Through Tulane’s Newcomb College Institute, I was fortunate enough to find out about a program that would change my life forever. When I first started to research The Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN), I found so many wonderful programs and opportunities that aligned with my academic and future career goals. I thought I would have a difficult time choosing which seminar to apply for, but as soon as I saw the Women in Corporate and Nonprofit Leadership seminar listed as an option, I knew I found the perfect combination that would benefit me in my future.
I decided to attend the Women in Corporate and Nonprofit Leadership seminar in Washington D.C. for many reasons. First, as a senior in college, I am continuously looking to meet and network with established women who are willing to share their experiences with me. I believe that helping each other and encouraging other women is one of the greatest assets that women possess, and attending the seminar taught me just how important aiding and directing one another truly is. In addition, as a Psychology major with minors in Political Science and Public Health, I am looking to gain insight into the fields that I am interested in. I have many areas I am in exploring, ranging from opportunities in public policy and politics to nonprofit advocacy and education. While I am still focused on applying to jobs across many sectors, hearing from women across these sectors and with different areas of expertise helped me narrow my focuses greatly. Further, when deciding to attend the seminar, I was hoping to learn more about corporate and nonprofit positions and how they intersect to create social good. I learned more from the speakers and panelists on these topics then I have in the course of four years at Tulane and at the many other conferences I have attended. Meeting with and hearing from women across many fields who are working in their day-to-day jobs to ensure they have a positive social impact on the population was awe-inspiring.
Attending the seminar in Washington D.C. allowed me to see how nonprofits and corporations can influence policy and politics. I was not that familiar with the behind the scenes of how Washington D.C. worked before this trip, and I am so thankful that I was able to meet so many great women working to ensure that policies are beneficial to the people they serve. I was able to visit national monuments, meet with people working in many associations across Washington D.C., and was even lucky enough to attend a meeting at a policy institute. I believe the seminar would have been an extremely different experience if it did not take place in Washington D.C. and I am so glad that I gained this valuable insight into the place that makes our country go round.
Before the PLEN seminar, I was unaware of the many types of jobs and careers out there that could have a social meaning behind them. Specifically, I learned about corporate social responsibility positions in many different companies working to ensure that jobs within their companies, ranging from financial banking to accounting, have a positive impact on the communities in which they serve. Further, I learned that each nonprofit is designed to tackle a specific issue, and they each focus on this one specific area so they can have the greatest impact on solving that issue. I also learned many valuable skills such as how to negotiate a job title, salary, and benefits, as well as gained imperative leadership and development skills. Most of all, I was provided valuable information to ensure that when making my career choice and creating a clear career path, I choose the path that is right for me.
Attending the PLEN seminar enabled me to become a better student, leader, worker, and person. The people I met, skills I developed, and knowledge I gained will be beneficial throughout the rest of my life and I am so glad I had this wonderful opportunity!