Contributed by Emily Smolinsky ’17
Beta Gamma Sigma President
Last month, I had the opportunity to attend the Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) Global Leadership Summit in Dallas, Texas with over 350 BGS members from around the world. Marketing major Gabrielle Mancini ’17 and I spent the weekend hearing from business leaders from various companies such as GE, 3M, GEICO, and Nestle Purina who are reshaping the future of business.
My favorite presentation was a panel of professionals from the Unreasonable Institute—a startup accelerator that seeks to help businesses all over the world address global problems on a large scale. The Unreasonable Institute believes that in order for entrepreneurs to be successful, they need to avoid fearing failure and treat every setback as a learning experience. Since I am interested in pursuing a career within the field of entrepreneurship after college, I was very excited to hear from people who have started their own businesses that help communities in such an impactful way.
Each person who attended the conference also took the StrengthsFinder assessment in order to identify their top five talents. I learned how I can maximize my own talents and apply these strengths as a leader within my career. I also discovered how some of the best teams are made up of people who have very different top five talents, and this diversity among team members allows for stronger innovation within the work place.
The weekend concluded with a case competition. We were divided up into groups of ten and given one of six real-life business problems. Each group had five hours to come up with a solution and create a presentation explaining our plan. My group’s case involved EILEEN FISHER, a high-end clothing company for women. Recently the company has taken great measures to ethically and sustainably source the materials for their clothing. Our task was to come up with the “store of the future” that would appeal to women between the ages of 25-45 (the average EILEEN FISHER customer is 59). My group came up with a subscription-based model where customers would be mailed several outfits each fashion season. The customer would have the option to try on the clothes for a two-week trial period, and then trade or return anything they did not want and purchase the remaining clothes at a price discounted from what would be found in brick and mortar stores. We presented our case solution to Amy Hall, the Director of Social Consciousness at EILEEN FISHER. I enjoyed watching everyone’s presentations and seeing the creative ideas people came up with in such a short amount of time. It was also cool to present in front of Amy and know that some of our solutions may actually be implemented within EILEEN FISCHER in the near future.
My favorite part about the weekend was meeting so many other students and working professionals from all around the world. I made many great connections and learned so much just from hearing other people’s experiences. I am thankful I got the opportunity to attend the Global Leadership Summit through Beta Gamma Sigma and the Providence College School of Business, and would definitely recommend this experience to all BGS members!