Whirlwind trip pt. 2

Now, for my conference recap (the reason we ventured to New York). We woke up bright, early, and well-rested on Saturday morning. After getting ready and eating a quick breakfast at the hotel, mom and I stopped off at Starbucks before heading our separate ways. I had a window of time between 7:30 and 8:4o to arrive at the conference. I chose to arrive right around 8:30, not wanting to sit around for an hour waiting. I’m not usually one who would choose to arrive late, but lately, I’ve been trying to not rush myself when I don’t need to.

I registered, grabbed some fruit at the breakfast bar and my swag bag, and took a seat in the ballroom to listen to our first Keynote speaker, Anna Post. Anna Post is Emily Post’s great-granddaughter. Her speech was pretty interesting, it was all about  mobile etiquette. I’m well-aware we live in a digital era, (my generation is actually referred to as “digital natives”) and was interested in hearing about how to deal with the rise of technology while still minding my “mobile manners.”

Probably one of the most fun-filled swag bags, ever! Various lip glosses, HerCampus swag, that cool tie dye makeup bag, Chipotle gift card, and more!

Of course, Anna discussed when it’s appropriate (and when it’s not) to update statuses, add photos, and divulge personal information via social media networks. She chalked it up to one golden rule: if you have to ask yourself whether or not it’s a good idea, it’s probably not. Agreed. I was on the younger end of other attendees, so many of them asked questions regarding internships and job interviews. Although I haven’t gotten to that stage quite yet, I now know what to do! I was surprised to hear that many professionals are still impressed by (and still expect) handwritten thank-you notes as follow-ups for interviews. I’ll begin my search for cutes-y stationary 🙂

After a bit more Q&A, we split and began attending panels. There were three 45-minute blocks, and four panels we had the option to attend during each block. I hate making these types of decisions, because I wanted to attend multiple sessions! My first panel block was an easy choice: “How to make blogging a business.” All the panelists and moderators were young, recently graduated college women, so I could easily relate to all of them. It blew my mind when I learned the three co-founders founded HerCampus in 2009, while they were students at Harvard University!

The blogging panel was obviously my favorite, since I learned I can actually turn my hobby into a career. Both of the speakers began blogs while still in college, and created the blogs into their own businesses! Super cool.

Next, I went to Jobs in Journalism: 5+ Years Later. Since journalism is how I’m planning on making a living, I thought it’d be cool to see where women with similar careers were now. The verdict? It won’t be easy at the beginning, or ever, really. Journalism is a full-time job, and I will have to be willing to accept low-level and possibly unappealing jobs in order to attain higher positions. That’s completely fine with me. I love to write, so what can I complain about if I’m doing what I love? Of course, it’s my dream to write for a recognizable, national company, but I’ll work my way up.

After a bathroom break and a stop to pick up some of the many free beverages, I went to my final panel of the morning, focused on Broadcast Journalism. I’ve been dabbling with the idea of working in broadcast, and two of the speakers worked for NBC Chicago, so that was a no-brainer. I LOVED this panel. All of the speakers offered wonderful advice, and encouraged us that although it won’t be easy at the beginning, we can all be successful. Of course, it sounded far less cliche when they said it. Here, I was reminded that working in journalism will be cut-throat, and I’ll have to deal with my fair share of rejection. These panelists urged us to always ask what we can do to be better, and gain higher positions. You don’t really know until you try!

Not quite sure how I feel about hint water. I liked the mango-grapefruit!

How cool is that? An iPhone charging station. With pink chargers, of course!

After that morning, I was so excited for my future and what’s to come. I was reassured that I’m on the right track.


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