Women from University of Maryland’s business school to take center stage at national conference

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National Association of Women MBAs partners with UMD Business School

College Park, Md. – Sept. 30, 2014 – Female managers often underestimate their value when negotiating raises and promotions, a keynote speaker from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business will tell participants at an international women’s event near Washington, D.C.

“For women to ascend and break through to the top, they must succeed at negotiating,” Smith School Vice Dean Joyce Russell said. “Yet research shows that women often do not ask. When they do, they do not ask for enough and are not persistent in their requests.”

Russell, a contributor for the weekly Career Coach column for the Washington Post’s Capital Business section, will deliver her keynote address during the opening ceremony of the National Association of Women MBAs Conference and Career Fair at the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City, Va.

As academic sponsor for the Oct. 9-11 event, the Smith School will lead discussions on women in finance, marketing and consulting. Overall, 19 Smith School alumnae and staff members will participate as panelists and moderators.

Abigail Zaniel, who served as president of the Smith Association of Women MBAs until her May 2014 graduation, said the conference and career fair will provide a friendly environment for participants to network, share stories and draw strength from each other.

“Women face special challenges in the workplace,” Zaniel said. “We need opportunities for candid conversations about work-life balance and other issues.”

Smith’s current chapter president, Jessica Ferraioli, said the event will also give women a chance to meet role models who have broken gender barriers in male-dominated industries.

“Women need to see a reflection of themselves in the workplace,” she said. “It is comforting to meet someone who went down your intended path, and to see that they made it to the other side.”

Ferraioli said her club has hosted seminars to help the school’s women MBA students get ready for the career fair. Preparation course participants have included full-time, part-time, online and executive MBA women.

“We connect all populations,” she said. “Women are excited to come to our events.”

Women in Finance panelists will include Smith MBA alumnae Kristie Bradford, GE Capital; Uduak Essien, Export-Import Bank of the U.S.; Lanta Evans-Motte, independent financial adviser; Leisy Justiz, IRS; Mari Nishi, Inter-American Investment Corporation; and Johanna Polsenberg, Conservation Investment and Finance Advisers.

The Women in Marketing panel, moderated by Smith’s Executive MBA director of recruiting Shelbi Brookshire, will feature Smith alumnae Kristina Bailey, Capital One; Stephanie Bauer-Marshall, Verizon Wireless; Laura Bennett, independent screenwriter; Asuntha Chiang-Smith, U.S. Department of Housing and Community Development; and Katie Cleary, Campbell Soup.

The Women in Consulting panel, moderated by Smith’s director of graduate alumni relations Sharon Strange-Lewis, will feature Albertina Brett, Booz Allen Hamilton; Kara Hedges Sasse, Gallup; Andrea Keating, Crews Control and TeamPeople; Valerie Lubrano, Overseas Private Investment Corporation; and Nashira Nicholson, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

“We are committed to supporting women MBA students, so it is an honor to serve as academic sponsor for this event,” Smith School Dean Alex Triantis said. “Our participation will help us meet our goals of attracting and advancing more women in business careers.”

For more information.

About the Robert H. Smith School of Business
The Robert H. Smith School of Business is a recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, graduate and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certificate programs at locations in North America and Asia. Learn more at rhsmith.umd.edu.

About the National Association of Women MBAs
The National Association of Women MBAs is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to empowering female business professionals, to assisting women into leadership positions in business, and to enhancing the diversity of the workforce worldwide. Learn more at www.mbawomen.org.

Source: Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park

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