When I was first contemplating going to business school, Tuck’s Women in Business Conference was recommended to me as a way to experience firsthand what an MBA might be like. I applied, signed up to stay in a dorm(!) for a night, and made the drive up Route 89 to Hanover—surrounded by New Hampshire’s turning October leaves—to see for myself what business school could look like for me.
What I got out of that weekend was far more than I had expected: conversation and debate with like-minded women, a bit of enlightenment around my career path, plenty of good laughs, and a real understanding of the Tuck community. I left my brief weekend at Tuck in awe of a community that effortlessly embraced dozens of strangers as if they were fellow classmates and friends. The shock I felt after experiencing how genuine and forthcoming an entire organization could be was what cemented in my mind that I needed to go to Tuck—and that I should think seriously about this whole MBA thing.
Looking back on that weekend now, and having completed my first year at Tuck, I can say my instincts weren’t awry. Small group dinners were an event at the WIB Conference that I was delighted to hear is a permanent fixture at Tuck: getting together with a handful of randomly selected classmates over a homemade meal. At my WIB small group dinner, I met women from all over the world and from a vast range of industries. Over homemade lasagna and red wine, we swapped ideas—career ambitions, travel plans, what restaurants were musts in each of our respective cities. It was the type of intimate setting generally reserved for dear friends, but the small group dinner made quick friends out of strangers.
The professional development I came away with from the Women in Business Conference is another aspect that stuck with me long after the weekend had ended. It was a time to trade anecdotes and best practices that have risen to top of mind many times in the past years. I took these tools for use not just in my next role, but for structuring and driving my overall career.
With this in mind, my fellow co-chairs and I have put a focus on professional development for this year’s conference. Rarely do we step away from our everyday jobs to think more broadly about our careers and the way that we chase after those careers. This year’s conference strives to help women as they drive towards their next career success. Breakout sessions will delve into topics such as negotiating, personal branding, and industry briefings. In keeping with Tuck’s values, those sessions will be personal and collaborative to provide attendees tools for future success generated in part by their peers.
As a co-chair for this year’s Women in Business Conference, I aim to deliver that same welcome that I received a few years back and equip you with tools to carry with you throughout your career. I hope that you’ll join us in October!