Monday, July 18, 2011

Young women see bright future

Ask one of these high school girls what the future of women in business looks like, and you'll get a very positive answer.

These bright and outgoing students recently participated in the first session of Kelley School's Young Women's Institute, sponsored by John Deere.

YWI is a pre-college program that immerses rising high school seniors in the world of business for a week. Selected students get a crash course in Kelley's curriculum, but also work on identifying their personality strengths and polishing presentation skills.

"I've met a lot of strong women this week," said Dhara Baijal of Nashville, Tenn.

She acknowledges women still have challenges in the business world, but their opportunities are increasing.

Sarah Winkeljohn agrees with the positive outlook.

"You see more women who have higher-powered jobs now," said the Fort Wayne, Ind., resident, who wants to go into marketing.

Nikki Hersham of Cresskill, N.J., said the idea of having a business career is more popular now among the girls at her high school, where there is an increasing number of business-minded courses from which to choose.

Arie Teeter of Berne, Ind., has noticed that, too, and pointed out that all of the business teachers at her high school are female.

If this group of students is any indication, there will be many other bright women entering the business world in a few years.

After giving the girls high fives as they walked into the auditorium to give their case presentations, YWI Staff Director Megan Ray said she is impressed with how polished they are.

"They've just had our baby I-Core this week, so it's pretty awesome."

Betsy Doran or Minnetonka, Minn., said her favorite thing about the week was being able to explore options. She learned about venue management -- something she hadn't heard of before her trip to YWI but is now considering as a career.

Winklejohn said it was interesting to see all of the opportunities Indiana University offers.

"There's a diverse chance to do anything you want," she said. "It's a large school, but it still feels homey and small."

Check out the official YWI Facebook page.

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