Anne Chow, President of AT&T National Business, shared her leadership philosophy, insights into juggling work and motherhood, and methods for overcoming struggles in the business world at SMU’s Women in Business club’s annual Lunch n’ Learn on April 3.
She told the audience that how you live your life should be like interval training.
“You only increase your capacity and endurance and your capability if you push yourself the hardest,” Chow said. “But that only works if you give yourself rest periods.”
Chow is just one of the businesswomen that the club has invited to campus this year in order to educate both women and men completing their MBA degrees at SMU about various sectors in the business world and strategies for excelling in these industries.
Club president Sarah Caldwell and club vice president Jung Cho started the program in the fall of 2016. Since the club’s founding, Women in Business holds around seven large events each year featuring key personnel at major corporations, such as Hunt Oil, American Airlines and Frito-Lay, for its 100 members.
Cho said that their goal for the club was to provide MBA students with discussions on how to overcome adversities women may face as a minority in the corporate world.
“It creates the opportunity and a safe space for us to have that dialogue as peers together, but also hear from senior leaders and their perspectives,” Cho said.
Caldwell added that it was important for them as club executives to find speakers who would be honest with club members and provide them with personal life stories.
“All of the speakers have been so different, but so good and so candid,” Caldwell said.
Club member and SMU MBA student Kristen Kent said that the Women in Business organization has given her the opportunity to build a larger network from the guest speakers and other club members.
“They’ve brought in a lot of speakers from various industries that have been really great,” Kent said. “Lots of good connections.”
Cho and Caldwell want to provide young MBA students with a clear picture in their minds of what they are working towards through successes women like Chow have had.
“For a lot of us, we are chain pivoting our careers.” Cho said. “We are stepping into job opportunities that we’ve never done before, industries that we’ve never worked in before and we wanted to give students an opportunity to visualize like ‘hey, that could be me one day’ and see high-powered women in these amazing careers and hear about how they got there.”