Last fall, I saw several posters on my university’s campus advertising PLEN seminars. While looking at the different programs that PLEN had to offer, I was excited to see Women Unlocking Nonprofits on the list. I have always been passionate about nonprofit work, and with a double major in psychology and management, I have been searching of ways to use the skills I have learned in the nonprofit sector. Since I was already searching for nonprofit opportunities, my discovery of PLEN came at the perfect time.
PLEN was such an inspirational experience for me. Prior to attending the seminar, I expected to gain some basic knowledge about the current climate in the nonprofit sector. However, the value that this seminar had for my own professional development soared beyond my imagination. Not only did I learn about nonprofit work, but career choice, networking, and salary negotiation along with life skills such as self care. I was inspired and encouraged by the great women who were invited to speak at the seminar. I truly believe that these women are doing great work that will make our world a better place. I deeply believe this seminar provided us with everything we need to know as we prepare to change the world.
My greatest takeaway from the seminar was the realization that I can do so much more than I ever imagined. One panel speaker mentioned that men only fulfill 60% of the job requirements when they apply for a job, whereas women normally wait to apply for the same jobs until they are able to fill every requirement. I faced this exact situation throughout my search for summer internships. This taught me that as a woman, I need to be more confident in my abilities and be a little bit more courageous in pursuing my dream careers.
After attending PLEN’s Women Unlocking Nonprofits seminar, I am more certain than ever in my goal of working in the nonprofit sector. However, as so many panel speakers suggested, I will try to keep my options open in terms of what type of work I want to do at a nonprofit organization. This way, I will gain different work experiences instead of limiting myself to a specific position during the early years of my career.
Lucy Duan attended the 2017 Women Unlocking Nonprofits seminar as a junior at Luther College. She is majoring in Psychology and Management.