IWL Lean in Circle with President Engelkemeyer


The Institute for Women’s Leadership (IWL) at Nichols College hosted a Lean In Circle event in which nine female students, including myself, shared a dinner with President Engelkemeyer at her house. Each month there is a new guest speaker for a casual gathering for fun, development, and support with other female students. I must say, it was a little hard at first to think of it as a casual meeting since I was sitting in the President’s living room, but she made us all feel very comfortable, very fast.

After introducing ourselves, we had time to ask the President questions on her professional success. She had great stories about her college years and shared how she was actually an Equestrian Studies major because of her love for horses (which was evident by the many horse portraits on her walls). Her path towards business professionalism had some bumps and bruises but that did not stop her. Instead, she took advantage of the setbacks to stir up motivation to be better…and she was! Her story was very inspiring to hear as she reminded us that sometimes the best opportunities come from the hardest situations.

Along with the delicious catered meal, we were given tips and tricks on how to become a successful business woman; there was high intensity “girl power” around the table! We chatted about wage gaps, how to negotiate your salary, chasing your dream job, and being confident in your abilities. Our conversation tied hand in hand with IWL’s mission statement:

Through campus initiatives, industry partnerships, research analysis, and thought leadership, the Institute for Women’s Leadership at Nichols College focuses on the issues and challenges impacting women in business, with goals of

  • developing the leadership potential of students, and
  • serving as a resource and authoritative voice on women’s leadership for the community at large

Thank you President Engelkemeyer for sharing all your secrets to your success! I left inspired and ready to handle all the situations that may come my way!

Joyce Salles is a senior at Nichols College majoring in marketing and minoring in hospitality. She is also interns for the Office of Marketing and Communications. 

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