Texas Tech University

Rawls Students Attend Women's Entrepreneurship Day in NYC

Trevor Bell

November 30, 2015

On Nov. 19, 2015, Mikaela Mitcham and Catherine Paulino - representing the Rawls College and the Women in Business student organization - attended Women's Entrepreneurship Day (WED) in New York City. The event was held at the Headquarters of the United Nations. WED is an effort started by Wendy Diamond, who is an author, television personality, advocate for animal rights, and founder of several pet-related businesses. The most important message at the conference was that if women worldwide were able to get into business, GDP would increase by $58 trillion.The students were joined by Dr. Shannon Rinaldo, Associate Professor of Marketing, and Jessica Carrillo, Director of Engagement at the Rawls College.

(L to R) Catherine Paulino and Mikaela Mitcham

It was a full day of panel discussions, an awards lunch, and networking with entrepreneurs from New York City and a few celebrities. Panelists hosted at the event were varied and included foreign ambassadors, superstars from the financial sector, entrepreneurs from the technology industry, women seeking to make a difference in the lives of women worldwide, and even a few male entrepreneurs discussing why women's issues are also men's issues.

Mikaela and Catherine felt that this was an amazing opportunity that should be afforded to more women at Rawls. Catherine said of her experience, ""This has been an opportunity of a lifetime. Meeting women leaders from all over the world has sparked my interest in pursuing opportunities that will not only benefit my career but allow me to give back to my community and influence other young women who aspire to make a change in the world someday. It has also reassured me that the only thing stopping us from succeeding are the personal barriers that we create."

Mikaela expressed her own feelings similarly, "Women's Entrepreneurship day was like nothing I have ever experienced. The electric energy at the UN was a true testament to the unwavering power that erupts when a room full of driven and successful women congregate. This was one of the most valuable experiences of my life and so much more than a fun-filled trip to New York, even though it was a blast. I hope that by next year we can help give that experience to someone else."

In addition to learning and networking at the WED conference, the students had time to see Times Square, Grand Central Station, and other New York sights. Dr. Rinaldo and Jessica feel this was a great experience for the students and are hoping to develop a fundraising campaign for future student attendance at WED. Dr. Rinaldo said of the event, "It was so rewarding to watch the students network with successful women entrepreneurs. They made contacts for internships, met so many amazing people, and learned so much about what it takes to be a woman in the business world. I can't wait to take more of our Rawls women to this event in the future.

(L to R) Jessica Carrillo and Dr. Shannon Rinaldo

For photos from the trip, visit the Rawls College's Flickr account.

This supports the efforts outlined in the Rawls College of Business Strategic Plan. Learn more about the LEADER 2020 Strategic Plan and follow our progress on Twitter at #RawlsLeads.