I gave my tenth grade students extra credit for attending our school's Women Mean Business Symposium. Besides being a great experience in and of itself, it relates closely to an upcoming class project. However, when students reported back to me on their experiences I was delighted to find how valuable the event had been at teaching the importance of two themes I have emphasized in my professional development sessions this year:
1) The vital importance of learning to network.
2) The recognition that failure (and learning from it) is critical to the learning process.
At the end of the night I received the business cards of the three women who were seated at my table. An invitation was also extended to me by Cindy Cooper to visit WJR Radio for a tour of their facility. Cynthia Robinette and Katherine Sharkey extended similar invitations. . . . .At the end of the night, I also spoke to Kathleen Ryan about her experience at Notre Dame which is one school that I have been considering. I thought it was a successful night and I gained many new contacts and benefitted from the experience. -- Jaclyn
The Importance of Networking
Our Table leader was very energetic and wanted us to get involved, she brought us up to meet the women who were speaking and allowed us to ask them any questions that we wanted. We even got to take a picture with one of the speakers. -- Amber
One thing that was great about this symposium, was that it surrounded you with women who were driven for success and that touched you to do the same. . . . When I was sitting there and listening to their answers and their comments you felt inspired and Itruly believe I left with something there that night. One thing I was also happy about was it was a great place to network. That is another thing that they mentioned that was a key thing to move up and would be helpful if you need an internship or if you were just looking for more information. . . .This was a great experience and actually I had myfirst experience at networking, Mrs. Ewald offered me to shadow her at Children’sHospital for a day. -- Brittany
Learning from Failure
It was good to see such a successful women up there telling us one of the most embarrassing stories and realize that people make mistakes, even women, and it is easy to correct yourself and continue with what you are doing. Looking at all the successful women up there and realizing that they are not perfect makes it even easier to get myself out there and gain the courage to do what they do. -- Lauren
My favorite was Kathy Ryan because I loved her personality. She told us an embarrassing story which I loved because she was able to laugh at her mistakes, unlike me. We talked for a while and she literally let her hair down, which I thought was really funny. She didn’t even seem like a judge! All the students from my table took a picture with Judge Ryan. Meeting her was my absolute favorite part of the night! . . .Overall, this whole experience was inspirational for me. -- Briana
. . . .They told us that no one is perfect, we are all going to make mistakes, but it is what you do with your mistakes that make you who you are. The main thing that I took out of the whole discussion was you have to love what you do. -- Mary