Timeless Advice from SC Johnson College of Business Faculty and Alumni

By: Staff
Women's History Month graphic featuring a line of diverse women across the bottom.

In honor of Women’s History Month, leaders in business and hospitality shared their words of wisdom.


"As you craft what a meaningful life means, keep honing your purpose. Use your power to make others’ lives better, one relationship at a time."

Kate Walsh Dean and E.M. Statler Professor, Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration
Photo of Maureen OHara.

"Be confident – you have the skills, ability, and insights to be successful in your chosen career path. Women are better at working with others, so draw on your skills and those of your team to reach your career goals. And don’t forget to have fun along the way – your job is not your life!"

Maureen O'Hara Robert W. Purcell Professor of Management, Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management
Photo of Professor Donna Haeger.

"At work and at home, believe in what you need and never hesitate to ask for it. Embrace and lead others in organizational ecosystems steeped in hybrid work and a flourishing data culture."

Donna Haeger Professor of Practice, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
Kyricos 2022

"Take the time to network and develop meaningful relationships with people in your industry. One day, you may need their help or advice, and other days, you will have the privilege of paying it forward. And in the end, those will be the moments that matter most."

Mia Kyricos '03 President and CEO / Chief Love Officer, Kyricos & Associates
Meli James - Headshot 2021 (square)

"My advice to emerging women leaders is to be yourself and trust your gut! Oftentimes, we donʻt have all the answers but you gain experience along the way. Every person needs to learn and engage an entrepreneurial mindset now so they can take ownership of their life. Stay true to who you are and this will go a long way!"

Meli James '00 Cofounder, Mana Up; President, Hawaii Venture Capital
Photo of Professor Heeyon Kim.

"As women, we are the experts in knowing the issues women face in the workplace. When you witness other women facing challenges, advocate for them and lift them up! Hopefully, one day, we will no longer have to give gender-specific advice to leaders."

Heeyon Kim Assistant Professor, Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration
Photo of Professor Vicki Bogan.

"Have a clear vision for your career. Also, understand that most career paths are not linear. So even if you have career plan, be open to opportunities that arise along the way that can support your vision."

Vicki Bogan Professor, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management; Director, Institute for Behavioral and Household Finance

"My advice to future generations of women leaders is, above all, stay true to your vision, seek mentors, and make sure to surround yourself with the right team. You should never be afraid to lean on your team for guidance."

Holly Sheffield '92 President, CooperSurgical

"Find allies who will support you and make you laugh. Easier said than done, but friendship and humor are underrated keys to success."

Simone Tang Assistant Professor, Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration
Photo of Jessica Rosenberg.

"Benchmarking towards your dreams creates success. Adversity makes you stronger. Find opportunity in everything. Never stop learning and surround yourself with people who will continue to teach you."

Jessica Rosenberg '13 Principal, Sawyer Realty Partners; Founder, Meads Bay Hotel Group
Photo of Shari Aser.

"One of my favorite poems is 'The Road Not Taken' by Robert Frost as I love that it challenges the reader to think about the exciting journey of taking that road not traveled. That challenge is at the core of what I have chosen to do over my career and personal life. It has not always been easy and for certain it was bumpy along the way. My advice to all women is to step outside your comfort zone in all aspects of your life and don't be afraid to be the only woman in the room."

Shari Aser '10 Vice President, Digital Sales Americas at IBM

"My advice to future women leaders is to never stop believing in yourself! Be willing to take risks and make mistakes because you will learn more from your mistakes than from your successes. Knowledge is power so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Always have humility."

Caryn Zweig '88 CEO of Abner, Herrman & Brock Asset Management