The Women’s Network, a female-led networking community striving to foster ambitious women in higher education, is working with the University of Connecticut to establish a chapter in the upcoming fall semester.
TWN is free to join, and it is the largest collegiate women’s networking organization in the U.S. It extends to 142 campuses with 30,000 members and was founded by Jamie Vinick in 2017 during her freshman year at Syracuse University
Vinick, after attending a lecture from a top female banking executive, felt discouraged when the Q & A portion failed to address questions about gender and the obstacles facing women in leadership roles. When her search for an on-campus organization focusing on female-specific experiences came up short, she decided to create one herself. During her sophomore year, Vinick visited more than 1,000 freshman dorms to recruit students for the first meeting, and to her surprise, nearly 200 people attended.
“The growth speaks to the need,” said Vinick. “I know there’s a need on the UConn campus, and we’re hoping to fill that void and unite high achieving, ambitious women on campus in a non-competitive environment. We think that the female UConn student body will add a lot of value to our network and vice versa.”
One of TWN’s goals is to redefine networking from transactional and intimidating to a flowing space where women can rally around the same mission and are incentivized to uplift one another.
“Thinking back to when I founded the organization, there’s still a need to this day for this type of community, this space, to exist on these college campuses,” Vinick said. “Networking changes lives, networking opens doors, it accelerates career opportunities and paths. That is going to help change the world by connecting as many high-achieving women as possible authentically.”
Lara Janosz, a recruitment intern at TWN, learned about the organization after covering the newly formed chapter for the University of Michigan’s student paper, the Michigan Daily. She became a member in February 2021 and has connected with women all over the country, acquiring necessary skills for her future.
“It has been a fantastic opportunity to meet people, to grow skills that I won’t just use in college, but in my career and for the rest of my life,” said Janosz. “An organization that can do that is a really powerful organization. It speaks to the expanse and the power of The Women’s Network. It’s an amazing opportunity.”
TWN is looking for leaders to help grow the UConn chapter, and they encourage all interested women on campus to fill out the form for campus ambassador and executive board positions and the national membership form.
They also produce a podcast, Redefining Ambition, whose goal is to “demonstrate the power of ambition, passion and drive in order to inspire future generations of women to achieve professional success,” according to the synopsis. Each episode highlights a woman’s personal story in her industry.