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Where We're Going: Co-CEOs Express Future Goals for CWIB

Collegiate Women in Business simply would not function if it weren’t for our brilliant two CEOs, Nafisa and Jillian, who work hard everyday to make this organization one of the best on Virginia Tech’s campus. Throughout this past year, these two women have helped CWIB thrive, despite the circumstances, and have set the organization up for future years of success.

As Co-CEOs, Nafisa and Jillian help delegate responsibilities and dream up new ideas for the organization. Nafisa says she loves getting to work with “incredibly intelligent, kind, and hard-working” women who make her job easier. Jillian’s favorite part of being a Co-CEO is watching the organization grow from what it was during her freshman year and getting to be a part of that growth.

Despite a completely virtual year, CWIB has still improved and has started many projects. One of those projects is the mentorship program, which Jillian helped revamp as Chief Development Officer last year. She says, “Kate Taylor [current Vice President of Mentorship] has put in so much work to improve the program and continue the tradition, and I’m so proud!” Nafisa is most proud of how CWIB has adapted to the virtual platform. She is also super proud of Sraavani, Vice President of Philanthropy, who has helped CWIB invest in important causes.

After graduation, Nafisa and Jillian will pass the baton to the next Co-CEOs. Nafisa’s greatest hope for CWIB is that it will “continue to be an organization that prioritizes diverse interests and backgrounds.” She also hopes it continues to be a welcoming and positive environment. Jillian’s wish for next year and the years to come is that CWIB will continue Treks, which were her favorite part of being in CWIB. Although there have been some virtual Treks this year, we are all hoping for in-person ones in the future!

There are some specific goals that the Co-CEOs hope to pass down as well. Jillian says, “This year Nafisa and I set our number one goal to improve diversity and inclusion throughout the organization. I definitely think we accomplished what we set out to do, and I'm really proud of the progress we made in every department and organizationally.”

Nafisa’s goal for CWIB is that “it continues to mainly be an organization of service. I want the organization to continue giving back to our members and different communities outside ourselves, as that is the most important value we have,”. She explains “We were planning on covering the cost of a few members’ professional certifications this year, but unfortunately that project was not able to come to fruition...That’s one project I would love the next CEOs to consider for this upcoming year.”

Both CEOs are hoping CWIB can move back into in-person events but use the virtual platform when necessary. The virtual environment “has lacked a personal connection”, says Nafisa- something everyone can relate to. However, the virtual platform wasn’t all bad. Something Jillian loved this year that was enabled through the virtual platform was alumni coffee chats. Nafisa echoes this sentiment: “By hopping on a zoom call, we were able to connect with more individuals.” Coordinating with speakers was easier, because they did not have to plan around travel times.

As soon-to-be graduates, Nafisa and Jillian have great insight into how to be successful in college. Jillian’s advice to the CWIB community is to “remember our three pillars! Prepare, Empower, Connect!" She would also say to get to know yourself. "Be content with who you are and where you’re at. Only ever compete with yourself, never stop learning and challenging yourself, but also be patient and kind with yourself, too.”

Nafisa has two big pieces of advice. First, “take advantage of what CWIB has to offer. Our leadership team works really hard to plan and execute meaningful events for our members, so go out to them and meet new people!” She also mentions that applying for a leadership position is a great way to get further involved in CWIB. Secondly, Nafisa’s most important advice would be to “continue making CWIB an environment that is accepting and nice to everyone, because our community is only as strong as the diversity of people in it.”

Thank you Nafisa and Jillian, for leading CWIB through a unique and challenging year, as well as for taking time out of your busy schedules to help with this article! We appreciate everything you have done and are excited for all your successes to come!

By: Grace Farmelo

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