Reflections from the 2021 Women in Global Policy Seminar

The Keynote address delivered by Alyse Nelson for our 2021 Women in Global Policy seminar

Our 2021 Women in Global Policy seminar wrapped up this May with 59 students attending from 31 different schools. A few of the alumnae who attended the seminar share their experiences below. Read on to learn more about what the seminar offers!

“You might be like me: coming into the Women in Global Policy seminar already knowing exactly what you want to do and the exact steps you need to take to achieve that. Well, let me tell you that you might just throw that all out the window. I thought I had it all planned out but within five days, my plan changed more times than I could count. I felt like a little kid again, dreaming all of these big dreams, but this time, I felt like I could really reach them.

Throughout the five days that I spent with PLEN, I met women from all different backgrounds, occupations, with all different skill sets, capabilities. I remember every single speaker that talked to us because each one stuck out in their own way. Each speaker had amazing stories to tell of what she does and how she got there. I was sitting at a table, and these women were quite literally bringing up chairs for all of us to join them.”

Darcy Hansen, PLEN Women in Global Policy 2021 alumna
Southwestern University ‘22

"The Women in Global Policy seminar that PLEN put together this year was an incredibly motivating and assuring experience. As a first-gen student, I worry about how I can build meaningful connections and effectively vouch for myself as a dedicated worker - since nobody in my family can network for me! 

The workshops that PLEN offered really showed the breadth of women that have made it on their own, and exactly how they did it. Discussing networking, negotiation, and elevator pitches were among my favorite panels/workshops at PLEN, we have really in-depth conversations about everything you would need to know. I feel empowered, moving forward, as a woman and a first-gen student to advocate for myself and shoot for the opportunities that I really want with the skills that PLEN has taught me."

Savannah Sima, PLEN Women in Global Policy 2021 alumna
The College of Wooster ‘23

“. . . Another highly informative session of the PLEN conference was the Resume Review Workshop. Treading lightly, my resume review advisor asked if I was a nontraditional student. After explaining that I was likely the most senior attendee at the conference, she then tailored her conversation to benefit my resume and provided interview strategies. The advisor discussed what I already experienced- ageism, which abounds within our society. This form of discrimination makes it difficult for women to succeed during their second, third, and even fourth acts in life. So, combining ageism with being a woman of color made me feel like I had little chance of starting a new career. However, after speaking with my resume/career advisor, I learned valuable strategies that made me feel empowered.”

Terri De La Cruz, PLEN Women in Global Policy 2021 alumna
The University of Texas at San Antonio

Students networking at a PLEN seminar in 2019

“. . . The workshop on salary negotiation with Shelby Olson was extremely helpful. As a woman of color, it can be intimidating doing something such as negotiating your salary with an employer. Olson’s presentation was extremely informative and really motivated me to not be scared to put a price on my worth. I had so many notes after that session, more than I ever had in college! All in all, I truly enjoyed her workshop.

Lastly, I want to mention that I highly recommend everyone that has the opportunity to apply to this program to do so. It is a decision that I do not regret. Still to this day, I stay connected with many of the women that I met through PLEN. It was beautiful and phenomenal being in a “room” with such strong and powerful women. I would do it all over again if I could.”

Fatima Dominguez, PLEN Women in Global Policy 2021 alumna
Augustana College ‘22

The “Salary Negotiation” workshop with Shelby Olson during our 2021 Women in Global Policy seminar

“. . . I was super impressed by the way PLEN organized such a wonderful and powerful event amidst a worldwide pandemic. . . I commend PLEN for doing a fantastic job with the seminar. Throughout the seminar, I learned a lot about myself and other women who look and think like me. I am appreciative of PLEN for giving me a scholarship that allowed me to show up, be present, and have my dreams come true.”

Oluwatobi Oluwagbemi
St. Cloud University, '17

“. . . The seminar was truly built around the importance of connection, emphasizing the impact empowerment can have on professional and personal development. Not only were the PLEN students connected with public and private sector professionals in international affairs, but they were provided a platform of encouragement, understanding, and optimism while they explored what their future could hold. . . 

I could not be more privileged and honored to have had this experience and met so many outstanding students. PLEN is an organization that does work worth doing, bringing together individuals from different backgrounds and professional experiences to create a platform for female empowerment, and I could not be more proud to be a PLEN alumnae.”

Jaclyn Corbo, PLEN Women in Global Policy 2021 alumna
George Washington University Law School ‘23

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