We spoke to some of Warwick’s most inspiring women. Knowing full well that many of Warwick’s ambitious female students are forced to confront the reality of a career ladder that notoriously disadvantages them, we decided to approach the Women in Consulting branch of Warwick Consulting Society. It was there that we met Lara Kasperkovitz and Sara Schein, two second-year students who are currently running this department.
What is ‘Women in Consulting’?
Women In Consulting is a branch of the Warwick Consulting Society, the largest academic society on campus with a focus on consulting. Women In Consulting is directed towards all the female members of the society. We organise a range of events, including panel debates, networking sessions, insight days and skills sessions in collaboration with representatives from some of the biggest and most prestigious consulting firms. We want to spread knowledge around management consulting and empower our female members to seek career opportunities within consulting but also other industries.
What inspired you to start WIC?
WIC was founded only three years ago. There are a lot of different career opportunities out there, but with a lot of opportunities comes difficult choices, and we experienced that many students often feel confused about which career path to take. At the same time, it can be very tough to manage to create high quality applications, practicing for interviews and assessment centres while keeping up with studies and social life. Therefore, we felt a need to offer support and bridge the gap between female students and women in the industry that were in the same position just a few years ago. For us, starting WIC meant offering tailored events to inspire female students in different aspects: to provide invaluable insights into management consulting; boost their confidence in seeking different career opportunities, and at the same time help them find a balance between university, extracurricular activities and leisure time.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in setting up and running WIC?
Since WIC was founded quite recently, people are sometimes confused about whether we are an independent society or what membership is required to attend our events (which are free for all members of Warwick Consulting Society). Our current challenge is to make more people aware of WIC, what we stand for and the amazing opportunities that we provide to our female members. We also work towards ensuring that as many students as possible are able to attend our events, as we understand that they may sometimes clash with lectures and other commitments.
What about your proudest achievement?
We are very proud that we managed to relaunch the Female Mentorship Scheme this year. The scheme provides over 20 girls with the opportunity of being individually mentored by consultants from McKinsey, PwC, ATKearney, EY and many more prestigious consulting firms. We received over 100 applications and we are delighted that so many students want to participate in the scheme! This year we decided to include skills session as part of the mentorship scheme such as interview skill session and case study practices. We want to empower females to thrive for their career ambitions and make sure they have the best chances possible to access positions in the area of consulting.
What are your goals for WIC and how do you hope to achieve them?
Our main goal for WIC is to make sure that more students find out about us and that we can facilitate females at Warwick in achieving their career ambitions. It can be really challenging to secure a spring week, summer internship or graduate scheme and we have both experienced that ourselves. This is why we want to create an inclusive platform for females at Warwick that aim for a career in consulting. We want to support students with the application, assessment centre and interview process by offering workshops in collaboration with consultancies. By organising two panel debates (one in each term) we want to allow students who do not know whether consulting is the right career path for them to explore what a typical day in the life of a consultant looks like.
What is the best piece of advice you could give young women at university?
We would suggest to any young woman at Warwick to get involved with extracurricular activities, whether it is a sports club, a society or a theatre production. Experiencing and trying new things is key to find out more about yourself and to develop crucial skills for the future.
These experiences are not only helpful for personal development, but also super useful when answering competency-based questions such as ‘Tell be about a time you had to overcome a challenge’ or ‘Can you give me an example when you illustrated leadership skills’ during job interviews. Additionally, you will be surprised how important skills including public speaking or team work can be easily developed by doing a sport or by taking up a role in a society.
What woman most inspires you and why?
Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, is a woman that has truly inspired us both. We can recommend you all to read her book ‘Lean In’ if you haven’t already! Sheryl highlights the importance of empowering women and continuously reaching out for new opportunities. She inspires us to dream big, keep going and to be unafraid of rejections or disappointments in life. No matter how many obstacles or what the outcome, you learn something from it and that is the right path to achieving your full potential.
Sourced from TheBoar.org