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Create Your Own Marshall Experience

Marshall Student Organization Highlight: Smart Women Securities

October 17, 2018
• by
Amanda Douglas
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My most influential experience at USC has been founding the USC Chapter of Smart Woman Securities. Smart Woman Securities is a national organization with chapters across 25 prestigious universities in the U.S. with the mission of teaching women financial literacy and independence to make smart investment decisions. I serve as one of the four founding members of the USC Chapter, and also as the current Co-CEO of the USC Chapter, which we officially established in the Fall of 2017. Founding this organization has been hugely influential on my personal development because I've witnessed the growth of such dedicated and independent undergraduate women. I've also been challenged with leading the organization effectively and presenting myself to financial services executives in the Greater Los Angeles Area with professionalism, as we aim to invite these executives to campus and speak to our members. This is part of our 10-week financial and investment education, called the Seminar Series. Beyond organizing the Seminar Series, my own participation in the Seminar Series has taught me not only principles to live by to be financially independent but has also influenced my decision to continue to pursue a career in the financial services industry. 

In addition to the Seminar Series in the Fall Semester, I organize aspects of the Spring Semester, such as our Research Teams, Virtual Investment Portfolio, and Investment Board. I also serve as the liaison with our National Coordinator from Smart Woman Securities, and with other university chapters, which includes traveling to the Annual SWS National Conference. We have also implemented new programming such as our SWS Mentorship Program, in which we pair SWS upperclassmen with new members to mentor on career advice, resume and interview prep, and lastly to serve as another friendly face to turn to with questions! 

Finally, the most influential part of founding the USC Chapter of Smart Woman Securities has been fostering the growth of such a unique community of undergraduate women. The initial reasoning to found the USC Chapter was to provide undergraduate women with a communal place to learn and grow in an industry that to this day is still largely dominated by men. We noticed that there was a need for women to have their voice in the financial services industry, and especially on campus, as most of the finance organizations were male member dominated. I am incredibly proud of where our USC Chapter has grown today, and this involvement influences me to want to continue to empower women with financial literacy throughout my entire career.