The Truth About Work-Life Balance at a Big Four

Being a part of the Kelley community, I often run into the question of how does one genuinely balance work and life when working at a large company? I usually get the same kind of answers, like “go do yoga” or just “prioritize your health.” Although true statements, the answers are not usually beneficial or detailed with the true experiences employees face in the corporate world. Getting somewhat annoyed at the tiny answers I was being given to a big question, I decided that I wanted to search for my own answers. I reached out to four women Kelley graduates, each one currently working at a different Big Four firm: EY, PwC, Deloitte, and KPMG. Each person was eager and excited to give me some insight on the true story behind work-life balance.

When did you graduate from Kelley and what did you study?

EY: I graduated in Spring of 2015 with a degree in Finance and a minor in History.

PwC: May 2015 - majored in accounting and minored in political science.

Deloitte: 2015. Supply Chain Management and Business Analytics.

KPMG: I graduated in 2015 and studied Accounting and Finance.

What company do you currently work for? How long have you been working for this company and what is your position?

EY: I currently work at EY in Chicago. I interned at EY and have worked here for the last 3 years.

PwC: PwC. 3 years - Senior Assurance Associate.

Deloitte: Deloitte Consulting LLC. 3 years. Consultant.

KPMG: I work for KPMG's Chicago office. I've been working here for 3 years, and I'm a senior associate in their audit practice.

On average, how many hours do you work each week?

EY: It can vary but 50-55 is average.

PwC: Depends on the time of year. Busy season is typically 70-80 hours a week, quarterly reviews are 45-50 hours a week and the majority of the rest of the year is 40-45 hours a week.

Deloitte: 55 on average but this varies a lot depending on how my project is going. I've had as heavy as 75 hours and as low as 35.

KPMG: It varies throughout the year. During our "busy season" (generally January to March) I'll work anywhere from 50-70 hours. During the summer, I'm usually able to work a regular 40 hour week.

What does work-life balance mean to you? Are you able to achieve this at your current job?

EY: To me, work-life balance means working with a team that supports me in doing what I need to do – working out on the road, doing laundry when I’m home, eating healthy, etc. I currently work with a team that helps me achieve my work-life balance goals but that hasn’t always been the case. I think it’s important to prove yourself with your team and show that you can get your work done, even if you leave early to go to that 5:30 cycling class. Trust is earned.

PwC: Work-life balance to me is having the time and flexibility to do the things I love outside of work. I would say I'm able to achieve this the majority of the time at my current job. We are given a decent amount of vacation days a year and are highly encouraged to use all the days we are given. PwC is also supportive of allowing employees to get involved in recruiting, volunteering, intramural sports, etc. If you speak up about what is most important to you, teams are typically very accommodating (within reason) as it is in their best interest to keep you happy.

Deloitte: To me, work-life balance means that I feel emotionally, physically, and mentally healthy at work and outside of work. This means having time to go to the gym regularly, getting to hang out with friends and family, and taking time for myself, while also performing well at work. Yes, I have been able to achieve this at my current job but due to the culture of consulting, which is very project-dependent. I was staffed for nine months at a horrible project location with poor leaders and had very little work-life balance then. Since you are constantly changing projects and working with different leaders, achieving work-life balance is sadly always variable. Sometimes you get it, sometimes you really don't.

KPMG: Work-life balance means being able to separate my work-life from my life outside of work. For a good portion of the year, especially in summertime, this is certainly possible in my current role. During busy season, it can be a lot more challenging because there is an expectation that work is your main focus, and work does take over a little bit in that sense. It is a very challenging balance to find, and I'm far from having it fully figured out, but I do think it's possible if you take advantage of the flexibility that is offered throughout the year outside of busy season! Another way that I try to find this balance is by not making myself available at all hours of the day. I try to avoid responding to emails after I leave work for the day so that I don't set the expectation that I'm available 24/7. I have definitely found that my managers respect and encourage setting this boundary!

There are many articles that are written about work-life balance that encourage setting strict work hours or carving out time for friends and family. What happens when your work schedule doesn’t allow you to do these things?

EY: It’s really easy to drift away from family and friends when you’re on the road so frequently. Taking advantage of alternative travel can help you keep in touch with friends who live far away – which is a plus.

PwC: For Big 4 auditing, the hardest time to obtain work-life balance is obviously during busy season. However, you go into public accounting being aware of that and learn to plan your personal life around busy season. You typically aren't allowed to take vacation during January or February, but most people plan a big vacation after filing date and are provided flexibility throughout the rest of the year.

Deloitte: If you are on a team where your leaders really don't care about your work-life balance, it gets hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. My suggestion is to still force yourself to go to the gym or disconnect from work even if you're exhausted at the end of the work day. Spending just 30 minutes working out can really change your mental health. Another way to achieve this is to have open and honest conversations with your team leads about your mental state. Sometimes you can negotiate better working or travel hours. Also, take your PTO!!! I know that I am guilty of not taking my PTO for fear of hurting my utilization but at the end of the day, I don't want to burn myself out. It is important to remember that at the end of the day, life isn't about working until you die.

KPMG: This is a tough question, because there truly are times when the demands of work make it feel impossible to spend time with the people I care about. I think you really have to speak up when there are important events you want to attend (I was the maid of honor in my best friend's wedding in the middle of busy season - it is possible!) and make sure to set boundaries and stick to them.

 What do you want Kelley graduates that are entering a Big Four company to know about work-life balance? What is something you wish someone had told you?

EY: Work hard to earn trust. Communicate what you need early. Look to the tone leadership is setting about work-life balance.

PwC: I want graduates entering a Big 4 company to realize that work-life balance is doable, but flexibility is also a privilege and something that is earned. New associates need to earn the trust of their seniors and managers to get the perks of working from home, utilizing Flex Fridays, etc. As you start to earn the trust of your team and get promoted, you are given a lot more opportunities to obtain work-life balance.

Deloitte: It comes and it goes. Deloitte does a great job from a C-suite level to encourage taking time for yourself, but you don't always see that executed at a project level. If you choose to enter consulting at Deloitte, just be realistic with yourself that sometimes you might travel a lot to a small middle-of-nowhere town and it will suck. However, other times you'll get staffed on projects that let you leave at 5pm. There will be times when you have a bad work-life balance, but during the times where it's good, set a healthy routine for yourself and recognize what helps you de-stress and keeps you healthy. You have to identify for yourself what it means to have work-life balance because it really is different for everyone.

KPMG: I wish someone had told me that it's OK to speak up when you are feeling overwhelmed, or if you feel like work is starting to take over your life. If you don't speak up, no one will know that you need help!

 What does your company do to promote a divide between working life and personal life?

EY: I think our leadership does a good job setting the right tone. If they’re local, they try to leave to make it home for dinner with their families and encourage their teams to do the same. You might need to do some work afterwards, but it’s better than missing dinner completely!

PwC: I would say PwC doesn't encourage putting a "divide" between working life and personal life. They would prefer you to be open and honest about your priorities and family obligations. Teams are typically very understanding as long as you are upfront about your other commitments and tell them well in advance.

Deloitte: Deloitte really encourages disconnecting while on PTO. For me, this means not taking my work phone on vacation, so I set a clear boundary with my team that I am not working while on vacation. Additionally, a year or so ago, Deloitte instated Flexibility & Predictability guidelines which means talking to your team leaders about flexible travel schedules and giving team members more predictable working hours. I haven't really seen this play out on my projects which sucks, but I know other projects who let their teams travel less and have more work from home weeks. This is significant for improving mental health, so I hope more leaders instate this on their projects.

KPMG: KPMG promotes flexibility during "down times" - we are able to leave work early on Fridays in the summer and most people take advantage of that. We also have a generous time off package, and in my experience, my teams have been very supportive of taking it. In fact, I'm taking the next two weeks off to travel in Northern Europe. In many jobs it would be tough to take so much time off at one time, but my company definitely recognizes the importance of taking time away from work to recharge.

Do you have any additional thoughts around work-life balance at a Big Four that you would like to add?

EY: I’m part of the Professional Women’s Network Executive Committee at EY and it gives me the opportunity to plan events focused on topics I care about, one of which is work-life balance and staying healthy! At any Big Four firm, there are tons of ways you can get involved and plan events to get people talking about the things that matter to you. There are so many experienced professionals who are more than happy to talk to you about their experiences finding balance.

PwC: Work-life balance is achievable but it's mostly on you to make it happen! You have to be proactive, speak up, and prioritize the things that are important to you.

Deloitte: Work-life balance is difficult to achieve. You have to have project leadership that prioritizes this and also the courage to prioritize it in your own life. Figuring out what work-life balance means for you is the first key step. I've seen a lot of friends quit because the job just became too much of a grind. However, if you have the courage to speak up to your team leads to show that you need XYZ to get your work-life balance, at least you open the door to more options.

KPMG: Speak up when you need help! Reach out to someone in your network for advice or talk to your seniors and managers.

Through talking to these four women at the Big Four firms, I was able to learn about work-life balance and the challenges and successes each one has had.

5 Things to do During Your First Semester at IU

You’ve moved everything you own into a 12x12 dorm room, attended all Welcome Week activities, and took the long trek to Hodge Hall for your first day of school. Now what?

1. Go to Class (actually…)

Sometimes it can be hard to wake up for that 8:00am Finite class or make it to your giant A100 lecture – but don’t forget the reason you’re at IU in the first place! It’s so important to go to class so you can stay focused, have a great education, and hear crucial announcements. Check out your syllabus so you are prepared for class every day.

2. Connect with Professors

Building relationships with professors will be very beneficial during your time here. Every professor has office hours where you can stop by to ask questions, share your thoughts, or get to know them outside of the classroom. Don’t wait until the end of the semester when you have a borderline grade – stop by and say hi in the first few weeks! This will make it easier to ask for help later in the semester when courses get difficult AND will definitely help you stand out in your HH2075 lecture hall.

3. Visit the UCSO

It’s not too early to stop by the UCSO (the Undergraduate Career Services Office) and see what it’s all about! During the first few weeks of school, they will have Open Hours for you to learn all about the awesome resources that they offer students. You can create your resume, meet with a career coach, or explore different internship opportunities.

4. Get Involved with an Organization

Whether it’s a professional organization, club sports team, or extracurricular activity, it’s so important to get involved. Not only will you grow your network and build your resume, but you will make lasting relationships, gain important skills, and have fun! During interviews, companies are not just interested in what you do in the classroom – they are eager to hear how you spend your free time! Keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to try new things.

5. Make Friends in Your Classes

When weekend homework assignments and studying for exams come around, it will be great to have connections in your classes! Many classes involve group projects, and you will have to spend time with your peers outside of the classroom. These team meetings are always more enjoyable when you get along with your classmates. (Also, it doesn’t hurt to have someone to share notes with and sit by in class.)

Following these tips will help you navigate your first year. Welcome to IU!

How to Make the Most of Your Summer Break

How to Make the Most of Your Summer Break

Summer vacation is a time of learning, reflection, trying new things, and making the most of the three short months we have away from school. As business students, we are often told that the best use of our summer break is gaining an internship experience. While that is the most traditional way to spend the summer, particularly for those finishing their junior year, we wanted to highlight a few of our Wibbers who are making the most of their summer through more unique experiences.

Royal Engagements with Alexandra Cristina: Countess of Frederiksborg

Yes, she is the Countess of Frederiksborg, but that is only one of the many interesting things about her. Recently named IU’s poling chair of business and government, she came to talk to WIB about her career. Whether it was learning Dutch in six weeks to address the entire country, or collaborating on an ethics book, she has tackled so many unique challenges with poise. On behalf of WIB, thank you for imparting your wisdom and inspiring us to harness our power as women! 

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Quick Tips for Recruiting with WiB

Worried about how to stand out in a large group setting? Worried about how to start a conversation? Have no fear, you're in the right place! Hello and thank you to everyone who is interested in going through Women in Business recruiting for the 2017-2018 school year. Our executive team enjoyed meeting you all at our call out meeting and are looking forward to reviewing applications. If you answered yes to the first two sentences of this blog, here are some quick tips on how to slay your interviews and making your mark on our organization.

1.     You can do this. Believe in yourself and what you have to offer because you are pretty gosh darn awesome.

2.     The number one tip for anything in life is to be yourself. We appreciate genuine, honest and authentic, and rather ~humorous~ people. We want women who will become mentors to others and leaders within our organization.

3.     Focus on your accomplishments. Each and every one of us has unique experiences to touch upon and we want to hear all about yours. Big or small, be excited to tell us all about them!

4.     Talk about the things that inspire you. WiB strives to recruit women who inspire each other. We also value opportunities to share our different passions with the world. Whether it be a sport, a philanthropic effort, social awareness, community health and wellness, share it with us!

5.     Dress your best. My personal motto has always been to dress for success. When you look your best you feel the most confident. This doesn’t mean you have to blend in. If you love a bright color, wear it! If you love polka dots, sport those polka dots! There are no rules here.

6.     Help us help you. Let us know what you want to bring to our organization. WiB strives to create an environment where we can learn, grow and succeed together through the endless ideas of our members. Come eager to talk about what you see WiB doing this semester and in the future.  We LOVE fresh ideas!

Hopefully these few tips help you prepare for our pre-interview events and help you stand out as a potential candidate for Women in Business. We are anxiously waiting to meet you all and wish you the best in your recruiting pursuits. As always, please reach out with any questions you may have during the recruiting process.

 

 

 

 

A Summer in Review- The Internships

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Gabi Nonneman: August 24, 2017

Welcome back to the start of an incredible new school year. The leaves are changing, campus is bustling and our women are back to take on the world once again.

Many of our members had the opportunity to grow and develop in differentiating ways this summer. Whether it be through internships, community service, abroad education, volunteering or mentoring, our women have exceeded the expectations of those around them. They’ve come back this fall to tell their tales and share their wisdom. Here’s the low down on a few of the internships completed by our members.

This summer, WiB touched every industry under the globe. Whether it be Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Public Health, Science, Law, Sales, Insurance, we did it all. Shout out to all of our bronze, silver, gold or platinum sponsors who hired us this summer. You rock!

§  Simone Siew had the opportunity to intern for CEO Janet Foutty of Deloitte Consulting, all while enjoying every moment at Deloitte University and their array of fabulous desserts!

§  Megan Rohde worked in audit at KPMG in the Chicago office, but traveled throughout the summer for her different clients.

§  Camila Sanchez and Elli Ackermann both used those K204 skills to get through the summer at PwC in the Chicago office.

§  Kaileigh Pieroth and Sruthi Madhu teamed up to take on Grant Thorton, eating all the free froyo they could get.

§  Alex Frost finished her internship at Discover. I think it's safe to say were all a little excited to learn about credit card safety!

§  Gabi Nonneman worked for Levy Restaurants in the sales department for River Roast Chicago. Has your company booked a meeting there? They should!

§  President Julia Rubenstein finished her last internship experience at Ernst & Young and is returning full time next year upon graduation!

§  Niveda Kumar lent her talents to the marketing startup firm, Mabbly, this summer in Chicago. They have cold brew on tap... need I say anything more?

§  Madeline Preusse interned for IU Health this summer with a focus on a cause near and dear to her, Riley Hospital for Children.

§  Arlie Cobb had the pleasure of saving us 15% or more on car insurance by working for GEICO! The real question… did she get to wear the gecko suit? TBD...

§  Megan Morris worked for Zimmer Biomet, getting to witness how her medical products directly impacted people around the world.

§  Rachel Hershorin followed her passion for law as a legal intern for the Marion County Prosecutors Office, getting to sit in on a murder trial her first day on the job.

§  Caroline Saxon joined Southwest Airlines in Dallas, Texas, making sure to fly as many free miles as she could throughout the summer.

§  Courtney Helland worked as an assistant buying intern for ROSS Stores, all while getting to live in Southern California for the summer. Hello Sunshine!

Thank you to all the Wibbers who interned and shared their talents with the world this summer. You are changing the face of business each and every day. Stay tuned for our August newsletter to hear more about what our members are doing outside of the internship realm. You won't want to miss it!

 

Free from Perfection

Salut de Montreal! Last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Andreanne Charbonneau. She is the Director of Marketing for Pacini restaurants, speaks 4 languages, and is a mother to two young children (So she's basically Superwoman).

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Q. How have you learned how to address failure?

A. The most important thing is to accept it. It's very difficult at first. When I was young, I wanted to show everyone that I was perfect, trustworthy, and reliable. What I've learned is that when you make a mistake, the most important think is to own up to it because people will forgive you. 

 

Q. Has there ever been a time where being a woman has affected you at work?

A. Sometimes it feels like when a women says something it is not perceived the same way when a man does. Does it still feel like you are at a disadvantage? Yes. It is very subtle, but it is still here in 2017. Even after 20 years of experience I feel it. What Nathalie (the President of Pacini) is showing me is I can be more firm and direct. 

 

Q. What brings you freedom at work?

A. To come up with an idea, and to be listened to. To be considered. Being told, "This is your project, now deliver it your way." This happens a lot at Pacini, and it is very rewarding. A great moment of freedom was my boss saying, "Go observe the world. Check out the market. Feel things, don't rationalize everything." At University I was trained to look at the facts and statistics. It's easy to forget at the end of the day you deal with humans. If you connect yourself to humanity and listen to your heart, you will be able to make decisions quickly and confidently. Then you can go check the if data supports what you feel. This is what I learned working at Pacini, and it is the ultimate freedom. 

 

It was my pleasure to interview such an inspiring, hardworking young woman.

WIB's 2016-2017 Highlight Reel

By: Simone Siew || 4/24/17

Women in Business has accomplished so much in the span of one year, and we wanted to look back on all the incredible events we had the opportunity to host and partake in. Below are some of our favorite events from the past school year:

  • Breakfast with IU’s poling chair Dr. Mae Jemison – Women in Business had the incredible opportunity to have breakfast with the esteemed Dr. Mae Jemison, an engineer, astronaut, physician, entrepreneur, and the first African-American woman to travel to space.
  • WIBlympics – Near the beginning of the semester, Women in Business had a day full of friendly competition and bonding time for all our new and old members.
  • CH Robinson – In the spirit of Halloween, we painted pumpkins with our corporate sponsor while hearing alumni Sara Young talk about her experience with the company.
  • Hiking in Brown County – Getting away from the bustle of campus, some of our members went on an excursion through the neighboring woods of Brown County.
  • Day of the Dead Celebration – Our organization values celebrating the diverse cultures that make up this world, and we were fortunate enough to attend the Day of the Dead Celebration and Sugar Skill Tradition at La Casa, IU’s Latino cultural center. We got to learn about the history and meaning behind this rich Mexican holiday.
  •  Mr. and Ms. Kelley -  Women in Business’s own Kelley Relations Committee, along with Kelley Student Government, hosted this unique business competition to raise money for Camp Yes, an improv summer camp for autistic children and teens. Our own Jaime Baer competed and won 1st place in this competition, and overall this event was able to raise around $2,000 for this cause.
  • Blankets with BKD – We made blankets with our corporate sponsor BKD to be donated to Riley Hospital for Children.
  • Wibbers Abroad – Halfway through the school year, many of our wonderful wibbers travelled across the world to study abroad in countries that range from Hungary and Italy to Singapore.
  • Chicago Trip – Every year our organization has the chance to travel to nearby Chicago to visit our corporate sponsors on their home turf. Thank you so much to our corporate sponsors Goldman Sachs, CH Robinson, and Deloitte for welcoming us into your offices!
  • React to Passion Spring Conference – Another annual event is our spring conference hosted by Women in Business’s Conference Committee. Filled with many guest speakers from our corporate sponsors and a talk from the Kelley School of Business’s dean herself, Idie Kesner, we had an inspirational weekend learning about how to keep passion alive throughout our future careers.
  • Intro to Commerce for Peace with Tim Forte – Tim Forte is an esteemed Kelley School of Business professor of business law and ethics, and at this event we got to hear him speak on the important intersections of peace, ethical decision making, and commerce.
  • Whirlpool – At this event, Women in Business got to learn about Whirlpool’s commitment to fostering innovation, potential career opportunities with Whirlpool, and their dedication to giving back to the world. Whirlpool then teamed up with the Bloomington Boys and Girls Club to lead us in an activity creating weekend food bags for kids who often go through the weekend without anything to eat.
  • Journaling with Personal Development – Our Personal Development Committee understands the stress and commotion that comes with going to college, and they organized this event for our members to find catharsis through reflecting and journaling about our everyday lives. We give a huge shout out to Mandy Novicoff for going above and beyond by obtaining each of our members their own Women in Business notebook.
  • Within Us – This extraordinary event brought together members of our organization and the larger Bloomington area by celebrating the personal trials and triumphs of individuals from our community. Anonymous essays were submitted, and at this event, WIB members read these stories aloud. Representatives from the New Hope Family Shelter and IU's Counseling and Psychological Services also spoke, and overall this was a powerful evening honoring humanity itself. This event was made possible by the initiative and hard work of our own Simona Stancov.
  • Henna – As part of Kelley School of Business’s Diversity Week, we visited IU’s Asian Cultural Center to learn about the history and meaning behind the art of henna. We even got to try our own hand at this ancient art!
  • Vanessa of Malawi, Africa – Our own Meghan Munson first met Vanessa, a spunky nine-year-old, at the Circle of Hope International’s base in Malawi, Africa where Vanessa was living after her grandmother had passed away. Meghan and Vanessa quickly struck a deep bond with each other. Meghan’s passion for helping this sweet and loving little girl inspired our organization to raise $360 to sponsor Vanessa’s living accommodations, education, and food for an entire year!
  • International Etiquette Dinner – Our Professional Development Committee put a twist on this annual event by opening up this dinner to learning about world etiquette and culture. Keynote speaker Tia Trueblood, Associate Director of International Programs and Study Abroad Advisor, also gave us valuable insight on how to make the most of our travelling experiences.

These highlighted events are only some of the numerous activities Women in Business has been up to this past year. As the school year comes to a close, we still have more exciting events in our future. Over the next two weeks, we will be hosting Women in Business elections to vote on our upcoming year’s president, we will be hosting a Women’s Luncheon to bring together all the women of Kelley, and we will be wrapping up the year at our End of School Year Banquet. Thank you so much to all our corporate sponsors, guest speakers, and dedicated members for making all these amazing events possible!

International Etiquette Dinner

By: Simone Siew || 3/30/17

Women in Business feasted our way around the world yesterday at our annual etiquette dinner! Hosted by the professional development committee, our organization had the opportunity to learn about international cultures and food from different parts of the world. The keynote speaker of the night was Tia Trueblood, the Associate Director of International Programs and Study Abroad Advisor, who gave us tips on how to make the most of our travelling experiences. 

Check out the gallery below to see some highlights from the night:

Taking Stock of What Matters Most

By: Simone Siew || 3/27/17

Among all the tests, the networking, the stress, when do you fit in time for yourself? How often do you carve out a space in your overflowing schedule to take a moment and reflect on everything that’s happening? If you’re like me, I tend to take on opportunities and say yes to trying new things, but I don’t as often pencil in time to contemplate all that I’m doing. I definitely consider myself to be a thoughtful and introspective person, however I never give myself an explicit opportunity to reflect on the whirlwind of things in my life. This revelation made me start wondering how often do I forget or overlook great things that have happened in my life. Because of this, I knew that I wanted to start taking stock of what matters most to me, and thus I began to journal.

Journaling is one of the most underrated activities that can bring positivity and health into your life. Writing down parts of your life has proven to boost memory, comprehension, and your emotional intelligence. Furthermore, journaling your favorite memories or your hardest struggles can be cathartic and healing. Everyone needs an outlet, and journaling can give you that.

WIB understands the importance of reflection, and we have even started including group journaling to build up the wellness of our members. Consistent journaling may seem like an arduous task, but we ask you to start small. You could write down your favorite memory of the day right before you go to sleep. At the start of each week, you could write down your short term goals. If you like efficiency and preciseness of lists, you can even keep a list journal. Journaling is a gratifying activity, and you might be surprised with how much you enjoy it.

Catching Up on Conference

By: Simone Siew || 2/28/17

On February 17th and 18th, Women in Business hosted another successful Conference with the theme React to Passion. We had the amazing opportunity to hear from a multitude of acclaimed women speak openly about their passions and how they kept the spark alive in their passions throughout their careers.

The weekend began with an elegant night at the museum, hosted at the IU Eskenazi Museum of Art. With talented Jacobs School of Music musicians playing in the background, we snacked on hors d’oeuvres, drank fizzy mocktails, and expanded our cultural knowledge by exploring the Western and African art galleries. After taking some time to absorb the exquisite setting, we had the chance to hear from Katherine Crowley and Molly Longest, two cofounders of the college women aimed website The Lala. They spoke to us about their entrepreneurial journey; from starting their website in college, to living in their parents’ basements, to now being headquartered in New York City. Their invigorating presentation about how they successfully forged their own path reminds us that we too have the power to shape our own lives without assuming the rigid paths of people before us.

The second day of Conference began bright and early with Dean Idie Kesner sharing her personal story of how she came to be where she is now. Unfortunately, like the stories of many women, sexism was a factor in her journey. Dean Kesner’s mom even warned her that being too educated could be a bad thing. When Dean Kesner wanted to get her doctoral degree, her mom, who only wanted the best for her, warned her that no man would ever want to marry a woman that educated. Nevertheless, she persisted. Rightly so because now she is our well acclaimed dean who shows women everywhere that we too can have a seat at the table.

The day continued with corporate sponsor roundtables, a round of Women in Business themed jeopardy, a touching video made by our abroad girls sending us their wishes, and a Q&A panel with some local business people and faculty. Some other highlights from this Conference were Kristen Actis-Grande’s talk on the passion/purpose cycle and our keynote speaker Tiffany Olson, President of Cardinal Health’s Nuclear Pharmacy Services. Actis-Grande spoke about how her purpose fuels her passions, and for that reason, her position as Vice President of Finance with Ingersoll Rand seamlessly combines all her passions. Finance, equality for women, and LGBT rights are the three things she cares most deeply for, and her career allows her the opportunity to work on them. Olson gave her speech about how she always knew she wanted to be a business woman. When she was a little girl, other kids wanted to play house, but Olson wanted to play store. Her wishes came true, and now she is a leader in the radioactive pharmaceutical industry.

Conference 2017 was an enormous success, and we thank all who made this incredible weekend possible! Thank you to our corporate sponsors, our guest speakers, our photographer Allison Gray, and our remarkable Conference committee.

Check out these photos from Conference 2017 below, and take a look at Allison Gray’s full Conference portfolio here.

WiB Gives Back

By: Cassidy Ostmeyer || 2/4/17

On a mission to make a larger impact on this world, Women In Business began a new initiative this past semester of funding loans to women in impoverished countries through Kiva, a micro lending organization. Borrowers post their stories on Kiva, and lenders then come together to crowdfund their loans in $25 increments. Over the course of a year, borrowers pay back the money that was lent to them. Kiva is an international nonprofit that works to empower people around the world by creating opportunity for many through microloans.

Over the course of two months, Women In Business contributed to three loans to women around the world. Here are their stories:

Merlita from Montalban, Rizal, Phillipines

Merlita sells premium and unleaded gasoline as well as peanut butter and coco jam. She used her loan to buy containers for gasoline, peanut butter, and coco jam. She uses her business profits to fund her youngest son’s college education.

Hoán from Quang Thai, Vietnam

Hoán has sold general goods and dry food in her village for more than 10 years. While the retail business is good income, her hometown frequently suffers from natural disasters which makes that income inconsistent. Hoán used her loan to send her children to school, as well as provide them with books, school supplies, and an electric bicycle.

Judith from Isabela, Negros Occidental, Philippines

Judith is an entrepreneur who runs a food-vending business to support her six children. She used her loan to further her business and buy ingredients. She hopes to save her money so that one day she can expand her business.

Kiva is an incredible organization that allows us to give back to those who truly value our help. We have continued our micro lending efforts this semester, and we look forward to continuing this initiative in the coming years. Make sure to check back in with us to see who else we donate to!

Let’s Talk About Conference

By: Simone Siew || 1/26/17

Women in Business’s spring Conference is the culmination of women leadership, passion, and success. Each year Women in Business hosts a two day conference comprised of a series of invigorating panels, workshops, and speakers that embolden us to be the strong women we are. 

This year our executive board is comprised of six incredible seniors, and they are about to take on their last Conference before they face the world outside of Kelley. We wanted to find out what Conference means to them, and this is what they had to say:

Ellie Bonanno, President – “Conference is one of my favorite times of the year. There is so much hype and excitement surrounding it in the months and weeks leading up to the weekend. I love the new energy that each committee brings each year and that the themes, speakers, and set up are constantly changing.

Conference is a reminder that I'm here for something more than a degree. I'm here to connect with incredible people following their dreams. I'm here to learn about myself and what I can bring to the table. I'm here to decide what I really want in life and wholeheartedly follow it.”

Elizabeth Settle, Vice President of Networking – “I love the Conference themes.  It's funny how just a few words can be so powerful and inspiring.  WIB Conference has always centered the weekend long event around such moving themes.  In my time with WIB we have seen "Have it All", "(Re)defining Success", and "Fearless".  All which have been applicable to lives that we strive to live.

WIB Conference is a source of inspiration each and every year.  WIB is so fortunate to have exposure to such amazing and respected women in the business world that feel compelled enough to share their story with us.”

Jamie Baer, Vice President of Outreach – “The day of Conference is one of the best days to be a member of WIB. I feel such a strong sense of pride of my WIB peers when I look around and observe the months of planning that went into the creation of our organization's largest, highest-budget event. One of my favorite parts of the Conference weekend is the keynote speaker. Not only I am impressed by the individuals who agree to speak at our event, but I'm also proud to be part of an organization that has a strong professional reputation to attract such people. I also enjoy the keynote speaker part of the event because our organization invites all members of the Kelley and IU community to join us. I love seeing my friends there who are not in WIB with me because I'm proud of what I'm a part of and the fact that we are sharing such a cool event with everyone.

I was an Associate on the Conference committee during my sophomore year in WIB. We started planning Conference the summer before the big day (in February), so I was able to participate in the progression of the event from the initial theme brainstorming to the room reservations to the actual event. I learned so much about time management, long-term planning, and crisis management that year. I remember being intimidated by the task of planning Conference at the beginning of the school year, but under the guidance of my amazing Directors Caroline Dusenberry and Gretchen Kohler, I learned how to separate the task into manageable chunks and work together with my other associates to accomplish tasks.”

Meggie Christopher, Vice President of Finance – “What I love so much about Conference (and especially what I've loved so far this year) is seeing it go from just an idea during the summer to full execution in the spring. SO much goes into the planning of Conference, and it is so exciting to see how the committee pours their hearts and souls into the planning process to produce such an amazing result for the rest of the organization. I particularly saw this process my sophomore year when Elizabeth Settle and Jamie Baer were on the Conference committee. They stayed up late the night before making sure the table decorations were perfect. Seeing how much work went into the event behind the scenes and how that translates to such meaningful and memorable experiences for our members is just incredible, and makes me so happy to see. I can't wait to see how this year turns out. I am sure it will be nothing short of amazing, and our younger members especially will be blown away!”

Annalise Wenig, Vice President of Communications – “I always love Conference pre-night. You can feel everyone’s excitement as we prepare for a weekend of personal and professional growth. Because Conference is WIB’s biggest event of the year, it almost feels like Christmas Eve.

Conference gives me an opportunity to reflect on the challenges and changes I’ve gone through in the last year. It’s a time to set goals and get a new perspective on what I want to achieve. Most importantly, Conference has taught be to take a step back from the day-to-day and look at the big picture. It has helped me gain perspective on the opportunities that have been given to me (like attending such an amazing school, and being a part of something like WIB) and also the challenges that I will face (like being a woman in the professional world). And of course Conference lets me do all of this while surrounded but many other talented and intelligent women who are going through the same things. Conference reminds me again and again how fortunate I am.

Maria Grosdidier, Vice President of Membership – “Conference is a time to be inspired and grow from those around you. I love having the opportunity to talk with a variety of companies and learn about their lives in the real world. Our keynote speakers are always amazing as well; they give me the courage to know that anything is possible. If I want to start my own company, I can. If I want to be a CEO, I can. To be able to be exposed to that level of professionalism and learning at our age is unreal.

Each year, Conference is different and fresh. New theme, new speakers, new focal points, new companies, etc. I have gotten an extremely well rounded idea of what it is like to be a professional in the business world and how to go about it as a woman.”

Women in Business’s spring conference is on February 17th and 18th. Conference is open to the public on February 18th, and we encourage all to attend what will be an exciting day of leadership and growth.

Wibbers Give Thanks

By: Simone Siew || 11/18/2016

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reflect on how grateful we are for everything in our lives, from the mundane to the extraordinary. Taking things for granted happens naturally when life barrels forward, but we ask you to use this Thanksgiving to take stock of your surroundings and be grateful.

We asked our wibbers to do the same, and when they were asked “What are you thankful for?” this is what they replied:

1.       “Thankful for the Gilmore Girls revival, a constant support system of friends and family wherever I go, Spotify, the chance to go abroad for a short amount of time this summer, and grilled cheese.” –Niveda Kumar, Sophomore

2.       “I'm thankful for the people who have inspired me, encouraged me, challenged me, and loved me over the past three years at IU. They have helped me become the person I am today and I'm so grateful that they'll be by my side as I continue to grow!” –Allie Newell, Senior

3.       “Thankful for the friends who support me regardless of what I'm going through and accept my ridiculous personality, a family that puts up with me no matter what, my dogs, Harry Potter marathons on ABC, and my Indian ethnicity/culture.” –Rhea Gajaria, Sophomore

4.       “The week I get to spend with my family.” – Kaileigh Pieroth, Sophomore

5.       “I’m thankful for my family, having good health and having the opportunity to pursue an education at Kelley and all the future opportunities to come!!” –Ahaana Shah, Freshman

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6.       “I'm grateful for all of my past mistakes because of the important lessons I learned from them. I've never regretted failing - only not learning from failing.” –Jamie Baer, Senior

7.       “Oh man everything, don't get me started.....a supportive family whose strong sense of humors allows us to get through any obstacle, my friends who challenge me to think differently about almost everything, my strong, healthy body that gets me where I need to be physically and mentally, and that magic shell sauce that instantaneously hardens when put on ice cream.” –Sally Pearson, Sophomore

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8.       “I’m thankful for having the ability to take a comfortable week off, with endless amounts of love and food. So many people can’t afford a week like this and I’m truly grateful I can.” –Maggie Hopkins, Sophomore

9.       “I'm thankful for my loving, healthy family who I'm fortunate enough to visit for the holidays and eat lots of pumpkin pie with!” –Becky, Senior

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Pursing the Paths Less Traveled

By: Allie Weber || 11/4/2016

Pursuing a career in accounting, consulting, or marketing is nothing short of noble; in fact, it’s what a majority of graduates from the number four ranked Kelley School of Business do. That being said, the traditional paths aren’t the only ones being taken by Women in Business members. From pursuing alternative or additional degrees outside of the business school to forging new trails within it, members are breaking the Kelley mold to pursue their passions.

 

Senior member Caroline Wallace hopes to apply the business acumen that she’s acquired at Kelley to the nonprofit sector, with the goal of working in education, affordable housing, or civic engagement. She was able to gain experience in affordable housing by interning at the National Housing Project Foundation’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. after her sophomore year. After working on a variety of projects while interning, including grant writing and creating a social media strategy, Caroline still works for the NHP Foundation as their social media manager.

 

Molly Connor, a sophomore member, plans to attend law school after graduation, eventually focusing her career on corporate litigation. Instead of pursuing a major within Kelley, Molly is working towards a degree in public management in the school of environmental affairs, accompanied by a certificate in business law and a minor in Spanish. With this mixture of courses, Molly believes that she has found “the perfect happy medium between the competitiveness of Kelley and SPEA’s heavy focus on being a public servant and global citizen.

 

While many members find their niche in existing majors both within and outside of the business school, sophomore Keirsten White found herself with a passion that didn’t quite fit one major, or even a combination thereof. With a vision of global impact in mind, she took matters into her own hands and created her own major in medical social entrepreneurship. Her bachelor’s degree will consist of a pre-med curriculum and independent studies in social entrepreneurship; she plans to follow this with a medical degree. Kiersten plans on starting her own organization or practice one day, but is unsure of the details; she’s eager to embrace the opportunities to come.

 

If there’s a single attribute that every member of Women in Business shares, it is passion. Every member finds their passion in different places, and pursues it accordingly. There’s no wrong way to tailor your academic experience, and countless right ways to do so. With the support of Women in Business behind them, members are finding their place at Indiana University and making remarkable strides towards their future goals.

The Importance of Space

By: Simone Siew || 10/21/2016

A few weeks ago, Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to travel into space, hosted a breakfast talk at IU that Women in Business was given the privilege to attend. Jemison is not only an astronaut, she’s an engineer, a physician, and an entrepreneur who founded her own consulting company. Jemison is a woman who knows no limits when it comes to ambition. During the talk, Jemison spoke to us about her astounding career that has taken her through a wide variety of industries. She also reminded us of something important, the importance of space.

Jemison pushed us to stop letting space reside on the fringe of what we know, and bring it to center stage where it belongs. Space exploration may be too abstract, too fantastical to think about in regards to our daily lives, but have we forgotten about smartphones, weather forecasts, satellites, or MRI technology? Those are all pieces of our daily lives that only exist due to space exploration. Space exploration represents not only innovation at a universal scale, but also innovation in our daily lives. Space exploration represents humanity’s wildest fantasies coming true, and Jemison reminded us that if humans can find a way into space, everyone can find a way to make our own personal fantasies become a reality.

Jemison implored us to, “embrace the reality of being Earthlings.” Jemison admitted that yes, most humans will never leave the planet, yet that doesn’t mean we should limit our dreams.

Space travel and Mae Jemison herself represent humanity’s refusal to accept the status quo. They represent bigger dreams and even better realities. If humans can travel into the black space beyond Earth and if Mae Jemison can do all that and also become a doctor, physician, and entrepreneur, what does that mean for us? Hearing this inspiring woman achieve all her dreams and more show us that our own dreams are truly within grasp.

It’s easy to be caught up in trivial matters, sleepless nights, or school related stress, but Jemison’s talk reminds us to take a step back and remember that we’re all empowered, strong women. Jemison once said, “the future never just happened, it was created.” Humans before us landed on the moon, created the smartphone, MRI technology, the ability to forecast weather, and the future didn’t stop with them. Space is bigger than we could ever conceive, and there’s still so much more to be explored, so much more to discover. Here on Earth, there are still endless opportunities to innovate, and our future will continue to be created by us.

Wibber Abroad Spotlight: Ellie Boyer in Sevilla

1. MOST SHOCKING CULTURAL DIFFERENCE YOU HAVE RUN INTO? 

"Studying abroad is way less glamorous than people described it to me, and I had a really hard time adjusting. There was a period of time where I felt like I didn't have any friends and I was just super homesick. I might have had some unrealistic expectations but everyone hypes up studying abroad so I felt like they were justified. I arrived and was kind of like okay where are all my lifelong friends and glamorous studying abroad adventures?? I adjusted my expectations, met my soulmate bff, and now things are great! That was the biggest shock for me, that it's actually hard to study abroad."

2. WHAT IS ONE OF THE SILLIEST TOURISTY MOMENTS YOU HAVE HAD?

"I was on my way to class last week, and I was riding a bike. There is this really great (but also evil) bike subscription service in Sevilla. It's called Sevici and you pay like 30 Euro for a year membership and you can rent a bike from any station all over the city and after 30 minutes you have to return it (or pay a small fee for more time.) So I'm just merrily on my way to my 9 am death sentence, and I see this bump in the park I usually cut through, and I'm like...I got this, because 85% of riding a bike is confidence and usually I resemble Bambi when on a bike but today I was feeling quite full of myself. So, I take on the bump and my purse (with my laptop) goes flying out of the basket and I had to stop and pick it up. It was really quite shameful but only about 10 people were around and so I just hustled, picked it up, and got out of there. After that, I was riding along the tram line, there's this tram that runs from the business school to the el centro (the center of the city,) and I'm passing by the cathedral so I'm almost at the plaza where I can park my bike, and my wheel gets stuck in the rut where the tram goes and I just fall flat on my face. Luckily, I caught myself with my hands but it was literally SO embarrassing. This adorable little old man comes running over and in rapid-fire Spanish is asking me if I'm okay, which was the sweetest thing ever. I was so flustered I just kept saying Estoy bien estoy bien! After that, it took me a few days to ride my bike again! I have a love-hate relationship with the bikes here because they are really heavy and a lot of times they have broken pedals, brakes, or seats because so many people use them and just trash them."

3. BEST FOOD YOU HAVE EATEN? 

"There's this little bakery that's only 30 seconds from where I have a couple of my classes, and it has the best chocolate croissants in the entire world. All of the guys that work there are like really gorgeous and they know they have the best baked goods in the city. The place is called PANYPIU, for those of you who are considering studying abroad in Spain, this is a huge pro for Sevilla.!"

4. FAVORITE SPONTANEOUS ADVENTURE AND WHAT YOU DID.

"I went to Morocco this past weekend with my program and it was very interesting- I highly recommend it! My friend/hotel-roommate Leanne and I are constantly searching for opportunities to explore and we decided to explore the hotel we were staying in, since we have "guides" (bodyguards) the entire time we are out and about, we aren't really allowed to wander off and explore. We found a way up to the roof and got to look at the city and it was so beautiful.  It was probably our most successful attempt at exploring/adventuring and it was so much fun."

5. BIGGEST TAKEAWAY SO FAR FROM STUDYING ABROAD?

"My biggest takeaway from studying abroad is that your attitude is the most important determinant of how much fun/adventures you are going to have. You can be in Europe and not have fun if all you do is sit in your room and expect amazing things to happen to you. It's so important to understand that your actions and words have a huge impact on your own experience. I was kind of miserable the first few weeks because I was just feeling sorry for myself, but everyone goes through a difficult transition period at first and it's really important that you stay positive and use everything as a learning experience. You will look back and laugh at yourself eventually so it's important to keep that in mind whenever things don't go according to plan!"
 Ellie's Weekend visit to Morocco

Ellie's Weekend visit to Morocco

Wibber Abroad Spotlight: Alex Corgiat in Copenhagen

1. Most shocking cultural difference you have run into? 

"The Danes are really quiet people and I am not… So when I’m on public transportation and going out to dinner, I always have to remind myself to be a little quieter or I find myself being the loudest person in the room."

2. What is one of the silliest touristy moments you have had?

"Definitely the first time I went biking around Copenhagen. Me and my roommate rented a bike for the semester and we were biking during rush hour and it was scary and hilarious. Everyone was passing us up and we were not using correct hand signals and possibly accidentally broke some laws. We earned a couple dirty looks. But now that I have learned the ways of the road and feel much more comfortable, it’s hilarious looking back!"

3. Best food you have eaten? 

"I’ve eaten so much its probably bad, but also incredible. I think the best thing was a pulled duck sandwich from Copenhagen’s street food market. I’ve had some amazing nutella crepes. I don’t think I’ve had a bad meal here yet!"

4. Favorite spontaneous adventure and what you did.

"The best adventure that I have had was going to a sauna in Finland with my class. Almost every house in Finland has a sauna but this was a retreat in a national park and we would be jumping in a frozen lake during the sauna experience. All the girls went full Finnish style (naked) and we jumped in a frozen lake and then ran back into the sauna and repeated it 10 more times! It was the craziest and coldest thing I’ve ever done."

5. Biggest takeaway so far from studying abroad?

"I think what I have taken away is the drive to push myself to do try something different. Here that is so easy. Whether it is as simple as trying a new restaurant or jumping in a frozen lake, I think almost every day I do something new. When I get back to Indiana, I am making it a goal of mine to try something new every week and hopefully more than once a week. I still haven’t visited the Kinsey museum or eaten at some of fourth street restaurants! It can be so easy to get into a routine and not have new experiences but thats what helps you grow as a person. That is my biggest take-away here!"