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Back to school looks a lot different than it did last year and as we all scramble to find some sense of normalcy and routine, many are looking for a newfound sense of belonging at Virginia Tech. Collegiate Women in Business was the first organization I joined at Virginia Tech my freshman year and have had no regrets since. This organization provides so many opportunities such as resume-building, networking, inspiring speakers, leadership experience, career workshops as well as fosters an environment full of mentorship, friendship and life long memories. CWIB builds each and every member up through its three pillars: Empower, Prepare, and Connect. So why CWIB?

Emma Harwood, our Editor-in-Chief of the CWIB Chronicles says she joined CWIB “as a way to further develop my professional skills like networking and public speaking.” Describing herself as a natural introvert, Emma feels that CWIB has shown her the “crucial, yet sometimes uncomfortable, aspect of making connections to reach your goals.” Lauren Miles, a fellow staff writer for the Chronicles, says she joined CWIB because she “wanted to connect with more like-minded women on campus and make connections that would be beneficial now as a college student and later in my career. I also wanted to enjoy the events and make some great memories.”

Collegiate Women in Business creates a professional atmosphere by providing experiences such as workshops, coffee chats and monthly meetings. At workshops, CWIB works with our sponsors to run career advancement programs where we cover a wide array of necessary skills. Learning these skills from professionals gives a live look on real workplace practices. At coffee chats, you can have a more relaxed one-on-one conversation with a professional to talk over experiences, career path, advice and any questions you may have. Lastly, each month we hold an organization-wide meeting in which we invite guest speakers to come and empower us with words of wisdom and inspiring stories. Women of all professions and backgrounds can experience the benefits of the events we provide!

CWIB fosters an enjoyable balance between professional advancement and fun with bonding events such as socials and treks. Each semester CWIB holds socials for all members to gather and create memorable experiences and lasting relationships. My personal favorite was a trip to Sinkland Farms pumpkin patch last fall! We went on a hayride, took photos, ate kettle corn and all bonded through this staple fall favorite activity. Treks are another huge part of CWIB. Treks are a great way to get to know fellow members while also gaining real world experience by visiting different cities and attending events hosted by different businesses in order to see what their business culture is like, what a typical day in the office consists of, and network with professionals. New York City, Nashville, Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Washington, D.C. are a few places we have been. Although socials and treks may look different this semester, our executive team is working hard to make sure we can still bond and collaborate while socially distancing!

With one year of CWIB under her belt, Lauren Miles feels the most beneficial aspect of CWIB for her so far has been the foothold she has been given in the professional world, saying she feels like she has “learned and experienced so much with regards to what it is like to have a successful career and how to get that process started on the right foot.” Now starting her senior year at Virginia Tech, Emma Harwood feels fortunate to serve CWIB as Editor-In-Chief of the Chronicles because she gets to “relay important information to the staff writers and help encourage their interests.” Emma also says “I’ve made some great friends and had memorable experiences with these empowering women. Employers will be impressed with our organization so don't be afraid to get involved yourself!”

From everyone in Collegiate Women in Business, we encourage you to consider joining this incredible group of women, and an organization that many of us have found comfort, direction, and inspiration in! Check out Collegiate Women in Business on GobblerConnect and Instagram today! Join us for a New Member information session Thursday September 10th at 7:00pm via Zoom!

By: Lindsay Barnes

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