Forte Connect
Diversity and Inclusion
Julie Shin

Becoming “Jane Bond”

Julie ShinThe Chicago Women in Business group at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, or “CWiB,” as it is affectionately known across campus, has long been one of the school’s largest student organizations. With over two hundred active student members, CWiB presents its leadership board with the daunting task of addressing the expectations and needs of a large and diverse member base. Recognizing the value of programming that would provide members with the flexibility to individualize their experiences while still uniting them as a group, Julie Shin (MBA ’09) rolled up her sleeves, donned her creative cap, and came up with Bond, Jane Bond.

The Jane Bond program aims to equip CWiB members with both the knowledge and confidence to undertake new challenges and to answer the ever-evolving calls of duty. The series affords each member the ability to “choose her own adventure”, to participate in the selection of events best suited to her personal and career goals and interests. Jane Bond was born out of the belief that there is an undercover agent in every woman. We are constantly changing roles, from diplomat to ambassador, decision-maker to creative contributor, caretaker to friend, and in each of these roles we seek to portray strength, poise, and intelligence in action.

In describing the development of the Jane Bond program, Ms. Shin recalled several past experiences where she felt as though she was in over her head; this feeling was not the result of being disorganized, incapable, or unprepared, but rather the result of being pulled in many different directions at the same time. “My saving grace was to adopt a new perspective by breaking down my commitments into a series of ‘important missions,’” notes Shin. “When I had free time I would learn something new. I became something of a ‘Jane Bond,’ and I wanted to share my new sense of confidence and knowledge base with my fellow CWiB members.”

Launched in the fall of 2008, the Jane Bond series offers three or four workshops each academic quarter. The program has been a resounding success, with CWiB members flocking to events such as: Common Cents Investing 101, in which the women learned how to balance their portfolio, saving, and spending strategies; Working Girl Women who Rise Above the Regression Line, which presented a panel of outstanding businesswomen representing a variety of career stages; a scotch-tasting class, which served to provide the ladies with some swagger for their next business event; and a self-defense class, a must-have for any woman in today’s world. In addition to valuable programming, Shin wanted to round out future Ms. Bonds with a “global perspective”, leading a trip to Egypt where CWiB members trekked the Sahara and immersed themselves into Middle Eastern culture. The program has several events in the works, in which Shin’s close colleagues are certain will be exceptional. “Jules is one of the most creative people I know…she’s full of surprises and has a knack for executing,” shares Linsey Molloy (MBA ’09).

Ms. Shin plans to develop the Jane Bond program further with help from the rising CWiB members. She would love to see the program, which truly offers something for everyone, replicated by women’s groups at other business organizations because “women don’t fit any one particular mold, and the Jane Bond program embraces this sense of individuality and empowers women in a valuable and rewarding way.”

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