Fun, Fearless… Finance?

Baruch students know that succeeding in the art of entrepreneurship is tricky business- and global achievement may seem downright impossible. For female students this may be an even greater challenge, as the world of finance is dominated by males. But at Cosmopolitan Magazine’s first annual ‘Fun Fearless Life’ convention, earlier this November, business belles such as Sara Blakey, Sallie Krawcheck, Aliza Licht, and Alexa Von Tobel, showed thousands of young women what it means to conquer.

‘Fun Fearless Life’ was a two-day conference meant to promote a healthy awareness and self-confidence in young women. Many experienced panelists spoke on a variety of matters: entrepreneurship, self-esteem, social media presence, motivation, fitness, and even relationships. What did they have to say?

Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, and 93rd most powerful woman in the world according to Forbes Magazine, happily shared the story of her success while encouraging women like herself to shoot for the stars. Her biggest bit of advice was to believe in yourself, and your product, but try to maintain a sense of security. She, too, gave Spanx her all, but it wasn’t until her 4th year of working at Danka that she finally resigned to fully commit to her brand. And although Mrs. Blakely is one of the world’s wealthiest people, she’s no stranger to giving back. In fact, the Sara Blakely Foundation makes a global impact by funding scholarships for young women in South Africa at the Community and Individual Development Association City Campus in Johannesburg.

Sara Blakely

Sara Blakely – Via Zimbio

Sallie Krawcheck, “former president of the Global Wealth and Investment Management Division of Bank of America” and Wall Street extraordinaire, was one of the most powerful speakers. While she thoroughly instilled the value of financial awareness, she also reiterated something that we, as Baruch students, know very well- “Who you know is what you know.”

Alexa von Tobel, creator of LearnVest, a financial planning company, made a lasting impact on the audience by not only balancing financial awareness and responsibility but also merging the concepts of saving for the future and having fun today. In her words, “Money should be a tool- it shouldn’t be worshipped and it shouldn’t be ignored.” Ladies, you can now breathe a sigh of relief. With the proper knowledge, and tools, it is possible to save for your future and not miss out on the social life you might have been holding back on.

Aliza Licht, the SVP of global communications at Donna Karan International and DKNY PR GIRL, was labeled one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in New York. Her “award-winning social media personality” may have captured the attention of many DKNY customers but it has also made an impact on many of the listeners at the conference.

One of her most powerful pieces of advice – “You have to go beyond where you are comfortable otherwise you are not progressing.”

So, for those of you that think you’re not smart enough, not pretty enough, or simply not enough, there’s so much more that you can do and be if you focus on your dream. These amazing women, and a few fantastic men, highlighted the very important fact that anyone can succeed with the right attitude. It’s all about finding your passion and sticking to it. Whether you’re in Zicklin, Weissman, or SPA, the right career is at your fingertips when you have a positive outlook.

For all of the women out there interested in business and/or personal growth, this may be an event for you to check out next year! You too deserve to live a fun and fearless life.

In the meantime, look into Baruch College’s own Women in Business Club and make your mark today!