The weekend of the 2nd Annual Women’s Leadership Summit & Stock Pitch Competition, planned by those I consider my role models, had finally arrived. This three-day conference invited young women from 17 prestigious universities to compete a stock pitch competition. The four finalist teams for the stock pitch competition was comprised of undergraduate students of New York University, Brown University, Fordham University, and yours truly, William & Mary. What follows is insight on the professional development aspect of the summit.
The three-day summit commenced with the beloved Dr. Kelly Crace, and his renowned life values inventory workshop to help individuals identify their values, and improve their decision-making and problem-solving skills. I have had the opportunity to personally meet him, and you’ll have to do the same if you wish to understand why so many individuals admire him dearly.
The next major event was the outstanding Keynote by Sonia Gardner who is president, managing partner, and co-founder of Avenue Capital Group, and serves on the executive board for 100 Women in Finance Foundations. She gave inspirational insight on how she achieved leadership positions in her organizations, and more so on how being a women in business may come with a few (manageable) obstacles.
That evening during dinner, the Etiquette Institute of Washington gave attendees the 101 on the proper dining etiquette when eating meals with business professionals. The takeaway? No chicken wings, please.
A handful of female students, including myself, had the opportunity to be student ambassadors for the visiting professionals, and welcome them to the William & Mary family. Ultimately, this was a great weekend as every attendee was given the opportunity to network with exceptional, empowering professionals in business, and young women in college nationwide.
The conference had its own planning committee, but was sponsored by Women in Business, and Smart Women Securities. As a member of the SWS executive board, who also happens to be van driver certified, I was asked to drive contestants to and from their hotel. Looking back, I am proud that I had the opportunity to be a part of their first impression of campus. I love William & Mary so much, and enjoyed sharing highlights of the university as I drove past the Wren Building to speak on the year-long waitlist for weddings, Colonial Williamsburg to share the impressive restored 18th century part of the city, and driving past Phi Beta Kappa Hall to brag that Rae Sremmurd will be performing in just a few months.
This event would not have been as phenomenal had it not been for the following empowering women: Professor Katherine Guthrie, Kristyn Allred, and Brittany Peck. Next year we will hold the 3rd annual summit, and personally, I can’t wait (to see you there).