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.

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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.

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(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!

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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.”

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(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 

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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!

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Bryda’s professional headshot from this past summer!
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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!

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Mottes (far right) and peers posing on day of presentation for Immersion Consulting.
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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!

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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!

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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

 

 

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!

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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.

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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…

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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!

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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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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.

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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!

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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!

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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

 

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!

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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.

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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

Member Spotlight: Camille Pacheco

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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.”

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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