New York Trek Recap

The first event for the CWIB members was Hokies on Wall Street, which was hosted at the Citigroup Midtown building. Alumni and current students from Virginia Tech mingled as they chatted about experiences in the business world as well as their college days. A first-time attendee, Jennifer Lee, Consultant at Citigroup, said, “[Hokies on Wall Street] is such a large networking opportunity and when awesome [opportunities like this] come up, you just have to take [advantage of] it.” A group of CWIB members was fascinated by Jennifer’s story, amazed at how she achieved a position at Citigroup after graduating with a degree from the College of Science. She is a strong believer in “doing what you want to do as long as you work hard for it.”

Other alumni mentioned the reason they attended this event was that they could “really feel the Hokie Spirit.” Many women from CWIB would agree, there is just something special about going into the world and feeling at home with the people you’re around because they’re part of the Virginia Tech Community.

As the sun began to shine over the city that never sleeps, the group headed over to the Google Building, sporting blazers, and bright eyes.

After a tour of the 2.9 million-square-foot building (and plenty of pictures on the block-long balcony), CWIB members sat down in a room of the Summer section on the “Four Seasons” themed floor for a panel. The main topics of the Google panel were: finding mentors in college and the workforce, building a personal brand, and overcoming challenges of being a woman in the business world.

“Not all mentors are labeled,” said Ingrid Gonzalez, Head of Sales for Google Cloud. “They can be anyone who is there for you in doubt and gives you opportunities. You will have many challenges [in your career], so make sure you have the right people around you to help you through them.” Suzy Schumer, Strategy and Sales Operations Consultant, advised that “when it comes to building your personal brand, you want to make sure you leave an impact on your interviewer [or client]. Learn what makes you passionate and let them remember you.”

In a lifetime career, we’re bound to run into many challenges. Suzy said, “It is okay to fail. It is okay to cry. Give yourself a moment in private, then gather yourself and get back out there.” As a woman in business, Suzy knows the importance of embracing who you are. “There will be times that you may find yourself as the only woman in the room. Embrace it and be comfortable with yourself.”

After the panel at Google, the women headed to the Citigroup building for a presentation of the early career opportunities at Citigroup and a panel that focused on the recruiting process. When preparing for recruiting, Panelist Nancy Song advises to “Be passionate! Have an open and adaptable mind. Understand what you are being interviewed for.” She also stressed that in your career, “stereotypical networking is not the only way! Build relationships that you already have, like with those you already work with every day. However, don’t be afraid to talk to people, be proactive and look for ways you can help and connect.”

When asked what the best decision they’ve made for their career was, Christina Capitelli responded by saying, “Taking opportunities as they come. Don’t stay static, use opportunities to grow and develop.” Jennifer Lee’s best decision was “Keeping an open mind, you never know until you try.”

Next stop was Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Capital Markets, “a global investment bank that provides focused expertise in banking, finance and capital markets to [clients] around the world.” At RBC, CWIB members and the speakers had an enriching conversation about women and their impact in the corporate world. “The way we [women] respond to situations is different from men, but that makes us no less legitimate: our brains work the same,” said Cara. “We have strengths and characteristics that make us great leaders. You can’t have the same exact people sitting at the table looking at a problem.”

To wrap up the visit, the group was given the privilege of going onto the trading floor for a better idea of what happens at a company such as RBC.

 If you haven’t been on a CWIB Trek yet, make a goal to attend next year! You won’t regret the invaluable experience and connections you build in CWIB as well as in the corporate world.

Summer Internships: How to Prepare for Your First Day

Summer is slowly approaching, which means so is the first day of that summer internship many of you were able to receive. It is very stressful and nerve-racking to think about the first day and what the entire summer will be like, but it is important to be ready. Keep reading to learn some tips on how to make sure you make great first impressions on that day!

1. Have an Open Mind

Since you got this job, you have most likely done some intense research on the company and the position, right?  When given your first task, you may find that it isn’t something you expected you would be doing. Be able to adapt to any situation and try your best.

2. Ask Questions

Do not hesitate to ask any questions! Don’t think that any question is a dumb one; someone probably asked it before.  Your manager will appreciate it if you ask thorough questions on your position; it will show that you’re interested and want to do the best you can. Also, your coworkers are in the same boat as you, so ask them anything and you may even make a new friend along the way.

3. Dress for Success

Go to the mall a few days before your first day, and stock up on clothing that satisfies your dress requirements. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you have a blazer, some blouses, and dress pants – this will get you through the majority of the summer. Remember to take into account the conditions of your travel! For example, if you’re walking a few blocks to your office, make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes.

4. Get Organized

Load your Metro card, fill your gas tank up, prepare your bag/briefcase, and pack your lunch the night before! Also, look up directions to the building and leave about 20 minutes earlier to allow yourself more than enough time to get to work on time. Another important task you should do is familiarize yourself with the area so you can easily find the closest coffee shop!

5. Have Proper Etiquette

This is a little obvious, but still one of the most important concepts one needs to remember when in a professional environment. The first impression is typically how one is remembered, so make sure to smile, make eye contact, and have a firm handshake with everyone you meet. Introduce yourself properly and ask as many questions as needed.  Don’t be shy!

6. Be CONFIDENT

Everyone has their own unique strengths, personalities, and skills. Believing in yourself is the first step in showing the people at your company that you are an intelligent, capable intern. Make a lasting impression on everyone you meet, attend company events, never stop learning, and don’t hesitate to ask a question or pitch any idea. Confidence is the key to success!

 

These are all little tips that can lead to a great first day on the job and a great internship experience. Remember, you were hired for a reason. Show this company they were smart for hiring you. Good luck this summer, CWIB! We know you’ll make this organization proud!