Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Career

Role Models for Today’s College Women

From Barbara Walters to Katie Couric, women have been paving the way within the workforce for decades, leading us to wonder: where would we be without these strong and independent females to look up to? Whether it’s Hillary Clinton or Maya Angelou, Her Campus wants to know which career-changing women inspire you. While some of these females are just beginning their careers and others are blasts from the past, regardless (in the words of Tyra), these women are fierce. Brianna Bonelli, University of Utah, 2011 My Career Role Model: Amelia Earhart, American aviation pioneer and first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean
Not only could Amelia fly a plane, but her “smizing” skills were pretty good too! Why: “Amelia was the first woman to not only take flight, but actually be the pilot. She stormed a college campus in slacks, and showed the world women are just as capable of accomplishing anything men could do. Amelia did this facing full adversity from everyone she knew and anyone who knew of her.” Turning inspiration into action: “My whole life I have always wanted to travel. The thrill of meeting new people, experiencing new cultures, and tasting new and foreign foods has always appealed to me. At times, like Amelia, I have felt such trials, when facing my family, but I know that the desire for travel and knowledge of other worlds is the largest part of who I am. I finally got my chance to travel when I went abroad to Costa Rica and Brazil, which was one of the best experiences of my life. When I feel like the struggle for independence is weighing on my shoulders like boulders, I remind myself of Amelia and keep pushing on.” Michelle Golden, Emerson College, 2011 and Stacy Lipson, Temple University, 2010 My Career Role Model: Michelle Obama, first African American First Lady of the United States
Why (Michelle): “Wife of President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama is not only the first African American First Lady of the United States, and a mother to her two daughters, Sasha and Malia, but also a leader in many political and social aspects. Michelle is an inspiration to all women specifically, bringing forth compassion and dedication. Her thoughts on improving the education of our youth by providing them with talented and committed teachers show that she has a vision for the next few generations. This level of compassion and dedication to a cause is what makes Michelle Obama a role model for me. She, like the President, encourages today’s society that yes, we can and we will.” Why (Stacy): “Classy and elegant, she is truly a lady. I love how she balances her family and career. Not many women of today’s society can do that and manage it well!” Turning inspiration into action (Michelle): “I may be interning at an art gallery in the summer one day and a ballet studio in the fall the other, but I do know that writing, since the day I learned how to pick up a pencil, has been a dream I am not willing to just wake up and forget,” says Golden. “Ultimately I want my words to make the difference in someone else’s life. Like every other WLP student at Emerson, I, too, want my own column in a magazine and want to see my memoir one day published and showcased in the glass windows of every Borders Bookstore. I do know though that Rome was not built in a day and have been working hard to see it all become real.” Turning inspiration into action (Stacy): “As an aspiring journalist, I’ve been trying to freelance as much as possible. It’s been a new challenge to write about the topics that I personally care about. For instance, I wrote an article recently for MarieClaire.com on married men who pay for sex. It was an investigative piece, and I spent almost a month researching different experts and preparing for the article. Like Michelle, I’m trying to put myself out there and achieve my personal and professional goals. I want nothing more than to be an investigative journalist.” Nicola Brooks, International Relations major, University of Delaware My Career Role Model: Angela Kane, Under-Secretary-General for Management, United Nations
Why: “A long-time veteran of the United Nations, Angela Kane is no stranger to global issues. Before being appointed the Under-Secretary-General position in 2008, Kane has played key roles concerning administrative task forces, specifically focusing on human resources reform. Before her leadership within the United Nations, Kane worked for the World Bank in Washington, D.C. Specifically, the World Bank is an international organization that creates development programs in areas such as: educating about hygiene and sanitation, creating clean water filtration systems, building infrastructure, and bringing quality and free education to all children.” Turning inspiration into action: “Just as Kane is committed to creating positive changes on a global scale, likewise, I aspire to have just as great an international impact on the issues our world faces today as well. I want to help improve a great number of people’s lives, particularly those in developing countries, as president of my school’s Uganda Untold, an organization which fundraises, lobbies and raises awareness about the longest running civil war in Africa. This winter, I’ll be making my second trip to India to work with the nonprofit organization, KATHA, a group that focuses on bringing free and quality education to over 200,000 children within the slums of Delhi.”
Julie Tibbetts, University of Connecticut, 2011 My Career Role Model: Dara Torres, U.S.A. Olympic champion swimmer Why: “Dara Torres is a 42-year-old Olympic swimmer who has been able to get back the career she had in her twenties and early thirties. She has been able to overcome her struggles and be the first woman in history to swim in the Olympics past the age of 40. Her perseverance is inspiring because she chose to simply not see age as a hurdle in the way of her goals and was able to win three silver medals in the 2008 Olympics.” Turning inspiration into action: “I am using Torres’s influence to push me towards my goal of getting into law school. Her experience of never giving up is inspirational and makes me believe that I can do whatever I put my mind to.”
Emily Freisher, Temple University, 2010 My Career Role Model: Atoosa Rubestein, former Editor-in-Chief of Seventeen magazine Why: “She was, for many girls who grow up in the ‘90s, one of the few magazine editors known by name. She made that name for herself at Seventeen by throwing her mind and her passions into the magazine, and involving herself in all of the little intricacies that make up a publication. Her leadership at Seventeen not only produced great editorial content, but related her to millions of awkward, quirky teens across the country—not exactly an easy feat.” Turning inspiration into action: “I’d love to edit a magazine in the teen industry because I think it is such a transitional time for kids. We really develop who we are and who we will be as we grow up and I developed a bond with Seventeen, along with other influential magazines for teens, that really pushed me through those years. As of now I’m interning and freelancing my way through my last year of school, hoping to make the jump to New York City in the future!”
Carol Kuruvilla, New York University, 2011 My Career Model: Ellen Levine, Editorial Director of Hearst Magazines Why: “Ellen’s life story is inspiring. She’s such a strong woman—poised, eloquent and confident in her abilities. She worked her way up from the bottom, during a time when the magazine business was dominated by men. She was named the first female EIC of Good Housekeeping since its founding in 1885. While she was at GH, she spearheaded the creation of O, The Oprah Magazine. This is a woman who knows what she’s capable of, and always pushes her limits.” Turning inspiration into action: “I’m a member of New York Women in Communications, Inc. (NYWICI)! It’s a great community for students who want to be in communications. I’m also currently studying abroad in China. I wanted to test my boundaries and experience something completely different from what I’m used to. So I decided to cross the world, learn a new language and hone my journalistic skills in another country.”
Chelsea Orcutt, Syracuse University, 2013 My Career Role Model: Allison Gollust, executive vice president of Corporate Communications at NBC Universal Why: “Ms. Gollust inspires me because she has truly worked her way up through the ranks at NBC and as the company’s spokeswoman, she has successfully dealt with a variety of controversial events and news stories, as well as handled internal and external communications. She has one of the most exciting and challenging PR jobs in the industry, but she still finds time to dedicate herself to organizations such as New York Women in Communications, Inc. as secretary of the Board of Directors. Her success and devotion to her work make her an inspiration to other women in communications.” Turning inspiration into action: “As a freshman Public Relations major at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, I enjoy learning about the exciting and evolving world of communications. My coursework has provided opportunities to shoot and edit video, write news articles, and even utilize PR skills. I am involved in the Ed2010 magazine and publishing group, the Orange Experience synchronized skating team, and I serve as PR Director and Web Editor for my residence hall council. I am always on the lookout for opportunities to learn more about the communications field, and I’m excited to work on new and exciting projects that will give me the experience I need to succeed in PR.”

Taylor Trudon (University of Connecticut ’11) is a journalism major originally from East Lyme, Connecticut. She is commentary editor of the student newspaper, The Daily Campus, a blogger for The Huffington Post and is a proud two-time 2009 and 2010 New York Women in Communications scholarship recipient. She has interned at Seventeen and O, The Oprah Magazine. After college, Taylor aspires to pursue a career in magazine journalism while living in New York City. When she's not in her media bubble, she enjoys making homemade guacamole, quoting John Hughes movies and shamelessly reading the Weddings/Celebrations section of The New York Times on Sundays (with coffee, of course).
Similar Reads👯‍♀️