As a two time PLEN attendee, I can say that no matter which seminar you go to or at what point in your career (or pre-career) you attend, you will meet amazing women. These women will be dominating their fields and taking no nonsense. They will be working tirelessly to climb the ladder or knock it down and create their own path. They’ve chosen to spend a few hours of their time helping young women just like you figure out what the next step is. They’re there to tell you advice, but they’re also there to answer your questions!
After attending both the Women in Global Policy and Women, Business, and Policy seminars since beginning school at Tulane, I’ve noticed that there are a few women you’ll find at every PLEN Seminar. Here’s my list of women to look out for.
- The High Level Executive: At PLEN, the High Level Executive is always amazing. You might find her in the beginning of the program, as the Keynote Speaker, and she’s probably there to tell you a story about a time she personally saved the world. The Keynote speaker the first time I went to PLEN was a Special Advisor to the United Nations, and this October, I heard from Laura Lane, the President of Global Affairs for UPS, who personally escorted people out of Rwanda in her convoy during her time at the State Department. This woman will amaze you (and possibly make you cry) with her stories, but she’ll also answer your questions. PLEN is the only place where you can ask someone this accomplished a question and know they are excited to answer you.
- The Person Your Age With an Incredible Job: The person your age with an incredible job is one of the best people you’ll meet at PLEN. Two years before you met them, they might have been struggling to figure out how to get a job- and now that they’ve figured it out, they are a wonderful source of information on how you can get one.
- The Person You Want To Grow Up To Be: You might meet The Person You Want To Grow Up To Be at the Networking Reception, or on one of the panels. You’ll think you might know who this person is when you read their bio and think their life sounds fantastic, but you’ll feel certain after you hear them talk about their path and their current job. When you meet this person, you should listen up and ask the best question you can think of– they could be a resource for you going forward.
- The Woman Who Could Get You the Job: This one is tricky. The woman who could get you the job is… every woman at PLEN. Every woman at PLEN is there to help young women achieve great things, and in the very small town of Washington, D.C., they could all know someone who could help you. For this reason, you should aim to meet as many people as possible. You’ll find them all interesting, and you’ll learn about fields you probably never knew existed. (See: the time I met a woman who worked in Marketing at PLEN and she later became my intern boss and eventually helped me get my first job!).
- The Amazing Women Who Share Your Goals: Finally, at a PLEN Seminar, you’ll be surrounded by other amazing college-aged women who want to work in the field you want to work in. In five years, they will be your coworkers, friends, and peers. You will get happy hour drinks with them and talk about your goals- and then you will help each other get there!
The women you meet at PLEN could change your goals and career path, and they’re all there to help you. All they ask is that you pay attention and write some thank you notes.