Proud of our Alumnae

On December 2nd, it was my great pleasure to moderate a webcast for our alumnae, Celebrating 20 Years of YOUR Success. Over 300 alumnae participated, including our four high-powered alumnae panelists:

Jenny Liu, Global Product Manager, DuPont Chemicals & Fluoroproducts
Dovie Majors, Director, Performance Improvement & Interim General Manager, Indiana Harbor Operations, SunCoke Energy
Laure E. Park, Vice President Customer Experience, Quest Diagnostics, Inc.
MeMe Rasmussen, Chief Privacy Officer, Vice President & Associate General Counsel, Adobe Systems Inc.

The comments, the questions, the back and forth that filled the hour were in keeping with the thinking, the analysis and the observations I have come to expect and enjoy from our program graduates.

Here are a few highlights:

Networking and Relationships

  • Consistently nurture relationships so you have them when needed.
  • Remember networks can happen anywhere and be anyone, from a corporate VP to a fellow parent at a Lacrosse game.
  • Be intentional about your growth and development. Seek new experiences that complement your background and prepare you for future opportunities.
  • Have a concrete plan for each networking/mentoring session. Identify specific requests and do homework.
  • Think about how you provide value to the relationship both personally and professionally
  • Schedule time for networking every week. It can be as easy as a quick note on Linked-In

Making Your Mark as a New Leader

  • Understand your need to rely on others
  • Dig down into the details; then come back out. Understand people, goals, strategies and frustrations
  • Start with a broad picture. Look at the next 90 days and build momentum one interaction at a time. Make sure your direct reports get to know you and you them
  • Build a staff who know more than you do
  • Develop your own voice and use it to earn a seat at the table

Managing Up

  • Never commit to a project when you don’t have the resources OR be certain to negotiate for the resources you need to succeed
  • Always have the facts, figures and findings necessary for the interaction OR know the numbers that are important in your business and how to incorporate them into the discussion
  • Be willing to push back when needed
  • Forge internal alliances: several alliances at several levels
  • 5-point system: Metrics. Roles and responsibilities. Key events. Action plans. Sequential review strategy.

If You Could Go Back, What Would You Advise Your 25 Year Old Self?

  • Focus on surrounding yourself with talent—people with skill and will.
  • Understand the sweet spot between interests and strengths – that’s where you passion lives!
  • Look at longer time horizons – How does your current role/opportunity prepare you for your longer term goal (three to five years out)
  • Choose assignments that have a business impact
  • Maintain a balance between your personal and professional life and keep your work life in perspective. Remember work can be like a mistress. Sooner or later she may leave you for someone else.

There was so much more to the Webcast. I really urge you to set aside an hour or so to listen to it in its entirety.

Click here to access the webcast recording.

Dr. Rosina L. Racioppi
President & CEO
WOMEN Unlimited, Inc.