October brought Chicago Booth women two terrific opportunities to engage with other women in the Chicago Booth community and beyond: The 3rd annual Booth Women Connect Conference (BWCC) and the Chicago Women in Business (CWiB) annual conference. I was lucky enough to go to both and left each feeling both inspired and excited by the incredible talent that the Booth community embodies in its women.
As Registration Chair for the event, I watched the BWCC conference sell out quickly. We welcomed 270 women to the conference on Friday, October 4th at the Gleacher Center in Downtown Chicago. For those thinking about an MBA, the conference offered a great opportunity to “test-drive” the Booth experience. Chicago Booth students, alumnae and staff, as well as women from the local community were eager to take in great information from the presenters across 18 different sessions moderated or presented by Chicago Booth faculty, staff and alumnae, as well as other local business leaders.
The goals for this conference were to offer great sessions and discussions about issues unique to women in business, spanning the life of a career from those just starting out to those who have achieved senior leadership roles, and to bring together these women for networking throughout the day. You can see photos from the event here
. As someone who is actively involved in our women’s initiatives in Admissions and the experience of women in the Full-Time MBA program, I was thrilled that our conference was such a success in bringing women together for a day full of great events.
Two weeks later, I was invited to the student-run annual CWiB conference, which took place on Friday, October 18th at the University Club in downtown Chicago. CWiB offers support to female Booth students, who make up 35% of Booth’s first year class; this year, 74% of female students in the Class of 2015 are CWiB members! CWiB offers many events throughout the year that help enhance the experience of our female students and the Fall Conference is a perfect way to showcase the strength of our female candidates to our recruiters, as well as allow women to connect with and meet one another.
The fall conference event is strictly for Chicago Booth students, offering the over 100 attendees a chance to be part of informative sessions, as well as time with recruiters from top companies who are eager to hire talented Booth women for internships and post-MBA employment. The conference boasted 34 sponsors, and the chance to meet with representatives from top firms.
Over 50 panelists spoke throughout the day, the vast majority being alumnae who took time from their days to be part of the event, showcasing the pay it forward culture that defines Chicago Booth. I was most impressed with the afternoon keynote speech by Booth alumna Valerie Van Meter, ‘04, Senior Vice President for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Valerie reminded us that there is no one definition of success, and that one’s career is most definitely a marathon, not a sprint! Valerie highlighted her MBA at Chicago Booth, noting that it taught her how to ask the right questions in difficult situations.
I am continually impressed and encouraged by the women’s community at Chicago Booth; conferences like the two recent ones I attended confirms that Booth women are an accomplished group of professionals who are always eager to learn more, improve themselves and share their knowledge and experience with one another by leading sessions, networking and supporting one another at each step of their professional journeys.
All the best,