CWIB Newsletter – Fall 2008

Editors: Nehal Kenia ’09 & Sonal Kapoor ’10

About CWIB  |  Sponsors    

A Message from CWIB’s President

Brooke Reinders ’09
Dear Friends,

Welcome to the Fall 2008 Columbia Women in Business (CWIB) newsletter. This has, as always, been an exciting and busy semester for our club, members, and our alumnae. I am proud to say that CWIB is continuing to uphold its reputation as one of the most active clubs on campus and to share some of the evidence of that with you.

CWIB started the semester with a brand new twist on our annual kick-off celebration – a wine tasting at the Wally Findlay Galleries. This exciting event was one of the first opportunities for new CWIB members to interact with second-year members. With the support of one of our CWIB alumna, Anu Karwa, and her wine-tasting business, Swirl Events, more than 100 of our members had the chance to mingle, drink great wine, and enjoy beautiful art.

After our kick-off the semester quickly moved into high gear. We pushed forward with our Mothers-in-Business iniative, which addresses issues facing current and future mothers. CWIB teamed up with the Columbia Business School Better Halves club to host events for student-parents and their significant others. We continue to offer our annual Brown Bag Lunches, as well as many other networking and recruiting events, which provide an intimate setting for students and recruiting firms to get to each other. Also, CWIB has deepened its commitment to Girls, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to inspiring girls to be strong, smart, and bold. CWIB members participated in a personal safety training course with girls from the organization. A variety of other mentoring events and personal skills workshops sponsored by companies including Barclays Capital, Booz & Co., Citi, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs and McKinsey & Company have rounded out our fall semester offerings.

The excitement continues in the spring semester with more networking events, skills workshops, interactions with Girls, Inc., and, of course, our spotlight event. We are working diligently to prepare for our 16th Annual CWIB Conference on February 20th. Be sure to watch your e-mail or check the CWIB website often to make sure you get tickets to this always sell-out event.

It has truly been an honor to work with the many VP’s and newly-elected AVP’s who give countless hours of their time to make CWIB the stellar organization that it is. Without their help, the group would be unable to offer all of the amazing opportunities that make CWIB such a vital part of the CBS community.

On behalf of the entire CWIB Executive Board, I hope you enjoy this semester’s newsletter and encourage you to contact us or to visit our website,, to learn more about getting involved with our organization. Best wishes for 2009!


Brooke Reinders
Columbia Business School, Class of 2009
President, Columbia Women In Business


CWIB Kicks Off the Year in Style
by Irina Faykina ’09

CWIB Members at the Kickoff Event

This year’s CWIB kick-off event was an elegant affair. The event, sponsored by Lehman Brothers, was held in midtown at the Wally Findlay art gallery ( ), run by Stephanie Borynack. Another new twist this year, the kick-off was a wine tasting event, presented by Swirl Events (, a company founded by Anu Karwa, a CBS alumna. Not only was this a good opportunity for the returning class to meet the incoming class, but the second-year students were able to catch up on their exciting summer internships and traveling adventures, while the first-year students were able to take a break from their intense schedule. Over 100 women had the opportunity to view the art at Wally Findlay, which specializes in French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masters as well as contemporary art, as well as sample several white wines from women-run vineyards.  

All in all, everyone had a great time networking, appreciating the art, and enjoying wine. It was a great way to kickoff the semester and welcome the class of 2010!


A Quick Look at The 2009 CWIB Conference: Connect. Grow. Achieve.
by Jen Legenza ’09 and Lisa Kobashi ’09

From brainstorming over the summer, to creating a fabulous conference committee, to progressing in our planning and creative processes, preparations for the 16th Annual CWIB Conference are well underway! Please mark your calendars and Save-the-Date: The 16th Annual CWIB Conference will take place on February 20, 2009 in Lerner Hall.

While we are still working on many of the details, we are excited to reveal this year’s conference theme: “Connect. Grow. Achieve.”  This year’s CWIB conference will look at what it means to build a strong, 360 degree network and explore the personal and professional connections that lie at the heart of successful career progression. Regardless of their career stage, women can use their business community to make important connections, foster personal growth, and drive towards greater achievements. Our panelists will look at three facets of how this community impacts a woman’s career: from within the workplace, as a part of current business trends, and through the changing stages of a woman’s career. Through the discussion, participants will have the opportunity to explore how they can leverage their own business communities and the resources they provide to maximize their personal success.

We are pleased to report that Deutsche Bank will be returning as an executive level sponsor! We would like to offer a special thank you to all of our corporate sponsors and gift bag donors for their generous support that make this event possible and allow us to continue the tradition of producing a wonderful conference dedicated to issues facing women in business today.
As always, capacity will be limited to 650, so we encourage you to register early.  Registration will open in mid-January.  Please check  for information regarding last year’s conference and details on the upcoming 2009 CWIB Conference as we finalize them.  Also, the registration date will be listed on the website prior to opening.
If you have any questions regarding the 2009 CWIB Conference or would like to get involved, please contact Lisa Kobashi or Jennifer Legenza, the 2009 CWIB Conference Co-Chairs:
Lisa Kobashi, Co-Chair 2009 CWIB Conference:
Jennifer Legenza, Co-Chair 2009 CWIB Conference:


CWIB’s Mothers in Business (MIB) Initiative Kicks Off an Exciting 2008-2009
by Katrina Simon-Agolory ’09

Remember when you were at Columbia with its intense academic curriculum and seemingly endless recruiting? Now imagine taking care of a family on top of that.  For most women, managing this scenario seems absolutely impossible but for a small group of Columbia women, this is a reality that they happily manage every day.   CWIB is meeting the needs of these heroic women through Mothers in Business (MIB) Initiative. CWIB-MIB supports student moms and educates aspiring moms about future decisions concerning work and family.

There has been an increasing trend at Columbia Business School over the last few years for women students to enter with children or to choose to have children during their enrollment in the MBA program.  Although rising, the number of current and expectant student moms is still very small (less than 15 in MBA’09 and MBA ’10 out of a student body of almost 1500 students).

MIB was originally founded in the fall of 2005 by Michelle Fertig (’06), Aliza Goldgewert (’06) and Rebecca Williams (’07); however, it was only last spring when the initiative was officially incorporated into the CWIB Executive Board with the election of a Vice President of Mothers in Business. The fall semester of the 2008-2009 academic year has already yielded great success for MIB. In September there was a Mother-to-Mother Kickoff event which provided a forum for CBS moms to meet each other. Veteran student moms offered advice to incoming current and expectant moms on how to be successful as they balance rigorous life at CBS and motherhood.

In October, MIB held a roundtable discussion, sponsored by Barclays Capital, entitled “Growing Families and Successful Careers.”The intimate setting encouraged attendees to ask candid questions and allowed panelists to speak openly about their experiences as mothers and career women. At the MIB Halloween Party in October, student moms paraded through Uris Hall, stopping to trick-or-treat at the offices. MIB ended the semester with a fun-filled baby shower for expectant student moms.  Next semester the MIB schedule includes a Mother-to-Mother luncheon in February, roundtable discussion in March and an alumnae event in April.

Please contact Katrina Simon-Agolory (, VP of Mothers in Business for more information.


Business of Golf Event - September 17, 2008
by Emily Agress ’09
On Wednesday, September 17, CWIB partnered with Goldman Sachs to hold the first Business of Golf event at Chelsea Piers. Thirty-five women from CWIB were joined by alumni from Goldman Sachs to learn about the game, hit a few balls, network with peers and alumni and meet new golf-playing friends. While the participants’ skill levels varied from novice to avid golfer, Chelsea Piers did a fantastic job of making the evening fun and relevant for everyone.

It is no secret that a large amount of business takes place on the golf course, and too often people miss out on these relationship-building opportunities because they do not know how to play and find the game too overwhelming to learn. The goal of this event was to demystify the game so participants could start to use golf to their business advantage.

To kick off the evening, a golf pro spoke to the group about the rules of the game and general course etiquette. Topics covered included terminology, scoring and the difference between clubs types. Immediately following, the group went out to the golf range to turn theory into practice. We divided into groups based on experience. Those who had never played before worked with a golf pro on the basics, such as how to grip the club, position set up, swing and follow-through. The more experienced players stepped right up to the tee and pros came around to offer customized pointers based on the skill level of each individual player. 

All in all, everyone had a great time hitting balls, learning about the game and chatting with friends.  Many thanks to Goldman Sachs for their participation and support in making the event possible.


Student Spotlight: Rashi Agrawal ’10
by Rashi Agrawal ’10

Rashi Agrawal ’10
My first semester at Columbia Business School is passing by in a blur. Before Columbia, I worked at an Economic Consulting company in their Securities Litigation group.  I did a lot of economic modeling and wrote reports to defend clients (mostly banks, mutual fund managers, big corprations) who faced regulatory or legal actions.  The job was intellectually satisfying and I got to learn a lot about financial markets and instruments.  What I didn’t like was that I was sometimes put in tough situations where I was defending clients whose values didn’t really agree with mine. 

I came to Columbia for its great social enterprise program and the international student body.  Even before school started, I had met a few people and really liked all of them.  So far, I’ve had a great time.  I think it’s everything I had expected and more and the great thing is that our class is truly very diverse.  I love hearing everyone’s story - I hope to know as many people as I can by the end of the two years.  And I have to say, I love the happy hours - they definitely live up to the hype!

While I’ve spent much time this semester navigating recruiting events, I have also had the chance to get involved in some interesting initiatives.  This winter, I’m looking forward to being involved with an IDC project with Enterprise Solutions to Poverty in Brazil.  We’re working with the Microlumbia Consulting team right now to scope new clients.   Over the summer, I hope to be in a fun place (hopefully a country I haven’t worked in before) doing a great internship.  Ideally, I would like to do an internship in development consulting.  I am also recruiting for international offices of traditional consulting firms that are doing interesting projects for governments.

The past few months have been very intense but also really fun.  Growing up in a conservative family in a small town in North India I never dreamed I would be here, and have the opportunity to do all these amazing things, or meet the inspirational people I meet every day.  I am thankful for the way life turned out - could not have asked for more.


Alumna Spotlight: Laura Faludi EMBA ’03
by Mica Odom ’09

Laura Faludi ’03
SOUND is a newly founded, non-profit organization focused on environmentally sustainable and socially responsible practices for clothing and textiles. The organization’s evaluation system and logo will make it easy for shoppers to identify products that they can feel good about buying. SOUND’s Founder and Executive Director, Laura Faludi, is an EMBA-Global ’03 graduate who received her MBA degree from both Columbia Business School and London Business School. She also holds a BA in Communication from UC San Diego.

Laura describes herself as a “retail gal with a knack for cross-channel branding and a passion for ethical, sustainable apparel and textile production best practices.” Prior to and after business school, Laura has held the following positions: Director, Brand Strategy at Victoria’s Secret’s PINK, Director of Customer Experience at Keynote, and Director at Gap Inc Direct. As you can see, she is an extremely accomplished woman in the for-profit sector, but is also very active in the non-profit realm with experience serving on the Sierra Club Executive Committee, San Francisco Department of the Environment’s Sustainability Plan, Earth Island Institute, Music in Schools Today, EMILY’s List, Oakland Youth Employment Partnership and the League of Conservation Voters in San Francisco.

Laura Faludi is fully utilizing her broad range of career experiences and personal commitment to sustainability to affect change within the apparel industry. I, and several other CBS students, had the pleasure of working with Laura during the 2008 Global Social Venture Competition. I have truly never known someone so dedicated to the cause and determined to succeed in this undertaking. I was constantly inspired by her infectious positive attitude and optimism, her constant support and words of encouragement and her ability to manage people in high-pressure situations with a smile. Laura is an enthusiastic and energetic individual whose core competencies lie in her ability to draw her colleagues, partners and acquaintances into her endeavors.

Laura attributes much of her success to what she learned here at CBS as an EMBA student. Throughout her graduate studies, Laura was involved in the CWIB community and attended several brown bag lunches, networking events and, of course, her favorite…the Columbia Women in Business Conference. She hasn’t missed a CWIB conference since she graduated and claims that it is one of the most important networking events on campus. Laura says ”I learn so much not only from the speakers and workshops, but from current students” and hopes to make it to this year’s conference to spread the good word about SOUND and meet others interested in the non-profit field.

When asked about what she gained at business school, Laura is quick to praise the professors and other students. She says “I am extremely proud to be a part of the Columbia Business School community.”


Alumna Spotlight: Anu Karwa ’04
by Allison Heilborn ’09

Anu Karwa ’04

A 2004 graduate of Columbia Business School, Anu Karwa is one of the school’s leading, New York-based young entrepreneurs.  The wine tasting company, Swirl Events, Anu founded and runs as CEO is well-known in New York and beyond for customized, private and corporate wine tastings with a fresh, hip spin.

Anu created Swirl Events to combine her passion for wine and memorable times with friends. After earning Advanced Certification from the internationally recognized Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), Anu realized wine did not have to be complicated or stuffy.  As a result, Swirl’s vibrant tastings are distinguished by detailed full-service combined with a fun, intimate ambiance perfect for vinophiles and happy attendees alike.   Swirl’s unique and fresh approach has resonated, resulting in widespread press in leading media outlets, including New York, Martha Stewart Weddings, Fine Living, The Knot, and

Anu has been a great partner and friend to Columbia Business School students, alums and recruiters alike.  Indeed, clients are quick to praise Swirl’s “professionalism and sophistication” at the same time as describing events as “fun” and “intimate”.  Indeed, Swirl has worked with numerous private clients, leading corporations (Google, JP Morgan, Simpson Thatcher, and McKinsey among them), schools (including Columbia, NYU Stern, and Ohio State) and non-profits (such as Step Up Women’s Network and Sakhi for South Asian Women).  

Columbia Women in Business is grateful for – yet another great collaboration with Swirl and Anu, who, in conjunction with Herdade de Esporao, a leading Portuguese winery, generously sponsored the wine for the Student/Alumnae Wine Tasting & Private Shopping event at Saks Fifth Avenue on December 1.

Be sure to check out Anu’s blog, Swirl Savvy, for her thoughts and ideas on all things wine! (


About CWIB

CWIB Board 2008-2009

Columbia Women in Business (CWIB) is a professional networking organization with over 400 student members and thousands of alumnae. Each year, CWIB strives to provide programming that enhances the MBA experience by connecting current students with alumnae and companies that have paved the way for professional women and contributed to the growth of today’s business leaders. For more information about CWIB, please visit our website at


Our Sponsors

A special thank you to our sponsors for their continued support:

American Express
A.T. Kearney
Bank of America
Barclays Capital
BMO Capital Markets
Booz Allen Hamilton
The Boston Consulting Group
The Capital Group Companies
Credit Suisse
Deutsche Bank
Fidelity Investments
General Electric
GE Energy Services
Goldman Sachs
Jefferies Company
Katzenbach Partners
L.E.K. Consulting
McKinsey & Company
Merrill Lynch
Morgan Stanley
Opera Solutions
Sanford Bernstein
Standard & Poor’s


Alumnae Reminder

Please update your contact information frequently. Please visit the alumni website at, the Columbia alumni website, to update your contact information as soon as it changes. It is our only way of reaching you. Also, be sure to stay in touch and check the calendar of alumni events at

We urge you to get involved! If you would like to get involved with the CWIB community, or have any questions, please contact CWIB at


Contact Us
Visit us on the Web at
2008 Columbia Women in Business