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Women’s conference provides work advice, networking

Stephanie Rivera, Video Director

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The 13th annual Women & Careers Conference, which was themed “Energize Your Dreams,” was held at the University Student Union ballrooms Friday morning.

The event, which was organized by the Women’s Resource Center and other campus organizations, attracted more than 100 attendees, in addition to professionals from a variety of fields.

The conference began with a panel of seven professional women, six of whom were CSULB alumni. The women answered questions from Robin Lee, associate director of the Career Development Center.

When asked what skills students needed for each profession, panelists suggested being people-friendly, resourceful and organizational.

“Also, being flexible, because depending on what type of service or product you’re offering, you can have cycles,” said Elizabeth Williams, founder of Cali Bike Tours and a CSULB graduate.

Carolee Ogata, director of certificated personnel in the Garden Grove Unified School District and a CSULB alumna, said that when she was a principal, she would tell her teachers to manage their moods.

“We don’t get to see the kids a lot and, when we do, we need to be happy for them and put whatever is happening in your personal life aside,” Ogata said.

Panelists also suggested how to attain a balanced life.

“Start to find a balance now while you’re in school so that you can train yourself to have that balance,” said Celine Cordero, who is deputy mayor for Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs in the City of Los Angeles.

Cordero, who graduated from CSULB in 1997, said finding a balance was very hard for her. Working 60-hour weeks, she made the decision to focus on work rather than marry or have kids.

“If your whole being is about working very hard and very long, it doesn’t mean that you have to work to exhaustion to be successful,” Cordero added.

The conference continued with “TableTalk” where students could network and explore career options with professionals seated at each table.

The last exercise involved students writing letters to themselves for the Career Development Center to mail them one month from now. In the letter, students were told to write about goals they wished to accomplish.

Junior business management major Carolyn Dingle said she received useful information from Cordero.

“[She said] it’s okay not to be sure what you want to do right now but know what you’re passionate about so you have goals for yourself,” she said.

The event offered advice for students of all majors on how to make the necessary choices to succeed in life. 

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