Juniors Lauren Crawford and Sara Marks attend Olin Future Women in Business Weekend


Courtesy of Sara Marks

Marks and Crawford pose for a group photo along with other students that attended the Olin Future Women In Business weekend. Before attending, Crawford planned to go into the medical field, but now feels suited for a business career. “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go into business. It [the event] opened my eyes, and this is something I’m really interested in now,” Crawford said.

In the United States, women launch more than 1,200 new businesses every single day. Hoping to follow in their footsteps, juniors Sara Marks and Lauren Crawford were two of four students from St. Louis selected to attend the Olin Future Women in Business Weekend at Washington University from Nov. 7 through Nov. 9. 

Marks and Crawford learned how to brand and market themselves, listened to lectures from Washington University professors and learned about the business world. 

“I learned a lot about myself and my strengths. I have a lot of confidence because a lot of the girls were really smart,” Marks said. “It’s really cool to know that you’re out there with people that you admire a lot.”

Before the program, the girls analyzed the brand Eileen Fisher to search for any problems. The girls then worked with a group to present their findings and create solutions. 

“I’m more confident now, especially in my business and speaking abilities. I think I grew a lot in my perception of college and business,” Marks said. 

The program also addressed the college experience, by having students stay in dorms and attend college courses, such as Marketing 101.

“They showed us how college works and how corporations in the future work,” Marks said. “I’ll have a lot of knowledge and experience before going into the business world of what it would entail.”

Marks, who hopes to explore business as a career choice, believes that business is an integral part of any career field. 

“I feel like everyone should be educated on business,” Marks said. “It’s a cool thing when you understand how business works; it makes the world make a lot of sense.” 

The program also taught students about issues that women face in the workplace. 

All we [women] want to do is get paid the same for the same job and have the same opportunities as everyone else,”

— junior Lauren Crawford

“I didn’t realize how many women try to be in business and get shut down by male figures, and how females can be paid less for the same jobs as males do,” Crawford said. “All we [women] want to do is get paid the same for the same job and have the same opportunities as everyone else.”

Despite feeling anxious at the beginning of the event, Crawford feels that she became more outgoing through this experience. 

“I’m an introvert, so I’m really shy, and I don’t like to talk to people,” Crawford said. “Going into a situation where I had to talk to new people was nerve-wracking at first, but I came out of my shell a lot.”