Meet the Faces Behind SCU's Own It Summit

Looking for something fun and empowering to do next weekend? Well look no further because SCU’s Own It Summit can provide all of that and more for you right here on the Santa Clara Campus.

This Sunday, April 30th, Santa Clara will be hosting the Own It Summit: a one day event that brings together professionals from diverse industries and future leaders. This event, while open to all, focuses on helping women build their skill sets and teaching them how to excel in the work place.

The event will consist of multiple panels and keynote speakers, who will cover different aspects of life in the business industry. Each attendee will hear two keynote speakers, Blye Faust, an SCU alumna and producer of the Academy Award winning movie, Spotlight, and Sandra Spagnoli, Beverly Hills Police Chief. They will also attend two “break out” sessions of their choosing, each with another noteworthy speaker who can help participators in a more intimate setting.

Not only is the Own It Summit being held on SCU’s campus, it is also being run by some kick-a** Santa Clara women.

Meet Bella Giannini and Benita Koh. Bella and Benita are juniors here at SCU who came together last year to plan the event. They were inspired by a friend of Bella’s who put on the Own It Summit at her university in Boston. Afterwards, Bella reached out to Benita and the planning began.

When I asked Bella and Benita how they chose their speakers, they said that they wanted to hit different industries. They started with a list of over 100 women, writing down every inspiring professional they knew, and then condensed the list based on industry and location.

The two have been working tirelessly for almost a year on this event and luckily also have a group of 14 other Santa Clara women to help them with marketing, finance, volunteers, and more.

You would think that when I asked them what their favorite part of this whole process has been so far, they would have said something like, making it to this point, creating a professional website for the event, recruiting award winning speakers, but no. For them the best part has been recruiting high school girls from Cristo Rey High School to come out and volunteer for the event. They also added that they were pretty excited about the masseuses that they acquired for the lunch hour – I mean how could you not be excited about that?

For Bella and Benita, they want participants to take away new connections and confidence. The event, they said, is mostly about networking, gaining insight on the industry, and knowing that no matter who you are, you can make it out there, nothing is set in stone, you can do whatever you want to do.

“I want people to go into any work setting with their own ideas and confidence, I want our female attendees to be able to talk to the highest person in the company and share their ideas with confidence,” said Bella.

For more information about the event go to Tickets will be sold until Tuesday night at 10pm.