CLAS Women’s Leadership Collective

Supporting future leaders. Leveraging the power of women.

Women face unique challenges as they enter the workforce and advance in leadership positions. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is leveraging the power of women with the CLAS Women’s Leadership Collective.

Selected CLAS student leaders engage with alums on:

  • Talks on key issues that affect women in the workplace and society.
  • Group Mentorship Circles that meet throughout the year, connecting groups of alums and students with similar career interests.
  • An end-of-year celebration.

This program provides undergraduate students with a unique leadership learning experience coupled with group mentorship from UConn alums. The program offers students who have little leadership experience an opportunity to find their unique leadership style and make connections with mentors that can last a lifetime.

I never expected to meet such wonderful, compassionate mentors and peers. Every meeting was a judgment free zone with support, advice, and guidance.

Read Student Success Stories

Learn what peers said about their experience in the program:

“I never expected to meet such wonderful, compassionate mentors and peers. Every meeting was a judgment free zone with support, advice, and guidance. I have learned so much from my mentorship circle with their experiences and advice. They have taught me how to progress my career with grace and take advantage of every opportunity. I will forever be thankful for them changing my outlook about my future.”

“I initially applied to the WLC because I wanted that mentor relationship with someone who could support me in having career conversations. So far, the program has been everything I expected and then some! As a senior in college, it can be difficult to have those overwhelming conversations. From my mentors, I’ve learned it’s also okay to give yourself a break sometimes. You don’t always have to be taking some giant next step in your career journey. I see myself as a more calm, confident individual now who is ready to start her life post-grad.”

“I have experienced growth in many ways through this program. I connect really well with my mentor. We’ve talked a lot about imposter syndrome, growing confidence, and general struggles we have faced. I have found her support to be truly amazing. Having a strong, successful woman to look up to who can also be emotionally available and vulnerable with me is life-changing. [My mentor] has helped connect me with other professionals to expand my network and expose me to different fields of interest. I am very grateful for my ongoing experience with this program.”

The application for the 2024-2025 academic year is now open.

Eligibility and Nominations

The ideal student participant is an undergraduate who is interested in pursuing personal and professional growth through peer and alum interactions.

The College encourages students of varying leadership experiences to apply. Please note that this program can be an applicant’s entry into leadership, so a resume full of positions in student organizations is not a prerequisite.

Eligible candidates for the Women's Leadership Collective must meet the following criteria:

  • Second- or third-year student at the time of their application.
  • Currently pursuing a bachelor's degree from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
  • Enrolled as a full-time student in good standing.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to personal growth, supporting peers, and empowering women to succeed.

Students must submit an application, resume, and have two references.

For questions or for more information, please email Jessica Alexander, associate director of alumni relations for CLAS.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Women’s Leadership Collective inclusive of transgender and nonbinary students?

The Women’s Leadership Collective welcomes students of all historically marginalized genders, including trans, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming students who are comfortable in a space that centers the experiences of women.

Is this experience open to CLAS students at the regional campuses?

Yes. Applicants from all UConn campuses will be considered. However, there must be a commitment to attend relevant programming based in Storrs.

What are the program commitments?

Participants must commit to the following:

  • Maintaining full-time enrollment and good academic standing at UConn.
  • Attending and thoughtfully participating in required mentorship gatherings, which will be scheduled throughout the year.
  • Actively engaging with mentors and peers in Mentorship Circles.
  • Attending all mandatory events.
  • Maintaining timely communication with CLAS staff, peers, and mentors.

What are the other mandatory events for the program besides the mentorship meetings?

Participants must commit to the following:

  • August - Student Orientation.
  • September - Kickoff Event.
  • October - Student Dinner.
  • November - Student Dinner.
  • February - Student Dinner.
  • March - Student Dinner.
  • April - End of Year Event.

My application is complete and submitted. What are the next steps?

Top candidates will be selected for a 30-minute interview in mid-April. Interviews will be scheduled via video conference.