Paving the Way: Interview with 2019 Co-presidents – Henrietta Chui
Can you tell me a little about yourself?
I am a fourth-year Commerce Co-op Student majoring in Marketing and Information systems. I am currently doing my Co-op placement at American Express in its Channel Strategy team. In my free time, I like to do hot yoga. I also play instruments like the piano and trombone.
What motivated you to join Capital W?
When I first started uni, I didn’t know what societies to join and a 2nd year marketing Co-op student recommended me Capital W. She said I should definitely join if I wanted to do something meaningful and meet some great students.
What was your first year in Capital W like?
I was part of the marketing portfolio back then and I have continued my journey in Capital W as a marketing director.
A lot has changed since I first got into Capital W in terms of culture and social media. We have developed a stronger focus on digital analytics and STEM this year.
There has also been a drastic increase in the number of members of Capital W. When I just started in Capital W, we probably had a team of 20 and now we have 40. It is really hard to still see every person and get everyone together with such a big team.
Overall, we are trying to develop more of the social side – it is a lot more social and open now. We see the ideas from subcommittee members more and more as the get involved. The case competition and the planning of careers fair are more subcommittee members driven this year, including the subcommittee members-led event as well.
Were there any experiences have you been through in Capital W before becoming the president that you think was crucial and had a big impact?
The Beyond mentoring program, which I had to lead when I was the VPA. We just knew that we wanted a mentoring program, but we didn’t know what would it look like, what events we want, and how we would structure it. That gave me a lot of experience and leading them and learning how to delegate tasks. We didn’t have as many subcommittees members back then for mentoring, and so the VPA had to look after the event. It was a really good experience to talk to sponsors and students. I also liked the freedom of changing things and developing new events like the Case Crack. We always get feedback from mentors and mentees so we could change the events around the year. That was a really good experience and I want to make sure the team has the space to explore and develop their new initiatives and ideas.
I know that balancing between the presidency, school work and work is very hard and I would like to know how you managed all the three things?
The best thing about Capital W is that most of the time you have the Co-presidents and directors, which means that you always have someone that you could talk to and support you. I do believe that it is important to have that person no matter at uni or work.
I think doing more things, staying in the societies and working at the same time pushes you to not procrastinate. Getting things done, I spend lots of my time writing emails on the train. It’s also important to trust the team, let go and believe that the team can get things done so that you don’t have to do it all yourself. If you enjoy what you do, you wouldn’t think that the workload is heavy. I enjoy work as there is a good culture there, I love being part of Capital W so sometimes I don’t feel like there is much of a workload.
How would you describe your experience as a co-president of Capital W?
Rewarding – I truly believe that we have to remember why we are doing and why we run the events. With events such as Annual Dinner, it’s a lot of work and I know a lot of people don’t continue societies in their final year because they just want to relax and don’t have to worry about things but I am really glad that I continued because it is rewarding to see great events happening, and first years growing and end up leading their own events, which is something I find really special.
Coffee – I really like it when I get to catch up with my mentee and other sub comms, VPs and have coffee with them.
What makes Capital W special to you?
We have extremely high standards and expectations in running events. We are known to companies for being the most professional to work with. We do everything possible to run a great event and support their goals of what students they would want to recruit. The only reason we are able to do that is that we have a team that cares. Our team is very high achieving and busy and to have a broad range of skills and degrees. The events that we run also make us really different. We are one of the first all-women societies and the first women in business society in Sydney out of all the universities to start off with. This history gives us a really strong background, we have a lot of alumni that are still involved and invested in what we do.
What do envision Capital W to be like after your presidency?
A lot more companies are looking for diverse people, so more focused on STEM backgrounds and running events that align with that.
More unity is also something I would like to see in the future, I have always thought that somehow in some way, male students should be involved in Capital W. They do attend the International Women’s Day Breakfast but if we really want to achieve our goal to empower women in the workplace, we need to empower each other at every level. This is what I would like to see in the future, more unity in both genders and across universities.
What are your plans for the future after being the president of Capital W?
When I go into full-time work next year, I hope I can still be involved in a women’s network or a diversity network. Maybe coming back as a sponsor representative one day! With our generation, everything is open, with so many opportunities to change our careers, so I think it is really great that I have learnt about different industries through Capital W. Even though I have no idea what I will end up doing, I am excited to start.