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Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholars


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Shanley Weston
District 1
Citizenship: Canada
  • Pursuing bachelor’s degrees in entrepreneurship and psychology, Saint Mary’s University, Canada

Shanley Weston is in her third year at Saint Mary’s University (SMU), where she will receive dual degrees—a Bachelor of Commerce in general business studies and a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in psychology. After the birth of her first child, Shanley started a handmade craft business so she could work from home while raising him. She enrolled at SMU after becoming interested in ways to make entrepreneurship more manageable by connecting with other parents struggling to juggle the responsibilities of family and business.

As vice president of project development with Enactus Saint Mary’s, Shanley collaborates with and supports the managers of several social entrepreneurship projects, addressing issues like food waste and loss, human trafficking, and youth employment. She also works as a teaching assistant for an introductory course on business management, as web and content coordinator for a local nonprofit and continues to run a small business serving handmade business owners.

Originally from Ontario, Shanley spent several years traveling around Canada, fostering a passion for rural and remote economic development. Last summer, she worked as a research assistant on a project exploring how craft industries contribute to rural revitalization. After graduation, she plans to pursue an MBA in community economic development and work as a business consultant, supporting entrepreneurship in rural communities.

Caroline Simon
District 3
Citizenship: USA
  • Pursuing Master of Business Administration (MBA), The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, USA
  • Holds bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies and International Relations, Cornell University, USA

Caroline Simon is in her final year of the MBA program at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Before business school, Caroline worked at Deloitte Consulting as a public sector management consultant focused on strategy, operations and analytics. As a founder of the Federal Robotics offering (a startup within Deloitte) and the chief of staff for government analytics at Deloitte for more than a year, Caroline learned firsthand how smarter use of data facilitated by technology—the essence of Smart Cities—enables the government to be more effective with fewer financial and human resources.

Interested in urban transportation—and specifically in promoting modes that are efficient, affordable and environmentally friendly—Caroline spent this past summer on Via Transportation's Strategy & Business Development team, while continuing to work part-time and going to school full-time through the end of 2020. At Wharton, she is president of the Wharton Future Mobility Club and founder and chair of the Wharton Future of Cities Conference.

Caroline wants to become an expert in tech-enabled transportation and facilitate public-private partnerships that improve public transit.

Tara Liegel
District 6
Citizenship: USA
  • Pursuing bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, USA

Tara Liegel is a senior studying accounting and finance at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s College of Business and Economics. She has always enjoyed helping people and believes doing people’s taxes, giving companies advice or reviewing financial statements will remove stress from their lives.

As president of Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) at her university, Tara guided the chapter to victory in the Best Practices Competition: Impact Category at both the 2020 Regional and National BAP Meetings. These monetary rewards funded the group’s support for Bethel House, which provides transitional housing and case management to families in need in Whitewater, Wisconsin. She also tutors accounting students and participates in the WINning with Deloitte Mentorship Program.

Tara’s continued drive for success was strengthened by the encouragement of the empowered women she met throughout her life, including her high school business teacher, accounting professors and high-achieving peers. She will soon begin an internship at Deloitte in their Audit & Assurance Practice while she starts studying for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Examination. After graduating and receiving her CPA license, Tara plans to work for a Big Four or medium-sized accounting firm, potentially transitioning into private accounting or into teaching accounting and personal finance at the high school level. Ultimately, she strives to find a career where she is continuously challenged and always learning and growing as a person.

Sanuri De Silva Wimalatunga
District 22
Citizenship: Sri Lanka
  • Pursuing bachelor’s degree in finance, Griffith University, Australia

Sanuri De Silva Wimalatunga is completing her honors year in finance at Griffith University after receiving the international student distinction scholarship. Growing up in Sri Lanka, a developing country, she witnessed firsthand the daily trials and challenges people faced due to the lack of opportunities, resources, capital and education. She has seen the limitations of female independence and seen families struggle due to bad financial decisions. Having witnessed her mother’s leadership in successfully handling headwinds faced by their family business, Sanuri understands the power of financial knowledge and decided to educate herself about the financial markets, their framework and the impact of female-led businesses.

Knowing there was much to learn from the way businesses and corporations operated, Sanuri decided to pursue her degree in Australia. During her time at Griffith, she worked as a tutor and Peer Assisted Study Sessions leader, research assistant and Griffith Business School Bloomberg Trading Room manager. Sanuri also volunteered as a Griffith Business School student leader and a Griffith Mate, led the Commerce Society as secretary and represented Griffith at both national and international competitions. Furthermore, she was a charter member and president of the Rotary Club of Griffith Gold Coast and was awarded the Paul Harris Fellow for her outstanding commitment to her community.

Sanuri has interned for different financial institutions in Australia and Sri Lanka and plans to have a career in investment banking. After graduating, she intends to pursue a postgraduate degree and obtain her Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter. Ultimately, Sanuri’s goal is to be in a position where she can help enhance financial literacy among individuals, promote more female-led businesses, and inspire women from minority backgrounds to execute their vision and pursue careers in non-traditional sectors.

Rupsi Parajuli
District 25
Citizenship: Nepal
  • Pursuing Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in finance, Kathmandu University School of Management (KUSOM), Nepal

Intending to be a role model for corporate women, Rupsi Parajuli is pursuing a BBA focusing on accounting at KUSOM, where she has learned about income and expenditure and to analyze the balance sheet to make sound business decisions. Her goal is to bridge the pre-existing gap between male and female counterparts in the workplace.

Rupsi co-founded Explore Idea, a club at her high school, and Humans of Kathmandu, for which she currently writes. She is also an SDG trainer for Global Peace Foundation and a country director for the International Youth Alliance for Peace.

Because she believes the best jobs are competitive, Rupsi plans to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in finance and economics. She would then like to work at a leading institution that also works to promote fair promotions and women-led businesses. Her professional goal is to encourage women to bring innovative business ideas focusing on domestic items and menstruation health products for women. Menstruation brings restrictions and mobility in schooling for girls in Nepal. Marketing the best affordable options will empower and give dignity to girls.

Laura Ballerini
District 28
Citizenship: Italy
  • Pursuing Master of Philosophy in development economics, St Antony's College, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Holds bachelor’s degree in philosophy, politics and economics, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands

Laura Ballerini developed a strong interest in economics and statistics while earning her bachelor’s degree. She applied for the Master of Philosophy program after an exchange semester in Shanghai, which further fueled her interest in development economics. She believes the program will further enrich her knowledge of economics and allow her to direct her knowledge toward understanding the complex dynamics governing the African continent. Laura also plans to continue cultivating her passion for statistics and advancing her qualitative and quantitative research skills by doing field research.

Growing up in Italy during the refugee crisis, Laura became fascinated with Africa and yearned to improve the situation of those struggling just a few miles away from her. This urge led her to apply as a business student consultant for the social enterprise Forward Incubator, where she worked with a Syrian entrepreneur. Together, they set up Mpowerment, a training agency that facilitates the integration of blue-collar refugee workers in the Dutch labor market. She served as chairwoman of the Student Ambassador Board at Forward Incubator and was responsible for designing a student handbook, organizing informational events on refugee entrepreneurs, and recruiting incoming business student consultants. Last summer, Laura interned for Africa’s Voices Foundation, where she analyzed data on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives of Kenyan citizens. She has also worked as a tutor assistant at her university and was previously a contributor for Il Giorno, an Italian daily newspaper.

Laura’s goal is to bring her knowledge outside the university walls and put it to use in the business world. She aspires to enter a career in which she can combine her natural affinity for business with her talent for economics and her fascination with the African continent.

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17 February 2023

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