PLEN360⁰ SUMMIT | JUNE 2014
Six students received scholarships to attend the PLEN360⁰ Summit in Washington, D.C. June 27 – 28, 2014.
Funding by PLEN alumna Magdalena Rahn made it possible for six women to attend the seminar.
Alexis Chambers, PLEN Scholarship Recipient
Senior, Ohio University
Before this PLEN seminar, I had never been to Washington, D.C. and before reading about PLEN on a policy website, I didn’t even know that an organization dedicated to uplifting and educating women in policy even existed. I am so happy and grateful that I have gotten this opportunity to connect with such amazing women and to learn so much inspiring information. The seminar went above and beyond all expectations I had. I think that the greatest takeaway I got from the seminar was that I could do anything that I set my mind to, especially through hard work and dedication. I know that working in the policy field is not easy and being a woman only makes it harder at times, but my hard work and passion will take me far. I loved the session dedicated to salary negotiation. Before PLEN, I was convinced that as soon as I was offered a job, I would accept it, no questions asked; I would be so grateful that I had even gotten an offer. Because of the salary negotiation seminar, I now know that I need to negotiate, no matter what. I was so afraid that if I asked for more money or more benefits that the employer would back out and give the job to someone else, but this seminar assured me this was not the case.
Learning how to network and about the importance of networking, was also a great takeaway from the Summit. I loved meeting all of the speakers and also the women who attended the conference. I learned something from each of the women I met and it was great to so many meet like-minded women. One of the things that stuck out in my mind was the idea that networking is essentially relationship building. It’s important to not only gain from the relationships I build but to also give to the relationships. I learned that networking doesn’t have to be a dreadful process but rather a fun and rewarding interaction.
All in all, I am so grateful for the scholarship that allowed me to attend the PLEN360° Summit. I feel that I learned so much and I am more knowledgeable about policy careers in D.C. and building a successful career. I would like to graciously thank PLEN Alumna Magdalena Rahn for providing my scholarship and this opportunity. I would also like to thank all of the speakers and women who attended, I am certain I will see you all doing big things in the future!
Lisa Conder, PLEN Scholarship Recipient
Graduate Student, University of South Florida
Attending the PLEN360° Summit was a remarkable experience. During the two day seminar, we had access to so many inspiring and successful women, all willing to share their knowledge, expertise and career journeys. In two days, we discussed networking strategies and practiced through speed networking. The panel of networking mentors brought varied backgrounds from an international development agency to high tech coalition to offices of congressmen. These professional women spoke of their experiences and candidly answered our questions. We also learned about career opportunities in the Washington, D.C. area and how to create a winning career plan. Another invaluable session included salary negotiation techniques.
The summit covered the landscape of policy careers in DC, presented by two outstanding professionals Ann Hollingsworth of Refugees International and Jo Jensen of DDC Advocacy. Also included was a resume workshop with personal one-on-one advice and a job search and interview skills workshop. Every session at the seminar was useful and the presenters offered such a wealth of knowledge! Meeting and getting to know the other participants who came from varied fields and experiences was a pleasure and an added benefit of the Summit.
I would like to thank the program coordinator Jillian Lopez, who did an outstanding job of managing the workshop, asking informative panel questions and encouraging participation. I would also like to send a special thank you to my summit sponsor Magdalena Rahn for her kindness and generosity. I highly recommend this seminar to young professionals starting off in their careers, they can learn from experts in two days what it may take many years to learn on your own.
Bisma Fazeen, PLEN Scholarship Recipient
Sophomore, George Mason University
I remember the first things I had to share in front of everyone were my full name and my elevator speech. I was nervous, but I felt empowered to proudly share my identity. The open environment and constant support made the PLEN360⁰ Summit an amazing experience for me. Thanks to the generosity of my sponsor, Magdalena Rahn, I was able to attend the summit. I grew as a young female professional in the span of two days. Coming from a fairly large university, I did not know what to expect from PLEN. My peers had not heard of it, including professionals I spoke to on a daily basis. However, I took away more than I could have ever imagined!
I was impressed by the diverse backgrounds of the speakers and the amount of advice they had to share. The speakers understood what I was experiencing with my lack of exposure to the Washington, D.C. area. I learned the do’s and don’ts of networking, work etiquette, resume writing, and various other necessary topics. I also bonded with some of the other ladies attending the Summit. Right now I am already creating lasting relationships with the inspiring individuals I met during the two days of the Summit. I came into PLEN with an uncertain future. Now I can confidently say I am prepared for my future with the skills I have learned through PLEN.
Lindsey Kolb, PLEN Scholarship Recipient
Junior, Missouri State University
I learned about the summer PLEN360⁰ Summit from my internship coordinator at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. and I immediately applied for the scholarship and signed up for the program. Once I received the scholarship and was able to attend the Summit I was so excited to be able to collaborate with such other incredible women leaders in the D.C. area and all around the United States.
Learning more about professionalism in the work place, difficulties that face women today, and how to network our way to the top were all some of my favorite discussions during the Summit. Hearing from real-life women leaders in the public policy/political fields was a great opportunity and the contacts that I made with them will forever be something that I will hold on to. It was so encouraging to be with other motivated young women wanting to make a positive change in the world through public policy.
The discussions between PLEN participants and the Q & A sessions with the panelists and speakers was a great time for us to get to know one another and to learn more about how to be strong, ethical, and smart leaders in public policy in the future. PLEN really inspired me to shoot for the moon with my goals and ambitions in public policy in the future. In the end, even if we fall short, we’ll still land among the stars. And after attending the PLEN360⁰ Summit, I know that I will definitely be in good company.
Hanane Lahnaoui, PLEN Scholarship Recipient
Senior, St. Lawrence University (PLEN Member School)
It was an honor for me to receive the PLEN scholarship sponsored by Ms. Magdalena Rahn. This scholarship enabled me to attend the PLEN360⁰ Summit, which was a great experience for me. I had attended the Women’s Leadership in Public Policy Seminar this past January and it was a very enriching experience that taught me so much about career opportunities in the public policy arena in Washington, D.C. and in the United States in general. I also had the opportunity to meet and talk with influential women leaders in the D.C. area and also meet inspiring women students from other schools. It is due to my great previous experience with PLEN that I decided to apply for another one of their programs.
The PLEN360⁰ Summit was different in the sense that it was mostly focused on building career leadership skills. As a rising senior, this was a great opportunity for me to learn about the job search process. This Summit included a variety of workshops ranging from resume writing and LinkedIn profile building, to salary negotiation.
The PLEN360⁰ Summit provided me with the necessary skills to start building my career. I am glad I had the chance to ask all of my questions to women who are experts in their fields. It was also great to see that other college women share the same questions and hesitations I had regarding career preparation.
I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to participate in this conference. I am proud to be part of a network of women leaders and bright college women students who are all willing to support one another.
Sarah Trumbull, PLEN Scholarship Recipient
Sophomore, Rowan University
The seminar has been transformative and empowering in my life. I didn’t expect the impact it has made on my sense of agency as an aspiring researcher and STEM professional. From this seminar I have a more concrete understanding of my desired role in the public policy field and steps to take to achieve that position.
A quick look at the agenda from the Summit shows informational sessions about networking, salary negotiation and resume building. However, the sessions at PLEN are more impactful than most career-readiness workshops because of the focus on relationship-building, rather than purely instructional sessions. I felt that the mentors had a vested interest in my personal success. The speakers genuinely wanted to hear and understand the perspectives of the participants in order to develop more personalized strategies and advice. I’ve stayed in contact with a few of the speakers who have offered more ongoing help in building relationships at companies I hope to work for in the near future.
Just being in the company of the speakers who have taken time to advise has improved my professional self-esteem and made my plans for the future all that much closer. Thank you, once again to everyone who participated, all of the gracious speakers and sponsors.