Thomas More College Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumnae League held its annual “Leadership Forum” for female students on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. More than 65 students registered to attend and listen to three amazing female leaders in the local business world, including two alumnae, Jennifer Schack ’04 and Jeanne-Marie Tapke ’91, and TMC Board of Trustees member, Sarah Giolando. The panelists engaged in Q&A which helped to impart words of wisdom and advice to our female students. They also shared their most rewarding achievement, the best career advice a mentor gave them, what they might do differently if they were a college student today, and tips on professional networking. Several students stayed afterward to have one-on-one conversations with all three panelists and secured their business cards for any further questions and mentoring.
Read what two attending students had to say about this year’s DAL Leadership Forum:
“Over my four years at Thomas More I have attended countless seminars and heard the words of various speakers. Thomas More is wonderful in hosting such opportunities for students. Though most of the lectures have been beneficial, I found certain ones more beneficial than others. I find myself returning to the Leadership Forum year after year. Each of these seminars hosts accomplished women, mostly alumni from Thomas More, with inspiring personal and professional qualities. College is a time of flux for students in the attempt to establish one’s own affirmations. Thus it was important in my own personal growth to listen to successful women who possess qualities to be emulated such as perseverance, enthusiasm and confidence. An aspect I particularly enjoyed about the Leadership Forum was though it was professional; it was also relaxed and fun. I greatly encourage women to attend because it is a wonderful opportunity to develop oneself professionally, which is a crucial part of the college experience (believe it or not!). Also, they have fantastic prizes to give away!”
Emilee Buchanan, Senior
“I learned a lot at the February 2015 Leadership Forum session. It was a great panel of three speakers, each with a different journey and experience to share with us. They each spoke about their lives, how they reached their current jobs, some obstacles along the way, and recommendations for women in our position as students soon getting into the professional world. They advised on what it means to ‘hire your own boss’ so as to know if you will be happy there and also the importance of knowing when it’s time to leave a job and start anew. I received some valuable advice on phone interviews and in order to prepare myself, I should dress up and sit down as though I’m right across from the person! I think this will help put me in the right state of mind. I was glad I attended because since last year’s session, my professional prospects have shifted and I am faced with my first phone interview for a major business. Their feedback on do’s and don’ts really helped, but so did hearing about what paths they took and where it led them. The Leadership Forum also gave me the opportunity to network one-on-one with one of the panelists, leading me to form an executive connection at a potential job! Like last year, I was again surprised by the fact that not all the seats were filled – what an opportunity missed for the other female students at Thomas More! I really enjoyed the chance to hear the panelists speak about their experiences and hear advice on things that were pertinent to me. This session is always free and definitely worth spending a little of my afternoon to learn skills I can use the rest of my professional life.”
Courtney Neltner, Sophomore
English, History, & International Studies Major