Category Archives: News & Views

Notes from the MA Conference for Women

by Alexandra Morrow ’17
IWL Student Advisory Panelist

maconfOn December 8, 2016, I had the amazing opportunity to attend and participate in the Massachusetts Conference for Women at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in Boston, MA for the second time. The first time I attended this conference was my freshman year, almost three years ago. Although I have changed and my knowledge has grown, the conference was still just as motivational, helpful and powerful as my first experience. I would even say that I might have absorbed even more information, tips, stories and insight this time. Having spent some time in the professional world, I am better able to understand the speakers from my own experiences, including how the topics have and can affect one’s life, and how important it is for women to stay together if they truly want to make a difference in the world.

I was able to attend two breakout sessions; the first was on “your own” brand. Who are you? What do people who know you think versus who you really are? What do you really want to do? All of these questions can help you begin to create a focused, authentic and organic brand that embodies your values and reflects your vision and goals. Listening to the speakers’ own brands, I tried to brainstorm what I wanted my brand to say. How did I want the world to see me? What did I do well — and how did I want managers, co-workers and my boss to see me? In addition, the speakers stressed the importance of becoming a master on a topic. Be specific on who you are as a person or brand/business and then become an expert in that field. Being an expert can help strengthen your brand and build trust with your clients and customers. They also suggested making a vision board; I added that to my to-do list.

The second session was a negotiation workshop that provided me with tips on navigating the process. It included: how to get negotiations off the ground, anchor with options (always having two proposals), consider the other person’s/company needs, anticipate their reasons for saying “NO,” expect resistance, predict the outcome, and most importantly, do not negotiate from a defensive position. My favorite part was when we got to partner up and practice negotiation scenarios. It was very useful to role play different dialogues depending on the situation. Plus it was a great networking opportunity for the group.

Before our group left, I was able to browse among the exhibits that were at the conference. There were 100+ booths! Although it was more of a zoo-like atmosphere with women as far as the eye could see, I was able meet new people, see new products, learn about recruitment programs, and get free samples too! Overall, I had a wonderful time and hopefully will be given the chance to attend again, but next time representing my company.

The photo below is of me with Annie Clark who is a co-founder of End Rape On Campus. Her story, her actions and her determination are truly inspiring. It was an honor and an experience I will never forget!

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Lunch & Learn: October Conversation Project

By Tyler Hussey ’17W
IWL Student Advisory Panelist

My name is Tyler Hussey, and I am currently the only male member serving on the IWL Student Advisory Panel. I am a Human Resource Management major from Concord, NH and it is my goal to serve as a resource and advocate for women’s leadership on the Nichols College campus and within the greater community.

On Monday, October 24, IWL held a Conversation Project luncheon with special guest Heidi Helveston, Talent Acquisition Specialist for Enterprise Holdings Inc.  She joined approximately ten students, including myself, to talk about leadership and tackling interviews.

Heidi has worked for Enterprise since 2005 and has worked hard to get where she is. Heidi spoke about Enterprise’s unique way of hiring and promoting. Almost 100% of full-time employees started out as management trainees and have worked their way into their respective functions. I really appreciated how Enterprise values their employees and shows this by promoting from within.

Along with talking about Enterprise and their career tracks, Heidi also spoke about interviewing. She stated that it is important to leave your phone in the car, be friendly to everyone you meet, and always smile. I agree with her advice. It can be tempting to bring your phone, however, it is extremely distracting during an interview. She also spoke about how important it is to always ask for projects when things get slow. This shows that you are driven and want to learn.

Heidi was a great guest and we enjoyed her company!

Reflections on IWL’s Fall College Connection

by Gina Petruzzi ’17
IWL Student Advisory Panelist

On Wednesday October 26, student volunteers and members of the IWL Student Advisory Panel welcomed Bartlett High School juniors and senior females to campus for our second annual College Connection. The program is made possible in part by a grant from the American Association of University Women (AAUW). The Nichols students acted as mentors for the Bartlett High School students for the entire day. We had a lot of fun and learned a lot from each other.

The Nichols mentors arrived in Daniels Auditorium bright and early at 7:15AM to prepare for the day that was about to begin. At about 8AM, we welcomed the Bartlett students to Nichols. Each of the students got off the bus with an eager smile on her face and you could tell that they were all excited to see what the Nichols College mentors had in store for them. As excited as all of the Bartlett students were, we Nichols students were equally as excited. We began the day with introductions and a few icebreakers. We then broke out into small groups and got to know each other a bit img_0169 img_0165more. We made vision boards and encouraged the students to dream and envision their futures. We led the students through an interesting exercise where they drew the roads that were going to pave the way to achieving their dreams. It was useful to better understand the various steps it would take to turn a goal into reality. We then helped the students craft a personal introduction, tapping into our elevator pitch experience from our Effective Speaking course. The goal was to get the students comfortable with networking and asking questions of people who might help them achieve their goals. Then, it was off to lunch — the Bartlett students love Lombard!

After lunch we went back to the Auditorium and the students participated in a mock networking img_0191event, where they were able to practice their introductions. Lots of volunteers — staff, faculty, and students — came to help; their role was to role-play as whomever the Bartlett students thought might be useful to meet. The students had identified a wide variety of people such as manga artists, tourists, doctors, RNs, college admissions counselors, and faculty of their desired majors. Each student was tasked with finding their “person” in the crowd, then practicing their introduction and interacting with that person. This was an awesome part of the day because it was when each student came to life and stepped out of her comfort zone. It was amazing to watch the progression of each individual throughout the day.

img_0209One of our last activities was forming a large circle with all the students, mentors, and staff. Each individual gave one word to describe the day; they included: inspiring, amazing, life changing, motivational, and awesome. All of the words said were so sincere about the day for everyone involved. We ended the day with certificates of completion for each of the students, and goodbyes. We were sad to see our friends from Bartlett go, but we look forward to seeing them again in March!

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