The third annual conference of the Wharton Women in Business Alumnae Group was about action and about how action translated into the successes of its attendees and speakers.
The two-day conference centered around the stories of alumnae who are in charge of their lives and have clear visions of where they’re going and where they’ve been.
Mindy Posoff, WG’86, managing director of Golden Seeds—the fourth largest U.S. angel investor network—and managing director of the consulting firm Traversent Capital Partners LLC, told the story of how she moved away from Wall Street and focused instead on hedge funds and an angel investing operation largely devoted to giving women investors the chance to support women entrepreneurs.
And in certain cases, a clear vision can entail allowing onself the time to rethink one’s direction. Priya Trauber, WG’97, shared the story of her meteoric rise through the ranks of such top world banks as UBS and Morgan Stanley, and then of her decision last year to step off the corporate ladder.
“I’ve always had a plan, I’ve always had a vision,” she said. “I have no plan right now.”
She gave herself permission to live without a plan for a finite period of time, she added. In the meantime, she is volunteering at a local school, mentoring fifth-grade girls in math and subbing as a pre-K teacher. Eventually, she knows she will come to her next professional path.
Events like the Wharton Women in Business conference provide professionals the opportunity to discover a network of people to contact for advice and support.
“Take the chance to just talk to people,” Posoff advised attendees, noting that acquaintances and peers can help to connect the dots.
It is also by coming together and sharing stories, advice and encouragement that alumnae can build their presence in the business world. Posoff explained that earlier generations had just one woman at the proverbial corporate table, and that the current generation must “pay it forward.”
Group leader Ann Libby, WG’95, exhorted attendees to consider: “How do I keep this going?” As examples, she pointed to her own group and the efforts of alumnae at certain Wharton alumni clubs—among those New Jersey and Boston—to establish subgroups for female members, as well as any effort by alumnae to take leadership roles among the Wharton community.
The Wharton Women in Business Alumnae Group held its annual conference on March 1 and 2 on the Philadelphia campus.
—By Matthew Brodsky
Editor’s note: View our video highlights of the 2012 annual conference of the Wharton Women in Business Alumnae group.