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Women at Work: Insights From The Trenches


“Marriage, children, career, calling, and being a woman of God: How do you balance it all?”

That was the question at the heart of “Women and Work,” a panel presentation led by a trio of SPU alumnae taking part in SpringBoard [link to: www.spu.edu/depts/cdc/springboard/], SPU’s vocational event series.

 

The brainchild of Jacqui Smith-Bates, director of SPU’s Career Development Center (CDC) [link to: www.spu.edu/depts/cdc/], “Women and Work” drew 35 SPU students and several staff and faculty members — all women.

 

Smith-Bates got the idea for the panel after seeing the success of a program CDC offered in May 2007 called “Slipping in Your Stilettos,” which covered the importance for women of good etiquette in business. “These two programs are the first we’ve done on a gender specific topic,” said Smith-Bates, “and they seem to be meeting a need for students.”

 

Panelists Susan Gillespie ’01, director of human resources at Swedish Physicians; Rebekah Rice ’96, SPU philosophy professor, and Amity Lumper ’00, senior consultant for Cascadia Consulting Group, shared from their life experiences juggling college, marriage, career, and kids. Dr. Denise Daniels, associate professor of management in the School of Business and Economics, moderated the panel.

 

Though nary a man was present (and understandably so), the presentation would have benefited male students too. For it offered valuable advice on getting the most out of a Christian university, making strides in the workplace, and keeping Christian marriages balanced in the 21st century — especially when traditional gender roles have been upended and couples often must work considerably harder and rest considerably less than their parents.

 

One significant takeaway was the exhortation for students to make the most of their time at Seattle Pacific. “This is the time to explore, said Rice. “Take a class just because it sounds interesting.” With a grin, she added, “Take the class that your parents might not want you to take.”

 

Another excellent piece of advice involved the extreme importance of choosing the right husband. “I don’t think we can understate selection,” said Lumper, and the others voiced their agreement. “Pick the right mate. Then figure out what you like to do; and talk it over ahead of time.”

 

Gillespie iterated the importance of having a good support structure in place for contingencies, such as when kids get sick. “Women are amazing creatures,” she said. “With the right support structure, we can have it all.”

 

What Is Financial Literacy? And Why Is It Important?

Saving for collegeFinancial literacy is the set of skills individuals use to make appropriate decisions in managing their personal finances.

For college students — who must balance their investment in the future (i.e., the costs of earning a degree) with their expenses (e.g., room, board, and books) and their current financial situation — financial literacy is crucial.

Yet many students come to college without even realizing that they need those skills.


Studies show the financial challenges many college students face today:

  • More than 21 percent owe $3,000–$7,000 on personal credit cards.
  • Almost two-thirds do not know what the interest rate is on their credit cards.
  • Bankruptcies by people under 25 years of age increased by more than 900 percent since the mid-1990s.



The bottom line
Many students come academically prepared for college, but unprepared to tackle financial decisions.

 

Yet students become financially literate win in two ways: They learn to manage their finances, which is a valuable skill to have post-college. And they are more likely to graduate — on time.

To help your students become financially literate, Student Financial Services at Seattle Pacific University offers quarterly financial education sessions.

 

At these sessions, your student will cover topics ranging from how to understand financial aid and loans to how to manage a budget.

 

Don’t let your student become another financial statistic. Encourage him or her to attend these sessions.

After all, when students gain financial literacy, everyone benefits.

 

For more information, check out personal budgeting resources your students (and you) can use.