The University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business welcomed 100 young women from nearby high schools in Prince George’s, Montgomery and Howard Counties to the Future Women in Business Conference on October 19, 2013.
Hosted by the Smith School Women’s Society and sponsored by PwC, this conference encouraged high school girls to explore an undergraduate degree and future career in business. Guests heard from keynote speaker Melanie Thomas Armstrong, a partner in PwC's Public Sector Practice (PSP), and were encouraged to “Seize Your Future!”
Students spent the bulk of the day competing in a case competition. They were challenged with making and presenting a plan to increase the sales and brand of Oprah Winfrey’s O'Magazine, with a focus on reaching a younger broader audience in the millennial generation.
Catalina Mejia, a senior at Thomas Wootton High School in Montgomery County, Maryland, is hoping to start at the University of Maryland next fall. She said, “I'm honored and grateful to be able to say that I participated in the very first Future Women in Business Conference, and I truly hope that many other young women like me get the chance to experience it as well!”
Candy Kuo, also a senior from Wootton High School, said, “The keynote address was very compelling and the case competition allowed me to work with peers from my school that I would have never had the opportunity to meet otherwise. Despite not winning the competition, the experience of organizing and presenting a plan is very valuable to me.”
“Planning an experience that benefits the entire Smith community, not just our club members but current staff and future students, has been the most rewarding experience in my education thus far at the business school,” said event organizer Nicola Ribisi, president of Smith School Women’s Society. “It took a lot of work, but I would gladly jump at the chance to do it again. I only wish I had something like this when I was in high school.”
The Smith School Women’s Society works to create a community of undergraduates, alumni, professionals, and faculty within the Robert H. Smith School of Business that helps members explore different business fields while developing their skill sets.
"I was so impressed by all of the efforts of the innovative and insightful ladies who came to our conference,” said Stefani Pappas, vice president of events for the Smith School Women's Society. “Each team had their own unique solution to the case competition and they definitely set the expectations high for next year's conference. I am so proud to be a part of the Smith School community and to have been involved in planning this event from its inception to its completion. A huge thank you to our attendees, our conference planner Melanie Ashton, Dean Mullins and our generous sponsor PwC for making this event a huge success!"