Contact: Allison Matthews
STARKVILLE, Miss.—A group of young women at Mississippi State University are supporting and encouraging one another in their mutual pursuit of future corporate careers.
Undergraduate Women in Business is a new campus organization that is quickly expanding its membership as student leaders model the group after highly successful chapters at universities across the country, including Harvard University, where it was originally established.
Ten MSU student members also are bringing back ideas from the Intercollegiate Business Convention sponsored by Harvard earlier this week.
Shelby Baldwin, an MSU junior business administration major with a focus on marketing, said the local student organization is designed to “hold each other accountable and push each other to be successful, so when we graduate, we can succeed in the career that we’re all pursuing.”
The Ridgeland native is serving as vice president of marketing for the MSU chapter. She said leaders are fueled with enthusiasm from the Boston conference featuring nationally prominent women business leaders Oct. 21-22.
Baldwin said the annual Intercollegiate Business Convention gives added motivation for students to get involved. She met Beth Schnitzer, co-founder and president of San Francisco-based Spritz Marketing, after the executive spoke in Boston as part of a panel discussion.
“I was drawn to her the most because she was very energetic and had worked in marketing with a variety of different industries,” Baldwin said, explaining that Schnitzer spoke with her after the presentation and shared a business card so Baldwin could reach her with follow-up questions.
Baldwin said she hopes the MSU organization will soon grow to more than 50 students and beyond “to give women a place to build each other up and succeed.” Leaders plan to continue sending an MSU student delegation to the annual Harvard event.
Feifei Zeng, a senior marketing major with concentrations in international business and supply chain management and a minor in foreign language, is the campus organization’s founder and president. She was the first MSU student to get involved with Harvard’s IBC program. This year, she served as IBC campus ambassador to recruit and encourage fellow students.
“I thought bringing awareness and opportunities back to MSU was important because I personally benefitted from opportunities that were given to me. I felt it was my role to give back and facilitate those experiences,” she said, explaining her efforts to help other students with conference travel costs through fundraising and sponsorships.
“I’m proud to see these students creating a path toward success by identifying opportunities for themselves and inspiring others to do the same,” said Laura Marler, associate professor of management and information systems.
“Excellence, effort, enthusiasm and just plain grit is what our College of Business students demonstrate day after day. The creation of the UWIB is a prime example—young women recognizing a need and stepping up to the challenge to fill it,” said Melissa Moore, professor and head of MSU’s Department of Marketing, Quantitative Analysis and Business Law.
Marler and Moore serve as faculty co-advisers.
“With this organization, our students have yet another avenue to supplement their academic, civic and professional growth,” Moore added.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.