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ICYMI: Hottest Talks and Trends from the HCuO ASPIRE Conference

ICYMI: If you’ve spent your last few Sundays snug under the covers and avoiding the November weather, then you might’ve also missed one of the most successful networking events of the year! HCuO recently hosted its highly anticipated ASPIRE conference right on uOttawa’s campus! Lucky for you, we’ve got you covered with all the highlights and hot trends from this event!

Recap: A quick overview of what went down…

Inspiring speakers, insightful panel discussions, and valuable networking opportunities, all fueled by amazing food and drinks throughout the day! The conference featured panels that discussed all the major aspects of women’s lives today, from mental and reproductive health to activism and entrepreneurship, and more. The speakers shared their most valuable advice from both personal and professional experiences, and responded to big questions around; work-life balance, building a successful career, and building more women up for leadership.  

Highlights: We asked the speakers one of our best (and toughest) questions; “Why did you choose to speak at this event?”, and here’s how they responded…

“I chose to speak at this event because I believe that by gathering as women together, hearing about our individual journeys, and sharing guidance and support, we empower each other to strive towards our success.  I have always been motivated to teach and guide young women in establishing and achieving their career goals, and an event such as this is an excellent forum to do that.”

- Katherine Cooligan, Ottawa Regional Managing Partner of Borden Ladner Gervais

“It’s important that I take every opportunity I can to help people find out about Centrepointe Theatres, to reach out into the community to meet people, and to share what I can about my journey with young women who are contemplating a similar path.”

- Allan Sansom, Operations Manager at Centrepointe Theatres  

“I've had a lot of people help me get to where I am today and any chance I get I will repay the favour. Finding your wheelhouse isn't easy, but it's so worth it. If I can help even just one person find the confidence and perseverance to get to where they want to go then that makes all the difference in my world.” 

- Nadine Hogan, Co-Owner of Wheelhouse Cycle and Co-Founder of the Guild  

“I chose to speak at the conference so that I could contribute to a woman's support group. It was a no brainer to share my experiences since women in my industry (food, TV, and film), can feel as though they are alone in their issues regarding their work environment and career road blocks.” 

- Eva Bee, Professional Chef, Cooking Instructor, and Television Personality on “Om Nom Ottawa”  


“Traditional media is changing, and as a blogger, I am part of that change. Influencer marketing is a new industry and this was an opportunity to share my experiences with this group of media students. Whether they are future bloggers or a PR person working with the blogger, it’s important to know what happens on both sides of the coin and be open to new ways of working together.” 

- Chantal Sarkisian, Fashion blogger and Ottawa lifestyle Influencer  

"I chose to speak and be a part of the ASPIRE Conference because I think University is such a crucial time of a young person's life. It is when they are making a big transition from school into the workplace and sometimes that can get overwhelming. I wanted to be there not only as a mentor for these students but also to help encourage them to find their true passion in life and translate that passion into their career. Networking events like these are so important because not only are you meeting your potential mentor but it helps to open your eyes on the different possibilities awaiting for you outside of school. I am so honoured I was able to be a part of this and I hope this conference continues to thrive and be a platform of encouragement for University Students taking that next step into their lives."

- Amira de Vera, Owner and Founder of Project Four Public Relations  

“As a mature female leader, I take such opportunity to pay it forward with a new generation of women who are the future leaders of industry and this country. Sharing knowledge and giving your time is the way you build up the next generation of girls, of women and of future leaders.”

- Fawn M. Annan, President and CMO ITWC, publisher of ITWorldCanada.com  

“Every day I am feeling blessed to be able to work as an artist, a professional filmmaker, a mentor, and professor. It was important for me to share my experience to give hope to future women artists, creators, and entrepreneurs in arts.”

- Izabel Barsive, Independent filmmaker and Visual Artist    

To find out more about the speakers, you can read their stories featured on the ASPIRE conference website here.


Spotlight: Exclusive photos from the ASPIRE conference

Upcoming events: So you’ll never have another FOMO moment again!

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Upcoming events: Annual Capital Catwalk 2018 Charity Fashion Show

Raghdah is the Editor of the Fashion & Beauty team at the University of Ottawa Her Campus Chapter. Raghdah is a graduate of the University of Ottawa where she studied Political Science and now continues her work in the Government of Canada. Outside of her career, she spends most of her time writing, travelling, practising yoga, and running. If being a foodie, coffee-addict, aspiring cat lady, and binge-watching Scandal count as hobbies, then she's living the life. You will most likely find her planning her next trip or trying to adopt another cat at your local pet shelter.
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