The WISE 2019 Impact Report

MISSION

The Women’s Interdisciplinary Society of Entrepreneurship, WISE, is a new student-led organization at Northeastern University dedicated to supporting women develop an innovative mindset through interdisciplinary workshops, innovation classes, and mentorship pairings.

FOUNDING TEAM

The founding team of WISE comprises of 12 women and men. Throughout the executive and advisory board, all colleges and years at Northeastern University are represented.

WHY WISE?

WISE was created to promote a more diverse entrepreneurial ecosystem at Northeastern University. In October 2018, we began by understanding our current reality and how women were feeling in the environment by surveying over 150 women over a period of 3 weeks, all of whom represented over 50 majors. They were questioned their current involvement in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and what factors led to that level of involvement.

WeLearn

Held six bi-weekly targeted and immersive workshops on professional and/or entrepreneurial skills across a variety of industries/disciplines. The workshops were well attended by all genders and individuals across all colleges. On average, participants scored the workshops 4.75/5 stars- information was gathered at the end of each workshop via survey.

Date

Topic

Speaker

Attendance

1/23

UI/UX Design

Kira Prentice

62

2/6

Negotiations

Kristyn Danielli

34

2/20

Venture Capital

Eveline Buchatskiy

47

3/13

Product Management

Bhavika Shah

36

3/27

Introduction to Programming

Christina Aiello

32

4/10

Communicating with Confidence

Dinneen Grably

33

WeBuild

Semester-long structured startup classes for 15-20 women that teach soft and hard skills to develop an  entrepreneurial mindset. 

WeSupport

A pipeline of mentorship intended to build relationships instrumental to academic and entrepreneurial success. A pilot was held in which 39 women participated, a speed dating was held to introduce all women, pairs between underclassmen and upperclassmen were made, and relationships genuinely blossomed. We successfully paired 16 upperclassmen mentors with 23 underclassmen mentees, some in one-to-one pairs, and others in small groups of two mentees with one mentor.

Mentors and mentees had very similar goals upon joining WeSupport. There were six categories that all of their goals fit into: building relationships, career development, personal development, academic support, entrepreneurship, and campus involvement. The top three goal categories for both mentors and mentees were building relationships, personal development, and career development.

What are your goals to accomplish through this mentorship program?

  • “Being a support to my mentee in every area that they may need help with, whether on a networking basis, professional skills wise or personally. I also would love to take on responsibility and pass on the resources I have.”
  • “Creating a friendship and close bond with a student younger than me. Being able to advise, guide and help someone through my personal experience.”
  • “How to get more involved in Northeastern’s community and hopefully become a role model for younger students in future years. As well as learning about how to handle many projects at once and keeping integrity/moral values at the core of my heart.”
  • “I hope to develop a relationship with an upperclassman who I can rely on for continuous learning about fields that I am not yet experienced in and also someone who can guide me through the rest of my college classes/co-ops through great advice and constructive feedback.”

To help pairs/trios get to know one another and to assist them with their first meetings, a meeting guide was provided to them. Additional meeting guides on more specific topics, such as career development, academic support, and personal development, will be available next semester.

One month check-in testimonials:

  • “It was great, we met at Tatte and talked about what they had on their minds for 2 hours.”
  • “Our first meeting went really well! I’m so happy Katie is my mentor, I’ve already learned so much from her.”
  • • “I could not be luckier to have her as my mentor.”
  • “It’s been great and super helpful!! And I really feel like I can go to her for questions or advice or support”

For the first, pilot semester of WeSupport, we left requirements loose, with a recommendation of 2 mentorship meetings before the end of the semester. We also opened up priority registration to all WeSupport members for a workshop and tour event at Google, where we learned about Imposter Syndrome and Achieving and Sustaining 10X. 40 WISE members attended this event, and a large portion of the attendees was WeSupport pairs/trios! It was a great way to facilitate mingling between pairs/trios, other WeSupport members, and other WISE members, all while learning about important topics from Google employees!

COMMUNITY

WISE held 6 co-hosted events, in addition to partnering for many of the WeLearn workshops, with the following student organizations below. To help facilitate these co-hosted relationships, WISE drafted a Partnership Guideline.

As a student organization, we brought our community to TechTogether and Google! On Friday, February 22nd, eight WISE women attended TechTogether’s non-binary hackathon where they listened to keynote speakers, learned how to code, and worked in teams to develop a project. On Monday, February 25th, 40 WISE women travelled to Google headquarters in Cambridge, MA to partake in an Imposter Syndrome workshop and tour the office.

WHAT DOES THE WISE COMMUNITY MEAN TO YOU?

  • “I think wise provides a holistic view of all opportunities that can come by being an entrepreneur.”
  • “Here I feel comfortable to go up to anyone and start talking. I haven’t felt that anywhere else.”
  • “I didn’t know where I fit into the equation (of business) and WISE is helping me figure that out.”
  • “The WeLearn workshop on programming gave me the confidence to add computer science as a minor.”

EVENTS

Date

Event

Student Organization

11/27

Tuesday Speaker Series: Venture Capital

Entrepreneurs Club

2/13

NEU Female Founders Panel

IDEA

3/18

Women in Consulting

Women in Business

3/26

Tuesday Speaker Series: Kendall Tucker

Entrepreneurs Club

3/28

Female Angel Investor

TAMID

4/13

Making Comfort Kits for Kids with Cancer

Love Your Melon

PROMOTION AND PUBLIC RELATIONS

Huntington News: On February 19th, Deanna Schwartz wrote, Women’s Interdisciplinary Society of Entrepreneurship gives women a new space to grow that was featured in the Huntington News.

WISE Video: The University of Advancements at Northeastern University directed, filmed, edited, and published a WISE promotional video on May 8th to encompass the birth and mission of WISE.

Huntington News: On April 17th, Nick Swindell wrote Husky Startup Challenge sees increase in diversity that highlighted the equal gender representation in the student founders pitching their ventures at Demo Day.

BRANDING

Brand Book: The final deliverable for the VP of Design was a brand guideline book which contains the WISE values, logos & brand identity, and type, color & brand elements.

Branding Story: VP of Design Aarti Amalean shared her story of Building A Brand from The Ground Up on Medium. The article wonderfully encompasses her branding journey for WISE and has received 192 claps on the piece itself.

THE FUTURE

 

Launch WeBuild in September 2019

Engage Northeastern alumna in the WeSupport mentorship program

Grow the executive board to 11 women

Expand the WISE community to New York City and San Francisco

Partner with organizations in the Boston area for office tours, workshops, and events

WISE women take a weekend trip to New York and/or Northeastern satellite campuses

Order WISE swag (i.e. stickers, notebooks, t-shirts, etc) for the community

Host a symposium with keynote speakers and breakout sessions for students

Continue to increase the representation of women in Mosaic and beyond