From guest blogger, Carrie Lyons, MBA 2012
I remember seeing the email reminders about the annual CWIB conference last year around this time, and I thought to myself “Oh, what is it these people expect me to do now?” But I noticed the snazzy conference theme and was genuinely interested in the panel sessions that seemed to offer REAL, practical value, so I registered. And hey – it was free so I had nothing to lose.
The conference was scheduled for the 1st Friday after Spring Break, and I can’t lie – I wasn’t looking forward to attending. Despite its intriguing agenda, I had an internship, enjoyed a wonderful Spring Break, and just wanted my life back. I was tired and burned out from the 1st year of my MBA, from constantly being told what I should and shouldn’t do, and feeling overwhelmed by obligations thrown at me from every direction. However, I noticed how hard a few of my fellow first year classmates were working to prepare for the conference, and out of sheer support for them I decided to go. I didn’t care at all about what I would get out of the conference – I had my internship, was done with attending MBA events, and certainly wasn’t in the mood for a day of “RAH RAH GIRL POWER!” I was sure the conference would be a waste of a Friday afternoon, but deep inside I knew this MBA game was a team sport, so I figured the least I could do was show up.
And am I glad I did! I could NOT believe how much I enjoyed myself. I was blown away by the fact that I actually felt ENERGIZED and MOTIVATED from this conference! The panel sessions provided real and practical tips that I knew I could apply in my much coveted internship. I was no longer at this conference to support my classmates – I was there for me, happily gobbling up all kinds of useful information.
One of the most refreshing aspects of the conference was to see so many new faces from outside the walls of Kenan-Flagler. The outside world!! These women were inspiring and provided fresh new perspectives from the REAL world. It was motivating to join these professional women who had invested the time, energy, and money (the conference is only free for students) to better their professional lives. Surprisingly, I also felt an intense sense of pride in Kenan-Flagler. I was so impressed with how well this conference was run, from the agenda, to the catering, to the little blue gift bags that all the participants received. By the end of the day, my attitude had flipped a 180 and I was an excited Kenan-Flagler student once more – pumped up about my opportunities as a professional business woman and exited to apply everything I had learned.
Not one to hide a shred of emotion, I gushed on and on to the conference organizers about my amazing experience and thanked them profusely for all their work. I should have known what was coming next…. ”Carrie – since you had such a great experience, why don’t you be a conference co-chair next year? We are looking to fill the role – we need you!” Hmmm….how could I say no?
I’ve truly had a blast working with an amazing conference planning team to bring the 7th annual CWIB conference to fruition on Friday, March 30th. It is inspiring and just plain fun to work with a team of brilliant women who bring so many diverse talents to the table. We are proud of this year’s conference and excited to bring real value to our attendees.
For more information and to register for the event please visit: http://wibconference.wordpress.com/