Carrie Rengers

Finishing School for Modern Women to debut in September (+video)

For “years and years,” business consultant Jill Miller says she’s been threatening to open a finishing school of sorts for women. Now, she’s making good on that with the September debut of the Finishing School for Modern Women.

“It’s something that I really feel there’s a need for,” Miller says.

She says there’s still progress to be made for women in terms of equal pay and reaching top positions in business.

“It’s really up to us as individuals to continue to improve ourselves and continue to move forward,” she says. The idea is “that we’re never really finished.”

Miller says there are all kinds of skills women can learn, but this isn’t your mama’s finishing school.

“In the past, finishing schools were things like elocution and how to walk and talk like a lady and how to set a table and how to carry yourself,” she says. “At this point, that’s a little dated.”

Miller says she wants “to give them skills that they need for today’s world” both professionally and personally.

That could be how to be a better negotiator, money manager or speaker or how to work a room, set goals, get motivated or manage time.

There will be fun twists on more traditional finishing school ideas, such as a glam factor class.

“I wanted to help all women of all ages come together and learn from experts and each other,” Miller says. “I want to pass on skills that women need to claim their power and live a happier and more successful life.”

Miller has been a business consultant for 17 years. She has a lot of male clients but often finds herself helping female business owners.

“Especially being a women and knowing what it’s like to be in the business world as a woman, I really wanted to focus on helping women,” Miller says.

She’ll occasionally – maybe once a quarter – have classes for men as well.

Miller says she doesn’t want anyone to think this is about feminism.

“I’m not really interested in starting a new women’s movement or anything like that.”

Classes, which will meet on various schedules several times a week, will be $30 each.

The first class and a kick-off party will be on Sept. 19. For now, Miller will hold classes at a number of different locations until she opens an office in her own new building next year.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about what do I want to do for the rest of my life?” she says. “I wanted to do something more.”

Miller teaches entrepreneurship classes at Wichita State University.

“What I really love to do is teach,” says Miller, who is calling herself headmistress for the finishing school.

“When I’m consulting I teach. … This is just another audience for that.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.