Spring 2021 Issue

Necessity Inspires Innovation

Virtual format creates new opportunities for participants

By Katherine Vermilyea '22

On March 26-27, the Boehly Center for Excellence in Finance at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business hosted the sixth annual William & Mary Women’s Stock Pitch & Leadership Summit — the first in a virtual format. Teams from top universities around the world presented stock pitches for panels of alumni and industry expert judges and competed for $10,000 in prizes. After the competition, nearly 100 undergraduate women from William & Mary joined these visiting teams for an afternoon of leadership development and professional networking with alumnae and industry professionals from all areas of business.

Keynote speakers for 2021 included Josephine Umana ’93, chief operating officer, investments & capital markets for Freddie Mac, and Cindy Davis ’80, chief brand officer for Bed Bath & Beyond.

“While I am sad that you cannot all be together with me in person, I am nonetheless excited that we have found a way to bring this event majestically to life this year despite the pandemic’s impact on all of us,” Dean Larry Pulley ’74 said during his opening remarks. “I want to thank our corporate partners and donors who provide the funding to continue to make this a signature event for the business school and for William & Mary overall.”

Because of the pandemic, this year’s event was held virtually using Zoom and Remo. Remo is a platform that features virtual floor plans with “tables” that attendees can move between. Each table is a private video call, which better facilitates meeting new people and having discussions.

“We even made the virtual floor plan to resemble the Miller Hall atrium,” says Alden Wagner ’21, a fellow at the Boehly Center who helped plan this year’s Stock Pitch. “While we would have preferred for the event to be in person, there were some benefits to virtual. For students, it is less intimidating to interact with professionals in the virtual space than in person. Additionally, we had many professional participants who may have not had time in their schedules to travel to Williamsburg but who were able to join virtually.” 

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