Last semester, Eller had two student representatives attend the Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business Intercollegiate Business Convention. Leila Shevins shares her story below.
Written by: Leila Shevins
I recently had the opportunity to travel to Harvard College for the Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business Intercollegiate Business Convention. Flying to Boston after finishing midterms was the start of a really great trip. For the conference, 1,200 students from across the country gathered to listen to three distinguished keynote speakers and participate in breakout sessions of their choice. The first keynote speaker, Jeanne Jackson, the Nike President of Product and Merchandising, shared stories from her own experience of what it means to have the mindset of a champion. She talked about being a great leader, but also being a great team player. Her story of hard work, dedication, and resilience struck a chord with me, especially when she left us with a Truman quote, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” I think that this is something everyone can learn from, especially as business students competing for our dream jobs.
The breakouts that I chose to attend were Connecting with Top Business Schools, Acing Case Studies, and Entrepreneurship: Tales from the Trenches. Each session contained a panel of experts happy to share their stories, experiences, and advice. The top advice from the first session was to let the business school really know who you are by providing an honest evaluation of your skills and abilities. In the second session, the moral of the story was to practice. The more you force yourself to think on your feet, the more prepared you will be in a case study interview. Another piece of advice in this session was to engage the interviewer in a conversation while you are answering the case; take them through your thought process. In the final breakout, I took away three points that any entrepreneurial mind can learn from: 1) If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re doing it wrong; 2) Never partner with someone you could employ, find your dream cofounder; and 3) Don’t forget to TRADEMARK your name and PATENT your intellectual property. I felt so fortunate to be able to attend these sessions that related to my short and long term goals, and to learn more about what it will take to achieve my dreams.
While at Harvard, I also had the chance to hear the former Dean of Harvard Business School, Kim Clark, speak about leadership. His talk was really interesting and shed light on different aspects of leadership that I had not thought of before. He said that leaders drive out darkness, and bring light. This darkness includes arrogance, negativity, and corruption. The light, though, includes community, empathy, accomplishment, and opportunity. The combination of both is what fuels strong leadership. On Sunday, I was sad to leave Harvard and Boston after such an incredible, inspiring, and empowering trip. Thank you Eller for providing me with the opportunity to learn from influential business leaders, expose myself to raw advice from experts in areas of interest to me, and continue the inspiration that drives me to be a better student every day.