October 18, 2019

Business Organization Spotlight: Society of Women in Business

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With over 1,500 members, the Society of Women in Business is the largest undergraduate business organization on campus. Founded in 2000, SWIB is a student business organization founded at Cornell that accepts all female undergraduate to their general body without an application or interview process.

“A lot of the other pre-professional organizations on campus are very niche and targeted in their areas of business. But SWIB is unique in that it is very general and provides exposure to a broad range of business industries,” said Shivali Halabe ’22, who, along with Vivian Li ’21, is the SWIB’s co-vice presidents of internal development.

Li and Halabe lead one of SWIB’s main projects, the Emerging Leaders Program, a semester-long curriculum. After an application and interview process, over 50 ELP members are placed into small groups consisting of one associate, a more experienced SWIB member, and a few other analysts.

Each group chooses a specific business industry, such as investment banking or entrepreneurship, and the teammates collaborate throughout the semester to research their individual topics. The end of the semester culminates in a final presentation by each group and feedback from the executive board.

A key event in SWIB’s Emerging Leaders Program is the semesterly trip to New York City, where members have a chance to visit companies such as Goldman Sachs and Ernst-Young to learn more about their workplace culture and network with current employees. Alumni from ELP have interned and worked at firms including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Bloomberg, Mastercard, NASA and EY.

“The Emerging Leaders Program is really putting what you learn in classes and what you learnt through these workshops in practice because a lot of times just learning it is not as helpful,” said Li.

Besides ELP, SWIB hosts internship panels and a program called Change-Maker Chats. The internship panels feature SWIB upperclassmen and discussions of their personal internship experiences working for large, prominent companies, while the Change-Maker Chats invite women from the Ithaca community who have founded or are top executives of a business to share their experiences as a woman in the business industry.

In addition, SWIB also offers several workshops to its members covering relevant business skills such as Powerpoint, Excel, networking, and resume building.

With these main goals of inclusivity, diversity, and female empowerment, SWIB endeavors “to surround every single girl with a very supportive community with other women … and use that to build their own confidence and skill sets and take that to the workplace,” Halabe said.