Photo Gallery: Women in Business Conference Perfect Opportunity for Alumnae, Students to Network

By Lauren Biolsi "17, Lauren Campson '16, Patricia Feraud '15, Caroline Keane '17, MaryAnn Lashoto '16 (abroad), Brooke Levine '15, Sydney Pugliares '16 (abroad), Alex Schiffmann '15

The annual
Women in Business Conference is one of the year’s most anticipated events on campus for good reason. The almost 200 alumnae and female students in attendance at this year’s event on Nov. 1 proves it has become an essential networking opportunity for both groups.

Margaret Freije, Holy Cross’ first female vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of the College, offered a great welcome. A lively icebreaker led by Kim Miles of Miles in Heels Productions, a financial advisory practice, served as the perfect way to start the day as it broke the awkwardness that can sometimes happen when sitting at a table with people who don’t know each other.

After the icebreaker, our keynote speaker, Anne Fink ’85, chief operating officer of PepsiCo North America Foodservice, took to the podium to share some words of wisdom. Fink delivered an empowering, engaging, and inspirational address to the students and alumnae in attendance where she touched on a variety of highly relevant topics, including the importance of maintaining strong values, the strategies of successful leaders, and the value of a Holy Cross education, among others. From Anne, we heard the importance of constantly seeking to learn, the necessity of positive leadership, and the significance of listening and staying true to ones values.

Among the panels that followed the keynote was "When Having It All = A Balanced Life" which focused on finding balance in all parts of one's life and learning how to identify those things that keep us from obtaining our own individual equilibrium. The panelists, Colleen Walsh ’89, owner of The Balanced Life, and Diane Pokorny ’95, owner of Karna Fitness, emphasized the importance of not only finding this balance, but maintaining the balance throughout one's life. The presenters made a variety of suggestions for women to manage all aspects of their lives on a day-to-day basis, such as nutrition, exercise, job and family. The panelists said that finding this balance is imperative in order for women to be able to truly "have it all."

The main objective of the Women in Business Conference is for alumnae and current female Crusaders to connect and network with each other. Relating to our theme, “Longevity in the Workplace: The Pursuit of Self-Discovery,” a major part of career advancement is talking to people who are in similar positions or are in positions that one wants to pursue in the future. This year, the committee successfully changed the format of the closing networking portion of the conference by placing all three topics (finance, entrepreneurship, and media & communications) in one location. This structure allowed many Holy Cross Crusaders to network across all stations without being limited to one field. The committee members observed many of the women exchanging contact information and staying long after the allotted time to network.

As student coordinators, it is hard to believe that the conference we had been planning since last February has come and gone so quickly. We are all extremely pleased with how the event turned out and enjoyed seeing all of our hard work come to fruition. The student committee had the privilege of observing valuable networking relationships being formed among both students and alumnae and cannot wait for next year’s conference.

The 10th annual Holy Cross Women in Business Conference will be held on Nov. 7, 2015 in the Hogan Campus Center. While we intend to keep the conference that Holy Cross women have come to love the same, we hope to introduce some changes and additions in order to spice up the conference’s 10th year, which will provide us with even more reason for celebration. We hope everyone likes cake!

Related Information

Lauren Biolsi '17, Lauren Campson '16, Patricia Feraud '15, Caroline Keane '17, MaryAnn Lashoto '16 (abroad), Brooke Levine '15, Sydney Pugliares '16 (abroad), Alex Schiffmann '15 served as student assistants and helped organize the Women in Business Conference.