This fall, the Klainer Center for Women and Business is sponsoring a number of different speakers and panels in an attempt to reach beyond School of Business students and engage the community at large. On Oct. 14, the center co-sponsored the "Women in Leadership" panel along with the Undergraduate Alumni Association, G.O.L.D. and the Women's Leadership Institute. Lynn Manning, vice president of administration and human resources at the Research Foundation of the State University of New York, moderated the panel, which featured a diverse array of successful female alumni who offered life and career tips to those in attendance.
Panel members stressed the importance of creating a network, maintaining a solid reputation and gaining hands-on experience.
"You're your own brand," said Mary Bonaccio, class of 1981. "It's your own job to sell yourself."
"Be bold," said Norma Holland, class of 1996. "If there's not something to do, find something to do … be helpful, be eager, be memorable and make a memorable experience."
"Networking is the best piece of advice in my experience so far," said sophomore Maddy Zanetti. "Working at my store, I've found that knowing many different people opens the door to valuable resources."
Senior Rebecca Schwartz, student coordinator of the Klainer Center, said that she was pleased with the turnout of the event.
"I think the panel was a great success because it was so dynamic," Schwartz said. "There were so many different types of careers that were represented by the women in attendance, which was wonderful. This diversity allowed the women to connect with all different types of students, not just specifically business majors."
On Oct. 21, the center, in conjunction with the School of Business, brought Robert Kalin to campus. Kalin is the founder of Etsy, an online marketplace for handmade goods. Kalin illustrated the opportunities of entrepreneurship by sharing his own nontraditional tale of success while stressing the importance of networking and making mistakes in order to discover your passions.
"You don't need to go to college to learn from books," Kalin said. "What you need to do while you're here is take advantage of the things that you wouldn't have access to otherwise. You have to just jump in and understand that you will make mistakes. You're only human."
"He has a completely different way of thinking than is taught in the classroom, which is interesting," said junior Roz Doran. "I also think he did a great job in explaining how you need to have creative ways to get around your obstacles."
Schwartz said that she thought Kalin was an "engaging speaker that really appealed to the students."
The Klainer Center, which recently established its first student advisory board, plans to hold several more panels over the course of the semester. In November, Schwartz and junior Lauren Karp, another student coordinator, will travel to Harvard University to participate in the annual Women in Business conference. The center is also engaging in research projects and exploring a peer mentoring program.