On Wednesday, November 7, The College of New Jersey held its 8th Annual Women’s Leadership Summit. As a first-year student at the college who had never experienced such an event before, I was nervous, but as a firm believer of supporting women, I knew this was an event that I wanted to be a part of. The keynote was not only put on by the women of our very own Business School but also women who are alumnus and women around the state who believe in empowering what we have here at home. The day consisted of empowering messages from the main Keynote, Nathalie Molina Niño, our very own President, Kathryn Foster, and other inspiring women.
Image Source- Tara Staines
Both Nathalie Molina Niño and President Foster shared stories with a common moral: always follow your heart, regardless of whether or not others might feel that your dreams are unattainable. For President Foster, it was her desire to be a college President while Niño’s was to attend theatre school at Columbia with the background of an engineer. Both of these courageous women were not only able to prove others wrong but were able to go against the “status quo” and accomplish their goals. I believe this is one of the most important takeaways.
Image Source- Nathalie Molina Niño
Time and time again, we are told to “follow your heart” or to “do what you love,” but sometimes, the things you might love to do aren’t “attainable.” But if you are really passionate about potentially being, for example, a college President like President Foster or you want to go to theatre school when you studied engineering, your dreams aren’t impossible! It is SO important to love what you do, even if you feel that your true bliss is many miles away. Don’t let the fire burning inside of you die out! Keep fueling your fire and go after what it is that you want, even if you believe it might be impossible. There will always be “shortcuts” you can take that can optimize the efficiency of accomplishing your dreams, and both of these women are only two prime examples.
If given the opportunity, I would attend this event again in a heartbeat. The ticket is definitely worth it, and you could quite possibly be sponsored to go through a club or student organization. The decision to go was definitely one of the best decisions I could’ve made, and I definitely recommend this event for any woman who is willing to learn something new about herself and to meet other women around campus and other business professionals. All women of any age or major will leave this conference with a new sense of what it takes to be a female leader and the importance of believing in yourself when the status quo might seem to be plotting against you. Remember to take the risks that you believe will better yourself despite possibly feeling that it might be impossible. As “Nathalie Molina Niño” says, “Take the leap!”