My First Spring Conference

By: Amanda Gryga, GWWIB Ambassador

As a freshman, I had never been to a conference before, and I was unsure what to expect. For the last 3 months, I had been attending weekly Spring Conference meetings as a member of the Public Relations committee. I had been sending emails to all the organizations on campus trying to get the word out about the conference and to increase ticket sales. I had realized how many people and tasks went into making this conference a success. The day of the conference was rapidly approaching, and things began to come together.

Before the rush of the attendees, before the food arrived, and before the swag bags were given out, I took a moment to marvel at what GWWIB had put together. The whole conference had been put together by students, for students. A group of driven women had come together to create a conference worthy of an experienced professional organization. Keynotes included Kelly Parisi of Lean In, Donna Harris of 1776, and David Beebe of Marriot. I marveled at the fact that these leaders in their industry had taken time to come speak to GWWIB members. Not only was I impressed at the words of wisdom of each speaker, but what I was most impressed with was the Spring Conference team and the amazing event they had put together.

I had the opportunity to attend the Marketing and PR panel entitled “Beyond the Brand.” The panel featured four different marketing professionals, two of which were graduates of GW, and was moderated by GW’s own marketing professor Lynda Maddox. John Forristal, a Senior Account Executive for Qorvis MSL Group, gave my favorite piece of advice. He said that it is ok to not accept every job that comes your way, but that you should focus on accepting the right job. If you are lucky enough to get a job offer, the offer needs to be mutually beneficial; you need to be a good fit for them, as well as them a good fit for you. Sometimes the fit issues takes on another dimension in the reality of earning a living. Each opportunity is a stepping-stone and source of experience to getting to that perfect fit.

These pieces of advice are the ones that will stay with me throughout my career. These people have been in our shoes, and know what it takes to get to where they are now. As the conference wrapped up, and Dean Moersen spoke praising the conference and the organization that GWWIB has become, I realized how lucky I am to be part of such a strong organization full of empowered women. The next day, I had so many people coming up to me and telling me how spectacular the conference was, and how much they had learned. Even people that could not attend asked me how it went. That is when I knew that I had been successful in getting people talking about the conference. I had never felt so proud to be a GWWIB member. GWWIB has taught me how to be limitless, and I am excited to bring that same drive to next year’s Spring Conference.