CWiB Crosses Finish Line with Girls Inc. at Fit for All 5K

Group photo from raceThis morning CWiB partnered with Girls Inc. to complete the Fit For All 5K in Riverside Park.  Forty-four participants, including CWiB members and high school girls from the Girls Inc. program completed the race on a sunny and crisp fall day.  Following the race, everyone re-grouped for post-race bagels and coffee, as well as an ice breaker activity.  The group spent the rest of the morning enjoying the beautiful fall weather in the park, and left the race having exercised and learned about each other’s most embarrassing Halloween costumes!

run pics

The Fit For All 5K was hosted by the West Side YMCA, and aimed to support childhood obesity and diabetes prevention programs.  Girls Inc. is an organization that provides programming and resources to help girls set and accomplish goals, overcome challenges, pursue higher education opportunities, and enter fields in which women are underrepresented, such as STEM.  In addition to running together in events like the Fit for All 5K, CWiB and Girls Inc. partner up throughout the year at various events that allow CWiB members to have a positive impact on the broader community beyond CBS.

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Inspired by…My Grandmother

Grandma

My grandma with me and my older brother

My grandmother found out she gets sea-sick one hour into a three week boat ride from Italy to America. For three long weeks she endured what I can only imagine were some of the most miserable moments of her life so that she could come to the US to make a better life for herself and her future family. Her bravery and resilience are what make my grandma an inspiration to me and why, even a year after her passing, I continue to learn from her every day.

What my grandparents had was a true love story. My grandparents met in their small village outside of Parma, Italy. My grandfather came to the US first, following his older brothers, and taking odd jobs where he could, finally landing as a busboy and working his way up to a waiter. He saved his money for a year so that he could send it back to Italy and my grandmother could buy a boat ticket to join him.

My grandmother truly had the opportunity to live the American Dream. While she and my grandfather really struggled – she held a full time job as a seamstress while picking up extra hours on nights and weekends as a housekeeper, and my grandfather worked 3 jobs as a waiter – they were able to purchase a house, see their children go to college, and above all, ensure that their family had all the opportunities that wouldn’t have been available to them had they stayed in their village in Italy.

I know that this is probably the story of a lot of individuals’ grandparents or even parents, but it’s always important for me to take a step back and remember where I came from. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in life and forget about what it took and the sacrifices that were made to get you to that moment.

In the later years, my grandma’s memory began to fade. What started with questions of “where did I leave my glasses?” turned into “what day is it?” and later to “who are you?”

In the beginning, though she couldn’t remember what she had just eaten for lunch an hour prior, she could distinctly invoke memories of the past, recounting stories of her childhood in Italy and her large family. We all hung on every word as she told us of the days spent out in the field on her farm back in Italy, and the time the American soldiers came to her farmhouse during WWII.  In the more recent years, however, even those memories faded. I slowly watched my grandma become a shell of who she once was, and it was extremely difficult to watch.

Our family learned an incredible lesson of patience in the last few years of my grandma’s life, my mom especially. While it was easy to become frustrated when you had to answer the same question for the hundredth time (despite her fading memory, my grandma had an arsenal of about 5 questions she kept in constant rotation – somehow that part of her memory still worked), you had to always remember to take a step back and realize that this was not an act, and that she wanted this even less than we all did. My grandmother passed away last summer, and while it was difficult to come to the realization that we would never again enjoy her incredible stories over delicious homemade Italian meals, we knew that she was finally where she belonged – with my grandfather, who we knew had been waiting 17 years for her.

As children you take your family for granted, assuming they will be around forever. It’s not until you get older when you really begin to appreciate your family for who they are and where they came from. I’m so incredibly fortunate to have gotten the opportunity to learn from my grandma and I try to live my life inspired by her lessons of hard work, perseverance and above all, love for one’s family despite the difficult times that may come. Because at the end of the day, we can be the most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders, but often what you’ll be most remembered for is for being “mom” or “grandma.”

–Kristen Bierfeldt ’15

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Women in the News: Kirsten Gillibrand

By Gillibrand2010, Senator Gillibrand’s official 2010 campaign Flickr account (Flickr) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand recently released a memoir entitled Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World.  In this work Gillibrand details the personal and professional events that have shaped her career and the issues she has prioritized as a public servant.   She also shares the challenges she has faced as a woman in a male-dominated workplace, and offers advice for women navigating a career in which women are underrepresented.  Off the Sidelines debuted at number 8 on the New York Times Best Seller list.

Gillibrand was elected to serve in the US House of Representatives in 2006.  She was sworn in to the Senate in 2009 following Hillary Rodham Clinton’s nomination to be Secretary of State.  In her book, Gillibrand emphasizes the importance of women’s involvement in key decisions and urges women to advocate for and take the lead in developing solutions to the problems and issues that affect them.  In addition to the book, Gillibrand has also launched the Off the Sidelines campaign, which provides resources, connections, and support to encourage women to run for office and engage in activism and efforts to make a positive impact on causes they care about.

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Women in the News: Malala Yousafzai

By Russell Watkins/Department for International Development (https://www.flickr.com/photos/dfid/14714344864/) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Last Friday Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, 17, became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.  Yousafzai gave her first speech on education rights in 2008 in Peshawar.  She later chronicled the growing influence of the Taliban in a blog for BBC Urdu.  During the time that Yousafzai blogged for the BBC, military operations led to the closure of many girls’ schools and violence inhibited girls from pursuing educational opportunities.  Yousafzai described the destruction of over a hundred girls’ schools as well as the implementation of a ban that prevented girls from accessing education.  She recorded the impact of this activity on her ability to continue with her studies and career aspirations.

On October 9, 2012 Yousafzai was the victim of an assassination attempt by a Taliban gunman, who attempted to kill her and two other girls on a bus.  Yousafzai sustained brain damage as a result of the gunshot wound, but recovered within a few months of the shooting.  This assassination attempt provoked worldwide media attention as well as local protests throughout Pakistan.  The Right to Education Bill was ratified in Pakistan following the assassination attempt.

The Nobel Peace Prize is one of Malala Yousafzai’s numerous accolades over the past two years.  She was also featured on the cover TIME magazine’s “The 100 Most Influential People in the World” 2013 issue, and spoke at the United Nations in 2013.  The Nobel Peace Prize honors Malala Yousafzai’s courageous defense of and commitment to education rights.  It also indicates confidence in her potential as an activist to positively influence attitudes toward and culture surrounding girls’ education and to preserve educational opportunities for all children.

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Recruiting season begins with Career Networking Event

Cwib Networking Event 2Cwib networking reception 1

Recruiting season is here!  Corporate presentations, networking events, coffee chats and the like are underway and our calendars are steadily getting busier than ever. In an attempt to provide our members with a casual networking opportunity prior to narrowing in on certain recruiting tracks and firms, CWiB hosted a Career Networking Event on October 3rd with many firms across financial services, consulting and technology represented. We had approximately 60 CWiB members come to talk to firm representatives, many of whom were alumnae of CBS. We would like to thank many of our sponsors for participating in this event and providing continued opportunities for our members to learn about their firms. We hope to see everyone back at Conference on November 14th where the learning and networking will continue!

Cheers,

The Careers and Corporate Relations Team



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