Intercollegiate Business Convention Reflection
Post by Nikki Sun ’16
On October 17, I was delighted to attend the eleventh annual Intercollegiate Business Convention hosted by Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business. The event was located at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston and was attended by approximately 1,200 future leaders. I was extremely impressed by the scale and organization of the event. Women from all over New England and from across the country joined the network of peers.
The program began with its first keynote speaker, Jeanne Jackson, the President of Product and Merchandising at Nike. Jackson shared her personal story and spoke about how her motivation and drive allowed her to climb the corporate ladder. Due to Jackson’s passion for product and the consumer, she has become an extremely powerful woman in business. Following Jackson’s speech, the program moved into breakout sessions. Attendees could choose from a list of breakout sessions that fit their own personal and professional interests. I chose to attend Media and Entertainment in the 21st Century. In the session, I learned about branded content and non-profit media relations. The speakers stressed the importance of brand integration, transparency about failure, and planting the right seeds to grow a story.
The second breakout session that I attended was Sports – Behind the Scenes. During this session I heard from speakers in NBC Sports, Sports Illustrated, and Olympic Athlete Management. I was impressed by a woman named Nicolina O’Rourke, the CFO of NBC Sports Regional Networks. Nicolina had no previous experience in the sports industry and actually came from the broadcast department of NBC. She encouraged us to find a mentor in the professional sphere, as she sought out a mentor at NBC. This mentor helped lead Nicolina to her new position of sports. She went for the position and performed confidently, focusing on her skills.
I had the pleasure of sitting at the same table as Nicolina during lunch. She prompted us with the advice to focus on our professional goals and chase after them. It was very inspiring to be in the presence of such an intelligent and successful woman. I’m so thankful for the opportunity provided by the Undergraduate Professional Accelerator Fund to learn from these women and expand my knowledge in the business field.