CWIB Newsletter – Fall 2009

Editor: Sanna Bengali '10


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  A Message from CWIB's President



Mary Martin '10
Dear Friends of CWIB,

Welcome to another edition of the CWIB newsletter. As we go through this season of Thanksgiving and celebration, CWIB is especially thankful for our members, alumnae, and partners who have helped us make this semester so strong.

This semester has been quite busy for CWIB with more than thirty events from social networking to professional development events. The Board’s goal for this year has been to continue providing outstanding career and professional resources, which are always a significant part of CWIB’s programming, while expanding the ways that we can promote more social networking among members. The Board has certainly worked hard to meet this goal, including launching a Peer-to-Peer Mentoring program this fall, matching incoming first year students with second years to provide one-to-one mentorship. An expanded social events schedule also played a significant role this fall, including a clothing swap, members’ brunch and a belly dancing class. A community service kick-off event with Girls, Inc. as well as a Mothers in Business roundtable focusing on the impact of the current economy on women’s career decisions were also highlights of the fall semester.

On the professional front, we added several events to the fall semester, including a Myers-Briggs Skills Workshop. This allowed CWIB members to explore how their personality strengths could help guide their career decisions now and in the future. Another new event this semester was our first “Careers in Glamour” Lunch & Learn panel, featuring five women who have had successful careers in the fields of media, retail, and interior design who shared with members first hand observations of the challenges and opportunities in these fields and provided practical advice for success.

As we look toward the spring semester, we are excited about hosting the 17th Annual CWIB Conference on February 19, 2010. This year’s theme, “Redefining Business, Reinventing Yourself” will focus on how women are taking advantage of the changes in today’s business environment to create unique opportunities in their own careers. We hope you will be able to join us!

I hope that you enjoy this edition of the newsletter. We are always very happy to hear from our alumnae and partners, and we would welcome your thoughts on this newsletter and our programming.

Thank you for your commitment to CWIB!

All the best for a wonderful holiday season,

Mary Martin
Columbia Business School, MBA 2010
President, Columbia Women in Business




CWIB Belly Dance
by Johanna Bowman '10



CWIB members enjoying their belly dance class

On Tuesday, November 17th, CWIB partnered with The Dance Club of Columbia Business School for a belly dancing lesson. The lesson was taught by CBS’ own Laurence Unger, who has studied Middle Eastern dance for several years.

The Dance Club offers belly dance, salsa, and Bollywood style dance to Dance Club members. Classes are usually held Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in Lerner Hall from 6-7 and are taught by resident CBS dance experts.

This particular night was open to all CWIB members and walked them through basic belly dancing techniques. Members learned how to shimmy and performed a brief dance routine at the culmination of class. Be on the lookout for our new dance moves at the next CBS happy hour!  




CWIB Conference 2010: Redefining Business, Reinventing Yourself
by Jocelyn Young '10



We are excited to announce the theme for this year’s Conference: "Redefining Business, Reinventing Yourself." This year’s CWIB Conference explores the continuing evolution in the business environment with a particular focus on its impact on women in business. The recent financial crisis and its aftermath have challenged traditional thinking about career goals and progression. Women now have the challenge, and the immense opportunity, to create a new reality for their own career paths and to lead the way for future generations of women. Our Conference panelists will examine how today’s women leaders are making an impact on three levels: in business, in their positions within their organizations, and in their personal and professional development. Through these discussions, participants will have the opportunity to explore and define their own place within the current and future business environment.

We are thrilled to welcome Mary Beth West '86, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Kraft Foods Inc. as our Keynote Speaker. Ms. West is a true inspiration for business women at all stages of our professional lives, and her prolific career at Kraft exemplifies this year’s theme of continual reinvention throughout one’s career. As many of us strive to find our passion in both our personal and professional lives, we are eager to hear Ms. West’s unique point of view on how she has navigated her path while remaining true to herself.

We are also honored to recognize Beth Schoenfeldt '94, co-founder of Collective-E, Ladies Who Launch, and FLOinc, as the recipient of the 14th Annual Distinguished Alumna Award. Ms. Schoenfeldt has spent much of her career creating organizations that focus on bringing the services, PR & marketing platforms, exposure and connections entrepreneurs need to nurture their ideas and build their brands. We are excited to hear Ms. Schoenfeldt's perspective on finding opportunities for success throughout one’s career.

A special thank you to our generous sponsors who make our Conference possible. We are pleased to announce that Deutsche Bank will return as our Executive Level sponsor! We wish to thank all our corporate sponsors and gift bag donors whose support is essential to ensure we continue in the tradition of great CWIB Conferences.

As always, capacity will be limited to 650, so we encourage you to register early. Online registration will open in mid-January on Please continue to check our website for information on the upcoming 2010 CWIB Conference, and you can also view highlights from the 2009 Conference.

If you have any questions regarding the 2010 CWIB Conference or would like to get involved, please contact Maya Rozenblat or Jocelyn Young, the 2010 CWIB Conference Co-Chairs:

Maya Rozenblat, Co-Chair 2010 CWIB Conference:
Jocelyn Young, Co-Chair 2010 CWIB Conference:




Professional Development Update
by Derby Anderson '11



Derby Anderson '11

The Professional Development Committee at CWIB works to level the recruiting playing field by organizing uniquely accessible and friendly environments for our members. We focus on professions in which women are minorities, such as finance, but we also hold events and ranging from a networking skills workshop to our retail and luxury goods panel. Our alumni and professional sponsors are critical to the success of our programs and have been incredible resources in many ways. A club member recently returned from a crowded, non-CWIB event, frustrated by the competitive atmosphere. She shared that the experience made her fully appreciate CWIB’s Professional Development events, and we are thrilled to know that we are making a positive difference in our members’ recruiting schedules.

Our VPs Emily Emmet and Julie Thaler worked over the summer to provide the fantastic fall semester events. In the past three months, the Professional Development Committee has hosted 23 events, with over half of those sessions directed toward our finance members and six events targeting consulting. We also held four workshops and panels relevant to any woman in business, addressing for example Myers-Briggs personality types or “Building Your Personal Brand” with Citi. As we near application deadlines, upcoming events will become even more intimate, moving downtown to our sponsor offices.

The Professional Development Committee has been growing, and we are now up to four board members dedicated to organizing these events. We are in the midst of planning our spring events, which may include professional career coaching, a peer career coaching session and of course more invaluable panels hosted by our company sponsors. If you have an idea for a Professional Development, please let us know! You can contact our AVPs Derby Anderson or Allie Reilly at




Another Exciting Year Ahead for Mothers in Business
by Tsvetelina Spassova '10

Tsvetelina Spassova '10
September 2009 marked the beginning of another big year for the MIB initiative as we continue to build a support community for student-moms/moms-to-be and to educate women about important career/family decisions. We accomplish our mission through informal gatherings, roundtable discussions and student/alumnae mixers.

Our first event was a kick-off meeting which provided a forum for CBS moms to meet each other. ‘Seasoned’ student moms offered advice to incoming current and expecting moms on how to successfully manage demanding school schedule and motherhood. We also continued with the monthly luncheon series initiated last semester. CBS moms get together once a month, informally, and share the numerous joys and frustration of being a mother in business. These lunches have been instrumental in understanding the needs of MIB members and planning events accordingly

In October, MIB held a roundtable discussion entitled “How is the state of the economy affecting women’s career/family choices?” Four distinguished panelists with experience across various industries – consulting, investment management, finance and executive search – shared the various motherhood scenarios they navigated and offered advice on how to manage career and family through a recession. The panel was moderated by Mico Zinty ’93, Associate Director, CBS Career Management Center, who has been an avid supporter of MIB. The intimate setting of the event encourages students to ask candid questions and allowed panelists to speak openly.

Looking forward, MIB is planning a bunch of exciting events, including a panel discussion, alumnae/student mommy-and-me music lesson and fun-filled informal get-togethers. Stay tuned!




CWIB Partnership with Girls Inc. of New York City
by Aryanne Ferranti '10



Now in its third year, CWIB is very proud of its partnership with the Girls Inc. of New York City, a national nonprofit youth organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold. With roots dating to 1864, the organization has provided vital educational programs to millions of American girls, particularly those in high-risk, underserved areas.

CWIB recently held a kick-off event for the 2009-2010 academic year on Friday, November 6. CWIB members spent the afternoon with girls in grades nine through twelve to discuss the college planning and selection process as well as several different aspects of college life. The day was a great success and culminated in a campus walk of Columbia University. Attendee and CWIB board member Johanna Bowman reflected on the afternoon, “It’s refreshing to take a break from our busy schedules to get to know and inspire these young girls who are destined to become our leaders of tomorrow!”

Several CBS alumnas also had rewarding experiences participating in the Girls Inc. 2009 College Shower Steering Committee last June. Girls Inc. holds a College Shower every year to honor and celebrate the achievements of 20 girls by showering them with gifts to prepare them for college life. Visit to view NBC coverage of the program.

CWIB is looking forward to hosting several more community service related events with Girls Inc. in the Spring of 2010. Past events have included a self defense training seminar and afternoon at the Central Park Zoo, so stay tuned!

If you are interested in volunteering with Girls Inc. beyond the activities that are offered in partnership with CWIB, please visit to learn more and/or to apply to become a volunteer!




 Alumna Spotlight: Brooke Reinders EMBA '09
by Mary Martin '10



Brooke Reinders '09
After graduating in May 2009, Brooke joined Barclays Capital as an Investment Banking Associate in the firm’s Equity Capital Markets group. Brooke’s career path took her right through the heart of the financial crisis when Lehman Brothers collapsed shortly after she had received a full time offer at the firm. Brooke describes herself as “fortunate” when Barclays honored the offer she had received, and as she talks about her work today, her excitement about her career path is evident.

As a former local television news reporter, Brooke built a strong interest in economics, but rarely got to interact with the material at a national level. Now, she says her job allows her to “take a broader perspective” and finds it “exciting to watch the markets on a daily basis and help clients understand how to navigate them.”

But the transition back to the working world has had its challenges as well. As someone who made a career change into finance through the MBA, Brooke says that she has faced a "difficult learning curve" as she continues to build her knowledge of finance through on-the-job experience—experience for which CBS provided a foundation, but that cannot be replaced by book learning. As she explains, "every situation and every client is unique, so just because you’ve seen something similar in the past doesn’t mean you fully understand what you’re facing the next time around."

As part of her transition, Brooke has drawn on the network she developed during her summer internship and has sought to expand her network at Barclays. She has found that "a strong network in your workplace helps you succeed and helps you help others find success…it’s a win-win situation."

Leadership lessons from Columbia were also helpful in Brooke's transition to the working world. In particular, she says that "one of the best lessons I learned at CBS was how to understand different people. Prof. Feiner’s High Performance Leadership class really stressed the importance of understanding where people are coming from when they act, and I think that is one of the most valuable lessons I have been able to apply." Her experience taught her to "always give people the benefit of the doubt," and her advice to current students to "take the leadership classes—that’s the kind of stuff that is hard to learn on your own or from a textbook."

Brooke also encourages current students not to be afraid of networking while at CBS and says that, in the long run, you won’t be able to beat the CBS network, especially as a part of the job search process. Networking, she says, is a "case of practice makes perfect. The more times you have an opportunity to build professional relationships with people, the easier it gets."

While she doesn’t miss "lugging a lot of books around on the subway" or "what the bricks on campus do to high heels," Brooke gives CBS credit for preparing her for a successful transition to banking. With her enthusiasm, there is little doubt she will continue to be successful.

We wish you all the best, Brooke!




 About CWIB



Columbia Women in Business (CWIB) is a professional networking organization with more than 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
Bank of America
Barclays Capital
Booz & Co
The Boston Consulting Group
Capital IQ
The Capital Group Companies
Credit Suisse
Deloitte Consulting
Deutsche Bank
GE Commercial Finance
Goldman Sachs
Monitor Group
Morgan Stanley
Sanford Bernstein
Standard & Poor's
TD Bank




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


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