied International Health and Global Development at the University of California (UC), Berkeley. She had no plans of becoming an entrepreneur and starting her own technology company, but rather was training to become an officer in the Navy upon graduation. Meeting impoverished and hungry veterans is what really made her start thinking about issues of poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity. In this Forbes article Komal explains how she encountered a homeless man who was begging for food one day and felt compelled to invite him to join her for lunch. He was a veteran who had just returned from Iraq and hadn’t eaten in three days. Ahmad explains that she thought, “This is a veteran, someone who made a selfless sacrifice for our country, only to come home to face yet another battle…to add insult to injury, right across the street Berkeley’s dining hall is throwing away thousands of pounds of perfectly edible food.” After her lunch with the veteran, Ahmad was determined to alleviate the hunger around her but was told by Berkeley’s dining hall that there was too much liability in donating unused food to the local homeless community. Unsatisfied with this answer, Komal did more research and eventually convinced her university to start a food recovery program. Starting this program, Komal saw firsthand how hard it was to match places with excess food to nonprofits. She would call nonprofits in the area and they wouldn’t be interested in the food she had recovered or would only be able to take a small portion of it.

komal2
Komal allowed her passion to become her career. Photo credit: Experience Life 

Three years after graduating from UC Berkeley, Komal founded Copia in 2015 and experimented with various business models while she was starting out. First, she thought that Copia should be a non-profit, but found the time it took to apply for grant funding to be consuming all her time. So, she decided to see if the businesses she worked with would pay Copia a percentage of the tax deduction they receive from their donations in exchange for data about where their food surpluses are coming from. The businesses agreed to this arrangement. Copia quantifies the impact of the businesses that use its service, like how many people they feed by donating food and what their environmental impact is, so they can share that information with internal and external stakeholders. It’s really a win-win situation for businesses with excess food and communities with people in need.

komal3
Copia has recovered over 1 million pounds of food! Photo credit: Millenial

Komal has hit rough patches in getting Copia to where it is today. She admits that there were times when she was sleeping on a blow-up mattress at a friend’s apartment and rationing out a pizza for a week because she didn’t have any money. Additionally, without a business background, Komal has had to surround herself with people who have expertise in areas that she does not. Despite the obstacles she’s faced, her mission to find a solution to the world’s dumbest problem has pushed her to keep going.

komal4
Komal is solving the social problem of hunger through her business, Copia! Photo credit: Millenial 

In the future, Komal hopes that Copia can expand beyond food and redistribute items like clothes and books, understanding that many of the same logistics issues exist with the redistribution of these items. Her LinkedIn bio begins with “The reasonable woman adapts herself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to herself. All progress, therefore, depends on the unreasonable woman.” Komal has found success by believing that she is capable of solving a huge global problem through a simple yet well-thought-out solution. She has persisted through the trials of entrepreneurship and is on her way to growing Copia and recovering more food. Komal was once a student with a growing passion for a problem she saw in her community. She is proof of the fact that if you believe in yourself, you can turn your passions into a career and make a great impact on the world.

 

By: Allison Desantis 

Featured

Richmond Trek Recap

Taking part in treks with CWIB is a great opportunity to broaden your horizons and learn more about the business world in general. They always serve as a major source of encouragement for each trek attendee. Most recently, a group of CWIB members traveled to Richmond, Virginia in the hopes of learning more about the ins-and-outs of different companies and how to thrive as a woman in business.

trek pic #1
Trekees with their CarMax favors. Photo courtesy of Marissa Wharton

The trek began with a visit to the headquarters of CarMax, a Fortune 500 company. The company greeted our members with donuts and a friendly networking session, where trekees spoke with some highly successful employees. The Chief Technology Officer (CTO) /Chief Information Officer (CIO) even took time out of his busy schedules to meet the six members of CWIB who attended the trek! Junior member Emily Vang stated, “This trek experience definitely helped me practice my networking skills, particularly when we were at Carmax and I got to talk with the CTO about using virtual reality (VR) as a tool.” Networking is a significant aspect of treks in CWIB, as members meet countless business professionals who can provide insight for furthering our careers, collegiate and beyond. Vang added, “I will definitely apply these skills when it comes to communicating with others in a business setting.”

Our members proceeded to learn from the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) that CarMax is extremely supportive of women in business, reassuring the trekees that they truly can succeed as a woman in the corporate world. The CHRO highlighted the importance of working for a company that sincerely cares about its employees. A team leader and member of the growing robotics division of CarMax shared how they put their focus on giving employees more opportunities to improve their skills while growing the company overall. In order to focus on this constant development, the robotics division wants to eliminate, or at least lessen, the burden of mundane tasks in the workplace. Following this encouraging discussion, trekees attended a panel of three employees from the Accounting, Finance, and Cybersecurity Departments. CWIB members learned about their roles and career paths before receiving advice on how to advance into a career path as future professionals. Trekees enjoyed speaking with the CarMax employees so much that they did not have time to go on the planned tour afterward! In fact, at the monthly meeting that followed the trek, each member stated that Carmax was their favorite company that they visited! Our members left this company feeling excited about the future.

Attendees of the trek then traveled to the Martin Agency, a highly regarded company in the advertising industry. Known worldwide, the Martin Agency represents clients such as Geico, Oreo, Timberland, Land O’ Lakes, and many more major companies. The CWIB members were taken on a personal tour of the agency’s growing office. After seeing their modern workplace, trekees met with two Virginia Tech graduates who shared with them the agency reel, which is a highlight of their past work. You can find Hokies working for companies all over the world, and one day that will be you! The CWIB members even got a sneak peek of a commercial for the agency’s latest client, Buffalo Wild Wings.

The Virginia Tech alumni were transparent with the trekees about their journies to careers in business, the ups and downs of the advertising industry, and what they wished they would have known in their collegiate years. Junior and future CWIB CEO Ashton Hughes shared, “I learned that the career path you start on may not always be the one you end on and that there’s nothing wrong with that!” A journey to success is never perfectly linear, which every college student must remember. The obstacles and changes in your journies to success help develop the businessperson you will be in the future. Hughes continued, “It was so eye-opening for me because I feel as college students we feel so much pressure to decide what we want to do as quickly as possible when in reality, you have the freedom to explore and grow after school.”

trek pic #2
CWIB members pose in front of a mural at the Martin Agency that celebrates diversity in the advertising industry. Photo courtesy of Marissa Wharton

CWIB members finished the trek with a trip to Cary Street Partners, a financial planning firm. The visit was hosted by Virginia Tech alumna Christina Todd, a devoted supporter of CWIB and its mission. Trekees spoke with women from different fields in order to gain insight into different positions throughout the professional world. These women were from departments such as Human Resources, Legal, and Accounting. They highlighted how it is possible to take a career path in finance, even if it is not your major. It is important to always keep an open mind! The CWIB members heard from ladies who were just beginning their professional careers as well as those who have been working for decades. Hearing from women with varying degrees of experience taught the trekees how the business world used to be concerning for women and how much it has changed for the better. Junior CWIB member Delaney Russel revealed, “The most empowering part of the trip for me was listening to the testimonies of the women at Cary Street Partners. They reminded us that there’s never a direct path to life and you won’t always be doing what you thought you would be.” As women, we must have the strength to persevere through the ups and downs of our future career paths in order to become the powerful women in business we see more of each and every day.

trek pic #3
Our six trekees representing CWIB at Cary Street Partners. Photo courtesy of Marissa Wharton

Treks are meant to be an empowering experience for every member that attends, and this Richmond trek was just that. The reassuring nature of the testimonies from the business professionals at CarMax, the Martin Agency, and Cary Street Partners helped motivate our members to continue chasing their passions. According to Vang, the trek was inspirational because she “got to meet various successful women who had their own unique story of how they got to where they are today.” Everybody has their own stories of success, and CWIB is excited to see each of its members create their own path in the business world. Another aspect of treks that is always memorable is the female support each trekee receives. Hughes shared, “The most significant part of the trek for me was seeing just how many women from the three companies wanted to come and speak with us.” As women in business, we have to stand together during our strive for success in the often male-dominated fields we will be entering into. Hughes continued with, “They shared so many tips for helping us succeed.”

Finally, treks are simply a glimpse into our potential futures! VP of Treks Marissa Wharton states, “Treks are such a great way to take a step back from campus for a couple of days and really see what life will be like after college.” Physically seeing companies and learning about how they operate is one of the best ways to discover what your interests are in terms of a potential career! From everyone here at CWIB, we hope you use treks to the best of your advantage and cannot wait to see the paths you all carve out for yourselves.

 

By: Allison Wood

Featured

Meet Your 2019 Power Panelists!

Collegiate Women in Business’ most empowering event of the year, Power Panel, is taking place on Monday, March 25th, so I want to give you all a sneak peek at the amazing women who will be speaking at this year’s panel! All three of them will provide helpful advice, inspiring stories, and deep insight into their values that help them strive to be courageous in their respective careers. With the everyday challenges that arise on the job, they are required to make courageous decisions that leave a positive impact on themselves and the people around them. They all started off as motivated students such as ourselves, eager to learn as much as they could before tackling the workforce. Before these women answer your most pressing questions, here’s an introduction to each of them in order to get to know them a little better.

FreimersHeadshot_2017

 

Frances Reimers  

Hometown: Cheyenne, WY

College Education: University of Wyoming; University of Minnesota Duluth; Johns Hopkins University

Favorite Pastimes: traveling, watching sports, going to theater/concerts, cooking, fashion

Favorite Quote: “You can bullshit the fans, but not the contestants.”

Frances Reimers is the founder and CEO of Firestarter Communications, which requires her to manage all aspects of the company, such as Accounting, Human Resources, Legal, and Marketing. When asked why she was motivated to establish her own Public Relations (PR) firm, Reimers responded that it was necessary she do so. “I had accomplished all that I could at my previous agency. I knew the services I wanted to provide and the clients I wanted to serve, so I saw no logical reason to delay creating my own firm,” Reimers said.

Reimers is proud of what Firestarter offers in order for their clients to “create, grow, manage, and protect their brand.” The services they provide include “personal brand and message development/enhancement, strategic planning, creation, and management of social media and content marketing, media representation, reputation management and repair strategies, and personal brand training for individuals and teams,” Reimers explains. Her clients range from individual athletes, such as NFL players, to entire small businesses. Reimers must educate and be educated about the specific needs of each entity she works with. “Many people don’t fully understand what PR  professionals do and the expected return on investment of their work. I spend a large amount of time with each client educating them about marketing and public relations best practices, project timing, and expectations,” Reimers said.

Every day, Reimers gets to help others reach to be their best selves. She loves being an educator by teaching clients about the creative process of business and feels this creates a strong client-vendor relationship. Reimers feels that “If I’m successful [with clients], what I do will serve them well not just at the moment, but for the rest of their life.” In addition to working with all of her clients, Reimers involves herself in philanthropic activities that are meaningful to her. Her PR career and volunteer work assure her that she has left a lasting impact in her profession and on her community, which is incredibly rewarding.

Tricia Harper

Tricia Harper

Hometown: South Dakota; spent high school in Chesterfield, VA

College Education: James Madison University

Favorite Pastimes: Anything outside on our farm (gardening, running around with the kids, cleaning the coop); and journaling. I’ve been journaling since high school 23 years ago…

Favorite Quote: “You don’t have to be great to start, but you do have to START to be great.”

Tricia Harper was the first in her family to graduate from college and was persuaded to choose a major where she could start a career immediately following school. Accounting naturally came easy to her, so Harper made an effort to specifically talk to the accounting firms. “I immediately was attracted to the Partners from KPMG, as their style and approach, even in the interview, just resonated with me,” Harper said. As soon as she started interning at the company, she found that KPMG really does care about their employees as individuals. Since then, she is pleased to have spent the last 20 years working here! Harper admits she tends to lack confidence, so establishing relationships with co-workers over time is really helpful to her. “It’s important to find people you trust, and that are courageous enough to speak with candor, which I define as the equal blending of truth with love!” Harper said.

Harper is currently the President of KPMG’s Network of Women, which provides opportunities for career advancement for women in the workforce. “Over the last several years we have done some really cool events to stretch our women,” Harper said. Some of these events include improv to find your voice, alumni networking, and workshops focused on risk-taking and building one’s brand. As Harper continually strives to reach her potential, she feels that “being asked by our current Chairman and CEO to serve as her Chief of Staff for the last 5 years” has left the most lasting impression and shaped her as a leader.

As women in the workforce, there is more pressure on us to have a consistent work-life balance. Harper’s greatest achievement with KPMG is not only the fact that she was elected into the Partnership position two years ago but how she was able to do it at this firm. While this process took longer for her than other peers, she was able to achieve this despite changing her career path several times, taking a sabbatical in order to prioritize her three children, and working from home so she and her husband could start a ‘hobby farm.’ I respect Harper so much for this, as she is a proper representation of how women can successfully be there for their families and establish their career simultaneously, even in times where this may seem impossible. Her courage and persistence showed her that this was the path she knew she was supposed to follow.

Allison Sitch

Allison Sitch

Hometown: Southampton, England

College Education: Suffolk Hospitality College, England

Favorite Pastimes: time with my family, traveling to new destinations, & watching live music performances

Favorite Quote: I have two:

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Gandhi

“Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.” -Margaret Thatcher

Allison Sitch works in PR for Marriott Hotels. In the hospitality industry, PR is very important, as Sitch tells The CWIB Chronicles thatA great PR person must be prepared to deal with things that make them uncomfortable…It’s a delicate dance to reassure customers that you’ll get to the bottom of something while simultaneously reassuring employees that you have their back.” She stresses that the “fluffy work” PR employees get a reputation for clearly doesn’t play a role at Marriott. “The team I work with is best-in-class at moving quickly to address issues and opportunities real-time and in multiple languages…We are recognized as an essential lever in an arsenal of tools that must be brought to life to safeguard the brand reputation and also to complete a marketing mix,” Sitch said.

Sitch’s job requires that she always puts the customer first, and there are many different types of customers she interacts with daily. “The public-at-large, the media, our own senior leaders, investors, hotels owners, and employees” all request her services. “Listening to their requests, understanding their needs, being able to translate information into strategic plans and actions, and then deliver in a way that demonstrates a benefit to the business is probably our biggest mission,” Sitch said.

In order to reach her potential in her career, Sitch shares the attributes that help her thrive in the PR Hospitality industry. Having a great attitude, being energized about your work, and therefore, working hard at your job are essential components in Sitch’s course to success. She stresses that you should “Never burn your bridges.” Establishing relationships with people who help you learn and grow are crucial for your advancement. “I believe you learn from the people you love to work with but learn even more from people you don’t enjoy working with as much…You have to take the good with the bad,” Sitch says. Finally, if you desire to be a leader, you must “be a leader that others choose to follow.” People choose a job not only for the work but for the type of people the company recruits. “They choose to give their loyalty and work for those they respect, admire and are inspired by,” Sitch said.

In addition to leadership, female empowerment is at the core of Sitch’s mindset, as it goes hand-in-hand with giving everyone an equal opportunity. Sitch is fortunate to work for female leaders who prioritize enhancing opportunities for women. She also gets to “work in a discipline that boasts many exceptional ladies and my circle of positive female influence also extends into the world of Public Relations agencies, editors and journalists.” She realizes that there are “So many brilliant women out there that have not waited for the call to progress, they have just done it,” so what is stopping each of you from doing the same?

After reading about each of Reimer’s, Harper’s, and Sitch’s backgrounds, I hope their stories have already motivated you to reach your full potential. Don’t miss out on your chance to be empowered even further when these women speak at Power Panel, located at The Inn at Virginia Tech on Monday, March 25th at 7:00 pm. Come with questions and an open mind to learn more about how you can always choose courage, no matter what obstacle you are facing.   

FB Header promo image.png

 

By: Emma Harwood 

Featured

Ernst and Young Spotlight: Building a Better Working World

pasted image 0
Photo credit: EY Website

Meet Ernst and Young (EY), a global professional services firm that provides advisory, assurance, tax and transaction services to their clients in a wide variety of markets. We are also very proud and humbled to share that they are one of the sponsors of Collegiate Women In Business (CWIB)! Among the 260,000 employees worldwide, there is a culture of high performing teams who bring diverse perspectives together, to work towards their motto of  “building a better working world.” We spoke with CWIB member, Shannon Keye, and campus recruiter, Wes Barrow to find out how Ernst and Young builds a better working world while simultaneously supporting women in business.

One way that EY is building a better working world is with “big initiatives of going digital, trying to push engagement teams to use digital platforms for everything that they do. This builds a better working world because the services they provide help their clients to help others,” says Shannon Keye, who has accepted a full-time offer after completing two internships with the firm. “[The company] is forward thinking and wants to beat the rat race to digital ties.” EY also aims to support “high performing teams with diverse mindsets by sourcing [diverse] talent through our campus recruiting and helping candidates that historically haven’t been in the candidate pipeline. [For example], EY hires people with autism in Philadelphia,” according to Wes Barrow.

pasted image 0 (5)
Photo credit: EY Website

“Being able to give back to the community in a variety of ways,” is one of Wes’s favorite parts about the company culture at EY. “[Ernst and Young] is big into community service through internal programs called Connect Day where we shut the firm down and go out and serve the local community entirely for one business day. We also have a program called College Map where we go to underserved high schools and talk about career progression and transitioning into the workforce out of high school or into college pursuit.”

pasted image 0 (2)
Photo credit: EY Website

When it comes to women at Ernst and Young, there are multiple resources to guarantee that they get the support they need to succeed. One of those resources is the Professional Networks, which are “organizations within the firm that give you the opportunity to meet people of any level. You can ask them for help and lean on them if you need to,” says Shannon. “You can network with other employees that you share a culture, race, or gender with, such as other African Americans or women.” Wes participates in a “working parent network because I’ve got [two sons and a daughter]. I’m able to connect with other parents about going from the younger to teenage years. We’re all about connecting and incorporating values.” EY also aims to support women within the firm and in business in general through “conferences geared towards the increase [of[ women  [in certain fields] such as the Women in Technology Conference that we use as a recruiting tool, and also looking at all aspects of the firm to make sure we have a good gender balance.” According to general data, Wes says that more than fifty percent of hires are women!

unnamed
Photo credit: EY Website

Both Shannon Keye and Wes Barrow agree that the opportunities and relationships built are their favorite aspects of working for Ernst and Young. Shannon “really likes the mentorship program, where you’re given a peer advisor, and a counselor who is more experienced. I would IM them all the time to ask any questions I had, and they were so helpful. It was really nice to be able to lean on them.” The diversity that Ernst and Young has to offer was another important aspect that attracted Shannon. “I saw diversity, people of color and women in leadership positions.” For Wes, one of the best aspects are “the relationships that are built both internally and externally. [Also,] the professional development opportunities you get are outstanding. We are a people culture; we are only as good as the people that we have and they’re only going to be good if we continue to create opportunities for everyone at all levels.”

unnamed (1)
Photo credit: EY Website

At a firm like Ernst and Young that focuses on bringing strengths and weaknesses together through building a better working world, serving the community, and supporting every kind of employee with the resources they need to succeed, you are sure to achieve your personal and professional goals! Collegiate Women In Business is so fortunate to have had the support and mentorship of Ernst and Young over the years. If you’re interested in this firm, keep an eye out for future events we have with them or reach out to members who have worked/work there!

 

By: Abby Perkins 

Featured

Being Confident in Male-Dominated Fields

Being a woman in business can be intimidating, especially knowing the stereotypes about women being less intelligent, mentally-strong, capable, and successful. As business students, we are entering a career known for being predominately male. We may also choose to pursue jobs in STEM fields, which are also known to be male-dominated. To prepare yourself for these careers, be sure to develop some of your interpersonal skills and educate yourself about your respective field so when you are in challenging situations, you can find the confidence to stand up for yourself and others!

IMG3508738475240376425
On CWIB Treks, you can meet other women in different companies and learn about their experiences and the challenges they face in the industry! Photo credit: Gigi Jones

 

Whether you are in the workplace or in school, you may face similar experiences where you have to stick up for yourself as a woman in a male-dominated field. One of the most important things to be able to do is speak up for yourself and the women around you when you notice inappropriate behavior, stereotyping, or discrimination of you or them. In a classroom situation, this can mean speaking to the women in your class if you notice something that might be inappropriate, and directly asking them how comfortable they are with the situation. In the workplace, that may mean telling a supervisor about the incident and asking for guidance. No matter where you are, the most important thing to remember is to speak up and stand your ground as a confident woman! When you show that you have the maturity to defend yourself, your peers are more likely to take you seriously and adjust their behavior to respect you and/or the women around you. Prove yourself!

DSC_0021
CWIB believes in the motto: “Empowered women empower women.” Be that woman who motivates other women to be confident in their careers! Photo credit: Collegiate Women in Business

Women in STEM and business face many challenges from their peers and their superiors. Although seeing women in STEM and business fields is more common today than it was 20 or 30 years ago, there are still very low amounts of women in top positions at companies. According to the 2017 Women in the Workplace study from LeanIn and McKinsey, women represent 47% of entry-level professionals, 29% of vice presidents, and only 20% of C-Suite executives. The decreasing trend up the corporate ladder shows that men still dominate executive positions. Another alarming statistic is that only 4% of top leadership positions are held by women of color, while white Caucasian men comprise 68% of this group. The women who broke those barriers created opportunities and hope for all future women in business, and this responsibility falls on us now to make the change even greater. Setting goals for yourself as a businesswoman can build a legacy that will touch many women, not just those in your direct contact. For example, Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM, had a goal of establishing diversity and inclusion within her company. She came up with an initiative to extend parental leave and make it easier for women to return to their jobs afterward. She saw the need for women to have more time at home after they have a child, so she created the program that allowed them to have that!  As you begin to picture yourself and your future career, set some goals and standards to guide you when you get opportunities to create change. Not only will holding yourself responsible for making a difference help you, but it will also open greater doors for women like you many years from now!

IMG_3342
Power Panel is a great place to learn from successful businesswomen. Come out to this year’s event on March 25th! Photo credit: Collegiate Women in Business

The best way to prepare yourself is by learning from other women and hearing their stories! In CWIB, every story is valuable and we bring women from many different walks of life to speak about their own experiences in business. From our advisors, Dr. Michelle Seref and Professor Nadia Rogers, to our own leadership board, there are many women available to you to learn from! Make sure to take advantage of your opportunities at CWIB workshops or coffee chats with business professionals, and use your time at those events wisely to learn as much as you can! These opportunities are rare! One of the most empowering events we host is Power Panel, where successful women come speak to us about their career journeys and host a Q&A session open to students from all majors! These events are direct opportunities to prepare yourself for your career, and taking advantage of them will give you the chance to learn how to be a confident and empowered woman, no matter what career you are entering!

Ultimately, gaining the confidence to empower women and speak up about stereotypes requires time and experience! As you go through your time in college, you will have many opportunities to learn from other women, ask questions, and prepare yourself for your career. Confidence is the first step to making a change, and speaking up in every situation requires it. Taking the time now to prepare yourself and learn from others will provide you with the courage and drive you will need in the future!

 

By: Lina Al Taii