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!

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Collegiate Women in Business’ 2019-2020 Leadership Team

By: Gyu Ri Kim

 

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

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

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.

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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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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!

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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.”

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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.

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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

 

 

 

Lynne Doughtie: Inspiring Women to Climb to the Top

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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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.