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10 Things We Learned at Her Conference 2016

Since August 2015, when we were arranging everything to launch our school’s Her Campus Chapter, we decided that in the next year, 2016, we would buy an airplane ticket, schedule a trip and attend Her Conference in New York City. At first, it seemed like something you fantasize about, you know? Times Square lights, lots of pink Her Campus apparel, panelists and their inspiring stories. As the year passed, our decision got more concrete. In March, we acquired our Her Conference two-day passes. In May, we already told people that we were flying to New York in July. By the end of June and July 10th, we booked our airplane tickets and reserved our hotel. After negotiations with Internship bosses, packing dresses for New York summer heat – while in Brazil we were in the middle of São Paulo’s Winter – and 10 hours of flight, we arrived in JFK. It was a Friday, July 21st.

On this same day we: 1) passed through customs 2) got a cab to Manhattan 3) left our bags in the hotel 4) had breakfast 5) walked around Fifth Avenue, NY Public Library, Central Park, MET steps, Park and Madison Avenue 6) checked in at the hotel 7) showered 8) got dressed 9) blazed through New York’s subway 10) attended Rebecca Minkoff’s new store launch on Soho 11) met the girls we followed on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and contacted us through e-mail about our chapter 12) meet Her Campus founders, Windsor, Stephanie and Annie.

We couldn’t help taking this pic, because this cab is so New Yorker 

The next two days, we were going to meet again these same amazing girls and get to share some great experiences and learning during the Conference. As both of us attended different panels, besides the keynotes, we chose to write it down 10 things we learned during our time in Convene Conference Center, 32 Old Slip.

Andie Dorfan, best-selling author, former assistant DA of Atlanta and notably from ABC’s Bachelor and The Bachelorette

1) Interns are not invisible as we/they think. In fact, their bosses and supervisors observe everything and are happy to help if asked. In Climbing the Ladder: Journalism Jobs Later On, Aya Kanai, Executive Fashion Director of Cosmopolitan and Seventeen, said that a great number of her interns act and think they are invisible and therefore, either form a clique with other interns, dress inappropriately or don’t take their jobs seriously. However, Aya mentioned that she and other executives pay close attention to each intern and when there is an assistant opening spot, they usually go through their last intern list to contact for job interviews. Moreover, Aya commented that if she receives an e-mail from an intern asking more information about her job and inviting for a coffee, she and other editors will certainly say yes.

And We’re Live: Careers in TV and Broadcast Journalism Saturday’s panel, with Jenna Nolan, Faryn Shiro, Annie Pei and Rhina Valentin

2) Kindness, details and saying thank you can lead to great opportunities.  Either is a thank you handwritten letter or an e-mail after a job interview, a nice written cover letter, the way someone treats the receptionist or even doing the basic research about a company/person, those are things that stand out both when looking for a new job or in workplace.

PR Powerhouses: Building a Career in Public Relations Saturday’s panel, with Chanel Cathey, Remy Marin, Kimberly Bernhardt and Lauren Hendel

3) Help me to help you. Once you are specific about your needs and how someone can help you, it is easier to be helped. Tori Johnson stated in How to Advocate for yourself to launch the career you want that sometimes people want to be helped, but are not sure of their needs or what they really want. To her, once you give people specific details about what you want/need, it becomes much easier for the person to see if it can help and how. A great example she used is when you are looking for a internship in Finance, for instace, but doesn’t know which area to focus and who you should contact to nail a job interview. Because Finance is such a broad area, if you are talking to someone with multiple contacts that can get you in touch with a recruiter, it is better if you write down exactly what company/speciality you look for. Instead of Finance, specify Stock Markets, Investment funds or Accountability. Same thing apply to other areas of your life.

Nastia Liukin at Sunday’s Afternoon Keynote

4) Rising after you fell is more important than winning. Nastia Liukin told that, although she won several Olympic Medals during the Beijing Olympic Games, the only time she got a standing ovation from a crowd was when she was competing for the US Olympic Team in 2012 and fell from the bar, but got back on her feet and finished her routine.

Vanessa de Luca, at Sunday’s Morning Keynote

5) Ask for feedback, even if you don’t like what you hear. Before becoming Editor-in-Chief of Essence magazine, Vanessa De Luca applied for the position and was denied two times before. Both times she asked feedback, so she could improving weakness, understand her workplace behavior and which skills she needed to streghten. To her, once you are aware of your flaws, you become more self-aware and able to controlled better.

How to Build a Professional Online Portfolio and Brand Saturday’s panel, with Katherine Mirani, Erin Crabtree, Erica Maybaum and Vikki Burnett

6) Social media is also a resumeé. And a portfolio. Potencial bosses may get a look on your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts to get familiar with what you have to say. When you are using social media, you may to find the limiar-line between being yourself and showing your ideas to the world, and being cool. At the panel How to Build a Professional Online Portfolio and Brand, Katherine Mirani, News Editor at Her Campus, emphasized that social media is a perfect tool to make connections: publish texts and analysis about what happenned in your context, share the content you’ve produced, like ex-bosses material to be visible along people who are connected with you.

Rebecca Minkoff’s Morning Keynote, on Saturday

7) Support your female partner. Rebecca Minkoff said, on Saturday’s Morning Keynote, that girls are connected to something powerful in their careers  – due to the fact that women don’t face the same employment environment as men. Taking a look at this scene, girl’s professional growth may start in the moment they support each other: share girlfriends’ published content through social media, for example, is a nice attitude.

8) You are in the perfect job when you leave your work-day and arrive home knowing that you are part of it. The best feeling is when you know where you belong. Josephine Bathan, at Does the Devil Really Wears Prada?: Life in an Entry Editorial Position panel, is currently assistant editor for Charlie Rose on PBS and Bloomberg. Within the TV shows’ scene, she has a scheduled time to arrive at the studio and never has a time to leave her shift – as televison newscasts are always filled with last-moment arrangements and problems. Although she lives a busy routine, she is madly in love with what she produces. And that is the important part. Her secret to deal with daily work pressure is to find paralel activities to “throw some energy away”, like crossfit – or chilling, reading and baking cookies when she feels like it.

9) Freelancing is a good opportunity for starters. Also at Does the Devil Really Wears Prada?: Life in an Entry Editorial Position panel, all journalists have brought the “one-man band” thing to the table. Daniellle Tullo, editorial assistant at Cosmopolitan.com; Kaitlyn Russell, assistant managing editor at The Odissey Online; Josephine Bathan, assistant editor at Charlie Rose; and Devin Alesso, assiatant editor at ELLEDECOR.com & Veranda.com, agreed about the freelance activity – they are employed and still do it. Why? When you do your own stuff, and publish it (mainly online), you are introduced to an environment suitable for meeting people and improving your network circle, as well as showing your identity through your own content.

Her Conference 2016 schedule and notebook

10) Education is something valuable. Vanessa de Luca, the inspiring editor-in-chief of Essence, has gifted us with one of the most beatiful quotations of all. “Never stop learning, because it gives you courage. I know what I know – and that I know – and you can’t take this from me. That’s the reason we invest so much in our education. It is valuable”. We spend a long period of our lives studying. We spend a great quantity of money in our education. Education, above all things, is an investment. We should be proud of it; proud of our lives background and proud of us and our dedication. No one will ever take it from you, so speak up for yourself. And enjoy the world of possibilities wainting your search.

Her Conference was an increadible and inspiring weekend. Girls from all over world side by side amazing professionals – women who are braving the communications’ field, speaking up for themselves through articles, posts, scripts, videos, pieces of advertising, cases and even their own companies. Sisterhood and sense of community are guidelines we should pursue for a more democratic communication between countries, companies and media.

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Alana Claro

Casper Libero '17

Alana is a Senior in Cásper Líbero University, majoring in Journalism. She is President of Casper Libero's Chapter and an intern in a Corporate Communications firm. Born and raised in Sao Paulo, where she speaks Portuguese, although English is her ever-lasting love. Alana is a proud Slytherin and INTJ.
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Bárbara Muniz

Casper Libero

Bárbara Muniz is a Journalism student and Theather lover. Half journalist, half artist, totally feminist. Hufflepuff placed, sagittarian and vegetarian. Cásper Líbero University's Charpter co-correspondent and editor-in-chief. Intern in a Brazilian broadcast channel called BandNews TV, where she works among production for newscast and social media.
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