I am a senior at Tulane University, double majoring in Environmental Studies and International Development with a minor in Economics. I feel passionate about protecting the environment and helping others. I wanted to attend the PLEN Women Unlocking Nonprofits conference because I am really interested in working in the nonprofit sector to achieve my personal and career goals, and I particularly appreciated the focus on women’s empowerment.
My favorite part of the conference was meeting the other young women who were participating. There were women of all different backgrounds, from all over the country, with different academic focuses who all care about contributing positively to their communities. To hear their questions and comments on the speakers helped me to think from a different perspective, and everyone was so supportive of one another. In just a few short days I feel as though I was able to connect with other amazing young women in a motivational, powerful, and long-lasting way. In addition to my peers, it was inspirational to hear from all of the panelists. To hear from women who started off in a place similar to myself and navigated their way to the successful positions they are in now gave me a sense of possibility and determination. I think it is so important that as women we form a network to support and encourage one another in our professional pursuits.
Something that I learned that I hope to never forget is that there is no right way to reach the point where we will end up. We can spend all of our time and energy attempting to plan each and every step in detail about how we can end up in the perfect job doing exactly what we want to be doing. What hearing from the women of the PLEN panels taught me is that opportunities that you could never plan for will arise, and you need to grab them when you get the chance. It is impossible to know exactly how we will get from point A to point B, but it is important to keep your priorities in mind and never lose your authenticity.
I would recommend other students of any academic background attend a PLEN conference if they are interested in hearing from strong professional women and meeting other driven female students.
Erin Platt attended the 2016 Women Unlocking Nonprofits seminar as a senior at Tulane University.