By Columbia GSB March 10, 2012 Leave a Comment

Women should own the stories of their careers, declared Debra Coughlin ’82 during her keynote speech at the 19th Annual Columbia Women in Business (CWIB) Conference. The event was held on February 24 at the Marriott Marquis in New York.

“Your relationship with your career starts and ends with knowing yourself,” said Coughlin, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Draftfcb, one of the largest global advertising agency networks. “You are your own brand, and a good brand knows what it is inside and out.”

Coughlin was one of the conference’s many women speakers and panelists who have become business leaders in their fields. Panel topics ranged from effective network building and following career passions to the presence of women in top management and board positions, each based on the theme of the conference, “Success in Action: Seizing Opportunity and Rising to Challenges.” Noha Waibsnaider ’02, founder and CEO of Peeled Snacks, was recognized with the 16th Annual Distinguished Alumnae Award.

The event also saw the first presentation of the Alcoa Scholarship, created in memory of Deirdre Collins ’09, a former member of CWIB, the Management Consulting Association, and the Social Enterprise Club. The scholarship is given to a second-year MBA student who shares Collins’s passion for education and extracurricular activities. This year’s recipient was Jennifer Magaziner, a dual MBA/MPH candidate for 2013.

“I am honored to be the first Alcoa Scholarship recipient and humbled to be part of Deirdre Collins’s legacy. This scholarship is a beautiful tribute to her and I am grateful to her family, the Alcoa Foundation, and the School for this privilege,” Magaziner said. “As a dual MBA/MPH, I dream of applying business innovation and public health principles to improve women’s healthcare, and this scholarship will help me to realize this dream.”

CWIB provides Columbia Business School women with resources and contacts to assist them in their academic, professional, and personal development. In addition to the annual conference, the organization offers community service, mentoring, and professional development opportunities.

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