Undergraduate Women In Business Own Their Futures at USWIB’s Seventh Annual Conference

Five female Stern students at the USWIB Conference
The Undergraduate Stern Women in Business (USWIB) hosted their seventh annual conference, themed “Own Your Future,” this past February. Centered around female empowerment, this well-attended conference brought together undergraduate women from different universities for a day of guest speakers, workshops, and coffee chats, where they discussed personal and professional development and gained networking experience and advice. 

“We wanted it to be an inclusive dialogue rather than a one-way monologue by professionals,” USWIB Conference Co-Director Cassie Chan (BS '19) explained. “We structured the entire day to encourage attendees to own their future—from the keynote speaker, who encouraged students not to be afraid to ask questions, to the roundtables and workshops, which gave students a platform to really explore the industries they thought they knew with experienced professionals.”

The conference started off with a keynote address by Rebecca Gordon, VP at Goldman Sachs, who reflected on the importance of advocating for one’s work-life balance to employers. From there, the day featured other highly successful women from Buzzfeed, RBC Capital Markets, FTI Consulting, BNP Paribas, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), CitiBank, Bank of America, Ernst & Young (EY), and many others, who gave advice and guidance on everything from career exploration to work/life balance to advice they would give their former selves.

For Chan, the highlight of the conference was the roundtable discussions. “We wanted students to be able to ask the questions that they wanted the answers to,” Chan said. “I felt extremely proud when attendees stopped me in the halls afterward to tell me that the dialogues were so insightful.”

Students left feeling inspired by the professionals who shared their knowledge and experience. “The purpose of the conference was to empower [attendees] as much as possible. We knew we did it right when we saw how excited and engaged everyone was,”  USWIB Conference Co-Director Mary Bunatal (BS '18) said.

After the conference wrapped up, the mission of Own Your Future was not left at the door. “Have these conversations with peers, friends, and mentors, both in the workplace and in school,” said Bunatal. “The conversation has to start there and build.”