My Experience in Planning a Conference at CSULB

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STORY BY: MICHELLE MATOS

 International Women's Day 2018 brought not only inspiration and motivation, but also one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. As an executive board member for the Society of Women in Business (SWB) at CSULB, I proposed that the organization hosts an event on campus in honor of International Women's Day this year.

My aspirations for such an event initially sprouted a year ago, when I first became aware of International Women's Day, and I saw the potential for SWB to do something meaningful on this day. Upon taking on the position of Outreach Chair for the Society of Women in Business for the 2017-18 school year, I immediately proposed this idea. 

 

It took months of preparation - spending hours and hours each week - working on the proposal, budget plan, timeline, marketing and PR plan; carrying out those plans by taking initiative, making phone calls, sending emails, delegating tasks and following up, constantly communicating with my team and STAYING ORGANIZED despite the multitude of tasks on top of schoolwork, my internship, and other extracurricular activities. But it was worth it. The Society of Women in Business' first ever International Women's Day Conference, in collaboration with the Society of Women Engineers and the International Business Association, was a great success - exceeding the team's expectations! I am ecstatic that, with the team effort of members of the SWB, SWE, and IBA executive boards, we were able to bring this vision to life. It was a privilege to have organized and hosted such an impactful event. I truly hope this annual celebration will continue in future years. 

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With that, I encourage all college students to strive to do something meaningful - something that can reach and influence the entire school - before the time they graduate. Students often think college is a place solely for study. They come to school, attend class, do their work, earn their degree, and then they're out. However, most students do get involved, and find their niche at the school, whether it be through some kind of extracurricular activity, an on-campus job or internship, a club or organization, Greek Life, etc. These experiences truly enrich a student's college experience, but to take it even further, I urge students to go above and beyond the call of duty for whatever role they have in that extracurricular activity. 

College is not just a place of study, and not even just a place of personal and professional development, but it is a place of potential to make a name of yourself and to make a difference in your community. Use your voice, take a stand for something you believe in, and make it known! The CSULB community is yours, it is a community of future leaders and change-makers, and it is in your reach. Utilize your school to make an impact, use the many resources available to you as a student, and put the work in to achieve whatever your goal is. I can guarantee it will result in a rewarding feeling of pride and accomplishment, and upon graduation you'll leave this school knowing you made your mark here at CSULB.