Spotlight on…Courtney Quick Burdette

CourtneyThis week, Courtney Quick Burdette, VP Conference, speaks about why she chose to become involved in CWiB and what she will remember most from her time at Columbia.

Why did you choose to come to CBS?
I chose CBS because it offers one of best MBA programs in the country and perhaps more importantly, has one of the strongest alumni networks and brands. I must also admit that the location was compelling – I had been living in New York City for 5 years prior to business school and knew that I really wanted to remain in the city for my MBA.

What has been your favorite moment at CBS so far?
It’s really difficult to pick one specific moment at CBS – but one recent CBS experience I really enjoyed was a Chazen Study trip to Thailand this past January. Not only was Southeast Asia an incredibly welcoming and beautiful place, but I also had the chance to get know a group of 35 students really well – many of whom I had never really interacted with prior to the trip. After a week of traveling together, I now count many of the people on this trip among my closest friends at CBS! I think this is a great reminder of how vibrant our CBS community is – and that it’s never too late to make lifelong friends – it can happen during orientation or during the last semester of school!

What made you decide to get involved with CWiB?
Throughout my career, I had always benefited greatly from female mentorship and always viewed it as a critical element for success (particularly working on Wall Street). Indeed, one of my mentors from my most recent job prior to business school had attended CBS and always spoke glowingly of her experiences here. Additionally, the year before I applied to CBS, I had the opportunity to attend the CWiB conference because this mentor had been asked to speak on a panel. During that day, I was able to meet so many incredible CBS women and hear about the accomplishments of CBS alumni. My experience at the conference that day was a seminal reason behind my decision to apply to CBS and my determination to become involved with the organization once I arrived here.

Do you have any memorable CWiB moments?

I would say that planning this year’s conference with my Conference Co-VP Rachel McLaughlin was especially memorable – particularly because as I mentioned earlier, the conference was one of the reasons I first became interested in Columbia – I really felt as if I had come full-circle! In planning the conference, I not only had the opportunity to meet very accomplished female leaders (Deborah Spar, Glover, Karis Durmer to name a few), but I also had the chance to partner with the hardest working committee members I could possibly imagine. I feel incredibly lucky to have had such an amazing team who introduced some big changes to the format this year – including venue, timing and content.

Overall, I was so proud to be leading the conference and inspiring other women to join the CWiB community! And the icing on the cake was having my mother there at the Conference to support me – it was really special.

What does being a CBS Woman mean to you?
I have always felt very strongly about women empowering other women. As the eldest of four girls, I have always felt blessed to have parents who really encouraged my sisters and me to be independent thinkers and leaders. A crucial part of this process was the opportunity to attend an all-girls school for elementary and middle school where I could become confident in myself at a young age. At CBS and within CWiB, I feel very lucky to have encountered a similar environment where women can succeed and flourish – and I think that’s thanks to a strong support network that exists here.

What will you be taking away from your time at CBS?
At CBS, I have become more comfortable with taking risks – whether it was by exploring academic subjects that I was not necessarily familiar with, signing up for trips to far-flung countries or becoming friends with people with very different backgrounds from mine. I know I will carry this increased comfort with stepping out of my comfort zone with me post-graduation – in both my personal and professional life – and I am really thankful for the CBS experience that encouraged me to try so many new things!

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About cwib blog

Columbia Women in Business (CWIB) is an organization that strives to provide Columbia Business School women with resources and contacts to assist them in their academic, professional, and personal development. CWIB is committed to working with faculty, administrators, alumni and the greater business community to promote the role of and opportunities for women in business.
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