Connecting your CIO to your Future: Women's Business Forum at McIntire
Learn from a fellow UVA undergraduate how a student organization can provide you the necessary resources, skills, and connections to attain your current and future career goals. Courtney Peters is a second year at the University of Virginia currently serving as the Treasurer for Women's Business Forum at McIntire (WBFM). Read on to learn Courtney's journey with WBFM.
What is your current role and overall experience of being involved in WBFM? How have you achieved, or hope to attain personal development?
I currently serve as the Treasurer of WBFM, so I am primarily responsible for maintaining our budget. As a member of the Executive Board, I also have input during our weekly meetings about what sort of events to have, how to reach out to members, and what companies we should partner with. One reason I wanted to be more involved in WBFM after first year was because I found the organization to be beneficial in teaching me more about the world of business, but I wanted to help provide more ways to reach out to first years interested in business.
What are some transferrable skills gained from being a member of WBFM that can be mentioned in a resume or interview?
One skill that I have learned that is so vital to working in business is the ability to make connections. At WBFM, we host events with our corporate sponsors that allow us to meet the people working for those companies. At these dinners, workshops, and coffee chats, our members form relationships with these professionals, and some of our members have continued these relationships to the point of landing internships and jobs. In the world of business, it is so important to be able to connect well with your clients, so WBFM helps strengthen the interpersonal skills of our members.
How does your organization help undergraduate students explore their options, in terms of career track, or explore something about themselves (i.e. strengths, weaknesses, limitations)?
WBFM helps students that are considering a career in the business world to learn about the different fields and industries within the wide world of “business.” One way is through our mentorship program, where underclassmen are paired with a 3rd or 4th year student based on their areas of interest. I found my mentor to be extremely helpful in terms of not only her experiences at her summer accounting internship, but also in talking about her friends’ experiences with internships in marketing, banking, IT, and consulting. I felt that if I ever wanted more information about any of those career tracks, she would put me in contact with someone who had first-hand experience. Another way we help students decide where they may want to take their career is at our corporate events, where members can hear from companies themselves about what specifically they do at their job.
What advice/information would you give to UVA female students interested in exploring WBFM? What is the time commitment?
Our CIO is not currently taking new members for the fall semester, but we are taking new members for spring semester in January, so definitely be on the lookout for that! The membership requirements include attending two of our three General Body meetings per semester and two corporate events per semester. While that is the minimum time requirement, members are encouraged to sign up for a mentor and attend all General Body meetings, as well as choosing corporate events that interest them. For any student interested in joining WBFM, I would say that what really sets us apart is our commitment to empowering women to be leaders in whatever industry they end up in.
Want to explore and get involved in WBFM? Email Courtney Peters (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions about upcoming events or the membership process.