New University club creates professional network for women

Dora Kreitzer, Contributing Writer

One of the University’s newest clubs, The Women’s Network (TWN), strives to bring career development and a strong female network to campus. 

Founded over the summer, TWN hosted their first meeting on Oct. 4. This chapter joins nearly 150 others at college campuses across the United States and Canada. 

TWN was started at Syracuse University in 2017 and has since expanded to the large organization it is today. They seek to empower women by recognizing the barriers to their success in the workforce and helping women gain the skills and opportunities necessary to break them down. 

“At [the University], I feel like we really lack a women’s based organization. Like we have the major-based ones like the Engineering Society for Women, but I feel like we need something that’s for everybody,” President Megan Lutz ’22 said. “Any non-male identifying individual is who we’re open to. We wanted to create a safe space for those people.”

The University’s TWN plans on holding professional development events such as resume-building or LinkedIn workshops, lectures from speakers and different networking and bonding events. They place a large emphasis on building a supportive community for women. For example, their first meeting was an introductory speed-dating event. They also have plans for doing more relaxed events such as a hot cocoa social. Lutz added that the club plans on doing at least one DE&I event per semester.

“We want to do something with diversity because that is something [the University] really lacks, just having that diverse presence on campus. We want to be able to really push that to the forefront as well,” Lutz said.

Because the University’s chapter of TWN is part of a larger national organization, the planning process for the executive board looked a little different than for other clubs on campus this year. 

Applicants for the executive board had to interview with the CEO and founder, Jamie Vinick. They also needed to attend training sessions on effectively running a TWN chapter and general leadership skills.

“What was amazing about going to these trainings was connecting with other vice presidents and presidents of chapters throughout the country and getting tips and tricks from them on how to run successful chapters,” Vice President Grace Hauer ’24 said. “I truly knew this was an awesome organization when so many other women were reaching out to me and offering their support and help without me having to even ask!” 

Similarly, University TWN members have the opportunity to attend nation-wide events to expand their network to both 30,000+ peers and featured female leaders across the country. On top of these events, national TWN also has a blog, a Slack channel, an upcoming magazine project, a mentorship program, interest groups and a podcast called “Redefining Ambition,” in which they highlight female leaders and their personal experiences in various professional industries. The club also receives funding from the national organization.

“Even at our first meeting I could already tell, it’s going to be something huge on campus,” Lutz said. “And just being able to meet people I think is so important in [the University’s] climate. Everyone is very school and work oriented here… but sometimes you need a little bit of a brain break during the week. And I really want [TWN] to be a space where everyone feels comfortable.”

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