20 Things I Learned at Her Conference 2016

Her Campus launched Her Conference in 2012 to help college women grow in their personal and professional lives. Her Campus works to be the authority on all things college women find important including their social lives, career prospects, fashion sense, health choices, and their academics. Her Conference is a way to discuss these important aspects of college women's’ lives through two days of amazing keynotes, panels and workshops. The first day is only available to Her Campus team members, campus correspondents, and alumni while the second day is available to the general public. The conference is focused primarily on media, journalism, and marketing and takes place in New York City. You may even win a giftcard or two in the contests and giveaways that take place. I was able to attend this amazing event while representing the Her Campus Oregon State chapter along with our founder and alum, Lara von Linsowe-Wilson. I’m here to share some of the knowledge that I was able to gain from my experience so we can all become power women!


1. It’s important to collaborate and learn with others.

I know it seems hokey when your professor says group projects help you in the real world but it’s true. You learn that sometimes emergencies happen and team members flake on you. You learn that sometimes your presentation doesn’t go as planned. You may also learn that you work well under pressure though and that despite the stress it will all work out in the end.

2. Take your time seriously so others will do the same.

As an intern, freelancer, or just as a worker in general it is so important to value your time. You know yourself best so schedule your days wisely and make sure your employer and friends respect your time spent off-the-clock.

3. Change is scary but it happens to everyone.

Whether it’s graduating, starting a new job, making a big move or breaking up with your significant other, change does happen. It can be scary and stressful but how you persevere after change occurs is so important.

4. None of us are unicorns but we can work on our skills.

Wise words from Andi Dorfman, a former assistant DA, and contestant of the Bachelor and Bachelorette, at her keynote panel. We are not magical creatures or emotionless beings but we are people that can keep improving upon our skills and learning new ones. And isn’t being your best you better than being an unicorn really?

5. Use negative words as your motivation.

More wise words from Andi Dorfman. She’s used to the gossip and name calling and uses it as her motivation to keep pushing forward. She even just recently published her first book, It’s Not Okay which is a must read to learn more about her journey.

6. Introduce yourself to employers not as who you are but who you want to be.

Joyce Chang, the Editor-in-Chief of Self Magazine advises college women when introducing themselves to potential employers to always say, “I want to be… [insert your dream job here] instead of I am studying [blank]” as it shows them you are serious about working in the industry you are interested in. Your resume should tell them all about your studies and past experience but you should be there to tell them about what you want for your future.

7. Being intuitive in the workplace is crucial.

Being intuitive in the workplace means several things to Joyce Chang, EIC of Self Magazine. It means knowing your boss, earning their respect, and above all else paying attention. It also means representing the brand and/or company you are working for in all that you do.

8. Work for a company whose company culture and brand you connect with.

This means you may not want to work for the first company that extends you an offer after college though it may be scary. Research companies you are interested in online first and look into everything from volunteer projects their employees participate in to their dress code. Know what values you find most important in your dream company and actively seek them out.

9. Always ask for feedback.

Vanessa K. De Luca, the Editor-in-Chief of Essence magazine applied twice for her current role before she was accepted for it. She encourages college women to always ask for feedback when they are rejected for a job or internship in order to grow and learn from the experience.

10. Observe people in roles you want and learn what others are doing in that space.

Vanessa K. De Luca took time to get where is today as an EIC and in that time she observed those in the role she wanted and what they did in order to become more successful.

11. Trust yourself!

Vanessa K. De Luca encourages you to trust yourself above all else. You never know what opportunities simply believing in yourself and your craft could lead to.

12. Give credit more than you take it but own your moment when it arises.

It’s important to recognize those who help you achieve your goals in the workplace and in your classes but when you succeed don’t be afraid to pat yourself on the back. Take time to be proud of your achievements and treat yourself.

13. Pressure makes perfect. 

Just like with diamonds the greater the pressure the more successful the end product. When life gets stressful it’s time to dig in your heels and keep working harder.

14. Make connections when you don’t need them and keep in touch.

At the “Does the Devil Really Wear Prada: Life in an Entry Level Editorial Position” panel I learned that it’s crucial to put yourself out there and network any chance you get. Check out your college’s career fairs, cocktail hours, resume workshops, and any other chance you can get to meet other working professionals.

15. Never quit [your dream] on a bad day.

Nastia Liukin, 2008 Olympic Champion gymnast, writer, model, and sports broadcaster (among other titles) has worked hard to accomplish her dreams. Her mom always told her while training to never quit on a bad day. Keep training and then remember your good days and how you feel then and your passion about whatever you are doing.

16. Your digital identity matters.

At the Speak Up: How to advocate for yourself to launch the career you want panel, Tory Johnson, the workplace contributor on Good Morning America taught me that digital identity matters to employers. I know we all hear this time and time again at career development workshops and from employers but it is so important. Make sure your Facebook page, instagram account, and any other sites you may have are a positive representation of who you are and aren’t plastered with pictures of you with a red cup in hand.

17. Paying attention to opportunity is more important than a five year plan.

Tory Johnson, GMA’s workplace contributor also taught me that it’s okay to not have a plan. It’s more important to take opportunities as they come and never stop working. Whether you are volunteering for a cause you believe in, interning for a company you love, or simply working a part-time job while staying aware of opportunities all you can do is just keep moving forward.

18. Think about the way you approach people.

Tory Johnson encourages that women think about the way they approach people. Make sure you are making a positive first impression by having a firm handshake and an open mind.

19. Have a positive mindset in your own head.

Nastia Liukin encourages women to always think positive. If you have a positive mindset in your head then negativity from others and stressful events will simply be a bump in the road.

20. Ask for help when you need it.

Sure you want to be successful and accomplish tasks on your own if you can but don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re struggling with a class assignment or an internship presentation then reach out to your peers and employer. It’s better to ask questions first instead of apologizing later.


If you’d like the opportunity to attend Her Conference 2017 and become a part of an amazing team of writers, creators, and social media wizards email us to learn more.

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