Meet campus celebrity, Ana Pena! This sweet and motivated young woman has done a lot of amazing work during her time at U of O. We were lucky enough to speak with her about her accomplishments and goals that have inspired so many accross campus.
Major/minor: Business Administration, Double Major in Psychology
Year: Senior (June 2015)
Hometown: Springfield, Oregon
HCO: How did you get involved with Women in Business? Which year?
Ana: I got involved with WIB my sophomore year, and I kick myself everyday for not having gotten involved sooner. I heard about it during fall term freshman year in my BA 101 class. I was nervous to begin joining many extracurricular activities all at once while still being able to balance school, work, and adjusting to college life, so I kept the club in mind and joined fall term of my sophomore year!
HCO: How has WIB changed your college career?
Ana: Women in Business has been instrumental in providing me with the professional opportunities and resources all young women need to be successful during and after college. I have progressed through the club as a member, the VP of Membership, and lastly this year as President. These experiences have led me to learn so much about myself, others, and what kind of leader I want to be during my lifetime. I have met some of the most ambitious, intelligent, and compassionate women in WIB and together we have been able to surround ourselves with a support system that celebrates each other’s achievements and provides help when members are struggling through challenges. Without this club I wouldn’t be who I am today – the mentors I have met, the networks of driven women I have befriended, and the vast amount of travel opportunities I have had, together have inspired me to never stop moving forward.
HCO: What has being President for WIB done for you?
Ana: It has given me the opportunity to lead a group of six peers towards growing the club this year through the professional meetings we offer, the site visits we provide, and the networking events we plan year round. It has been such an incredible opportunity to build on previous years successes and work towards meeting the growing demands from our members. The challenges, successes, and failures of leading the club forward have shaped how I approach group dynamics and have been instrumental in deciding how to execute short and long term goals.
HCO: What has been your biggest accomplishment in WIB?
Ana: I have two! For the first time in our Club’s history we flew 15 members for a site visit to Austin, Texas where we exposed members to a different culture in an up and coming area of the country. The planning began in May, and over the course of 7 months the executive board planned a trip that would not only provide provide members with different career and industry exposure, but an opportunity to connect with all of the ladies within the club. During these five days in Austin we visited IBM, Whole Foods, Dell, and even toured The University of Texas McCombs MBA Program. These experiences impact our members in ways we never would have imagined ten years ago and it gives me goosebumps to think about how important it is for members to learn from this out of school traveling opportunities.
Secondly, this year we celebrated our Tenth Annual Women in Business Gala, a special milestone where we connected over 200 students and professionals for a night of networking and mentoring. This was our largest Gala yet with a record breaking attendance number. At the beginning of the academic year, we decided to move the Gala from it’s usual location in the Lillis Atrium with a maximum capacity of 150 to the Ford Alumni Center. This was huge for us! We were able to grow this event from last year to be bigger, more professional, and more impactful for both the professional community and students!
HCO: What has been your biggest accomplishment in college?
Ana: Other than WIB, my largest accomplishment has been being a student in the UO Honors Business Program. It was one of the best decisions I ever made, and I would recommend it in a heart beat to anyone else. Over the past two years, I have been surrounded by 35 of the best students in the Lundquist College of Business at the University of Oregon. What sets apart the Honors Business Program is the ability to work with such driven students, work with real clients for group projects, and develop friendships that I will be able to depend on for the rest of my life.
HCO: What are you most excited for after college?
Ana: I am excited to travel, experience the world, and begin building my career.
HCO: What kind of legacy do you hope to leave behind at UO and/or what impression do you want to leave?
Ana: I hope to leave a legacy that changes how women think about challenges and opportunities. College is a wonderful place to discover your likes, abilities, and passions! I want women to know that they should never stop moving forward and to never stop pursuing their dreams. Life is way too short to second guess yourself. Find the things that make you happy, pursue the things that will help you achieve your goals, and push yourself to overcome the no’s in life. At the end of the day it comes down to: “Why not me?” Because every woman on campus should feel confident to pursue the things that matter most to her.