Women’s Student Development Network completes first year of programs

May 14, 2013 | Features, UToday, Business and Innovation
By Bob Mackowiak

The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation’s Women’s Student Development Network marked the end of its first year of programming with a dinner attended by more than 40 students and mentors last month in Libbey Hall.

Established in 2012, the Women’s Student Development Network endeavored to facilitate open discussion of issues relevant to women in business; build awareness of women in leadership positions; provide students with the opportunity to obtain practical business knowledge before graduation; and connect them to women leaders in the community.

The group is guided by a steering committee of business leaders and College of Business and Innovation faculty, staff and students.

Seven monthly programs covered such topics as networking, successfully integrating work and everyday life, financial management, stress and time management, career planning and more. Business professionals from the local community were presenters and mentors for the students.

The final session was a dinner for those who participated in the programs and featured a presentation by a local etiquette coach.

“The students who attended the programs benefited in several ways,” according to Kathleen Fitzpatrick, faculty adviser to the organization. “They learned various tools and topics that will be beneficial to their careers and professional development in a relaxed atmosphere; they had the chance to meet one-on-one with successful women who can be role models and mentors for them; and they had the chance to network with similar-minded students in the College of Business and Innovation.”

The college is committed to the success of all its students, she said.

“The reality is that women often face additional issues in today’s competitive global business worlds. The College of Business and Innovation’s Women’s Student Development Network tried to address some of those key issues head on with educational programming, more networking opportunities and innovative experiences. We are pleased that several dozen business students took advantage of these sessions to best prepare themselves for their future success, and we sincerely appreciate the voluntary assistance of the various community experts who presented at these monthly sessions.”

“I love what we are doing,” Jessica Voto, a business student, said. “I think that it helps the women in business; it has definitely helped me get an idea of where I am headed and how I need to go about it. At the March event on career planning, I got to talk directly to someone from my major that is already in a real-world job. The events will greatly benefit my career.”

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