Last Sunday, I and many other young Amherst women were fortunate enough to attend a networking event for female student-athletes and alumnae. The athletic department bused about 80 athletes to the Weston Golf Club to meet 20 impressive female professionals who had graduated from and played a varsity sport here at Amherst. “Impressive” doesn’t even appropriately describe the alumnae. All of the women were poised, wise and so willing to offer their advice and expertise.
The alums introduced themselves, then divided into four different industry groups: education and the arts, medicine, finance and business, and law and non-profits. Each student had the choice of which panels she wanted to listen to, and the opportunity to ask questions on the women’s careers, backgrounds and more. I chose to sit in on the business and finance discussion, and was astonished by the four amazing women who offered their time and thoughts.
Molly Manning ’97, Maggie Keohan ’93, Hope Pascucci ’90 and Christina Novicki ’94, four lacrosse alums, each had a story as to how they entered the finance world. They offered different insight as to what they do, how they got there, and why they are so successful in their fields. These women are some of the top in their industries, and it isn’t hard to see why. They are driven and disciplined, and are the type of women who know what they want and how they are going to get it. But one of the things they all emphasized was the Amherst network, and how being an Amherst alum has helped them in their roads to success. They discussed the benefits of the liberal arts education, the values they learned through being a student and playing a sport (in many cases more than one), and the relationships that Amherst brought them and has continued to bring them.
Each alum made clear how important it is to build relationships now in preparation for “the real world.” Christina told her story of how she entered private equity, stressing the roles networking and persistence have had in her success. Christina has met with my team more than once, and we will be tailgating at her house after our game at Tufts this spring. She is a model to my team, and all the young women who attended the event, of how easy (and rewarding) it is to have strong relationships with all different types of people in all different aspects of life. I plan on taking her up on her offer of friendship and building bonds with many of the “Amherst sisters” like her.
Number five on the list was surround yourself with excellence. The event Sunday opened my eyes once again to how excellent the Amherst community is. I’m surrounded by intelligent, hardworking and compassionate individuals who make me a better person in the classroom, on the field and just in every day life. I hope that one day I will have a sliver of the success the women at the event have had in their lives, and plan on having Amherst help me get there.