Young Women in Business

One of Capilano’s newest clubs is raising awareness and aims to help all students

Justin Scott // Managing Editor

Although Capilano University’s chapter of the Young Women in Business Society (YWiB) is still young, they’re already making a difference at the school. YWiB was founded nearly a decade ago at UBC and has since spread across Canada. It wasn’t until this year that CapU saw some determined students start the school’s own chapter. For two of the club’s founders and executives however, this is far from their initiatives.

Michelle Zhen and Angela Jiang both attended East Vancouver’s Windermere Secondary, where their Grade 10 business teacher, Silvia Tam, took them under her wing. “She spoke with us after we cried at a presentation that we were doing,” Zhen recalled. Although the two’s first presentation in the class didn’t go as planned, it led to Tam taking the two aside and emphasizing the importance of public speaking – from that day forward, Zhen and Jiang had a new mentor.

Zhen and Jiang both reflected on that day and explained that they had both planned on pursuing a career in sciences, but with Tam’s support and guidance, they shifted their sights to business. Between that fateful class and their high school graduation, Zhen and Jiang became increasingly involved with clubs at Windermere. They helped start an afterschool program for students whose parents were still working when they finished school for the day, so that the children could interact with each other and build relationships, rather than getting into trouble and “seeing things no child should have to see,” as Jiang put it. They also helped their school store market events and promotions, as well as other endeavours. While the two may only be in their second year of CapU’s business program, they’re more qualified than many fourth-year students when it comes to the running of a club.

The YWiB club held its first event, a launch party, on Oct. 26. With 23 people attending, including four men, they deemed as a success. Although the club sounds as though it’s a female-only group, Zhen and Jiang explained that while other chapters of the organisation stay true to the name, CapU’s chapter is for everyone. “No matter how exclusive the name sounds, our intention is to open it up to all faculties and all genders,” said Zhen.

The club’s goal is to equip CapU’s students with the tools they’ll need to find success post-graduation. Zhen and Jiang, along with the club’s five other executives will be organizing many events and workshops next semester, each with a different focus. “We have public speaking as one of the themes, we have health and wellness, things like negotiation and personal branding,” said Jiang, “So, the workshop topics vary a lot.” While many of the events are still in the planning stage, the two are con dent that the club will host a “speed networking” event in February. A playful take on speed dating, the networking event will allow students to expand their professional connections, as well as make new friends at CapU.

Looking ahead to next year, the club hopes to organize a mentorship program that will pair mainly third and fourth years with industry professionals who will mentor and further prepare them for graduation. This is something Zhen and Jiang are especially passionate about due to their experience with mentorship in the past.

For more information about YWiB and their upcoming events, follow them on Facebook under “YWiB Capilano”.

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