Monday, August 12, 2019

My New Career Outlook After Attending The Aspire To Her Launch Party

This past Sunday I had the opportunity to attend the Aspire to Her Launch Party! The founders of the organization were generous enough to send me a ticket and invite me to attend. Blogging has opened an entire world of connections and opportunities for me and for that, I'm forever grateful. And what better place to make connections than in New York City? Blogging is my side-hustle but the majority of my time in the city is spent at the grad school I attend. After receiving my invitation for the Launch Party, I just knew I had to attend and make connections with like-minded girls and learn from successful female mentors who have done everything from work at Vogue to SoulCycle. 

Aspire To Her Organization Background 
Before I get into the details of the event, it's only right to introduce you to the inspirational founders behind the organization. Jo Cheng graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2018 and now pursues a management consulting career with Accenture, a consulting services company and Sasha Pines also graduated from Vanderbilt in 2018 and now works as a strategy consultant at Bain and Company in Atlanta, Georgia. They founded Aspire To Her to help young women network, learn from successful women and eliminate stress over identifying a future career, whether it's a first job or a career switch. 

Launch Party Run-Down 
The launch party took place at the Ignitia Office in Brooklyn. This was my first time visiting the office and it was so cute! It reminds me of a WeWork space if you're familiar with those in the city. The office was decked out with balloons and there were a ton of snacks from local vendors ranging from Ovenly treats to Sweetnova, vegan, plant-based nice creams. The first 20 minutes were left for us to network with each other and although I'm pretty shy at first I love getting out of my comfort zone and meeting new people. I ended up meeting a really nice girl who works in fashion so we bonded over our love for clothes! Next, we had a panel discussion with Selby Drummond, the Head of Beauty and Fashion at Snapchat, Kima Cooper, the Director of Content and Community at Birchbox, Alex Daly, nicknamed "The Kickstarter Queen," and the Founder of Daly,  Emily St. Denis, Head of Platform at Female Founders Fund, and Peri Shamsai, a Managing Director at Accenture. After the panel discussion, we were given more snacks and the chance to continue networking. I really enjoyed speaking with Selby about her past experience working as a Vogue editor and how to break into the fashion magazine industry. 

My Experience At The Launch Party 
Ever since I started grad school in the city last August, I've tried to attend as many networking events as possible. When I received the invitation for the Aspire To Her Launch Party, I was so excited! I had the most amazing time at the event. I'm always nervous going into networking events because it can be intimidating showing up by yourself and talking to new people for the first time but I'm so glad I did. The girls I met were all similar in age to me and we had a lot in common. Most girls were recent college graduates either working in the city or closeby or enrolled in a master's program like me. We shared career insight with each other and talked about our many interests. It was inspiring to spend time with girls who also have career goals and understand this stressful, transitional period of life. Several of the girls there were also bloggers or vloggers like me so it was nice to meet some of them in person too! This was a great opportunity for me to make more connections in the city, and I'm glad I took advantage of this. 

The Conversation And Panel Discussion 
The focus of the conversation with the girls I met was on how to break into a certain career field and then how to advance in it. This was especially helpful for me to hear because I'm still in school and will keep their advice in mind once I've graduated and applied for jobs in the near future. The biggest piece of advice I received from them was to just go for it and stop doubting yourself. I struggle with self-doubt A LOT as I'm sure plenty of other people do and it was empowering to receive encouragement from others to pursue my dreams. The attendees were also able to converse with the powerful mentors from the panel discussion. In my opinion, mentors are the people who inspire, motivate and teach you how to achieve your goals. All five women that spoke during the panel discussion did exactly that and more. Networking events are the perfect place to meet people who may have similar interests and can help you work towards your dream job or teach you something new. From my experience, most successful women want to help younger girls just starting out in their careers and are willing to meet for coffee or provide career tips. Highlights from the panel discussion were creating a personal brand for yourself, how to advance in your career, making a career switch by bringing your current skills to the table, and how to meet with successful people you admire or land your dream job. Kima told us an interesting story about how her sister completely switched careers but was able to bring her skills to her new job, and that's why she was hired. I like how Emily mentioned the importance of creating a personal brand, especially through social media because this is important to bloggers like me and something I work on every day. And I really loved speaking with Selby about how to reach out to magazine writers and the best way to address people in emails. 

Panel Discussion Takeaways 
The biggest takeaway for me is that everyone has to start somewhere with their career. Land one job and continue to climb the ladder until you end up where you want to be. It's going to take time but hard work and perseverance will get you your dream job. And it's okay if you make a career switch or don't know exactly what you want to do right now. Most people end up switching their careers at some point or accept an opportunity they never would have anticipated receiving. Be realistic in your approach but fight for what you deserve- whether that's a raise, a position or a new career field. And obviously, network, network, network! You never know when someone you met along the way may come in handy. Be kind to everyone and go out of your way to tell someone you admire their work or want to meet for coffee if you're inspired by them. 

Thanks so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed this recap of the Aspire to Her Launch Party. If you're interested in attending future events, there will be another one coming up in September so keep your eyes open for that! A huge thank you to Jo for inviting me 😊

1 comment:

  1. Loved reading about this event, so empowering! :)

    Taylor Morello |