As the school year comes to a close, I am taking the time to say thank you. What an immense privilege to write for my peers on subjects that affect our lives as female aspiring business leaders this year and last! It has been an exciting journey that has allowed me to challenge stereotypes, search for concrete answers, and understand history’s perspective on female professionals in the world.
This investigative, inspiring journey was made possible through the support of the Forté network, which today is more than 65,000 women strong. Special thank you to my innovative internship advisors Bianca, Mariska, and Suzannah, as well as to my colleague Julianne for their guiding words and continued support.
The personalities I have studied and have been delighted to share with you are examples of exemplary female leaders who span from the 1900s to the 21st century, they were hard working, determined, and had a vision they wanted to live out much like the women of Forté.
These women whose accomplishments seem larger than life all had a starting point (small or large) in their education or career that set them on a trajectory for success. Consistent efforts and focused vision established their name and leadership style.
One of the prominent similarities I have noticed between all of these diverse women is the emphasis they placed on one or a combination of mental, physical, spiritual, and social rejuvenation. If you look closely, note how these women took time to find their voice amidst the clutter of life. With a million and one things to do, they set aside time, even if sparsely, to look inward, to be alone, to embrace the loud silence and refill themselves after emptying so much of themselves for others, in their work, and in their social spheres.
Much like a battery, it is not possible to recharge if there is no outlet, no outside energy source. I hope you are taking time to find your voice amidst the noise of outside forces, so that not only can good things come your way, but good things can also flow through you as a result.
As you approach the exciting summer months, consider where and when you will recharge and what resources you may need to do that effectively.
Taking a break is very different from recharging. Sometimes you really need a change of scenery, or to make a point to unplug electronics and engage in an person conversation; these are some of the healthiest ways to recharge.
These actions collectively will lead to a healthier you, a more effective channel through which all of your intentions and goals can be met. So as you look inwards, please do not forget close friends, family, mentors, and even your spiritual community who can partner with you in your efforts to rejuvenate.
For those unsure of where to start, my belief is that no step is too small. On a personal note, I take 10 minutes each week to reflect and make a mental Ven diagram of my progress. I designate the left column all the things I am grateful for and the right column all the things that need work. In the middle, I place the overlapping items that I am grateful for that still need work, whether that be skills, studies, work, or relationships. This is a great exercise for self-examination and can inspire other small steps that can be both informative and healing.
So as we close the academic school year, I urge you to take time to say thank you to those you met along the journey, pat yourself on the back, and proactively plan ahead for a summer in which you can actively choose how you will recharge before the next journey, whether it be another school year, internship, job, or volunteer experience.
Take charge of the next steps and let your unique voice be strengthened.
Nicole Chacin is a Chicago native and student at the George Washington University where she studies business administration. Nicole aims to obtain a dual masters degree in Law and Business Administration by 2017 and ultimately dreams of working in health policy and administration. This is Nicole’s 2nd year writing for Forté as she had the opportunity to learn about the organization through the first Forté C2B Leadership Conference.