Students at the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics have almost 30 unique student groups that they can choose to join. In each installment of this series, an executive member of one of these student groups will share their first-hand experience choosing, participating in and eventually leading their group.
Meredith McNamara, Class of 2021 accounting and finance double major, is the president of Women in Business (WIB) at the Lerner College. McNamara shared why she joined WIB, what makes this group unique and more!
Lerner: When and why did you choose to join this student group?
McNamara: Women in Business was the first RSO I joined in the fall of my freshman year. I chose to join WIB because I wanted the opportunity to meet people who would be in my classes that I could find things in common with.
Lerner: What is the mission/goal of your student group?
McNamara: WIB enables female students to connect with professional women to gain insight into the business world and explore opportunities for growth and success. Through our networking events with professionals, and with one another, our members become more confident in their capabilities as women prepare to enter the workforce, equipped with many resources and skills at their disposal to help shatter the glass ceiling.
Lerner: When and where does your student group meet and approximately how many members do you have?
McNamara: WIB does not host regular meetings every week. With over six hundred members, WIB hosts multiple events throughout the semester with recruiters and professionals from different firms and companies that are looking to hire or connect with college students. We offer our members these events as an environment to network and form relationships with potential employers from all different fields of business. We also hold regular member engagement events to give everyone the chance to meet other members and form lasting friendships!
Lerner: What is your best memory from this student group?
McNamara: My best memory from WIB was the Orangetheory fitness class we had with KPMG during my sophomore year. It was so fun to be able to go off campus and connect with KPMG professionals while also getting in an awesome workout with friends!
Lerner: What is unique about your student group?
McNamara: WIB is a unique group that while it is very focused on connecting members with recruiters, it is a group where women in all grades, in all majors (you do not have to be a business major to join WIB!!) can connect with one another and can look to one another for mentoring opportunities. Many of our members, including myself, have utilized the relationships formed through WIB between students to ask questions about career goals, advice about majors/minors, class recommendations, etc. Everyone is looking to help one another achieve their professional goals and it is a very supportive group.
Lerner: What has been your proudest moment leading your student group?
McNamara: My proudest moment as President of WIB would have to be continuing our group’s collaborative efforts with the Women’s Leadership Initiative. While our group has always worked closely with WLI, over the summer myself and our VP, Vina Afrifa, were able to work directly with the wonderful women who run WLI to come up with a webinar series for our members to take part in throughout the summer months. It was such a great experience working closely with these women to come up with a way to bring our community together during a time where we all felt very isolated and create an environment for us to have small group discussions with successful women across all sectors of business and life.
Lerner: What are your goals for the future of your student group?
McNamara: I look forward to seeing WIB continue to grow in the future. The young women joining this group are smart, ambitious and driven and I have no doubt that they will not let anything stand in the way of paving their own roads to success. As they get to transition back into more on-campus activities later this year, it’ll be great for our newer members to get to meet one another face to face, enjoy some good food at fun events and be more involved with the group.
Lerner: How has your student group helped you grow?
McNamara: WIB has really helped me develop a sense of self that I did not always have. When I came to college, I was very unsure of myself, and wasn’t really sure if I was cut out for a career in business. Being exposed to so many inspiring upperclassmen, welcoming professionals and fellow classmates within this group so early in my college career made me recognize my passion for pushing oneself outside of her comfort zone and becoming confident in her own capabilities. I love encouraging younger women to embrace all the potential of being a woman in business and it has helped me realize my passion for mentorship and constantly surrounding yourself with people who make you want to be better.