Wharton students and alumnae in San Francisco recently had an opportunity to network as well as hear from Connie Duckworth, who earned her Wharton MBA in 1979 and was the first woman sales and trading partner in Goldman Sachs history.
After retiring as partner and managing director, Duckworth founded the nonprofit organization ARZU to help women weavers and their families in Afghanistan break the poverty cycle by sourcing and selling their rugs.
“Connie is very successful so the chance to hear her story in her own words as well as to network with other women in the Wharton community was great,” says second-year Wharton | San Francisco EMBA student Lan Luan, a senior product manager at Microsoft in Bellevue, Wash.
Duckworth’s talk was “inspiring,” as she explained how a Wharton MBA helped her transition from secretary to a career at Goldman Sachs to helping other women as a VC to her work at the nonprofit in Afghanistan, explains Luan. “She gave a fantastic talk about what she learned from each of life’s steps and how she used the business frameworks from Wharton at each stage.”
As for networking, Luan says the packed event allowed her to connect with many Wharton alumnae from the EMBA and full-time programs on both coasts. “These events allow us to broaden our network, especially with more senior women from whom we can learn,” she says.
First-year Wharton | San Francisco EMBA student Katie Kneply, a principal at SVB Capital in Palo Alto, Calif., agrees. “It’s fun to go to these events to meet other women in business and hear from successful alumna. I even reconnected with a former colleague who is a Wharton undergraduate and MBA alumna.”
She adds, “These types of women’s networking events are very valuable. Having the opportunity to network with women in the Wharton community is awesome. And with many prospective students in attendance, it’s inspiring to see how many women are interested in applying to the program.”