“Say yes and get scared later,” Maximiliane Straub, chief financial officer and executive vice president of finance for Bosch, said to a packed room of attendees. Straub, along with Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll, Michigan State University’s women’s golf coach, served as keynote speakers at the second bi-annual Advancing Women in Business event.

One woman panelist watches as another woman panelist speaks.

Maximiliane Straub and Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll advised women to put themselves first [photo credit: Riley James]

Advancing Women in Business, hosted by the Eli Broad College of Business, brings together business-minded women spanning from undergraduate to the C-Suite for workshops and empowering keynote speakers. Over 200 women registered for the event, which took place at MSU’s Kellogg Center.

“This event appealed to me because I am a young woman aspiring to become a leader in business. It’s a great opportunity to network with women who have already established themselves in business, or other aspiring women,” states Broad student Karmel Ussery (BA Hospitality Business ’17).

The evening’s agenda began with an interactive workshop led by recruiters and MSU alumni, Lauren Barber and Marla Feldman McGraw, which included a Q&A on how to secure the right job for you.

“When looking for an ideal candidate to hire, referrals are most important,” states Barber. “When reaching out to your network with a possible connection to a new opportunity, ask for advice, not a job, and be specific with the advice you are asking for,” she said. When you’re the job-seeker, McGraw said that the three most important search parameters should be industry, function, and geography. Then, consider your strengths and what you enjoy, and begin to look for connections.

Following the workshop, women attendees joined one another for a networking reception before hearing from the keynote speakers.

Both Slobodnik-Stoll, a Spartan herself and 20-year veteran coach, and Straub agreed that no matter your career path, at the end of the day, taking care of yourself comes first. Looking inward can be easily forgotten when working demanding jobs and trying to balance other aspects of your life, they reminded the audience.

“To be good at something you have to love what you do,” states Slobodnik-Stoll. When working hard every day, she reminded the listeners to not put themselves last, because you cannot give as much when you yourself aren’t fulfilled. “With a professional job you need to realize that it’s going to be there tomorrow, it’s okay if it not everything gets done today,” she said.

Now holding several leadership roles for Bosch, Straub’s reflected on her first job and words her father said, “lead to serve.” She says these words influence her to this day. “The amount of people I can bring to success, is what makes me successful,” states Straub.

Straub believes that having a sponsor relationship with another woman is very important to one’s career. She explained that sponsors will take care of you, offer advice, and be there to motivate you. Straub explained that these relationships are a two-way street, and that they bring value, perspective and growth to both involved.

With a diverse group of women in attendance, the speakers’ insights reached the masses and inspired them to reach higher and follow their own paths to success.