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News & Events

Victoria Medvec, the Adeline Barry Davee Professor of Management & Organizations, will deliver a seminar on “Negotiating for Yourself: The Need to Ask and Ask Effectively" during the Women’s Leadership Workshop

Prof. Victoria Medvec

MBA can help women ‘in any business’

The April 24-25 Women’s Leadership Workshop encourages women from ‘nontraditional’ backgrounds to consider business school

By Rachel Farrell

4/22/2009 - Many women working in fields such as consulting or banking know that an MBA can help advance their career.
Sophia Siskel '99 president and CEO of Chicago Botanic Garden

But they’re not the only ones who can benefit from business school. Women working in industries where the MBA isn’t traditionally sought — such as engineering or public relations — can also find value in a business degree.

That’s the motivating force behind the Women’s Leadership Workshop, a two-day conference designed to help early-career women learn how an MBA can enhance and advance their professional development. Now in its third year, the student-run conference take place on April 24-25 at the James L. Allen Center and features a series of modules taught by Kellogg faculty, along with keynote addresses by Sophia Siskel ’99, president and CEO of the Chicago Botanic Garden, and Shelley Keller ’87, vice president of strategic initiatives for the Exelon Corporation.

The workshop aims to convince women who aren’t in the school’s typical applicant pool that “in any field, being a good leader, mentor and motivator is critical, and those are key parts of an MBA education,” said Jennifer Stoltz, senior associate director of admissions at Kellogg and one of the event organizers. “You may not want to go into finance, but understanding how decisions impact your bottom line is going to help you be successful in any business.”

Stoltz hopes the workshop will help the Kellogg School recruit more “nontraditional students,” which in turn will enhance the MBA experience for all. “We want people [with] dynamic career experiences,” Stoltz said, “that can come to Kellogg, take a seat in the classroom, and share how they faced challenges or had successes in their industry.”

Topics covered during the workshop will include “Negotiating for Yourself: The Need to Ask and Ask Effectively,” by Victoria Medvec, the Adeline Barry Davee Professor of Management & Organizations; “Leading Teams,” by Katherine Phillips, associate professor of management and organizations; “Interviewing: When the Product that You Sell is You,” by Professor Julie Hennessy, clinical professor of marketing; and “Values-Based Leadership and True Balance in Your Life,” by Harry Kraemer, clinical professor of management and strategy.

The Women’s Leadership Workshop is a way for the school to make a strong statement about how it values women in business, Stoltz said. “We want people to know that developing women is important to us,” said Stoltz.