BY ERICA MILOSH
The Institute for Women’s Leadership attended the Massachusetts Conference for Women at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in December. Eighteen Nichols students experienced all the leadership advice, career resources, and professional stories that the conference had to offer.
The conference featured a wide variety of recognized keynote speakers during the opening session. Such representatives were fashion designer Tim Gunn of “Project Runway”; best-selling author and founder of Nasty Gal, Sophia Amoruso; TED fellow and urban space artist, Candy Chang, and several more.
Junior human resource management and business major, Olivia Barrett, has attended the conference for the last two years. “One [speaker] that I found to be extremely beneficial was Adam Grant –the top rated Professor at Wharton University. His talk was very interesting and he presented himself in a very confident and professional manner. Grant deals with clients including Google, the NFL, Merck, Goldman Sachs, Pixar, Facebook, and many more.”
After lunch there was a second keynote session featuring Shonda Rhimes, producer of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal; and television critic Emily Nussbaum. Throughout the day author signings were available and breakout sessions were held geared toward women’s leadership, emerging professionals, and personal development. Roundtable discussions were held to deliberate small business development and social media tools.
“The first breakout session I attended was ‘The Art of Talking About Yourself,’” Olivia said, “In this session, all of the panelists encouraged us to find our brand.”
“Seeing 10,000 women in one place for the purpose of continued personal development is motivational –learning is lifelong,” Director of the Institute for Women’s Leadership Jean Beaupre said, “The atmosphere was really positive and encouraging; it is an amazing experience and we were thrilled to be able to attend with some of our students.”
The students found the conference to be motivating, empowering, and inspiring. The speakers, breakout sessions, and roundtable discussions got students thinking about their own personal development and goals for the future.
Senior marketing major and business communication minor, Lindsey Oliver, has attended the conference for the last three years. “Not only do I have such fond memories from the conferences over the years, but I have also taken so much away from them. Overall, it is just a great environment to be a part of.”
Other faculty and staff members who attended the conference were Marney Buss, Director of Residence Life; Elizabeth Horgan, Director of Career Services; Cindy Lafortune, Information Technology Manager of User Support Services; Libba Moore, Human Resource Mangement Program Chair and professor; Jenna Parker, Career Services Administrative Assistant. Nichols College Graduate & Professional Studies also had a booth set up which was run by Marie Leonard, Assistant Director of Recruiting; and Nora Luquer, Associate Director of Admissions.