We’re Working Together To Build a Truly Empowering Community of Female Leaders
By Sierra Campbell, MBA ‘19
Applying to business school was a complete maze for me. Everyone I spoke to had different advice. Each mentor and role model advised me to take this action, go visit this school, consider this unique metric.
One legitimately helpful piece of advice, though, was to visit the women’s weekends at each school. This was a great idea because it really did give me first-hand look at what the experience at each school would be like, and the community I would be joining.
One of the last events I attended was Michigan Ross’s Women in Leadership Conference (WILC). Immediately, I could tell that this experience would be different from the others. From the minute I stepped foot on campus I could tell the current MBA students and the admissions team were incredibly invested in my experience.
The day leading up to the conference was thoughtfully planned with classroom visits and a welcome reception, during which I officially met the Ross community. It was at this reception when I met the people who would soon become my closest friends.
During this conference, I had my first interaction with Ross professor Cheri Alexander. To this day, I can remember her inspiring and thought-provoking speech about her career journey, our potential paths, and the roadblocks that we may encounter along the way – everything from our bosses to our partners.
After conference sessions ended, a current first-year MBA student hosted me along with few other women from the conference. We stayed up late and she answered all of our questions openly and honestly – everything ranging from what classes to take, to specific examples about how supportive the Ross community is for women.
I have remained close to the women I met at WILC – travelling to South Africa, interning at Starbucks and navigating the exciting world of Ross. My fellow classmates offer me a support network no one else, from my partner to my parents, is able to fill. We are experiencing everything together, from winning a case-competition to our final MAP presentation.
Thinking back on my WILC experiences, I realize how that short weekend had me reflect on my career, my support network, and myself in a way I hadn’t entirely expected. At the end, I knew that Ross was the place for me to pursue an MBA to help continue to advance my career.
This year, I have the honor and privilege of co-chairing WILC with my good friend and fellow boss-lady, Lindsay Howard. Our hope is to bring the same experience to prospective student women visiting Ross from around the world.
We are working with an inspirational and enthusiastic group of women to create a conference focused on empowering women during their MBA, through their internship, and beyond graduation into their careers.
We are excited to present workshops around navigating career U-turns, overcoming the imposter syndrome and eliminating defensive language. We are also working to equip our male peers to be effective advocates and mentors. To do this we’ll facilitate discussions around breaking the “knight in shining armor” routine to become an effective ally, promoting women in the boardroom and the living room, and fostering a dual-career household.
While there are a few schools that would encourage a leadership role such as a women’s empowerment conference, I am confident that no other school offers the sense of community that Ross has. I am incredibly thankful for all that Ross and the Women in Leadership Conference has provided for my personal empowerment and future career.
If you’re considering an MBA and want to learn what a truly empowering community of women leaders feels like, I hope you’ll join us at WILC this October.
Where were you before Ross?
I worked in Strategy Consulting with Accenture
Did you have an internship this summer?
I worked at Starbucks in Seattle as their Global Product Innovation Intern
Who is your favorite Ross professor?
Jagadeesh Sivadasen. He made econ incredibly relatable, using current events and incorporating our questions into the following class. He was so funny and approachable as well.
Any recent 'life' news to share?
I recently adopted a retired racing greyhound named Swifty!