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NIU Today | Celebrating student leaders: Allison Zaker, Women in Business Professions

To celebrate International Women’s History Month, we asked some of the student leaders in the Women in Business Professions (WIBP) student organization to share their thoughts on women helping women, bringing others along and their WIBP experiences.

Allison Zaker

Major in accountancy. Minor in business analytics. Certificate in finance. Model United Nations treasurer (since 2021). WIBP director of recruiting (since 2021).

Through my involvement with WIBP, I’ve learned and seen firsthand how important it is to nurture and maintain good relationships, taking an interest in and getting to know the people you connect with. I’d sum that up as networking. Networking is key.

I’ve also been fortunate to meet other women who are in the same field as me. We’ve all benefited from this. Meeting like-minded individuals has helped us to create a support system and to make important connections that could also potentially open the doors to opportunities in the future.

Bringing others along is vital — in a way, it’s basic. By that I mean, it should be an expectation. It seems a simple concept that everyone should be able to do. Everyone deserves to have the same opportunities as everyone else. Everyone deserves to be helped along the way if they need it.

This is especially true because of the world we live in these days. Many have been isolated because of the ongoing pandemic-related environment. We should all make an effort to help each other. That should be an obvious thing to do and easier to do for those with the same interests.

That said, I’ve been surprised by how many people of different interests participate in WIBP. We may all have the College of Business in common, yet there’s such a wide range of goals, hobbies, backgrounds and lifestyles. It’s been great that we’ve all been brought together in this organization. Personally, I know this has helped open my eyes to different perspectives and experiences. I’m sure this is true for my fellow members, too.

One of the most rewarding (and powerful) things to see is women striving to bring each other up. We’re aware enough to know how society has placed limits on women. This reminds me of my grandmother, who is my role model. She had to overcome so much in her life while also being a mother and a grandmother. It’s wonderful to be able to honor her by avoiding society’s false (and bad) idea that women should always compete with other women. In this organization, we’ve learned to be aware of that. We don’t fall into the trap of confusing healthy challenges with bad behavior like putting each other down. It’s wonderful to see women encouraging and supporting other women, whether this happens at school, on a personal level, or in the workplace.

My involvement in WIBP has been fun and has allowed me to be in a “work professional” environment while learning and making friends. The more people I can help get involved and the more they feel like they’ve found a place to belong, make friends, learn, grow and have fun — continuing to achieve all of that will be a sure sign of success for the organization. I’m goal-oriented, so when I achieve my WIBP goals — even my personal ones — then I know I’ve done my best and will be successful, too.

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