Women of the C-Suite

March 14, 2024

Student Recap

As a college student studying Retail and Consumer Science, attending the Women of the C-Suite event on February 29th was an insightful and valuable experience. One of the event's key topics was Michele Buck speaking on her journey to becoming the CEO of Hershey. Buck's journey through the corporate world not only shed light on her career path but also offered useful advice on navigating the corporate world as a woman and mother.

Throughout her talk, Buck emphasized the importance of hard work, resilience, and taking advantage of new opportunities. Her emphasis on thriving in one's current role resonated deeply with me, highlighting the significance of making the most out of every professional opportunity, regardless of its scale or “reputation.” She also discussed the value of employee-business value matching and how one must match the company culture to truly thrive in a position. Moreover, her discussion on achieving work-life balance showed the importance of prioritizing personal well-being and your values even when pursuing ambitious career paths, an area often overlooked in the competitive corporate C-Suite.

One of the most impactful aspects of Buck's advice was her emphasis on confidence, assertiveness, and effective leadership. Her ability to navigate the challenges of being a woman in the corporate world while maintaining her authenticity and leadership qualities served as a testament to the potential for women to thrive in traditionally male-dominated industries. Moderated by Terry J Lundgren, the event not only provided a platform for insightful dialogue but also fostered a sense of community and empowerment among aspiring retail leaders like myself. Other students feel a similar way. Danny Larez, a junior also studying Retailing and Consumer Sciences, says he “left feeling very inspired walking out because Michele is very much hands-on with the company (Hershey), and it was great to see her work and experience being one of the only few women CEO’s in the corporate world at the moment.” Another RCSC student, Emma Sarkisian, states, “attending the Women of the C-Suite Event offered fantastic insight into a female leader’s perspective of the growing retail industry. (She) learned how vital it is to be adaptable to evolving trends and how important it is to radiate confidence in the workplace.”

 Overall, the Women of the C-Suite event was a truly invaluable experience that reaffirmed my passion for retail and consumer science while inspiring me to pursue my professional goals with confidence and determination.