One night this past September, over 15 women from Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management joined local Nashville businesswomen, Vanderbilt alumnae, and dozens of undergraduate women at Vanderbilt’s Sarratt Cinema. The purpose? To celebrate the newly-formed undergraduate Women in Business (WIB) association.
A group of six young women had been working for months to put this together, and all their hard work had culminated in this incredible night of impressive speakers and new connections. They had come a long way since their initial meeting with Owen’s Women in Business Association (WBA).
In the spring, the outgoing WBA president reached out to Jess Bialas, incoming WBA President, and Ariel Wentworth, WBA Vice President of Community Affairs, to let them know that a group of undergraduate women was interested in starting their own women in business group.
These women were looking for an outlet to learn more about the business world and to prepare themselves for their lives after college.
Jess and Ariel were immediately impressed by the drive and poise of the group and were determined to help them however they could.
Jess and Ariel thought it was incredibly important to build this bridge between Owen and the undergraduate women. Thinking back to their own experiences in college and in the work force, Jess and Ariel both relied on the support and direction of fellow women and were excited for the opportunity to help the undergrads in their own community.
This partnership between the WBA and the WIB is the first between Owen and any group at the undergraduate level.
One of the WIB’s main initiatives is a mentorship program, matching up undergraduate women with local career women and current Owen MBAs. Owen’s WBA continues to work support the WIB by providing support in myriad ways, from serving as a sounding board to the new organization to running workshops around topics such as financial literacy and networking.
The WBA is committed to ensuring that all women at Owen and in the greater Vanderbilt community get the support that they need and are excited to see where this partnership will go.
Ariel Wentworth and Jessica Bialas are Forté Fellows at Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management, Class of 2017.