The main reason for my trip to DC last weekend was to attend the GWU Women in Business Spring Conference. I am a huge fan of attending conferences and panels whenever possible because not only will you usually gain knowledge about the industry you want to go into, but I’m always re-inspired to go out and work for what I really want. As far as conferences go, this one was probably the most inspiring so far, so I thought I would share a few things I learned throughout the day.
The opening keynote was Aliza Licht, who you might know better as DKNY PR Girl, Aliza really was the start to the fashion industry on social media which means she really knows what it means to build a brand (both for yourself and a company) through social media. The most interesting she said (which all you bloggers will appreciate) was that she has never had a content calendar because she believes that creating one would be like going into a conversation with notecards, a really stupid plan.
As she went more into personal branding Aliza said that you really have to step back and take a hard look at yourself on social media. Your profile picture, bio, and posts are all incredibly important to building your personal brand, so you should align these things with what you want people to think of you. Align what you think of yourself with what others think of you. I couldn’t get enough of her advice, which was why it was amazing when we all received advanced copies of her book, Leave Your Mark. I’ve been flying through the pages as fast as my school schedule will allow.
Jumping to the end of the day, the closing keynote was Gillian Gorman Round, President of The Lucky Group. Gill has had one of the most interesting careers starting in beauty in the UK and ending up in fashion media in the US. Hands down, the best piece of advice she said was to always keep your hands dirty. Work the hardest and don’t expect a thank you or a good job and you will succeed. Us millennial are seen to be somewhat arrogant and self-important. While that isn’t true for everyone out there it is the stereotype and we do have to fight it. By working the hard jobs (retail, waitressing, etc) and showing you have worked hard for something you disprove the belief that this generation is entitled and do better because of it. That’s all a bit serious (and you could tell the room was a bit freaked out), but at the end of her keynote Gill reminded everyone that you still need to have fun. If it isn’t fun then what you’re doing probably isn’t right for you and it’s ok that you haven’t figured it out yet.
Overall, the conference was just an amazing experience and I give a lot of props to the committee that put it together. I really think (outside of actual work experience) the best way to figure out what you want to do and then figure out the best way to get there is to always attend opportunities like this conference. You never know if in one of these panels you’ll find a completely new career path that is the perfect one for you.