Agnes Irwin Partners with Villanova for Fourth-Annual Business 101 Conference

Agnes Irwin Partners with Villanova for Fourth-Annual Business 101 Conference

Leaders from the Villanova School of Business visited AIS for the fourth-annual Business 101 conference, sharing insights into the fields of finance, business management, marketing, and information systems. 

The Villanova Business 101 conference, created in partnership with Agnes Irwin’s Center for the Advancement of Girls (CAG) and Villanova School of Business (VSB), provides students with an opportunity to understand what studying or building a career in business might look like. “By hearing directly from business professors, our students get a college-level experience, deepen their understanding of key concepts, and benefit from practical conversations about careers in business,” says Vanessa Pope, CAG Director of Strategic Partnerships & Experiential Learning.
Junior and senior Economics students and members of the newly-founded AIS Business & Entrepreneurship club started the day hearing from Joyce E. A. Russell, Ph.D., the Helen and William O’Toole Dean of VSB. “We love this partnership because the Agnes Irwin School is devoted to building strong women leaders,” said Russell. “All aspects of business need women in leadership positions in order to make an impact on society. It’s a lot of pressure, but we need you," she added.
The girls then heard presentations from the following professors: 
Meg Luo, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Finance & Real Estate: “It brings me joy to look out at a classroom of young women,” says Luo. “I teach finance and, at times, there are only two women in a group of 30 students. Let’s change that. There are so many finance career options beyond investment banking, such as human resources, marketing, the list goes on.”
Narda Quigley, Ph.D., Mahoney Family Endowed Professorship in Business, Professor of Management: “There is an art to management,” says Quigley. “Great managers are those who, as they say, ‘have a way with people,’” she said. “Being your authentic self is a major part of management.” Quigley provided examples of recent VSB marketing management graduates to demonstrate career paths taken by young people in business. 
Rishtee Batra, Ph.D., Associate Chair, Assistant Teaching Professor, Marketing & Business Law: “It is wonderful to see a group of ambitious young women,” Batra observed. “I teach my students that marketing is a lot more than promotion. It is how we create, communicate, exchange, and deliver value to customers.” The girls broke into groups to conduct a marketing exercise that considered ways to market a hypothetical meal-prep delivery service to a diverse group of customers. 
Sue Metzger, Professor of the Practice, Information Systems: “You have all grown up with personal technologies that support you and your life, so you have innate abilities,” Metzger said. “Information systems is about the technologies that support businesses.”

CAG Director of Programs Alison Monzo noted that girls learn best when they have opportunities to connect and apply what they are learning in spaces beyond the classroom. “The Business 101 conference allows our students to learn from experts in the field and underscores the importance of hearing from leaders in industries where women are still vastly underrepresented,” says Monzo. Earlier this year, the Economics students also heard from a series of female entrepreneurs. Click here to read the story.

At the conclusion of the conference, the students submitted reflections about the day. 

“I thought all of the presentations today were absolutely incredible! I specifically enjoyed Dr. Luo’s presentation and I feel that I learned a lot of useful information that will help me in the future!” 

“I found the conference extremely beneficial. As someone who is majoring in Marketing Management, I particularly enjoyed learning from Dr. Quigley and Dr. Batra. It was an amazing experience to learn about several of the different facets of business from experts in their fields.”


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