More than 30 students attended the BYUH Management Society business webinar dedicated to “empower women and prepare them to be in the workforce,” said society committee member Hiba Arkoh. The event highlighted ways to “relaunch” careers for women who have been out of the workforce for some time due to motherhood.
The webinar, title “Relaunching your professional career: What you should know before going back to work,” was held on Oct. 26 in the HGB and featured Jennifer Anderson, a career strategist and former chapter president of the BYU Management Society. She enumerated steps to relaunching a professional career. “Know what you want to do, make time, network in person, connect online, and be realistic with expectations,” she said.
Anderson emphasized not to just focus on the job description you’re applying for, but also what you want to be known for. “Personal brand is when you want to know what the how and why is in all you do. It’s not just about the skill set. Your personal brand is the permanent mark you’ll put in the world.”
After the webinar, three panelists sat in front for the question and answer portion. Allyson McNeil, one of the panelists, said, “What is it that you want in your life?” Answering, she stated, “The gifts you have, and the God given talents you need to develop.”
McNeil suggested that using email to contact people is more efficient and formal than messaging on LinkedIn. She added, “Write down how you met a person, how you first connected with them. Include the date and time if you can. When you’re looking for somebody connected to a certain organization, you write to them and let them remember how you met.”
Another networking tip was given by Helena Hannonen, one of the panelists and a business management professor. She said, “You don’t network with employers on LinkedIn. You network with people. Get to know people. Put your picture out there because a lot of times people won’t remember your name, but they will remember your face.”
In addition to the steps of relaunching a professional career, Anderson also talked about the modern-day stay-at-home mom (SAHM). She showed two photos of different moms. The first mom was well organized and baking cookies with her kids, while the second one was a mom trying to multitask her duties. She was feeding her kids, talking to someone over the phone, and browsing through her laptop. Anderson said the second photo depicts what a modern SAHM is.
Anderson said, “If you’re wondering what your monetary value as a SAHM is, then keep in mind that you are worth more than a grant over year. You’re making quite the contribution.”
Evette Loo, one of the panelists, shared advice on how to keep moving up the ladder through learning and improving. She said, “Once you get your degree, it doesn’t mean you stop learning. Go for your passion. There’s always something you can do better and discover something you didn’t know before.”
Arkoh, a senior from Ghana majoring in hospiy and tourism management and information technology, explained, “It’s a chapter event where we aim to help women decide what they want to do after they graduate and help students to make home business ideas. The event is basically for women, but we also bring men to empower their wives.”
When asked about the highlight of the event, Arkoh said, “They explained the ways to take when you become a mom, like setting a time aside for your own use and connecting with other people.”
Anderson said, “Before you go to a networking event, know why you want to go.” She shared a networking tip: reach out, connect to people and have your own business card. “Dig your well before you’re thirsty. Start connecting with people today and don’t wait for the day when you need it. Make sure that when you go to an event, make use of your time wisely. Consistently attend events to show people your interest. One-on-one conversation is more effective to network.”
Arkoh said students should go to these webinars both for the opportunity and to develop relationships with people. She said, “You are trying to connect with people, not employers. Sometimes we just contact prospective employers, but we never connect to people. I also like the tip they shared when you meet someone: Write it down. There will come a time when you come across someone and you won’t even remember how you met.”