Additional Thoughts on NAWMBA…

If you haven’t yet read Stacey Schroeder’s Post about NAWMBA, make sure you check it out! In addition to her summary of the high points, here are a few of my own insights from the conference this past weekend…

1. You are at an advantage because you attend Fisher. The conference included a variety of sessions and events throughout both days, as well as a career fair on Saturday. Ohio State was the lead academic conference sponsor which offered our students a variety of extra perks during the weekend. I was consistently impressed with how often professionals and recruiters specifically sought out Fisher women to connect, network, or talk about job prospects. Major kudos to our career services and NAWMBA planning teams for helping Fisher stand out in such a unique and positive way.

2. Elevator speeches (and other things that you think don’t matter) DO MATTER. I am admittedly a people watcher. One of my favorite parts of this conference was simply watching candidates from other schools speak with recruiters during the career fair. I could literally see a difference in a recruiter’s facial expression and body language between candidates that were well prepared with a brief self-introduction (mostly Fisher women) and those who approached recruiters blindly. Trust me… it is worth the 15 potentially awkward minutes of standing in front of a mirror and practicing to perfect your elevator pitch.

Lynn Tilton of Patriarch Partners

3. Yes, Lynn Tilton IS that ridiculously awesome. Stacey did a good job of explaining why Lynn Tilton’s message was so captivating – but actually seeing her in real life is another story.  Lynn has long blonde hair, wears a minimum of 6″ platform heels (which is both painful and impressive), and dons a wardrobe that made me blush from the furthest row back. She gives her audience just enough time to form an opinion based solely on appearance, then she absolutely smashes it. You quickly learn that this woman has purchased and “flipped” 150 companies, single-handedly saving 250,000 jobs. I found her to be so impressive because she is who she is, and doesn’t apologize for it. That’s not to say I’ll be copying her fashion trends anytime soon, but I definitely aim to inspire others as Lynn has.

Thanks again to all those who helped coordinate such a successful conference!

NAWMBA Conference – in a word, inspiring

I had the great pleasure of attending the NAWMBA (National Association of Women MBA’s) Conference in Louisville, KY the past few days. Here are some of my thoughts…

1. Louisville is a beautiful, charming city! I had never been to the revitalized downtown area before, only the Historic District. The city is very well-kept, people are extremely friendly, and the restaurants and pubs are busy and delightful.

2. There are so MANY amazing, powerful, awe-inspiring, talented women. I have always been impressed by Fisher women (and all the students!), but it was mind-blowing to meet so many other ambitious, insightful women that I shared so much in common with.

3. Karen Hough of ImprovEdge, gave me so much to think about. Her presence, her warm smile, her thoughtfulness and ability to read and respond to her audience is something that truly touched me. Her presentation resonated with me, and I encourage everyone to check out her company, her philosophy, and also her book launch, which is happening in March 2011 right here in Columbus!

4. Lynn Tilton. What can I even say about her? This is a confident, self-secure woman who has absolutely no compunction about sharing her deepest thoughts about the American economy, manufacturing, industry, morals, and how to live life like it’s the only one you have – because it is. Listening to her speak had me on the verge of either crying or spontaneously standing up or dropping to my knees in acknowledgment and thanks. She espouses values that I try to maintain in myself – and did so eloquently. Again, this a woman EVERYONE needs to know. To anyone that has ever read anything by Ayn Rand, this is the current day embodiment of her theories, philosophies and “fire”, in spades. To quote Lynn, the most powerful thing in the world is “people standing shoulder to shoulder, walking together.” What a powerful, powerful message.

It’s not very often that something happens that shakes me to my core. Points 3 and 4 did that. Without a question. I am truly humbled by what I heard this weekend, and I hope that I can incorporate even just a few of these powerful womens’ thoughts and values into my own life.

Many thanks to all the faculty, staff and students of Fisher for their involvement in this conference.