Women’s business organization revamps mentorship program

Media Credit: Camille Desanto | Photographer

GW Women in Business leaders said they are bringing back a program to train women leaders in professional skills that they may not learn in the classroom.

A student organization centered on empowering women in business fields is revamping a mentorship program for members to learn leadership skills.

GW Women in Business is bringing back a program the group’s leaders run for members to acquire leadership and professional skills, like resume building and Microsoft Excel proficiency, to succeed in the workplace. Michelle Bryce, the president of GW Women in Business, said the mentorship program and the group’s events help women develop professional skills that they may not learn in the classroom.

“The big goal is to bring new opportunities to our members and tools, making sure we are up to date with what the current workplace is requiring,” she said.

Bryce, a senior, said leaders have changed the program this year to include more ambassador positions for members of the group than in prior years.

“We brought back the ambassador program in order to provide more leadership opportunities for younger GWWIB members such as freshmen and sophomores,” she said.

Bryce said the group will co-sponsor an event with GW Data, a group within the Undergraduate Business Association to help students find jobs in data science and business intelligence. She said the leaders will teach members about how to navigate Microsoft Excel, which she said is a skill often required for job applicants.

She said she wants to break any misconceptions students may have that Women in Business is only for business majors. The organization is open to any female undergraduates because all students can benefit from learning professional business skills, Bryce said.

“I know it’s a little contrary to the name, but I think a lot of members who are outside the business school sometimes gain more from GWWIB,” she said. “Through the business school, we have first-year development programs so we can get the resume and cover letter and etc., resources, whereas some of these other schools may not.”

Bryce said the group’s annual spring conference in April will include programming like keynote speakers, panelists and alumni to come speak with attendees about their professional careers and give advice about jobs. She said the group hopes about 500 people will attend the conference.

“We also have a lot of older women from the DC area, I feel like the conference is obviously focused on collegiate women, but it can help anyone at any time,” she said.

Senior Carolina Medlarz, GW Women in Business’ executive vice president, said group leaders reinitiated their mentorship program, which the group ran during the 2017 academic year but did not run last year, so new members can gain leadership positions within the group.

Medlarz said the ambassador program assigns four undergraduates to positions under the vice president, who they are responsible for helping complete projects or tasks for the group. She said assigning members to work with vice presidents helps younger members learn more about the organization.

“We let them know the whole organization holistically, whereas the other positions we offer are usually in small committees for a specific event,” she said. “But here they get the full look of how we run things, which is something we are very proud of.”

Maria Quinoñez, the group’s vice president of community relations, said Women in Business is also planning for its annual trip to New York City, where leaders will take 30 members to visit companies like Google, L’Oreal, BNY Mellon and Spotify to learn about different career options their members could pursue after graduation.

“This is also a great opportunity for members to learn the different industries they can get into because we definitely want to break the misconception that GWWIB is only for business majors, because we are actually open to everyone,” she said. “So that’s why we included different companies for this New York trip.”

Quinoñez said the group is also planning a similar event in the D.C. area so members who cannot travel to New York or who are interested in learning more about local jobs or internships can hear from professionals. The D.C. trip will be the second time the group holds the event, she said.

“We have been doing the New York trip for a while now, and while it is a great opportunity that we are taking some members to New York, we also wanted to create opportunities for our members here in the DC area which is why we created the DC Trek, to take a selected number of members to visit companies in the area,”Quinoñez said.

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