ATTENDING THE INTERCOLLEGIATE BUSINESS CONVENTION – 2015
Post by Ruth Kinyua ’19
Held on October 17 in Boston, Massachusetts, I did not fully appreciate the significance of this conference until I attended. As might be expected, it had been widely advertised across various platforms and the professional advancement opportunities well-publicized. At the back of my mind, however, I still wondered whether there would be anything distinguishing about it. Well, all these thoughts dissipated as I walked into the immaculate third floor level of the Hynes Convention Centre. At that early hour 8am, the place was thronged by young ladies in crisp, formal business attire having a purposefulness to their gait and a visible desire for knowledge. It was elevating standing among them, their aura and determination reflecting my own, validating my decision to put aside my concerns about ‘just being a freshman,’ sacrifice my Saturday and proactively seek out opportunities that align with my interests. It was worth it.
The highlight for me was the networking opportunities. It was incredible being among so many ladies in colleges from as far as Columbia, Canada and California who had travelled extensively to attend this conference. Their sheer determination to engage with the speakers, to meet other students and interact with the companies there challenged me to also step outside of my comfort zone and really seize the opportunity. Seated at a random table in the midday session, I was surprised when the lady seated next to me introduced herself as a senior from UMass Amherst who had just accepted a full-time offer from EY. As I had just had an interview with an EY recruiter that week and had been called for a second round of interviews in November, we undoubtedly had a long and thorough conversation. I was also keen to inquire further about the Women in Business chapter that most of the colleges represented had in their institutions and it was intriguing to hear how selective and rigorous some were as well as their objectives and achievements so far. Its role can be likened to that of CWEL at Babson and perhaps the Global Women Empowerment Org which I certainly want to be more involved with. With 30 different panels to choose from and only being able to pick 3, I was lost for choice as to what interested and suited me best at my level. Focusing on those geared towards personal development, I can only reflect continuously on the advice that struck me most as I integrate it in my life. As Ellen Reeves said about being professional, ‘Anything you can control, control.’
Certainly, I am keen to maintain the networks I made and the contacts I now have as I use the knowledge and exposure I gained to attain my next professional opportunity. Participating did make a difference in my life and I am grateful for the grant I received from the Undergraduate Professional Accelerator Fund. I would encourage more Babson ladies to attend as student from other states and countries fought for the opportunity, travelled far and flew for miles just to attend and so being an hour away from Boston, why not attend? The day is jam-packed with activities from 8am to 6pm with six main guest speakers thus is a worthy investment. Naturally, I greatly anticipate next year’s conference as well as other enrichment opportunities. Thank you to the Undergraduate Professional Accelerator Fund for the opportunity to attend this event!