College of business and economics student tori prestianni stands in the hallway of Stephens Hall

New Women in Business student organization empowers emerging female leaders

As a marketing major, when Victoria (Tori) Prestianni sat in her business classes, she noticed that there were fewer women than men—and the women did not interact with each other much.

As the President of the University Residence Government, Prestianni had been able to connect with people and grow meaningful friendships. However, what she felt was missing from that experience was the academic connection. She wanted to bridge the academic social networking gap and create a space for women with similar academic interests to come together, share experiences, and network. So, solution-driven Prestianni founded the Women in Business club in Fall 2018. The club started with 10 members and has more than doubled to approximately 20 to 30 active members.

Founded on the pillars of leadership, community service, networking, and professional development, the Women in Business club is committed to creating a space where women can connect and find their voice and sense of belonging within the business school. This is accomplished through programming, including workshops, guest speakers, community service events, business community partnerships, mentoring and conferences.

“You are more than you know.  You don’t have to compare yourself to anyone.”

Prestianni admits to not being as involved freshman year as she would have liked, but she strongly encourages involvement early in a college career for growth and development. For Prestianni, involvement in organizations has been invaluable from an employment standpoint. She attributes her confidence building to her campus involvement and leadership experiences, which have led to internships at Target and Webmechanix. Graduating a semester early in December, Prestianni is now exploring her options for full-time employment.

Prestianni’s advice to women: “You are more than you know. You have value in the industry. You don’t have to compare yourself to anyone. Sell yourself. Be confident. Be open to creating relationships inside and outside of class.”

The Women in Business club meets bi-weekly on Thursdays from 6 to 7 p.m. in Stephens Hall, room 205. While the Women in Business club is open to everyone, its focus is on promoting female leadership and diversity within the workplace by providing resources for women to excel as the minority in the business field. Allies are welcomed and encouraged! Follow Women in Business on Instagram for the latest updates at @TUWomenInBusiness.

By Lisa Simmons, Business Excellence Program

This story is a part of the colleges monthly CBE Celebrates Diversity Series, which highlights student, faculty and staff stories from our diverse community.