Senior’s Saturday Seminars at the Columbia Business School

On Saturday February 2nd the Colgate Women in Business New York Immersion trip had the opportunity to speak with two inspiring and informative Colgate alumni, Katie Finnegan and Carlee Leraris. Katie Finnegan is a co-founder of the new online shopping resource, Hukkster, through which you can track great items and get notifications of when they go on sale. Carlee Leraris is a long-term employee at Goldman Sachs. Both gave us valuable insight into what it takes for a woman to succeed in traditionally male-dominated sectors, such as investment banking and technology entrepreneurship.

The Seniors first met with Katie Finnegan, who spoke with us about professionalism on the job. Her most powerful piece of advice for success on the job was to “under-promise and over-deliver.” Ultimately, she said, success on the job is about making your boss’s life easier. If she/he can rely on you then your work experience will improve. Additionally, she emphasized the importance of always being more conservative than others when first starting a job. Whether it is presentation in email or the way you dress, it is best to air on the side of greater formality so as to be respectful and give a good first impression when just getting acquainted with a new work environment.

We then had the opportunity to speak with Carlee Leraris who gave us advice on how to distinguish ourselves in the job application process. She asserted that it was critical in this process for us to identify our “brand,” or what makes us different that the number of other candidates. Furthermore, she said this unique “brand” should be visible in our resumes so that it will set us apart from others. Our resumes should not only visually look different, but should tell a story about how we got to where we are today, what has prepared us for the job to which we are applying, and why we would be the best fit for a position.

Both Katie and Carlee emphasized the critical value of ruthlessly networking through LinkedIn or iCAN. In today’s competitive job market, cultivating relationships will make all the difference.