A BOLD start for women at Olin

Olin welcomed the first participants in the BOLD@Olin program last month.

The new program, BOLD—Business Opportunity and Leadership Development—was a week-long immersion for female rising high school juniors and seniors interested in learning about opportunities for women in business.

Small groups worked together to strengthen critical thinking skills.

The program ran from July 22-26, 2019, and included 23 women from 10 states. Participants applied for the program by submitting a personal statement explaining their interest in business and hopes for the program, as well as a high school transcript and letter of recommendation from a high school teacher or administrator.

Small groups worked to solve problems for a local nonprofit, Variety the Children’s Charity of St Louis. On the last day, each group presented their solutions while Variety staff and Olin faculty listened, posed questions and ultimately praised BOLD participants for their innovative insights.

Small groups collaborate and create a plan of action.

The program offered participants the chance to network with current Olin students and faculty while developing their brand, strengthening their leadership skills and collaborating with a team.

However, the program was just as much of a success for the participants.

Sydney West, a rising senior from California, was inspired to overcome obstacles in pursuit of her business career. While she acknowledged awareness of gender division in business is necessary, it will not hold her back from getting a job in business. “It is an attainable goal and you shouldn’t let gender get in the way,” she said.

Aisha Adedeyo, a rising senior from Minnesota, praised the opportunity to learn from other women in business through various sessions. “Not only were they very engaging, but they really helped you dive deeper into what your core values are… It helped me figure out… exactly I want to do.”

Emily and her team discussing their project together.

Emily Potter, a rising senior from St. Louis, gained confidence through the program. “I’ll put myself out there more just because…now I feel a lot more comfortable in my own skin,” she said after learning about her brand and leadership style.

After a week of learning and growing at Olin, BOLD participants could envision their futures as leaders who will change the world, for good.

To learn more or to apply for next year’s program, visit the website.

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