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The Intercollegiate Business Convention, presented by Harvard Women in Business, took place on the 5th October 2013.  We are very excited to see Wellesley’s growing interest (especially from underclasswomen) in business, and we were even able to subsidize the tickets to this unique event.

This year, the conference featured three keynote speakers, including Julie Greenwald, Chairman and COO of Atlantic Records, Kat Cole, President of Cinnabon Inc. and Maria Eitel, President and CEO of The Nike Foundation.  Our attendees were particularly drawn by Kat’s story – how she started off as a waiter at Hooter’s, dropped out of college for work, and eventually, through her hard work and keen observations, became the youngest corporate executive at Hooter’s.  But her story does not just stop here.  Even after gaining success, she decided to go back to school, hoping to connect her “real world experience” with theory.  Her passion for learning and never-ending quest for self-improvement makes her a great role model.  She urged attendees to take initiative in everything we do, ending with the quote, “If not now, when? If not me, who?” Many attendees commented that the keynote speeches were “amazing” and “really inspiring”.

Moreover, the talks and the Career Fair gave attendees insight into different areas of business.  The speakers held a diversity of positions from a wide range of industries in the business world, from consulting to tech to retail.  This allowed students to explore a variety of interests in multiple areas, which is very helpful for undergraduate students since this is a critical time for them to decide how they want to begin their careers.

The conference also offered a rare opportunity to talk and network with the speakers in the breakout sessions.  These sessions are more specific and more intimate in many senses, which lets attendees have direct conversations with speakers and ask them questions that are directly catered to their interests.  Many of our attendees agreed that “hearing from panelists that are my age” was engaging and informative and everyone walked away with much practical advice.

IBC is a great platform for students interested in business and women already in the corporate world to reach out to each other – sharing experiences, opportunities and tips for success.  It is also an excellent opportunity to network with women in upper-level business positions.  And it is precisely these reasons that it is one of WWIB’s first and most anticipated events every year.