Spence Implements Alumnae Professional Development Institute
By Stephanie Cabrera Esenwa ’97
The Alumnae Association recently implemented a new event series. The Alumnae Professional Development Institute, organized and facilitated by Alumnae Board member Stephanie Cabrera Esenwa ’97, included a two-part workshop series that began October 25 and culminated on November 1, 2016. Each session was held in the Spence Drawing Room, where participants were treated to a wine and cheese networking reception, as well as delicious baked cookies. While networking, alumnae were provided an opportunity to pose for professional headshots to include in their LinkedIn profiles, and everyone was gifted a beautiful Spence School business card holder.
A diverse group of alumnae attended, including alumnae from classes ranging from the ’70s to the 2000s, alumnae who hadn’t returned in a while and alumnae from different career fields. There were journalists, artists, fashion designers, entrepreneurs, lawyers, bankers and techies along with career-changers, mothers re-entering the workforce and women preparing for the next step in their careers. The workshops were customized in response to a participant survey and provided an opportunity to network, a safe place to talk about professional challenges in a community of supportive women and a chance to develop new career management skills. Topics included the value of self-assessment, proper positioning and developing a pitch, job targeting and résumé writing. When it comes to career management, alumnae all face the same issues, and participants shared insight into how to best navigate those issues. The alumnae enjoyed the event and are continuing to strengthen the connections made at the workshop series.