Board Fellowship Program: Making a Mark at Watermark

In the last few months I have been amazed by how business school is so much more than taking business-related classes.

Of course, the classes are a cornerstone, discussions can be very insightful and solid technical skills are a requirement for any job, and the faculty is inspiring. But I found that being an MBA student is much more than attending and participating in classes. It is about networking and meeting new people and participating in events. It is about exploring the different opportunities to collaborate with both your school and the community.

One of the most exciting opportunities the Graduate School of Management has provided me is the Board Fellowship Program. The goal of the program is to offer board-readiness training to MBA students (fellows) and placement as non-voting (or adjunct) members of the boards of partner non-profit organizations.

As part of the program, I participated in a full-day professional training on the skills needed or to develop as a board member. I had the privilege to join the Board of Directors of Watermark. Watermark’s mission is to increase the representation of women in leadership positions by empowering its members to make their mark in their companies, careers and communities. It is a non-profit organization focused on giving women opportunities to network and develop skills to grow their careers through a series of events, workshops and webinars.

As a professional woman, and somebody that had been involved in internally promoting diversity in the companies I worked with, Watermark’s mission and work is very close to my heart. Since the beginning of the program, I had the opportunity to participate in the board’s annual retreat, which gave me insight on how a strategy is developed in a NGO. It was also an interesting experience to observe the dynamics of an all-female board meeting and to interact with some of the most successful women in Silicon Valley. For the rest of the program, my commitment is to help Watermark execute their strategies for growth.

Experiences like these are the most valuable assets a student can get out of business school. I am grateful I am having the opportunity to be a part of the program and make a positive impact in the community.

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