This past week, from February 27th-28th, some of our CWIB members participated in a trek to Nashville, Tennessee. They got to enjoy the sights and sounds of the country music capital of the world, as well as visit the Creative Artists Agency, Dollar General, and Nissan. Creative Artists Industry (CAA) is a talent management agency representing all kinds of performers, from music and acting to sports. They focus on collaboration within the workplace to provide a holistic approach to client representation. Dollar General is an American retail store that, according to their motto, focuses on “serving others” by selling a variety of products at accessible prices. And lastly, Nissan is a household name in the car industry that originated in Japan and now operates as a successful multinational enterprise. At each of these companies, our members were able to network and to hear from panels of female and male speakers, who all spoke about their experiences in their respective industries and within the company itself.
One of the most memorable aspects of the trip for all of the members I contacted, in addition experiencing Nashville, was the advice they gained from the panels they attended. Paige Horn recalls that the women in the panels recounted their time in the working world thus far and their experiences within their companies, which varied greatly due to differences in background, level of experience, age, and skill. The women the members talked to at Dollar General, for instance, were newer to the workforce than that of the other companies, and thus provided advice that was more applicable for recent college grade transitioning into the workplace, explained Samy Febles.
Some of our members had a piece of wisdom from these panels in which they found especially great value. Sarah Viebrock claims that her favorite piece of advice from the panelists was that you are not limited by your degree. If you find a company that provides the best fit for your skills and lifestyle, it can allow you to move around and try different tasks internally. Laurel Rubens learned that “stepping up to challenges” and taking ownership for your actions without going overkill on apologizing, a habit for some, can improve your interactions with others at work and your satisfaction with your work. Paige Horn also notes that the importance of finding a mentor was mentioned, and that being open to critique and advice while maintaining confidence in your abilities is key as a woman in the workplace.
Apart from tips on adjusting to the workplace and workplace culture, each company educated our members about specific aspects of their business. Nissan representatives discussed the struggles of managing a very large corporation, as well as how to market automobiles to a globally diverse audience. Dollar General focused on retail strategy and their approach to supply chain management. They also included a fun tour of the company and a trip to the “Dollar General Museum.” Lastly, CAA discussed the experience and skills needed to represent major artists and build personal brands. At CAA, our members also had the opportunity to meet with an agent who recently helped world famous performing artist, Harry Styles, book his tours.
When I asked what their biggest takeaway was from this trip, I received some very poignant and empowering responses. A theme throughout their responses was being unafraid to put 100% of yourself into attaining what you want, especially in your career. Laurel Rubens learned that pursuing your great idea for a new product or company could change your life for the better, so don’t be afraid to follow that dream! Both Samy Febles and Sarah Viebrock emphasized the importance of being unafraid to push yourself and take risks. With great risk often comes great reward, and some of the most successful people in business made it to where they are today by learning how to take calculated risks. Our members seemed to have learned a lot about becoming trailblazing women in business!
Treks are truly great experiences for any member of CWIB to be a part of. The members I contacted expressed their appreciation for the unique networking opportunities these trips provide, as well as the wealth of knowledge they gained from talking to women in business directly. Treks often provide more diverse and realistic perspectives of the working world, and having the ability to ask specific questions can help members personalize their experience and do their own research on different industries in a fun and open environment. Sarah Viebrock says that the trek “opened [her] eyes to many possibilities of a business degree.” Visiting diverse varieties of companies that all fall within the category of “business” can indeed broaden the horizons of what opportunities lie in wait for your specific skill sets or degree. Furthermore, treks are great for bonding with other members of CWIB. The time spent in the car during the trip actually a great chance to get to know everybody and grow closer to each other, and was one of Paige Horn’s favorite parts of her trek. A new opportunity to participate in a trek is always right around the corner, so if you’re interested in making friends, travelling, or exploring what options are waiting for you after graduation, make sure to keep your eye out for CWIB’s next trek! CWIB would like to thank Creative Artists Agency, Nissan, and Dollar General for networking with our members, providing insight to their company missions and cultures, and fostering a welcoming atmosphere while on this trek!
By: Lauren Miles