Lessons from the George Washington University's Women in Business Conference
This blog was written by our Campus Ambassador Stephanie Schmidt from Clemson!
This Saturday I had the pleasure of attending George Washington University’s third annual Women in Business conference. The day included panels and keynote speeches by incredible men and women from an array of industries. I went to four workshop panels throughout the afternoon that included event planning, fashion, entrepreneurship, and personal branding. It’s hard to say which one I learned the most from because I truly found them all to be inspirational and motivating.
Here are the top fifteen things I learned:
1. Princess Yasmine Pahlavi, Founder of The Foundation for the Children of Iran believes that there are no right or wrong choices. Make the decision that will give you the most choices. Expand your choices no matter what.
2. Founder of BrandLinkDC, Jayne Sandman said that college students should intern and volunteer as much as possible. Why? It confirms interest. By getting a lot of different experiences, we learn what we like and don’t like to do.
3. Be persistent. Director of Catering and Conference Services at the Willard International Hotel in DC, Steele Stevenson once had a young girl email her repeatedly over a span of six months. Eventually Steele gave her a chance and she turned out to be amazing! “One Call? No.” Steele claimed persistence makes all the difference.
4. Learn different sides of the industry you’re going into. Jennifer Stiebel, Founder of SoCo Events says an intern or volunteer who previously worked at a bridal salon and then her wedding planning company would be much more ideal and valuable.
5. Stay in touch with everyone and build relationships BEFORE you need them. Handbag designer, Laura Lee always stayed in touch with a graduate school professor. When her professor heard about her new business, he connected her with an old college friend who just so happened to be the CEO of Coach! It pays to keep up with your contacts and for reasons other than personal gain!
6. Be nice. This sounds simple, but Brooks Brothers’ Lisa Crawford believed it to be the best advice that can be given. People will remember if you’re nice just as easily as they will remember if you’re rude. That person you are nice to could just be the very person to change your future!
7. Show that you’re willing to do work beneath you. Current style columnist for the Washington Post, Katherine Boyle, was a fulltime nanny just three years ago. Never think you’re better than your job. “THAT’S how you move up!”
8. Speak first and last. Current president of Magnolia Bakery, Bobbie Llyod knows all about successful businesses. Speaking first and last shows your true engagement
and passion that she believes is a part of who we are.
9. Open doors and be curious. Nicolette Pizzitola, Founder and CEO of Compass Point Associates is a pro on personal branding. Two important factors of succeeding are to open every door that interests and to be “incredibly curious.” Always ask questions to learn how to better yourself.
10. “If it’s not working, find another way. You’re never stuck.” -Nicolette Pizzitola
11. Take every opportunity that comes your way. I can’t really give this advice sole credit of one person. I was given this advice about four times this past weekend. It’s simple. You never know what will come of an opportunity or who you will meet. It could be life-changing so never turn down an invite!
12. Follow directions. Jayne Sandman will throw out any resume that isn’t accompanied with a cover letter? Why? Because she asked for a cover letter. If you don’t follow directions specifically it could ruin your chances. Plus, Jayne admits that a cover letter lets your personality, skills, and past responsibilities shine.
13. It’s important to have a social presence. Too many tweets? Not enough tweets? No LinkedIn? Nicolette shudders at the thought of anyone not having a LinkedIn these days. She believes a lack of social prensece can be worse than a poor one. Hm. I’d still clean up my Facebook and Twitter anyway, just to be safe.
14. 3 Things to always tell someone. Nicolette believes we are always saying something about ourselves. Who we are, what we contribute, and why it’s important. These three things should be parallel in every instance of your life, whether that be personal encounters or social interactions.
15. “Ideas are cheap, execution is critical.” Alexis Maybank, founder of Gilt Groupe knows a good idea will result in copying. It happens. The difference is how that good idea is executed. Her idea was not a million dollar idea, they were just able to execute in a way unlike anyone else.