My Spring Conference Experience

By: Amal Moosa

On April 7th 2018, when students from an array of backgrounds and majors will gather as one to connect with each other, network with professionals, and open their minds to future careers and how they will make change in the world no matter what industry they choose to go into. When I joined the GWWIB 9th Annual Spring Conference Marketing Committee, my goal was to spread a message that any one GW student can make waves through innovation by following their passion and being unafraid to share their ideas and who they are with the world. Sitting with my committee on Monday nights, I had the opportunity to do just that. From brainstorming social media campaigns to filling my camera with cupcake pictures from the launch party, I know that I will walk into the Spring Conference knowing that I have made my mark on the incredible production. When I see a post on Facebook that I have written to promote the Conference, I feel proud of the work I’ve done, and I hope that every student who attend the Conference will have just one moment where they feel that it’s possible to make their mark on the world no matter what the scale. I gained a sense of confidence, accomplishment, and empowerment from my Spring Conference Committee, and I hope every attendee will leave the Conference feeling the same way!

How GWWIB Gave me Community

By: Maria Quinonez

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I joined GWWIB in my first semester of freshman year and it was definitely a major component to my smooth transition to college. As an international student, I was nervous about joining student organizations on campus since I was worried about not fitting in. However, when I first heard about GWWIB through my FYDP mentor I felt like it could be a good start to getting out of my comfort zone and emerging myself in the GW Community. GWWIB gave me the confidence I needed to get more involved in student life campus by a giving me a community of women leaders that aim to empower others through personal and professional development. As part of the marketing committee for the 9th Annual Spring Conference I have been involved with the logistics for the Launch Party and the advertisement for panels, workshops, sponsors and guest speakers of the event. Being part of this event that is built up from scratch by an amazing group of women leaders is absolutely empowering as it creates an environment when I can grow both personally and professionally.  This environment for learning and growth is the type of community that all of GWWIB is.

The GWWIB Difference

By: Ally Landrum

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When I came to GW, I was a little nervous about getting involved. I mean, I didn’t know anyone. In high school I had loved to be a part of everything, but here? I didn’t know where to start. So when I tagged along with my new roommates to the activities fair, I was interested in what I was seeing, but I was a little too intimidated to sign up for anything (besides the things that I had not only done research on, but had literally worked up the courage to join). Then I saw the GW Women and Business table. It wasn’t too crowded, but the people managing it filled the tiny allotted space with such an energy that I couldn’t just walk by. So I stopped, and I listed to all the amazing things that they had to offer. Right off the bat I knew that this club was different. It had literally everything I was looking for in a group, all packed into something that I wouldn’t expect it to come from. At home, art isn’t a way to make a living, so when I applied to The Corcoran as a graphic design major I was a little nervous about it being perceived the same way here that it was at home. At every meeting I am so happy that I took that chance. 

At the first General Body meeting I was made comfortable with phrases like “GWWIB isn’t just for business majors!,” and “GWWIB” isn’t just for women!”, as, little did I know, I’d be spurting them just a few months later to everybody I knew. I was so in love with the club that I literally teared up. I felt empowered and inspired and like I could do anything. I was being given the tools to succeed in the professional world, no matter what my major was. I was being told that what I was studying was, in fact, important. I quickly fell in love with going to meetings, events, and panels on personal branding, how to land an internship, and stress management. 

To get as involved as possible I decided to apply for a position on the Spring Conference Marketing Committee.  When I got it, I was so excited: I could put my studies to good use! Now, I’ve been involved in creating the logo and social media visuals for the Spring Conference, as well as flyers, information cards, and other marketing materials. Not only has GWWIB allowed me to grow as a designer, woman, and professional in the workplace, but it has given me the confidence to do so on my own. The professional practice that I have received in these few months has been invaluable, and has given me both the inspiration and courage I needed to be confident in my place in the professional world.

Making My Mark on the Spring Conference

By: Analisa Bittner

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For the past three months I have been working alongside an amazing group of people that have really shown me what true teamwork and collaboration are all about. Serving on the Marketing committee for the Spring Conference has enabled me to take on a new level of responsibility that has helped shape the leader I wish to become. Every week we  meet as committees, discuss the goals for the upcoming week and are all given tasks that has to be completed within a certain time frame. Some weeks we brainstorm possible marketing strategies to reach more groups in the undergraduate body at GW, and other weeks we draft social media posts for Facebook and Instagram, that highlights speakers and workshop series featured at the Spring Conference. Additionally, I have had the honor of working on the promo video for the launch party that worked to reveal this year’s theme, #MakeYourMark. Being a part of the Spring Conference team has truly increased my marketing skills, as I am now able to understand what techniques and strategies to apply when trying to advertise various parts of an event. Overall it has been, and continues to be, an incredible learning experience. On a daily basis, I see the amount of work that is required behind the scenes to organize an event of this scale. Being a part of this committee has given me invaluable experiences and relationships that have made their mark on me.

Launch Party Recap

By: Ally Landrum 

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Acting as a physical embodiment of what It means to be a member of GW Women in Business, the 9th Annual Spring Conference Launch Party was fun, energetic, passionate, and inspiring in ways that really emphasized the goals and values of the entire organization. The night began with mingling, cookies, chocolates, and flavored sparkling water in plastic flutes. On the far wall hung inconspicuous roles of white paper, makers and post-its on a table just beneath it, promising the excitement of the upcoming reveal. Another wall, adorned with photos of inspiring men and women from around the world - including Michelle and Barack Obama, actress Emma Watson, and editor-in-chief of Vogue Anna Wintour - acted as an inspirational backdrop for pictures. At the entrance to the room a few members were stationed to sell conference and raffle tickets. The winner of the raffle would be announced at the end of the night and would receive a bag of goodies as a sneak-peek to what would be offered at the conference. The room quickly filled with excitement, and as the minutes passed, you could feel the anticipation of what was coming next.

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After about half an hour the Co-Chairs along with the Committee Directors stood behind the podium to officially launch the Spring Conference. In their speeches, they thanked their hardworking committees and then played a video that revealed the theme of this year’s conference as “Make Your Mark.” This acted as a call to all participants, highlighting the importance of being yourself, standing out, and “making your mark” in school, the workplace, and the world.

The white sheet on the far wall was then adorned with a banner spelling out “Make your Mark,” and as people were invited to make their mark on the wall, it filled up with handprints, post-its and color. As Georgetown Cupcakes with the conference logo were revealed (and promptly snatched up before enough pictures could be taken), and the winner of the raffle was announced, excitement continued to grow. With such a wonderful team and group of future inspirational men and women in attendance, this year’s Spring Conference will be the most inspirational, exciting, and memorable one yet.

Reflecting on My Committee Experience

By: Charlotte Lewis

I’ll never forget the feeling I had when I read the email that explained I had been chosen to be on the Marketing Committee for the Spring Conference this year. I was excited of course, but mostly curious and apprehensive of what the process would be like and what kinds of things I would learn throughout. Yet I never imagined the extent of all of the good it would give me.

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Coming in with zero marketing experience and no one I knew on the committee, quickly changed after our first meeting. I was surrounded by ambitious, creative, and motivated women who were just as excited and ready to work as I was. I felt inspired by them and their openness and knew I would make many friends. Our director broke the work down into manageable tasks and gave us full responsibility in our section of work. Being trusted with responsibility made me step up and perform which proved to myself that I could handle what was given to me.

From planning and executing the most successful launch party for our ticket sales, to drafting social media posts and tabling, the committee has given me tangible skills that I can use in an interview and beyond. As a freshman it’s difficult to have applicable experiences to show off and the Spring Conference Marketing Committee has given me those experiences. But more importantly, it’s given me the confidence in myself to pursue similar experiences and know that I can be successful in them.

Networking - The Bridge to Tomorrow

As the theme for this year’s 9th Annual GW Women in Business Conference is #MakeYourMark, it’s a good time to think about your strategy for participating in the conference.  What are you hoping to get out of the event? Where are your areas of confusion? In what way are you hoping to get more clarity?  In addition to attending, listening and asking questions at the various sessions, how might you gain more specific insight into how to make your mark in a future career? You guessed it – it’s through networking.

Networking is a very powerful tool when you approach it in a strategic and genuine way.  Strategic networking is an overall approach rather than a strict point by point plan. It doesn’t mean, for example, that you don’t show genuine interest in each and every individual you happen to meet. You never know where a connection might lead. Strategic networking in the context of the conference means thinking about what you might want to do as a future career, preparing your ‘elevator pitch’ and seeking to make connections with experienced professionals where there seems to be a synergy.  Others can’t help you if they don’t know what you’re interested in, where your talents lie, etc…

Here are my top five tips for getting the most out of networking:

1.     Prepare a brief introduction for you to use when you meet someone. This should include what you’re studying, when you’re graduating, and the areas you are interested in focusing on in your career and why. Mention any specific coursework or news which demonstrates your enthusiasm for the subject. Sharing your ‘why’ is a chance to make it personal and it’s the personal piece which others will connect with and remember. 

2.     Be curious about the person directly in front of you – the one you’re conversing with. There is nothing more insulting than when the person you’re talking to is looking somewhere else in the room. Your attention should only be on them.  One of the best ways to get others interested in you, is for you to show interest in them first! 

3.     Use open-ended questions to get to know the other person. What area do you work in and how did you get involved in that? What parts of your role do you love? Which parts are less fun? What challenges do you see in your industry/company? Where do you see the growth opportunities?

4.     Share your business card. Although others may say, “I will connect with you on LinkedIn,” it rarely happens so you want to take the initiative and ask for their business cards.  If you don’t have a business card, you can easily and cheaply create one on packages such as Vista Print, Moo, etc.  Keep the card simple in design.

5.     Send a personal message on LinkedIn. after the conference asking your new acquaintance to connect with you on LinkedIn: “It was great meeting you at the GWWIB conference, I’d like to connect on LinkedIn.” People are moving roles and companies at an unprecedented rate so just getting a business card is not enough. As each user is responsible for keeping his/her contact information up-to-date, LinkedIn is an invaluable networking resource.

Be yourself and truly enjoy the opportunity to see the world through different perspectives.  You can then choose which perspective or path might suit your career aspirations, and figure out how you will #MakeYourMark in your future career. Even in today’s highly digital world, your network (other people!) is still the most effective resource in helping build and shape your career.

Christine Brown-Quinn
The Female Capitalist®
GWSB MBA, International Business 1992
Member, GWSB Board of Advisors