GUEST POST: Women Matter… especially at CBS!
The Women Matter Panel (I’m on the far right)
Jennifer Rhodes ’15
Thursday, December 19, 2013 - 9:45am

These days, it’s not often I commute to midtown – especially on a Saturday, a day usually spent brunching, then studying on the Upper West Side. But on Saturday, December 7, Admissions and Columbia Women in Business (CWiB) hosted Women Matter @ Columbia, an event for over 200 prospective and admitted students, at the Columbia University Club.

Setting up before the event begins

I sat on a panel that featured two alumnae, Amanda Kinsey EMBA ’12 and Jennifer Randel MBA ’06, and two current students, Arianne Perry MBA ’14 and me. Our conversation revolved around the amazing community at Columbia Business School (CBS), both personally and professionally, both as students and as alumnae. We discussed the exciting challenges we face at school (especially coming from less-traditional backgrounds), how we used this supportive community to get through those challenges, and how, as a result, we end up achieving things beyond our expectations. When we were asked to provide tips to prospective students, the panel came up with the following:

           Be introspective both before applying for school and during the MBA experience.

           Take time to think about priorities.

           Realize that understanding what you don’t like is just as important as understanding what you do.

We agreed that while we will wear many hats in our lives, have different careers, and follow changing passions, the skills we learn here and network we create will last forever.

The CBS community was beautifully illustrated by the CBS Matters presentation, given by Jennifer Dyck-Sprout MBA ’14. CBS Matters is a school-wide tradition where students present “what matters to me.” Topics range from the serious to the silly, the sad to the joyous, but in all cases it gives us a wonderful opportunity to learn something we may not otherwise, and gives the presenter the unique opportunity to think about his or her priorities. Jen’s presentation about her family and her adventures had the inspiring message of being brave enough to challenge our assumptions and take risks.

Jennifer Dyck-Sprout giving her CBS Matters Presentation

Finally, our keynote speaker, Sallie Krawcheck MBA ’92, shared her professional journey from Sanford C. Bernstein & Company to Citigroup to Bank of America. Throughout her career, she has earned a reputation for integrity, named “the Last Honest Analyst” by Fortune Magazine. As a woman in a male-dominated field, she discussed the importance of having diversity at the table, reminded us that networking is critical (if not more so for woman) and shared her wisdom about finding work/life balance. Sallie currently leads 85 Broads, a professional women’s network, committed to creating a community for successful women.

Keynote speaker, Sallie Krawcheck MBA ’92

We ended with a lunch with current student representatives, organized by industry focus. The day’s events had given us plenty to talk about and left me feeling very proud to be part of this powerful community of CBS women.

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