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 session, 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!
Alexis Chambers received a scholarship sponsored by Magdalena Rahn to attend the 2014 PLEN360 seminar during her senior year at Ohio University.