Approximately 100 Hollins University alumnae returned to their alma mater to share tips, tools, and tricks of the trade with hundreds of current students on landing that first job during Hollins’ second annual Career Connection Conference (C3) on October 10.
Keynote speaker Carla Harris of Morgan Stanley, recently appointed by President Obama to serve as chair of the National Women’s Business Council, gave this year’s C3 a spirited kick-off, energizing a capacity audience in the Hollins Theatre with the “pearls of wisdom” she has learned through more than two decades of working on Wall Street.
“What are some of those things that really inform your success equation and make the difference between just surviving and thriving? That’s what the pearls are all about,” she explained.
Along with extolling the importance of mentors, sponsors and advisors throughout one’s career, Harris emphasized the following key messages to students:
- “Perception is the co-pilot to reality – how people perceive you will directly affect how they deal with you. What lens are they looking through when they’re looking at you?”
- “If you are going to be a leader in the 21st century you must be comfortable taking risks. Fear has no place in your success equation.”
- “If you want to maximize your success, you must bring your best authentic self to the table.”
Following the keynote address, students and alumnae engaged in workshops and presentations on a wide range of topics, including internships, building an effective résumé, interviewing dos and don’ts, using technology and networking, and workplace etiquette. Students also attended panels on how to translate their liberal arts education into careers in financial services, law, science, nonprofit and religious service, visual arts, media and public relations, performing arts, education, healthcare, government and public service, and entrepreneurship.
Another highlight of C3 was three “Speed Connection” sessions that encouraged students to network with alumnae in a fast-paced, fun and informal setting.
Evening events included a networking and dinner reception and two post-conference conversations: “A Different Kind of Canvas,” which looks at careers in technology, engineering, and design, and “Being an African-American Woman in the Workplace.”