From LinkedIn etiquette to the many hats that entrepreneurs wear, female students have been learning about various facets of the business world through a new club. Carly Keller ’13 founded Colgate Women in Business last fall, and it quickly grew to approximately 150 members.
Being from Silicon Valley, Keller has business acumen in her blood. So, the dual psychology and environmental studies major gauged interest on campus, found that students were enthusiastic about the idea of the club, and formed an executive board. An alumnae advisory board provides additional structure.
Club members represent a range of concentrations, although international relations majors are a large contingent.
Monthly coffee hours attract around 40 people regularly and focus on a specific topic each time. “I want them to be a meaningful educational experience,” Keller emphasized. At one coffee hour, the group Skyped in Charlotte Burkly ’07, assistant admissions director at Columbia Business School. At another, recently, psychology professor Carrie Keating spoke about women in leadership.
To get an in-person taste of different business cultures, with the help of career services, 19 club members traveled to New York City in February to visit alumnae at their workplaces, from Google to Deloitte.
McKenzie Hume ’15, the club’s chief communications officer, is now considering a career in consulting after learning more about Deloitte from Deirdre Ryan ’90, who is a strategy and operations principal.
“She was incredibly engaging and enthusiastic about consulting,” Hume said. “It sounds like an analytical field with a lot of new challenges, which appealed to me.”
In addition to the site visits, students participated in how-to workshops on everything from interviewing, to preparing for day one on the job, to the benefits of a liberal arts education.
“Colgate teaches us to think critically, be able to articulate our ideas, and build relationships — that’s the strength of a liberal arts degree. So one of my takeaways was knowing that it’s an advantage as long as I sell it correctly,” Hume said.
Keller and the other executive board seniors have been preparing younger club members to take over the reins. After graduation, Keller will exercise all that she’s learned at Colgate and through the club as she begins her career with the marketing team at the academic company Chegg.