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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

 

 

 

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.

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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 

 

 

 

 

Nashville Trek Recap

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

 

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!

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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.

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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

 

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!

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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!

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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

 

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.

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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.

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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