As a soon-to-be graduate at Carlow University, the Women Unlocking Nonprofits seminar not only solidified my career goals, but gave me much more insight towards the career I will soon be entering. While I am interested in nonprofit work, this seminar opened countless options to take my career. While classes outline what nonprofit work entails, there is no substitution for what PLEN provided me during this conference. The advice given to our group from the speakers was real and honest about what it takes to run and maintain a nonprofit.
Each speaker stressed the importance of passion and drive needed to enter the nonprofit sector, and it was clear each speaker was passionate about their work. Not only did speakers answer all questions thoroughly, but they were exceedingly warm and approachable after their presentations. Every single woman who presented was not only willing to connect us to our interested fields within the nonprofit sector, but extremely proactive in doing so.
While I had interned at a local nonprofit in my area, I found PLEN’s seminar to both solidify what I had learned during my internship as well as elevate my skills further. Before attending this seminar, I had little to no knowledge of the public policy and lobbying which took place in nonprofit work. At first I was afraid I was already behind in my knowledge and would not be able to keep up with the panelists, but while the panel descriptions overwhelmed me, the women were patient in explaining every detail about their careers. This not only made me feel comfortable to ask questions, but also made me more confident in applying the techniques each panel provided.
While I understood the basics of what nonprofit work entailed, I had not realized how much was covered under nonprofit work. While I had limited myself to local nonprofits, the panel dedicated to international nonprofit work was eye opening.
Workshopping with experienced women was the most helpful experience out of the two days.Before attending this seminar, my networking experience was with professors and their peers.In contrast, PLEN not only outlined the unspoken rules of networking, they also fine-tuned our elevator pitch, which was something I had not done before.
The biggest takeaway from this seminar was the emphasis on passion. Embracing my passion for an organization and its values is something I shied away from before this seminar. Cultivating this passion will allow me to create unique opportunities for myself in the future. This experience with PLEN was a fantastic opportunity to learn real world experiences, and in the scope of my education, this seminar was irreplaceable.
Emily Evangelista attended the 2016 Women Unlocking Nonprofits seminar as a junior at Carlow University.