By Casey Gale
A small group of Rider alumnae and students gathered in the Fireside Lounge on Oct. 9 for a chance to have an intimate dinner with Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison at a “Camp Campbell” event hosted by the Rider Women’s Leadership Council (RWLC).
At the Jeffersonian-style dinner, in which guests are asked to start their conversation based around one question, and only one guest may speak at a time, protégés of the RWLC discussed the importance of finding value in their chosen professions.
“If you think of [your career] as a path, then it’s really important to ask, ‘Where am I starting from, and where do I want to end up?’ because otherwise any path will take you anywhere,” said Morrison at the beginning of the night. “I knew I wanted to run a company. I wasn’t sure what it was called, but I wanted to run a business at a very young age. So to be able to say, ‘OK, that’s the endgame. Where have I been? Where am I now? What’s my endgame goal? And then how do I get there? And who can help me?’ Because you can’t do this by yourself. You cannot. You need help. You need support systems. You need the Women’s Leadership Council. If you declare for yourself what you want, people can help you get there.”
Twisha Maskey, ’13, is secretary of the RWLC. She said that one of the benefits of joining is that it can help young women do exactly what Morrison suggested – find a network of individuals to help navigate the working world.
“If you can get into this program, on top of networking, it provides a lot of career guidance in terms of decision-making in life, whether it’s personal or professional. There’s a lot you can take away in the relationships you forge and the experiences that you have,” said Maskey.
In addition to hosting networking events, the RWLC, created by the College of Business Administration and the Office of University advancement in 2013, connects protégés with mentors who are successful Rider alumnae in high-ranking business positions.
“We were looking for a way to re-engage women with Rider, and foster and advance women’s leadership,” said Pamela Mingle, associate director of development and co-founder of the council with Dean Anne Carroll. “We wish to have a collective impact on Rider, our students, alumnae and members of the council.”
For this event RWLC joined forces with Camp Campbell, which, because of Morrison’s passion for engaging with young women professionals, strives to provide wisdom to women between the ages of 18 and 34 with entrepreneurial dreams, according to its website.
Brooke Sibrian, a senior marketing and management leadership major who recently applied to the program, said that she was excited to have networking opportunities on campus.
“I’m an out-of-state student, and I want to get a job over here, so this was great,” she said.
According to Mingle, the night transpired just as she had hoped.
“We’ve never done anything like this before, in terms of a Jeffersonian format and having such an interactive conversation, but it’s really important, I think, how all the participants informed each other and fed off each other.”