The Women’s Network establishes chapter on campus

The Women’s Network (TWN), a national collegiate networking organization for women is establishing a chapter on the University of Miami’s campus. TWN works to create a community of ambitious college students and recent graduates to provide them with the necessary resources and connections to reach their career goals.

Founded just five years ago, TWN has already established nearly 150 chapters nationwide and the UM chapter is set to be in full motion soon.

The network offers professional development and leadership opportunities in fields such as networking, marketing, communications, event planning and graphic design, in addition to speaker events and connections to internship and job opportunities.

“Learning how to set up a LinkedIn, create a professional resume, get an internship, all those things are really important because the main goal is bringing organization for collegiate women in order to push forward in their respective careers,” Caroline McDonald, vice president of events for the TWN and a sophomore at UM, said.

In her position, McDonald generates ideas for and helps coordinate events that will both appeal to women and bring in new members. TWN is one of many networking organizations on campus but is the first specifically for collegiate women.

“I saw The Women’s Network on Instagram and I thought it was an interesting concept because I didn’t see any other organization specifically for women that promotes networking,” Valentina Waschbusch, vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion for TWN, said. “I know there’s other clubs on campus that are like peer mentoring or buddy mentoring and I joined those mentoring programs, but I didn’t really get anything that I wanted out of it and I was struggling to find, kind of outside of academics, how to get myself involved when it came to professor relationships and research experience.”

Waschbusch is responsible for ensuring inclusion within the TWN community, developing relationships with other student organizations including multicultural communities and other women’s organizations and developing efforts to recruit new members from various backgrounds.

The women’s network was founded in 2017 by Syracuse University alumnus, Jamie Vinick, who was inspired to form the organization after attending a lecture from a powerful female banking executive. Vinick was inspired by the speaker’s ability to break through a male-dominated industry, but walked away from the lecture wondering why no questions were raised about the challenges women face garnering leadership roles.

Vinick was driven to establish an organization that aimed to connect collegiate women to these leadership positions and establish networks of ambitious women there to support one another.

“I think it’s important to learn how to put yourself out there as a woman,” McDonald said. “Often women get labeled as pushy or bossy and so breaking that stigma and being able to hold your own in the workplace, I think it’s very important.”

One of the trademarks of TWN is “Redefining Ambition” which emphasizes the power of a woman’s passion and drive to inspire others and reach their career goals, especially in male-dominated industries.

“I think that comparison kills and The Women’s Network does not believe in competition, we believe in building each other up,” Waschbusch said. “I definitely think that going forward in my career, all these relationships that I’m making in the Women’s Network will take me far, because all these people are not people that I’m going to be competing with, but are people that are going to be helping me grow as a person.”

TWN’s core values are community focus, integrity, authenticity, collaboration and leadership development. TWN lists these values in a larger effort to create a genuine, non-competitive community where members can learn from one another and become their own leaders.

“I hope that our chapter can have good relationships with other clubs on campus and support other clubs on campus as much as they support us and I hope that people see us as a very open and welcoming place and that there’s no one we wouldn’t accept. Anyone who wants to join has the capability of doing that,” Waschbusch said. “I think the capacity The Women’s Network has to be all over the country and still be so interconnected is what’s going to help us grow.”

To lean more about TWN you can follow their instagram, @thewomensnetwork_umiami.

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