Thursday, February 7, 2013

Columbia Women in Business Conference

This past weekend 40 students from our school's Women in Business club made the trek to New York City to attend the Columbia Women in Business Conference.  Even though I had already heard great things about the conference, it still managed to blow me away.  

After checking in and getting a little too excited about our filled to the brim gift bags (it's the little things), we attended three breakout sessions.  I chose to attend Social Impact Investing: Doing Good by Doing Well, You the Brand, and  Climbing the Corporate Ladder: Moving from Associate to Manager.  

Each session was led by a panel of very accomplished women who were nothing short of inspiring.  Young, old, American, international, single, married... Every woman worked so hard to get where she is now and I loved hearing their stories of success.  

Our keynote speaker was none other than the famed fashion designer, Diane von Furstenberg.  I had no idea about the many career struggles she went through, but to hear them first hand really proved that you always have the power to design your own future.  

My favorite part of the event was the opportunity to get to know some of the women that I was so incredibly impressed by.  Both during lunch and the reception hour afterwards I was able to speak with the type of people whose LinkedIn profiles I save for inspiration.  One woman decided that she wanted put her focus on her family... Did she drop out of the workplace to become a stay-at-home mom (which is completely admirable by itself, by the way)?  No.  She started her own business that has since been featured on CBS, CNBC, Forbes, and the NY Times! 

Though graduate school had only grazed my radar for future potential, Columbia drew me in.  The professionalism and accomplishments of the students and alumni, far too many to list here, and the welcoming and kind spirit of those present at the conference have sparked a desire in me to return to New York in the future.  

A huge thank you goes out to members of the Columbia Women in Business club who worked to organize this event- You all did great!

Diane von Furstenberg

The Women in Business Executive Board from Saint Vincent College- I'm in the red coat!  

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