By Lauren Herber, Co-Editor
Last Thursday, Thunderbird’s Women’s International Business Club (WIBC) hosted an event at the Fish to celebrate International Women’s Day. The holiday, which is celebrated on March 8, is a day dedicated to respecting women and acknowledging all of their accomplishments. The WIBC wanted to host an event that both celebrated women’s accomplishments as well as gave Thunderbird women the opportunity to continue networking and collaborating.
The evening began with refreshments and networking. All the women present at the event had the opportunity to talk about their interests, what clubs they participate in, and future projects that they’re working on, inspiring collaboration between different clubs with similar interests. For example, the WIBC, Latin America Business and Culture Club (LABCC), and the European Business Club (EBC) came together to pool ideas for an end-of-the-year tapas outing, and the Thunderbird Marketing Association (TMA) came alongside the LABCC to help them market future events. During this transitional period in Thunderbird’s history, collaboration is key for maintaining the Thunderbird mystique. As a result of a smaller student body, participation in club events has been lower than in the past, and this can be discouraging. When student groups come together and join their strengths, however, it’s easier for clubs to create engaging events, market those events effectively, and increase student attendance. All the T-bird women present at this event felt encouraged, inspired, and supported in their future endeavors.
The WIBC ended the evening with a fun trivia game with questions that featured strong women and their accomplishments throughout history, from Cleopatra to Maria Curie to Amelia Earhart to Malala Yousafzai. The WIBC wanted to honor these (and many other) remarkable women and emphasize women’s contributions in a diverse range of areas, such as sports, science, education, and politics.
The feedback for the event was uniformly positive. “Since I live off campus, I always feel a little out of the loop,” noted Allison Skabrat (MAGAM ’17, US). “It was a lot of fun to get to know some of the women here better and to all be on the same page. It reminded me of how foundations brought us all together.” Soukaina Lamrani (MAGAM ’17) was in agreement: “I loved how many people came and participated,” she said. “It was also great to spend time with the spring MGM students since we rarely see them on campus.” Soukaina brings up an important point: because Thunderbird no longer has a campus-wide dead hour, differing schedules between the programs have posed an enormous issue for clubs when trying to schedule events. The result is that the programs tend to feel very segregated, with students in different programs lacking adequate opportunities to interact. That was another goal of the WIBC’s event: to bring students from different programs together to discuss scheduling conflicts. The idea is that if students from different programs start collaborating more on projects and events, the divide between the programs will be lessened. The high turnout at the WIBC’s first collaboration-centered event is encouraging and promising for the future. “I was so excited to see such a high turnout!” said club president Salma Kemmou (MAGAM ’17). “It was a great opportunity to bring together the female student body and learn more about their diverse interests and involvements. Keep a look out for more events like this in the upcoming semester from our club!”