Before she began pursuing her MBA, Christina Snyder knew that women were underrepresented in business, not necessarily in the George Mason University School of Business, but certainly among leadership in the business world. Soon after starting her MBA studies at Mason, she discovered the Women in Business Initiative and the opportunity to apply for the Women in Business Initiative Endowed Scholarship. She leapt at the chance to apply, and she's so thankful that she did.
The Women in Business Initiative (WIBI) is an advisory board made up of female business owners and other female professionals. They support women in the School of Business so they can advance within their respective fields. One of the most important ways they deliver support is through this scholarship. "Almost all of the students at Mason are working full or part-time while attending school," says WIBI Chair Tonia Chagnon. "The scholarships we are able to provide contribute specifically to women's education and well-being."
As a full-time student and full-time working professional, Snyder watched her budget tighten as the cost of tuition was added to the mix of all her typical household expenses. With only so many hours in a day, between her career and rigorous course load, the scholarship funds provided much-appreciated financial relief. Snyder is a non-traditional student, and like many non-traditional students who pursue education later in life, she does not lean on family members for support—financial or otherwise. However, WIBI's assistance meant that she wasn't alone, for which she is deeply grateful.
In many ways, receiving the Women in Business Initiative Endowed Scholarship has unleashed Snyder’s potential. More than anything, she is now able to better focus on acquiring the skills and knowledge she hoped to gain through the MBA program. "I elected to take coursework in leadership in efforts to develop specific skills and position myself to rise within my current workplace," she says. The scholarship has also highlighted the gender gap in her field. "I would love to see more women in positions of leadership," Snyder adds. Soon she will be one of them.
Christina Snyder is excited to continue learning, growing, and developing more friendships as she works her way toward her MBA. It is a journey that has not been without its setbacks and challenges, but she is grateful that she took a bet on herself. The degree is the motivation, but she is soaking in the experience and loving it.