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Conference connects students, professionals

Charitha Isanaka | Wednesday, February 6, 2013

This weekend, the Undergraduate Women in Business (UWIB) club will host its fifth annual Women’s Professional Development Conference to connect female students with representatives from a range of top-tier companies.  

The conference, titled “Catalysts of Change: Women Transforming the Marketplace,” features a keynote address by Notre Dame alumna Kimberly Farrell, who serves as president and CEO of Unlimited Performance Training, Inc.

Conference chair Kristina Hamilton said this weekend will “allow undergraduate women to network and build relationships with successful businesswomen” by learning about the diverse experiences of women in business.

With representatives from a wide variety of companies in attendance, including Accenture, Deloitte, Ernst and Young, General Mills, Grant Thornton, Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Procter and Gamble, Hamilton said the conference presents an excellent opportunity for undergraduate women to explore their career and leadership options.

“The purpose [of the conference] is to provide students with an opportunity to have a more intimate experience with companies and engage students with current topics or issues relevant to their futures as business professionals,” Hamilton said.

Though the conference is an annual occurrence, Hamilton said UWIB sponsors on-campus networking events throughout the school year, including meetings with employers like Abercrombie and Fitch, KPMG, Houlihan Lokey and Bank of America.

“We encourage anyone that is still looking for a job, internship, leadership opportunity or looking to hone their professional skills to attend,” she said. “Many company reps are Notre Dame alums and come back annually to our conference, so it has been a great opportunity for our members to build relationships with women in various companies.”

To help younger students learn about the opportunities for women in business, Hamilton said UWIB started a mentorship program within the club, pairing senior members with freshmen and sophomores.

“The best way to figure out what you want for your future is to talk with someone who has been in your shoes and hear why they chose to pursue their career,” she said. “I think our conference is a perfect way to do just that, and I hope that our attendees leave with at least one new contact that they can develop a relationship with, regardless of their interest in the particular company.”

Conference events will take place Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Innovation Park and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Mendoza College of Business Atrium. Notre Dame undergraduate and MBA students are eligible to register for the free conference on the UWIB website.

Contact Charitha Isanaka at cisanaka@nd.edu