How PLEN Changed Me: Learning How to Be The Woman I Want To Be

My PLEN experience was a very enlightening for many reasons. One of the main reasons why it was so enlightening was because I was able to see such exemplary women be so successful in their fields,  along with seeing their skills and following their career trajectory.  Another important part of this experience was that I was able to see how many young women will be the future CEOs and leaders in our society, whether it be in a government position or legal position. The most important part to me of this experience, however, was the feeling of empowerment that I felt seeing all these strong and amazing women come together to help me and other women like me learn more about how to navigate becoming the best versions of ourselves.

I think one of the most influential speakers that was present at the seminar was Ally Coll.  She is, in my opinion, a prime example of a woman who is strong no matter what barriers have been presented to her. She explained to us her journey and her struggles in the process of becoming a successful woman in Washington D.C. When she explained what happened to her, I felt that it seemed impossible to overcome such a harsh experience, but she proved me wrong. I felt so inspired to know that we are stronger than we are given credit for, by others and by ourselves. Of course, I thought other members were so helpful as well. For example, one of the speakers, Allyson Perleoni, explained networking to us. I remember going into this seminar not knowing at all how to network. However, the first thing that we learned about was networking. She had explained to us every aspect of how to network, including how to get out of awkward situations. I really appreciated how detailed her explanations were and the amount of information that was provided for us. Some things that I learned was that networking is not as hard as I thought it was, and that it's mostly just a conversation where people can offer each other support in their level of expertise. I also learned so much more about law school. 

One of the questions that has been on my mind has been about my own career trajectory. Going into the seminar, I was unsure of whether or not I wanted to go to law school. However, after this experience, I was able to come to the conclusion that I do want to go to law school. One of the main reasons that I came to this conclusion was because many of the speakers had used their law degrees in ways that I had never considered before. I knew you could do more with a law degree than just working at a law firm, but I didn't realize that it extended to the public sector and other important and vital government positions. I learned that a law degree could be used as a supportive degree for what I want to do in the future and that there are so many paths that I can explore. I also think PLEN was a very helpful resource, and we learned about the different positions that we can take in the various sectors of the government and law because of the diverse jobs and lifestyles of speakers that were present at the seminar. This made me feel much more secure not knowing what the future holds because I know that there are so many options. 

The PLEN seminar was an amazing experience because it exposed me to so many new things and pathways to be the person I want to be after my education. I now know the path I want to take, and how I can be the most confident and strong woman that I can be. I can find this empowerment within myself, but PLEN taught me I can find that also in my profession. PLEN also helped me find so many amazing women who are the leaders in so many important parts of our society, as well as those around me who also just wanted to learn more about what the future can have in store for them. Thank you PLEN!

Zana Frluckaj attended the 2021 Law and Legal Advocacy Seminar. She is a junior at St. Lawrence University majoring in Government.

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