Alumnae gathered for the first William Smith @ Work networking event in the nation’s capital. Hosted by Susan Richardson Askew ’97 at her office in Washington, D.C., the event drew more than 35 alumnae from the region, spanning a range of professions and generations.
Founded in collaboration with William Smith alumnae and members of the Colleges’ campus community, WS@Work “is a wonderful way for William Smith women to support one another at all stages of their careers. We are excited to be a part of such an amazing initiative,” says Brandi Ferrara, director of the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education.
The D.C. gathering, with views of the Washington Monument, was spearheaded by Annabel Cryan ’16 and Hannah Mills ’16, both members of the WS@Work off-campus programming committee. Sraddha M. Fonseka ’97, Rhonda B. Friedman ’71 and Tracy Birkhahn Spicer ’92 graciously provided financial support for the event.
“I love the idea of having a network for women! It was great to meet and see how big (the network) is in D.C.,” wrote one attendee in the anonymous post-event survey.
“It was nice to have an event dedicated to just William Smith women, and also to have a chance to network with other professionals of all ages,” wrote another.
WS@Work is designed to help all in the community to succeed, whether in a first job or later in a career, by exposing students and alumnae to mentorships, conversations around graduate and professional school, and additional workplace resources and opportunities.
The inaugural William Smith @ Work Conference was hosted on campus in the fall of 2018, with a series of speakers, panels, interactive career sessions and leadership development workshops with alumnae from a range of industries, backgrounds and generations. The WS@Work New York panel discussion and reception, “Women in the Workforce,” was held earlier this spring.