Conference builds confidence

Academic or career-based conferences play an important role in motivating people from all walks of life.


Photo courtesy of Kristen Smith

Kristen M. Smith, Writer

On Feb. 27, women from all walks of life gathered on Biola’s campus for the Woven Conference to discuss ways to boost their confidence in the workplace. It gave many women confidence in their career choice and equipped them with tools for their work.

An Important Role

Conferences like these play an important role not just in encouraging more women to feel more comfortable in joining the workforce, but also the student body as a whole in their career development.  

One of the major benefits of conferences is their ability to create a space for open discussion of tough issues. Ruth Lopez Novodor, Nicole Ospina and Shelley Leith, all local successful business women who own their own companies, spoke at Woven Conference and fostered a safe and compelling place for women to talk about their hardships or positive experiences as businesswomen. Conferences like this can provide the help or motivation a woman needs to jumpstart her career or climb the corporate ladder.

Motivating Women

Throughout the conference, attendees received pamphlets of information regarding events happening in or outside Biola. These tools can help motivate women to act ambitiously in their workplace and not fear the office because of their gender. The speakers permitted women in the room to feel comfortable with their gender and not belittled when expressing their opinions in the workplace.

But career-focused conferences have a broader application as well. Conferences are an important aspect to meeting people in the same career as you and helpful in making connections with people that could present opportunities.They provide a safe and academic space for students or business professionals to learn and gain information regarding their specific career field. Being able to take home resources enables the information gathered to be used throughout one’s career.

Bringing Women Together

Even if the conference does not help all the women who attend the conference, the underlying messages and tools presented to the attendees helps bring the women together. Speakers get to interact with people that need advice or guidance, and everyone shares their life experiences with different women which motivate them to be their best in any job they decide to take. Even if minimal people attended the conference, the option to grow and connect should be made available for students who do.

Attending the Woven Conference confirmed the notion that conferences provide a valuable resource to many people on campus and allow for discussion that leads to growth emotionally, academically and career-wise. Woven Conference was an amazing opportunity for many women to connect and grow in Christ while learning about different techniques to use in their workplace to become more successful.

Providing Opportunities

Before the Woven Conference I had never heard of any day-long conferences on campus except for Missions or Torrey Conference. These do create opportunities for spiritual growth, but Biola needs more conferences driven towards academics or career development. Because of this, Biola should provide and promote more conferences of this nature so students can begin to create friendships and gain more opportunities for their future careers. Resources like the Writing Center and Career Center are available, but just one day spent with people in the same mindset as you creates bonding and allows for higher quality opportunities.

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