After hearing one of my professors mention PLEN in a meeting last semester, I knew it was something that I wanted to pursue. After looking at the schedule to see which seminar both piqued my interest and was a good fit time-wise, I chose Women Unlocking Nonprofits. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I had a feeling it was going to be great.
Listening to women talk about their experiences working in nonprofits was incredibly inspiring, in addition to being very educational. I had no idea what went into starting, running, or even working at a nonprofit, and the panels that we had educated us on all aspects of the nonprofit world. It was incredible to not only see strong women in well respected positions, but also to see them encouraging young women to follow in their footsteps.
The most beneficial lesson that I learned from PLEN was to accept that your life might not go according to your plan, and that is okay. Almost all the women mentioned how their job kind of found them, and it wasn’t necessarily something they had actively pursued growing up. I think that is an incredible tidbit of wisdom that we as college students sometimes need to be reminded of. We are often told that we need to have our life figured out for years to come, and these women showed us that hard work will help you get to where you need to be, but that might not be exactly where you thought it was.
Brooke Bray attended the 2016 Women Unlocking Nonprofits seminar as a junior at Wesleyan College.