Women’s conference offers ideas for improvement and success

by Ashley Anderson, Staff Writer 572 views0

The 2012 Women’s Conference at COC offered local women resources for advancing their careers, improving their lives and their health.

“The roles we play today as women are as diverse as they are rewarding. Today, women can do anything—all doors are open to those who dare to dream; who have the courage and the tenacity it takes to stay the course. With that as the signpost, we have created a conference that will provide the knowledge, information and inspiration needed to help transition from one phase of life to the next,” COC Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook said.

The conference featured three session topic areas: business, career exploration and women’s health.

“Transition is a constant factor in business and life. The ability to manage transition internally and through external resources is critical for success. Many women manage transition on a daily basis through a work/life balance. The key is envisioning the goal and tapping into the resources to help achieve the goal.”

A Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Business Advisor was present at the conference and shared tips and resources to help attendees learn about how to successfully launch a new business or grow an existing one.

Attendees were also able to learn about the path of success from a local business woman who continues to manage transition and goals.

“Goals should be S.M.A.R.T. Specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-framed,” Doris Marie Zimmer, MS, CPC, a Performance Coach, wife and mother.

Career Exploration, another session topic area, is a progressive process that includes past education, training and employment as they relate to future goals and aspirations.

This session taught attendees how to improve interview skills, which included preparation before the interview, answering sample questions, exploring questions to ask, avoiding common mistakes and writing effective thank-you letters.

Attendees were also taught how to create a resume that will get them noticed by employers. This included format, content and pitfalls to avoid.

Also offered, was the Resume Lab. A team of professionals from COC [were] available for the duration of the conference to assist attendees with creating or updating resumes.

“Women in transition experience changes in many areas of their lives: career, relationships, living conditions and self-concept. Often we feel overwhelmed and unsure how to move forward.”

The women’s health presentation covered the following areas: how unknown values influence decision-making and create stress, make goals that are doable, and create personal success and self-esteem, how to “chunk down” big projects into manageable tasks, how to manage stress with proven strategies and techniques and how to identify unrealized obstacles and resources to support your success.

These sessions also focused on the effects of having a negative or positive self-image, strategies to develop a positive body image, the impact of societal pressures to look a certain way, how to nourish your body with a (non) diet food philosophy and the power in daily affirmations.

After the conference, two gourmet foods trucks, owned and operated by women, offered food available for purchase in the parking lot. Vendors included Clean Street Food, offering an eclectic menu that spans the culinary globe, and Mandoline Grill, famous for its Vietnamese and vegan cuisine.

“These diverse opportunities demonstrate our college’s visionary leadership and belief in possibilities. We are forward-focused, creative and always seeking new opportunities. These qualities ensure we remain a leader at the forefront of change. Simultaneously, they are the attributes that will empower you to make changes you desire in your life,” Dr. Van Hook.

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