By Becky Blaalid | Student, Iowa State University

It is a great time for young women to be in business.

As a senior at Iowa State University, not only am I counting down the days to graduation, I am also reflecting on my college experience. I know that I am receiving a quality education at the Ivy College of Business. Here, I have enjoyed many real-world opportunities, worked with amazing faculty and have had several role models who have inspired me.

This is what young women need today more than ever.  

My journey into business started during my junior year of high school when I attended the Young Women in Business Conference, sponsored by the Ivy College of Business at Iowa State. The conference was a full day on campus where I explored a variety of business majors and learned about future opportunities in business. There was more available than I realized.

That is when I learned business is for me.

At the conference, I remember interacting with Iowa State students from the Collegiate Women in Business (CWIB) student organization. Seeing their leadership and confidence intrigued me. I knew that when I started college I would want to get involved.  

After joining CWIB my freshman year, I had the opportunity to serve as volunteer chair and social chair, which led me to be elected as vice president last year. In this role, I coordinated our weekly meetings and networked with industry professionals to allow all members to learn valuable skills to become better prepared for their future careers.

I was becoming more confident. I was learning to be a leader.

With other members of CWIB, I traveled to Silicon Valley for a leadership trip during spring break. We met some of the brightest business leaders in the San Francisco Bay area. During this trip, we were able to visit nine different companies as well as network with alumni from Iowa State. Opportunities like these provided me with experiences and skills that will shape my future.

Being part of an organization like CWIB has empowered me by giving me the opportunity to meet successful professional women in the business field as well as provide me with mentors. Two members of the Ivy College of Business faculty, Kayla Sander and Jennifer Kreiser, have been great role models and they have given CWIB students the opportunities to make an impact.

I have also had incredible mentors who work at Principal. When I graduate in May, I plan to join the Principal family. I was able to job shadow Stephanie Reynolds before I started my internship, which helped me to better prepare for working in the real estate industry. Brenda Wadle has also been instrumental in the development of my professional and personal growth. All of these women have inspired me and helped shape me to be the person I am today.

I am thrilled to say Principal is receiving an award at the Ivy Women in Business Awards ceremony Wednesday. Along with other members of CWIB, I will be there to welcome the award winners, their guests and friends. This event is free and open to the public. Please consider joining us to celebrate women in business, and show support for the many CWIB students in attendance.

Becky Blaalid is a senior  studying finance and entrepreneurship at the Ivy College of Business at Iowa State University. Upon graduation in May, Blaalid will start her career with Principal in Des Moines. Connect with her via email.