Past to Present: An Interview with Carly Keller ’13 (part one of a three piece series)

This is a transcribed interview of a conversation between Current CEO Elaina Atallah ’16 and CWiB Founder/Past CEO Carly Keller ’13


EA: What inspired you to start the club three years ago and what did you hope to accomplish?

CK: I was an intern at Chegg and I had this idea after seeing Stanford Women in Business through a couple of friends be a really successful organization on campus. They brought in speakers and had the fortune of being close to Silicon Valley and were able to host conferences and summits and all sorts of different things. That organization had been around for ten years at that point. I started to study some of the other clubs. Having been a part of several different clubs on campus I was aware of some of the bureaucracy of CLSI and SGA, how clubs are formed and what you need to do to get money. I started talking with the student body president saying, “Hey, I don’t want to mess around about getting this started, we only have our senior year and I want this to be something of value to my classmates.” I started to put together a plan and talk to some of my friends about what they would want out of an organization that would help them with their career aspirations or prepare for internships. Being part of Career Services, I knew a lot of the resources that were available. I was interning with Teresa [Olsen] that previous year and coming back to campus, I felt that there needed to be a venue for people to talk about their experiences. At that time TIA was just getting off the ground, and the Finance club was a pretty closed community in terms of industry. That wasn’t what I wanted to do, and I knew lots of people who felt that it was the only thing that Colgate strived to provide for. Whether or not that true didn’t really matter. When I was looking at starting this club because I wanted to find a way to find a small enough audience that it would be something that people would become interested on their own, but also big enough that we could talk about a bunch of different topics and have people who were interested in all different paths get together.

That summer I organized the structure of the organization, I asked Teresa to be our advisor. Having worked with her I knew that she would be a great resource to the club and having someone in Career Services would be helpful. I recruited five other women to put the plans together and kick it off. We started the fall as though we were already an official organization and then went through the SGA process to become a formalized group that could actually apply for money. I was friends with people on the BAC and talked to them about the fastest way to get a budget through. We had enough momentum going into the Activities Fair, and got a lot of involvement from other organizations I was a part of to come and see what we were going to do. From there the club was formed.

EA: Obviously members of our club range from first-years to seniors so what advice did you wish you knew as a first-year and what advice do you wish you knew as a senior that you know now?

 CK: I wish as a freshman I had known all the different resources available on campus. There are a whole many different ways you can get help on all different topics. I used Career Services and CLSI. The Center for Teaching Leadership and Research is an awesome place if you are struggling academically and understanding learning differences. The Counseling Center is a tremendously valuable resource and it was a great outlet to talk to someone. I didn’t go for any major life event but rather just when I felt that I needed it. It is also completely free which is something you don’t have to think about and don’t have the benefit of in the real world. College is the time to go out and try everything possible. It also keeps you sane, especially because there is so much going on all the time.

For seniors, I have actually worked a lot with people who are in internships and I have found that even though its not exactly what anyone wants to do right after school, it is a really great way to test something out to see if you actually like it. It is the best possible interview to have. When you are twenty-one, or twenty-two you don’t know that much about what is out there, and what kind of boss someone is, and what kind of paths are available for career development. When you are intern, it can be a really great way to set a trial. Don’t be nervous about finding your first job out of school. If you have the chance to shadow someone over spring or winter break that’s a great way to find out what is out there and put yourself in front of potential employers. Something could pan out between January and May. To place someone six months ahead of time is not feasible in a lot of industries. If your friend’s mom asks you what you are doing after school you should say, “Well I am currently looking for a job in marketing and tech in San Francisco. If you know of anyone who would be good to talk to let me know.” It is a really good way to bounce back from the conversation you could be having which is much more negative. Sometimes they know you better than you know yourself and may have a better sense of your skills.

A Call to First-Years and Sophomores… Why Join CWiB?

“Why join Colgate Women in Business?” a first-year might ask at the activities fair. “Sure, I’m a woman but I have no idea what I want to do after graduation!”

Colgate Women in Business (CWiB) is more than a pre-professional group on campus. CWiB helps undergraduate women build confidence, understand their strengths, and realize their passions.

CWiB shares insights about how to break into the business world and the opportunities that exist post-Colgate. Our organization educates women through their peers and from Colgate alumnae in varying business fields. The support of other women who have been through the internship and job search processes is paramount and provides a reliable support system to students entering business.

My involvement in CWiB has helped me narrow down on careers that I don’t want to pursue, which is just as useful as realizing a specific path after graduation. I have had the opportunity to build relationships and gain advice from alumnae who see the value in supporting undergraduate women. I have learned life-skills in CWiB coffee hours, such as budgeting and the importance of body language, which I can always carry with me.

When I joined my sophomore year, I was looking for some more information about career fields that might be interesting. Since then, I have come to love this organization of women who support one another and who take advantage of all that Colgate has to offer.

– Mallory Hart ’16, Content Director

Here is why some of our Executive Board Members decided to join CWiB in their first-years….


“I joined CWiB as a freshman because I knew that from the start I really wanted to be on top of driving my career and understanding how career exploration and the job search worked. I also really wanted something I could get involved in from an early stage in my college career. In the spring of my first-year I served as the Conference Director of the first Immersion Trip, and by the end of that semester I was selected to serve as the CFO. The experience I received early on from CWiB was vital to my development throughout my career at Colgate!”

– Elaina Atallah’16, CEO


“I joined CWIB for a few reasons: to meet smart young women, to increase my exposure to the business world, and to become more comfortable networking. In the past few years I’ve been involved in CWIB, the club has absolutely fulfilled my expectations and more. Joining CWIB was one of the best decisions I’ve made at Colgate!”

– Ariana Martin ’16, CFO


“I joined CWiB my first year as the secretary for the executive board to learn more about the experiences of other females on campus seeking to transition their liberal arts education to business industries. The group seemed like a great network of women looking to empower each other in their career pursuits and I knew I wanted to be a part of it early on to ensure its success on campus.” 

– Lauren Casella ’16, CCO

Amanda Milberg Discusses the Forté Foundation College 2 Business Leadership Conference

April 10th, 2015 – Deloitte. 30 Rockefeller Plaza, NYC

This past Friday I attended the Forté Foundation College 2 Business Leadership Conference. After a competitive application process, I along with 80+ women representing 40 schools as well as multiple countries came together at Deloitte’s office in New York to ‘learn by doing’. The conference started with a presentation by Nicole Weber, the Corporate Trainer from Great on the Job. Nicole taught me how to perfect my pitch and take my leadership to the next level by improving my brand. She explained how I can improve my executive presence by having confidence, looking great, sounding great, and sharing my story about what makes me unique. After her remarkable and informative presentation, there was a summer internship panel consisting of three current representatives from Citi, Macquarie Group, and Deutsche Bank. These three women helped me gain a better understand on how to prepare my resume, interview successfully, and the necessary steps to land my dream job in the upcoming future.

The rest of the afternoon was spent doing an online Marketplace Business Simulation. Each group consisted of four women and one mentor from a one of the companies that sponsors Forté Foundation. This stimulation places each team in a virtual business world setting as the managers of start-up company. Each individual was responsible for a given department, I was the head of manufacturing, but the team worked cohesively to execute a business strategy and make the final decisions. The stimulation gave each team the opportunity to experience all aspects of business management. I quickly realized the challenges, benefits, risks, and rewards of a business environment.

The last hour of the conference was a Company and Graduate School Expo which allowed each of the participants to talk to employers and network. Overall, I learned so much in such a short period of time and am so thankful that CWiB introduced me to this opportunity. I spent the entire day talking to aspiring women business leaders and making important connects with big name companies who are interested in having motivated women, like myself, become a part of their team in the future.

Deborah Tutnauer ’81 Discusses How to Demand Your Value as a Women in the Workplace

Deborah Tutnauer ’81, gave an extremely powerful talk last Friday about how women can demand more in the workplace, and why this is important. She discussed that women carry old stories and heavy baggage about money around with them, both unconsciously and consciously. Deborah took us through the history of money and demonstrated that money has always been in a male domain. She then stated that men and women both have a responsibility to change this and bring money into balance. According to Deborah, women typically want to help others and claim that making a lot of money is not important to them. As a women who feels similarly, this part of the lecture was extremely interesting and applicable to me. As a life coach and mentor, Deborah said she constantly has to remind women that money IS important! If women have passion AND money, then they can make an even greater impact on the world and help even more people.

Deborah brought up a lot of great points about our relationship to money that we typically do not discuss: our value, worthiness,  self-greed, power, altruism, and business. Many women feel that if they demand more money, they are power-hungry and greedy. This does not have to be the case. There is plenty of money out there waiting to be made by women and waiting to be put towards something important.

So how do we demand more for our value? Deborah says that first we must shift our stories. We all carry around stories and beliefs about money. We must shift these stories and bridge the gap by asking ourselves what our beliefs about money are and what we want them to be. Women oftentimes see the world through a filter and we must dissect these filters and find a way to make a shift so that women can recognize their self-worth and demand the money that they deserve.

Know the Hiring Manager, Land the Job

The hiring manager for any particular job is usually the person that requested the opening be made on the team and almost always the supervisor the eventual hire will report to. Hiring managers play a key role in the interview process and define the responsibilities and qualifications required of candidates. Their opinion is heavily weighed when a decision is made, so knowing who the hiring manager is and using that information to your advantage is a great way to give yourself a leg up.

Read the rest of this article here to learn more about how to land your next job!