December 03, 2018
Female alumni of the Sigmund Weis School of Business met with undergraduate young women to offer guidance and lessons learned from their own successful careers.
The Women Succeeding at Work panel included
- Manouchka Paulemont '16, global management major, Bank Secrecy Act operations manager, Fulton Financial Corporation;
- Cassie Collier '09, economics and Spanish major, valuation specialist, Deutsche Bank; co-founder and CEO, Bundle;
- Jacklyn Collier '08, theatre performance major, women's studies minor, co-founder and COO, Bundle;
- Valarie Bastek '06, public relations and religious studies major, Spanish minor, director, product management and business solutions, Wyndham Hotel Group;
- Kristin Bush '05, business administration major, content advertising manager, Vanguard; and
- Renee Lychur, senior vice president, First National Bank Investment Advisors.
Choose Your Battles
Many professional women face this classic catch 22—how to be assertive without being viewed as aggressive?
Bastek suggested women be intentional about the issues for which they choose to advocate to ensure they are heard.
Paulemont agreed. She encouraged young women to put themselves in front of the people who can help them advance professionally.
"It's important to be assertive about what you want," Paulemont said. "Don't fade into the background."
Network. Network. Network.
Networking can be as hard as it sounds—pitching yourself, your hopes and dreams while making small talk over hors d'oeuvres with people who are likely complete strangers.
But as overwhelming as it may seem, all panel members agreed that it is integral to success. Bush said she received consistent encouragement and opportunities as a student in the Sigmund Weis School of Business to attend networking events.
"It made me get comfortable talking to people," she said.
Fight for Yourself
When facing issues of compensation, Cassie Collier offered women a unique tip: Negotiate for yourself as if you are negotiating for someone else.
Women are often discouraged from openly sharing their accomplishments, but such information sharing might be necessary to combat the gender wage gap, which only grows wider as women get older.
"I didn't know I was supposed to fight for me," Bush admitted. "But you know what you're worth. No one else is going to fight for you, so don't be afraid to ask."