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High School Workshop

On Friday, 26 August, Capital W held their annual High School Workshop at the UNSW CBD Campus. Thirty eager female high school students from Years 11 and 12 attended the event. The day began with an address from UNSW Business School representatives outlining the various degrees that are offered at the Business School, which was then followed by an address from our Co-President, Ashley Chen, who introduced Capital W and outlined the activities for the day.

The students were then split up into teams, where they tackled either a finance or marketing case study, and were mentored by Capital W representatives. The finance teams were tasked with analysing and formulating strategic advice on Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn. In contract, the marketing teams’ goal was to create an innovative marketing strategy for Vogue Australia that accounts for the impact of today’s digital age.

At lunchtime, the students were joined by representatives from six of Capital W’s sponsors. This was their opportunity to obtain first-hand information about these prestigious firms and gain a head start in building their network! After lunch, the representatives rotated among the student groups to share their tips from their extensive experience making presentations in the workplace and help the students perfect their presentations.

Following this was the culmination of a day’s effort: the case presentations. Each group was allocated five minutes to present a comprehensive analysis of their case and propose a final strategy to the panel of judges, that is the sponsor representatives. After an intensive deliberation, the sponsor representatives awarded the team with the most detailed and practical strategy first place! The winners each received a laptop bag full of UNSW Business School merchandise. However, all participants benefited from the feedback the sponsors communicated about their presentations and the rare opportunity to gain an insight into the world of finance/marketing while still in high school!

To wrap up the day, a panel discussion was held with the sponsor representatives, where students asked all their burning questions about the corporate world. The panel passionately reflected on their experiences as women in the workforce, commenting on a variety of issues related to overcoming gender disparity. Furthermore, they shared workplace initiatives that have been put in place to overcome this, such as setting targets for women in managerial positions and flexible work options.

Overall, it was a hugely successful and enjoyable event for all that attended. It was truly humbling to see that students had travelled all the way from places outside of the Sydney Metro area, such as Newcastle and the Central Coast, to attend the event. A huge thank you must be extended to UNSW Business School for partnering with Capital W to make this event possible. [Lastly] or [Last, but certainly not least] or [some other strong concluding word], thank you to Capital W’s sponsors for supporting the high school students and championing Capital W’s mission to motivate the talented women of today to become future business leaders.

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Presence and Branding Workshop

 

On May 29th, Macquarie Group welcomed Capital W members at a ‘Presence & Branding’ Workshop. In an increasingly competitive job market, it has never been more important to give yourself the greatest opportunity to get the job by leaving interviewers and potential employers with the best impression of yourself. As a first year student, I jumped at the opportunity to take part in this workshop to help build my own personal brand and practice my networking skills.

The afternoon was hosted by two members of Macquarie Group’s internal Learning and Development team and focused on providing attendees with practical advice on how they can create their own personal brand, how to differentiate themselves from competitors in the job market and how to leave a lasting impression on potential employers. The afternoon’s session was very interactive and invited all in attendance to practice the skills they were acquiring in a relaxed environment. This was then followed by a networking session with HR representatives and employees of the 2017 Graduate Cohort.

I left the event with a wealth of knowledge about how I can best present myself to potential employers in networking and interview situations. In a stressful interview environment, it can be easy to miss answering crucial parts of a question. Besides that, some people may be more hesitant about assertively ‘selling’ themselves. Hence, I would like to share my three top tips for interview success that I learnt from the workshop;

1. Before a telephone or in-person interview, write a list of points you want to cover in response to potential questions. These could relate to prior experiences you have had and/or skills you may possess.

2. Do not write a speech for telephone interviews. You can come off as automated and you will not be giving the best answer to the questions you may be asked. It is better to go off a list of points (as referred to in tip 1).

3. In most interviews, you will be asked behavioural or situational questions. An example is, “Tell us about a challenge you have faced and how you overcame it.” To ensure you provide a complete and effective answer, structure you answer around the STAR model:

  • Situation- What was the situation you faced?
  • Task- What were you required to do?
  • Action- How did you face the challenge?
  • Result- What was the outcome? (This should always be positive)

This simple model ensures that you provide an excellent answer to even the most challenging and unexpected questions!

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1000 Cracks in the Ceiling

 

The term ‘privilege’ is quickly becoming the third rail of polite conversation. Don’t believe me? Try casually bringing it up the next time you’re in class or at a recruiting event. One of two scenarios will most likely unfold: either you’ll be met with silence and the topic will quickly change, or it will escalate into a heated debate.

So why do I raise this controversial topic when we’re celebrating Capital W’s tenth anniversary? When I was asked to write this article, I reflected on the key things that enabled Capital W to get off the ground – the tenacity and ingenuity of the founding team; the confidence our original sponsors had in us; and the support we received from UNSW. However, it also made me realise, with the benefit of hindsight, that the privileges that I enjoy in life had placed me in a great position to establish Capital W.

Privilege is an unearned advantage that’s given by society to some people but not all. Let’s unpack this definition. First, privilege arises from things we don’t control. Second, in everyday life, privilege is nuanced – in some circumstances we have it, but in others, we don’t. This might seem like a trivial distinction, but it can be incredibly empowering. In my more cynical moments, I dwell on the fact that I face a corporate ceiling made of both glass and bamboo, and I under-appreciate the privileges that have allowed me to influence my environment in some situations. For me, founding Capital W was one of those situations.

Thanks to my middle-class upbringing, I attended a private school targeted by the UNSW Co-op Program. Winning a Finance Co-op Scholarship meant that I could socialise with like-minded students, connect with key members of the business faculty, and form relationships with corporate sponsors. This helped me put forward a strong application for the exchange programme to The Wharton School, where I became inspired by the work of Wharton Women in Business. As a result, when I returned to UNSW with a plan to launch Capital W, I already had a close-knit group of peers to work with, access to university support, and a network of top tier sponsors to tap.

Let me be clear: the fact that Capital W benefitted from my privilege does not diminish all the hard work that many people contributed into making the organisation the success that it is today. Nor am I saying that privilege is something we should perpetuate or celebrate. The simple fact is that privilege exists – many of us must overcome undeserved disadvantages, but also enjoy unearned advantages.

My founding vision for Capital W was to encourage young women to pursue bolder challenges in the hope they would become future business leaders. A quick scan of the headlines and the statistics show that as a society, despite some progress, we still have a fair way to go. As we look forward, this is my challenge to you: be aware of your privileges so you can be opportunistic in the very best sense of the word. Look for circumstances where your privilege presents a chance to push the barrier for you and for others. Seize it. Add to the 1,000 cracks in the ceiling. Change the system.

Stephanie Pow

Founder and Former President of Capital W

Networking Tips (1)

Subcommittee Application Tips

As a naïve first year student, I stepped onto UNSW not knowing what a society subcommittee was. However, thanks to the great Capital W team at O-Week, I was introduced to a society that I immediately envisioned myself becoming a part of.

The subcommittee application process for Capital W was extremely professional and one that I believe has prepared me for when I begin internship and graduate applications. The process to join the subcommittee began with a written application where prospective applicants were required to detail why they wanted to join the subcommittee and the submission of a CV. From this point, I was invited to an interview with two of the Capital W executive team members. The interview was a great challenge for me as I had not previously been exposed to a formal interview environment. I left the interview with a great learning experience, and I would highly recommend applying for a subcommittee to gain experience in the application process.

Receiving an email to say I had a position in the subcommittee came as a great and unexpected surprise. Getting to work with the Capital W team is something I am truly excited about and I am looking forward to working with the rest of the IT portfolio to develop this blog.

My top 3 tips for subcommittee applications are:

  1. Do as much research about the society you are applying for that you can. Having a wide knowledge about the events they have run in the past and any sponsors they may have demonstrates you are interested in the society.
  2. Be prepared to suggest new ideas you might have for the society. They will appreciate your innovation and interest in contributing to the society.
  3. Be yourself in your interview and written application. Your interviewers are just people who read your application to learn more about you and see how you could fit into the organisation.
Nicola Wakefield Evans

Introducing the Annual Dinner 2017 Keynote Speaker: Nicola Wakefield Evans

Register now for the Annual Dinner to hear about Nicola’s experiences!

For more information about the Annual Dinner, please visit the Facebook event.


Nicola Wakefield Evans

Nicola is an Independent Non-Executive Director of the Lend Lease Group, Toll Holdings Limited, Macquarie Group Limited, Macquarie Bank Limited, BUPA Australia & New Zealand and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Nicola is a member of the Audit Committees of Macquarie, Lend Lease and BUPA, the Sustainability Committee of Lend Lease, and chairs the Audit Committee at Toll Holdings, the Board Governance and Compliance Committee at Macquarie and the Risk Committee at BUPA.

Nicola is also a Member of the board of Asialink and Asialink Business (University of Melbourne), the University of New South Wales Foundation Limited and the Takeovers Panel.

Nicola is a lawyer and spent nearly 30 years at King & Wood Mallesons (20 years as a partner). Nicola has extensive experience as an equity capital markets and M&A lawyer and has been involved in a number of significant and ground-breaking M&A transactions and has advised some of the largest companies in Australia, Asia and globally. Nicola had several management roles at King & Wood Mallesons including Partner in Charge (Sydney), Managing Partner, Practice (Australia) and Managing Partner, International (Hong Kong) and has lived and worked in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, New York and Hong Kong.

Nicola was selected in 2009 as a member of Advance Asia 50 – a group of the most influential Australians living & working in Asia and was selected in 2011 as a member of Advance Global 50 – a group of leading Australian women working outside Australia.  Nicola was named in 2013 as one of the inaugural 100 Women of Influence by the Australian Financial Review

Nicola is married to Kym Evans and they have 4 sons.  Nicola’s interests include sailing, walking, music and theatre.

Networking Tips

Networking Tips

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My number one tip for networking is that practice is key. To be honest, in my first year of university, I thought I was pretty good at networking. However, as I attended more networking events, I realised there were many gaps in my knowledge. Here are my recommendations when it comes to effective networking:

1. Be aware of your body language

a. How are you standing?
For instance, something as simple as your stance can have such a major impact. If, for example, you are speaking to a representative or peer with your feet pointed towards them and body facing them directly, this gives the impression that you are having a private conversation and do not welcome others to join in.

b. Welcome others into the group
However, if you are in a situation where you would like others to join the ‘circle,’ do the opposite. For instance, when you meet like-minded people or want to hear the questions others ask representatives. This is when you have your feet pointing more outward and shoulders diagonal, conveying a more open and inclusive message.

c. Be aware of your actions
Similarly, folded arms can show that you are uninterested and unwilling to have a conversation. In contrast, if you smile and make eye contact with whom you are speaking to, this demonstrates you are both engaged and interested.

2. Be prepared with conversation points

Networking is about building relationships and a great way of doing so is speaking about topics that interest you. While talking about the weather is a safe topic that everyone can contribute to, it is a little overdone. Others topics like current affairs, holiday plans and reflecting on the event attended are great discussion points as they can be easily adapted to the situation and environment you are in. For instance, if someone is at a workshop related to Taxation, and the Federal Budget was just released for the year, consider mentioning a part of the budget related to what was spoken about in the workshop.

Some go to questions are:

What did you think of the speaker/presentation/workshop?

I read an interesting article about ___, what do you think of it?

Do you have any plans for the summer/winter break?

To sum up, be aware of your body language and whether it is sending your desired message. Speak about topics that genuinely interest you to spark conversation and adapt discussion to the situation.

All the best!

If you want to put these tips and skills into action, come along to Capital W’s Annual Dinner https://www.facebook.com/events/1915989965093113/

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International Women’s Day Breakfast

What a wonderful morning of celebration! On 10 March, UNSW’s Capital W, UTS’ Women in Business, Macquarie’s Women Entering Business, and USYD’s Network of Women collaborated to create an event where men and women came together to ‘Take a Stand’ and #BeBoldForChange. Our panel consisted of:

  • Cindy Hook: CEO at Deloitte
  • Stewart Brentnall: Chief Investment Officer at ANZ
  • Verity Firth: CEO of the Public Education Foundation and former MP
  • Yolanda Beattie: Principal and practice leader for diversity and inclusion practice for Mercer in Australia
  • Scott Wharton: EGM of Strategy and Performance in Enterprise Systems at CBA

Facilitated by Catherine Fox (journalist and former columnist of ‘Corporate Women’ at the AFR Boss Magazine), the panelists discussed the importance of gender equality in the workplace, shared measures their workplaces were taking to obtain this goal, and answered questions from the audience. This was followed by a networking session where students had the chance to ask our panelists questions one on one and meet representatives from our combined 21 sponsors across the four societies.

Head over to our gallery to relive the event. If you loved our International Women’s Day Breakfast, or would like to attend something similar, register for our Annual Dinner coming up on 4 July!