Network network network! This is what my DECA State and High School Advisors told me when I was in high school, this is what all the career counselors suggest, and this is a concept that all professors mention at one point or another throughout their courses. So, even though I’ve accepted a full-time position after college and I’m graduating in a few short weeks, I still make the time to network because I understand how important and beneficial this simple task can be.
To help build my network, I attended the “Women in MBA” Luncheon sponsored by the Bryant University Graduate School last week. Linda Barringer, the Assistant Director for Graduate Admissions, invited many women to this luncheon to promote the Bryant University Graduate Programs as well as women taking the next step in their educational careers. Her email included the following messages that hooked me right in:
Have you ever stopped to think about the consequences of not having women on project teams? Here are a couple of examples:
*No women were on the development team that created the first generation airbags so they were designed for men’s body types – 160 people were killed.
*No women were on the initial voice recognition software development team so the system was tested on men. Women’s voices were not heard well because the system was not designed for the pitch and timber of our speech.
*According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review in June 2011; there is little correlation between a group’s collective intelligence and the IQ of its individual members. But, when women are added to the group the collective intelligence of the whole increases!
I have desire to attend graduate school and receive an MBA specialized in a particular area of study. However, I want to gain a few years of work experience before I hop into my continued education. I feel that taking some time to work full-time will help me build on my internship experiences and be able to relate my real-world work experiences with the topics discussed in my MBA education. Although this is the plan I wish to pursue, I know there are many options for the best time and place to receive an MBA. I was fortunate enough to sit with one of the marketing professors who teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate level. She expressed the heightened expectations of graduate school and the varying students (part-time and full-time) that she had in her classes. Overall, she enjoys both levels of teaching and is proud to be a professor at Bryant University. She is anxiously awaiting the opening of the new Academic Innovation Center and believes this building will be a great addition to the Bryant campus from an academic and cultural standpoint. At my table I was also able to sit with Raquel Cordeiro, Bryant University Undergraduate Class of 2013, and current Bryant Graduate student enrolled in the two-year part-time MBA program. Raquel and I had meet previously as she was a past Bryant Student Advisory Council member which I currently serve on. Raquel is also in her final year of her three-year term as a Bryant University Board of Trustee member. She was selected for this honorary position in her senior year at Bryant and gave a speech at last month’s BSAC dinner about her wonderful experience. Raquel currently works in the University Advancement office while completing her MBA at Bryant. She offered great insight into her decision on attending graduate school at Bryant and how she will select her specialization in a few weeks. You select the specialization after your first year in the two-year program.
In addition to chatting with the other women at my table, we were able to listen to the educational/career experiences of the following women: Dr. Carol DeMoranville, Associate Provost at Bryant University, Teresa McCarthy-Byrne, Director of the Global Supply Chain Management Program at Bryant University, and Lori Coakley, Professor of Management at Bryant University. These three women had very different stories but they centered on creating their path in their careers, educations, and families that positioned them for success. Dr. McCarthy-Byrne has played a tremendous role in my experiences here at Bryant and I enjoy every opportunity I have to listen to her speak. Whether it be a class lecture, a special topic discussion at an event/summit, or a panel discussion as it was during this event, I learn something new every time and continue to look up to her. Additionally, I was able to select an elective to take my final semester at Bryant because I had all the requirements I needed for my majors. Although Professor Coakley has a reputation for being tough, I took the plunge and took her class my final semester, I am not regretting it for a second. I knew the workload would be tough, but the concepts I’m learning in her course I will use throughout the rest of my career and I’m grateful for the opportunity to take one of her courses.
The longer you wait before going back to school, the harder it is to begin again. This is one of the main reasons I’m so happy I attended this event. Although I’m not going to graduate school next year, it is a dream of mine to earn my MBA. Attending an event like this has kept me focused on that dream.
Keep Smiling, Emily M. Socha 🙂