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.
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