Women Mean Business Conference Recap: Networking Lunch

Written by: Morgan Cappetta

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After Yvonne Garcia (State Street) gave her opening keynote, and after the first breakout session of the day – in which students could select to attend an Accounting Panel, a Law Panel, or a Salary Negotiation Workshop – it was time for lunch! Lunch was hosted in the 9th floor trustee ballroom space at the Questrom School of Business. Sandwiches, salads, cookies and beverages were enjoyed by all. Seating was open, encouraging students to branch out and meet their peers and other professionals in attendance.

After the sit-down portion had concluded, the lunch moved into the networking portion, in which attendees moved into a cocktail setup with tall, small tables, encouraging movement and flexibility of conversation. Conversations abounded, and new connections were made. After the networking portion had concluded, members of herNetwork ushered students and professionals back down for the second breakout session of the day – from which students could choose to attend a Marketing Panel, a Finance Panel, or a Workshop about exiting ones comfort zone. We hope our attendees foster and grow the relationships they began at our conference, as networking, learning, and making friends are what our conference is all about!

Women Mean Business Conference Recap: Salary Negotiation Workshop

Written by: Amanda Ashley

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The first workshop of the conference was the Salary Negotiation workshop presented by Victoria Schroeder from the Questrom UDC. Overall, the workshop was informative, engaging, and extremely useful. It began with a discussion about why salary negotiation was important, how the wage gap affects it, and what some of the typical excuses are to avoid salary negotiation. Most people avoid negotiating salary because they are just grateful to have an offer, they do not want to start a new job off by asking for more, or they want to avoid an awkward situation. But good news! If you are prepared for the negotiation it does not have to be awkward. Here are seven steps Vicky shared with us to help with negotiating salary:

  1. When you get an offer, don’t accept right away. Ask them how long you have before you must respond with your decision. This gives you time to do any necessary research and to think about what you need.
  2. Benchmark your offer. Use websites like salary.com and comparably.com to research what market value is for this job. Decide if your offer fits.
  3. Evaluate the offer. Spend some time figuring out what the lowest salary you can accept is. Keep in mind that it is not always necessary or appropriate to try to negotiate salary (i.e., unpaid internships).
  4. Consider more than just salary. They may not be able to give you a salary raise or a larger signing bonus so consider other elements, such as vacation/sick days, stock options, and tuition assistance.
  5. Develop a leverage list. Identify your strengths and why they may help you argue for a higher salary.
  6. Negotiate over the phone. NEVER negotiate by email.
  7. Remember: it’s okay to decline an offer if it just doesn’t work for you!

We hope you enjoyed the workshop!

 

 

Women Mean Business Conference Recap: Work Life Balance Workshop

Written by: Shannon Low

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Today, many people struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance because they fail to separate their work from their personal lives. At the beginning of your career, first impressions are important to creating a name for yourself at your company or industry. Professor Rachel Spooner agreed with this by explaining how within her first year as a lawyer she worked hard to establish a good reputation, which stayed with her throughout her career. She explained that during her first year she would always take each case that was presented to her and worked long hours to complete everything effectively and efficiently. Although she worked hard within her first couple of years in a private firm, she emphasized how that now she makes time to balance her work and personal life. She makes sure that she can attend her children’s games and events by having someone else step in for her meetings or seeing if she can have them rescheduled. Do not slack off after you establish yourself in your industry, however, you should be able to create a balance between your work and personal life to be able to unplug from work and relax.

Professor Spooner stressed the importance of carefully choosing your partner, whether it be for work, life, or in school. You should make sure that you choose a partner that shares the same goals as you, someone you can communicate effectively with, and someone that can help you achieve those goals. Also, surrounding yourself with people that create a supportive network for you will help because you have people that will help you overcome any obstacle.  It is important to be able to describe in detail your goals and motives because you may know on the surface what you want, but you need to know why you want them.

Women Mean Business Conference Recap: Law Panels

Written by: Madison Randolph

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This year’s Law panel was formed of two BU professors, Kabrina Chang and Gina Powers along with Angela Smagula, a defense attorney for the City of Newton, MA. After the panelists introduced themselves, it was clear that they had similarities and differences regarding what got them to their current positions. While Professor Powers and Angela sort of fell into the field, Professor Chang was someone who, like myself, always dreamed of going to law school. However, among them all, one of the most important things these women agreed upon was to never pigeon-hole yourself. These women didn’t just take opportunities, they found them. Angela started off in the publishing world and Professor Powers originally intended on becoming a broadcast journalist. Somehow they both found their way to having the job title of an attorney.

One of the best parts of the panel was the back and forth between Professor Chang and Professor Powers. These long-time friends were able to tell part of each others’ story in a way that only comes from bonding over a shared situation such as the grueling years of law school where they met. Throw in a surprise entrance from Professor Spooner and we had a great conversation going in the end. If I took anything away from the panel it was that we don’t have to know what we want but once we do the next step is to find out how to get it and this is where the hard work and dedication come into play. It’s no secret that studying and practicing the law is a challenge, but for those who accept it, these women showed me it has some great rewards.

Women Mean Business Conference Recap: Consulting Panels

Written by: Morgan Cappetta

At herNetwork’s 2017 conference, we hosted a consulting panel, featuring three remarkable women in the consulting field who came back to speak with current students and share their experiences and advice pertaining to a career in consulting. The women were Erika Neilssen (Accenture, Isabela Haghighi (Accenture), and Ally McMann (Ernst & Young). They were able to represent a great cross-section of various consulting functions and roles, and described how varied their day-to-day responsibilities were, depending on the projects they were each working on. Moderated by Morgan (VP of Internal Affairs), they offered great advice, some of their most notable being:

  1. Confidence and flexibility are key if one hopes to succeed in consulting.
  2. Work life balance in this busy industry is truly your own responsibility. Speak up, and your managers and teammates will be accommodating. Stay quiet, and no one will know you need to decompress.
  3. Changing ones schedule from college to consulting is jarring at first – but completely doable!
  4. Networking never stops, especially in consulting. Don’t take it so seriously though – think of it as simply connecting with people over common interests. Make friends!
  5. At first, it helps to know a little bit about everything. No one expects you to be a specialist or expert upon entering the consulting industry.
  6. Sharpen your learning pattern. That is, deeply understand your own learning process, and optimize it. Learning on the job is huge.
  7. The panelists also recommended shelving the idea of an MBA until you’ve had 3-5 years of working experience, so you can return to school and get the most out of your time there – tying classroom lessons into your actual work experiences.
  8. Managers, and your relationship with them, really shape your job/internship experience. Consulting typically offers flexibility in regards to choosing your manager.
  9. Use clubs at school to explore and develop your interests. Test the waters!

Women Mean Business Conference Recap: Marketing Panels

Written by: Minna Tang

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Marketing panel was very educational and inspiring. All the panelists have addressed the important events of utilizing strengths and striving to learn new skills. Because of the gender stereotype existing in the work place, women often feel not very comfortable with speaking up for themselves. Therefore, it is important for us to learn what we are good at, such as public speaking, to prove that we have great strengths to start with. Maybe we feel not confident because we do not have the right set of professional skills, such as Excel, but as long as we arm ourselves with our strengths and show enough willingness to learn, we will be able to make it to anywhere we want.

Women Mean Business Conference Recap: Fashion Panels

Written by: Yuriya Miyako

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The fashion panel took place in between 11:10 and 12:10. There were 5 speakers in this fashion panel and many students came into the room to listen to the women who work in such a fast-paced industry.
HerNetwork welcomed five professionals: Amy Markham from New Balance, Andrea Wieglus from Trunk Club, Courtney Barry from Shoebuy.com, Jennifer Johnson from Talbots, and Bronwen Ambridge from Kiehl’s Since 1851.
Even though the fashion and beauty industry is extremely trend-driven and requires a lot of hard work, all five of them agreed that the people they work with make it bearable. They are surrounded by supportive co-workers and enjoy the corporate culture very much. The people keep these five women passionate and excited about fashion.
Additionally, when they were asked “How has networking helped you in your career?”, Andrea instantly responded, “It’s everything”. The five of them emphasized how networking and knowing someone in a new company who can stand up for you is beyond helpful. Networking helps not only to form profound relationships but it also provides one with more perspective and guidance.
It was evident from the fashion panel that the fashion industry excited these five professionals immensely and that they would love to continue working within the industry.