Assistant Dean Sangeeta Rao with members of Women BUILD

Summit celebrates women and women leaders in the making

Members of Women BUILD (Business Undergraduates in Leadership Development) got some inspiration about being change-makers from Prudential’s vice president of corporate social responsibility and other career women during the organization’s annual summit.

In a keynote address, Kimberly Ostrowski described her path to Prudential, including a “pivotal moment” of career inspiration that led her to philanthropy. She also spoke of the influence of her father’s focus – he was a welder and union member – on social justice and equity on her own drive to work to help create a just system.

“You, as an individual, always have a chance to be a change-maker whether you’re an accountant or a welder,” she said.

Kimberly Ostrowski, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility at Prudential, gave the keynote address.
Kimberly Ostrowski, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility at Prudential, talked about her work at the company and some of the things that inspired her career path. (Photos by Rutgers student Joanne Kim.)

The summit is a ritual for Rutgers Business School students selected for the leadership development program. While it brings together students from both campuses and showcases women in positions of leadership in the business world, it also recognizes seniors who are graduating from Rutgers Business School – and BUILD in May.

For first-year BUILD member, Natalie Borys, a sophomore studying finance, the summit was a good opportunity to network and talk to recruiters “on a more personal level.” At each table, a recruiter from one of the sponsoring companies sat among BUILD members.

Women BUILD summit gave students a chance to hear from working professionals who create social impact.
Members of Women BUILD had a chance to ask questions of the speakers who described how they create social impact.

Borys said BUILD has provided her with a chance to develop as a leader and guidance to help her prepare for a career – all in a supportive environment. “When I first joined, Dean Rao told us, treat this like a sisterhood, and that’s what it’s really like,” Borys said.

The summit also featured a panel discussion among a group of women from different fields – Sharon Apple, an associate general counsel at Nestlé; Peggi Einhorn, chief financial officer and treasurer at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Jill Johnson, co-founder and CEO of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership; Kyra Scalea, Vanguard’s manager of community stewardship; and Candice Tse, U.S. head of market strategy for Goldman Sachs. Apple and Tse are graduates of Rutgers University.

Rutgers Business School's Women BUILD program holds its fifth annual summit.
A panel of female professionals generated an insightful discussion about different ways they have been able to make a social impact in their work or personal lives.

Tse described creating a program at Goldman called Empower, an educational financial planning program designed specifically for women, including female entrepreneurs. The initiative does something good by empowering women, and it also brings in business for Goldman Sachs, Tse said.

“It wasn’t in my job description. It doesn’t necessarily have to be,” she said. Other speakers echoed her sentiment, saying mentoring and volunteering outside of work were also opportunities to have a social impact.

Rutgers Business School Senior Associate Dean Martin Markowitz presented medals to the graduating senior members of Women BUILD.
Martin Markowitz, senior associate dean of Rutgers Business School's undergraduate program in New Brunswick, participated in the summit's tradition of awarding medals to graduating seniors who complete all the components of the Women BUILD program.

As Johnson put it: “There’s no one way to achieve social impact.”

The program sponsors for the 2018-2019 academic year were: Prudential, Goldman Sachs, EY, Johnson & Johnson, PWC, Vanguard, Nestlé Health Science, Stanley, Black & Decker and Accenture.

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