Thursday, September 29, 2011

Alumna Spotlight: Former CWBS President!

Beth Malin 
Columbia College '11
Majored in Sociology

Current Position: Administrative Assistant in Automotive and Financial Ad Sales at Google

What advice would you give current CU students in regards to career choices?  Explore as many options as possible. Even if you think you're set on going into a certain field, don't let that stop you from trying out internships in other fields or at least networking with people in other fields! It may sound cliche, but networking is one of the BEST things you can do, never underestimate how valuable it will be! And always keep in touch with people you meet and network with, you never know when a simple thank you follow up email might lead to an internship or important contact later on! Another easy way to stay connected and keep track of your network is to connect with everyone you meet on LinkedIn.   

 What clubs or organizations were you involved with while at Columbia University?  CWBS from Freshman to Junior year, held the following positions: Career and Academic Co-Chair, Marketing Director, President; Sigma Delta Tau Sorority, served as Vice President of Recruitment for 2 years; Columbia College Women Executive Board Student Liaison; Columbia College Class of 2011 Senior Fund Vice Chair; Lunar Gala Fashion Show producer for 2 years.

Where and when did you intern?  
Freshman year summer: Mount Sinai Hospital Marketing Department and Energy Up Health and Wellness Non-Profit  
Sophomore year summer: United Entertainment Group, a celebrity and brand marketing company, daughter company of United Talent Agency in LA  
Junior Year Summer: NBC Universal, Digital Ad Sales, Pure Play Division

 Did your major/career goals change from when your were a first year to when you graduated? How so?  Yes! Before joining CWBS and learning about all different fields of business, I was under the impression I had to go into finance if I wanted to go into business because that's what everyone seemed to be doing.  It also seemed like there was pressure to gravitate towards finance because of salary and the prestige finance roles seemed to exude.  However, once I did some networking, took an econ class, attended a number of CWBS finance events and learned more about the industry, I quickly realized it was not right for me, which led me to explore further.  Then as people always say, you really need to weed out some things you think you're interested in to figure out what you really want to do, again very cliche but 100% true and that was pretty much what I did until I ended up at Google.  Although I don't know specifically where my career is headed, I know I'm learning a ton, enjoying everyday of work and figuring out day by day what I'm really interested in pursuing further!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Missed the Bloomingdale's Event Last Week?

Here's an overview of what you missed from the blog HerCampus Barnard. Check it out!

Behind the Big Brown Bag: 
Columbia Women's Business Society Shares All

Monday, September 26, 2011
By Jane Dong  
Think the retail business may be for you? Read about the way it works at the prestigious department store,  Bloomingdale's! 

As one of the largest pre-professional societies on campus, the Columbia Women’s Business Society tries to host a variety of exciting and informative events. With Columbia and Barnard’s proximity to Wall Street, it is inevitable that many of our events are geared towards finance. However, one of our first events of the year was a discussion with successful women in the retail business. During our Bloomingdale’s event, we had Columbia Business School alumna come and speak to us about their job as buyers and how they got to where they are today.

Buyers :  
Buyers work on marketing and public relations, but are mainly focused on product assortment. They set buying strategies many months in advance and try to predict future trends so they can purchase the best items. It is a job that requires a combination of quantitative skills and creativity. The Bloomingdale’s buyer will manage relationships with suppliers such as Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren as well as determine budgets and collections in order to maximize profit. All buyers are based in New York and have a great deal of power in that they determine which types of clothing will get sent to the different stores.  In order to become a buyer, one must go through a full-time program, starting as an assistant buyer.

Assistant Buyer:

Assistant buyers also have a say in what the department store purchases for its clientele. Often, they are given 2-5 million dollars and told to allocate it to either a certain brand or a specific type of clothing. After about 12-18 months as an assistant buyer, one can become a planner and examine more of the financial side of the business. Eventually, the person will work his/her way up and become a buyer.

They want YOU: 
Being an assistant buyer at Bloomingdale’s doesn’t require a certain major, and hiring is done mostly based on "soft" skills since the actual skills you need will  be taught either during your internship training or the full 10 week training program all new employees go through. Another major perk? It is also one of the few big companies that allows interns and new employees to interact with the President and other top executives.

Anyone interested in retail should definitely look into Bloomingdale’s program for buyers. People like Andrea Jung, the CEO of Avon, and Mickey Drexler, the CEO of J. Crew started out working at Bloomingdale’s as buyers. Columbia University definitely has some future CEOs in the making, we'll add our names to this impressive list very soon! 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Columbia Women's Trading Competition!

This year, CWBS is launching its first Columbia Women’s Trading Competition (CWTC), an online trading contest for CWBS members.

Starting the first trading day in October, and ending the first trading day in May, CWTC will allow contestants to dabble in the world of stock markets without having to sweat with fear over losing their hard-earned money. Just like pilots take hands on training in the simulators before handling real aircrafts, traders should get hands on experience by playing in a virtual stock market competition before getting into the real world of stock markets and share trading. Whether you're new to the financial markets or an experienced trader, this is a powerful tool for building skill, testing and refining your trading strategy, or gaining important investing experience.

My first time participating in a stock market competition was two summers ago, during a summer internship at an investment bank. Although I did not win 1st place in the competition, I learned A LOT about the world of investing. Please find below 3 Investing Tips that I wish I knew in my first trading competition:  

1. Diversify: No matter how much you love the tech industry, don't put all your money into Apple and Microsoft. The key to building a good investment portfolio is diversification – SPREAD THE RISK AROUND. Luckily, exchange-traded funds offer great and easy ways to do just that.

2. Buy Low, Sell High: It's frightening how many people will buy stocks just because they've recently risen, and those same people will sell when stocks have recently performed poorly. Wakeup call: When stocks have fallen, they are low, and that is generally the time to buy! Similarly, when they have skyrocketed, they are high, and that is generally the time to sell! Don't let fear (when stocks have fallen) or greed (when stocks have risen) take over your decision making.

3. Invest in what you know: A stock price is based not on past performance, but on what investors think it will do. Before purchasing shares of a stock, you should know enough about the stock so you can set your own expectations. Learn how to read stocks, and buy the ones you think will go up. One easy way to do that is with a good stock screener like MSN's StockScouter.

If you are interested in participating in the competition, or have questions about the competition, please email Gabrielle Berg at
*Note: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will be awarded prizes!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

First General Body Meeting of the Semester - TONIGHT

General Body Meeting
Lerner 568 from 8pm-9pm

Topics of discussion will include:

  • Introduction to the new board
  • The formation of this year’s Marketing and Conference-Planning committees
  • Information about the mentorship program
  • A general introduction to the society for our newest members
  • More information about our publications
This meeting is the best way to stay informed of upcoming events and informed of the society as a whole – and highly advisable to those who wish to become more involved with the society.