During the course of the Science and Health Policy: Critical Issues Seminar, I became friends with many inspirational college women. Though we came from different backgrounds and have different experiences, we were there because of our love for science. I, like many others, didn’t see how policy and science were interconnected. PLEN opened my eyes to the idea that one can still have a passion for science and be involved in policy. Policy and politics aren’t exclusively spaces for lawyers and politicians. Policy is a wide arena that welcomes every discipline.
At the beginning of the seminar, I had only 33 connections on my LinkedIn profile. After going through the ‘Building Your LinkedIn Profile’ workshop, my connections grew to 155. I had attended many networking events before, but never followed up with the people I met. It was not because I forgot; it was because I was afraid that they won’t remember me and reject my invitation to connect with them. I felt like a small person who didn’t matter. PLEN made me realize that I am valuable to others; I just needed to make my value known.
My experience at the seminar showed me how open PLEN is to every idea, religion, and political ideology. There were Republican as well as Democratic panelists. They were all very welcoming and shielded away from controversial issues such as abortion, race, religion, etc. PLEN welcomed everybody with open arms while also allowing the women to be exposed to organizations and people that come from different political ideologies.