Meet Kiera Soloman! She is a rising sophomore at Tulane with an interest in a political fundraising career. Read on to hear about her experience at the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL). You can also see more about Kiera’s summer internship under the blog’s Internships 2016.
Describe yourself and why you wanted to attend the NCCWSL Conference:
My name is Kiera Solomon and I am a rising sophomore at Tulane. I am studying political science with a management minor. This summer I have the great privilege of being able to work with a political fundraising firm in Washington DC. This experience has been so incredible and has given me great insight into the political world. I wanted to attend the NCCWSL Conference because I knew that it would open my eyes and allow me to gain a new perspective that I could bring to work and to the rest of my life.
Describe your favorite parts of the conference:
I think my favorite parts of the conference were all of the workshops that were hosted. My personal favorite was the “So You Want to Work in Politics?” As a political science major, I kind of nerd-ed out during this workshop. The workshop was a question and answer event with a panel of five successful women who have all worked in politics. Each of the panelists had different views on issues, had held different jobs, and took different paths to get to where they were so even though we may have only asked about 8 questions we were able to get almost 40 different answers to help guide us with our futures. The biggest take away that I got from this workshop was that once you have your foot in the door you need to stand out. You need to be the intern/worker that they say “wow” about and build connections based off your hard work and dedication.
Highlight a speaker or a conference event:
One of my favorite events at the conference was hearing Franchesca Ramsey, one of the keynote speakers, discuss race, gender, sexuality and how our society has de-stigmatized our inappropriate comments. Ramsey is a black blogger, comedian, and host of MTV’s Decoded who uses her comedic skills to bring light to social injustices. During the conference, she stood on stage and spoke about all the “elephants” in the room. She mentioned real life issues that people typically advert from talking about and made sure that we knew that it was about time that we started a dialogue to end these issues.
Detail what you learned that you hope to never forget:
This conference opened my eyes to an entire female support system that I never realized existed before. There are women throughout the country who are looking to better the lives of other women. This support system will be an enormous help when I start working in the political world, which tends to be predominately male.
Why should other students attend a NCCWSL Conference:
This conference definitely isn’t for everyone. Although I think that this is a very important conference that all college women should attend, the individuals who attend need to be ready and willing to have an open mind and learn from other women’s experience. This conference is a lot of critical thinking and discussing of traumatic and shocking experiences that others have gone through. For me, I found it to be an incredible learning experience because it showed me how privileged I have been in my life and allowed me to understand how other less fortunate women live throughout the country.
Does this sound like something you might be interested in? Tulane undergraduate students can apply to NCI for funding to attend conferences. Email Betsy Lopez at email@example.com for more information.
Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.