In eight short days, I finally have the opportunity to participate in an experience I’ve been waiting to engage in since 2009. I’m attending the 2013 Women’s Leadership Institute in Amelia Island, Florida. So many remarkable women have shared their experiences and reflections on this institute and I will be joining the list of participants just shy of my 30th birthday! To make the most of this experience, I’m mapping some goals for the experience.
- Connect: This is, without a doubt, the most important part of this experience to me, the opportunity to connect with other women. Building relationships across the table and the country. I cannot wait to see familiar and new faces and develop relationships.
- Say yes to everything/Go with it: I don’t need to know the plan. I don’t need to worry about anything. Say yes to each opportunity, and go with it.
- Think towards the future: There are multiple opportunities to talk about career navigation and mapping. These conversations mimic discussions with my family, spouse, supervisor, and mentors. Talking to women who are thinking about their future experiences, have traveled down their own paths, and are willing to share their experiences will be invaluable to me as I consider future career options, Ph.D programs, and expanding family.
- Have a plan for following up with people I meet before I get there. Writing thank you cards, sharing articles related to different interest, and following up at one, three, and six months intervals are a part of this plan.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit scared. Investing and focusing on myself (holistically) is a challenge and one of the reasons I am attending this institute. This experience calls on women to dig deep, share, and bring their authentic selves to the table. This is part of the attraction. I can’t wait.