By Diana Lam
Did you miss out on the largest student-run business conference hosted by the Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business? For 2016, the Intercollegiate Business Convention (IBC) was held at the Hynes Convention Center on Oct. 15, and consisted of keynote speakers from widely-known brand names such as Instagram and J. Crew, as well as professionals and professors from prestigious universities who have impacted the business realm.
These are the main bits of advice business leaders had for college students entering the workforce soon:
1.) “Invest in your girlfriends.”
This is a direct quote from the Chief of Operations of Instagram, so you definitely want to listen. Simmons happens to be a women-centered college. Value your friends, and be picky since no long-term investment will be cheap. Pick the quiet girl who doesn’t like to party and has a conscience for she will be there for you when times are rough, and be utterly loyal. When you are down because of a break-up, family issues, or a traumatic event, your girls will be the ones that will be there for you. Nothing lasts forever, but these friendships just might.
2.) “Intelligence is a differentiation factor.”
Are you afraid to be intelligent? To be fearless? To be different? Girl, why are you afraid of anything? The world is yours for the taking, but you have to stop being afraid of being all those positive descriptions. If you are working for it, you deserve it. By being you, it will differentiate you from your peers and from that employee who just picks his nose during his shift. It will provide you with an advantage, and will be the reason that you will be more valued and selected by your organization. In fact, wear your intelligence like the stunning jeweled-dress Beyonce wore to the Emmy’s.
3.) “[Some people believe that the love of their life] will just show up, and want me for me. That is bulls–t.”
No one expected to receive love advice from a business conference, but there it is. There is no perfect prince charming riding a pony that will sweep you off your feet to a happily ever after. You have to make it work. Love takes compromise. It is two people who sincerely want to be together more than anything that stands in their way. And while you are out there chasing your career, do not forget the importance of love and that it is said to transcend time, space, and all earthly boundaries – or let us just believe that anyways. But, make sure that the person is worth it.
4.) “You need to clean up your act. You can’t go to internship with baggy-eyes and a pale face.”
Yes, ma’am. In the midst of balancing earning acceptable grades, maintaining relationships, leading organizations and being a good employee, it is at times easy to forget that the little things count, such as proper presentation. There will be times where you will question the worth of the activities you are performing and if it is truly worth your dedication, but it surely will be. No matter the task, there is value to it, be it an acquired skill or an interesting fact that one day could save your life.
5.) “You have competition. You have a lot of competition.”
Do not ever be too secure. You are fighting. Fighting for your next job. For that boy who you believe is worth it. For the thing that you went to college for in the first place. There will always be someone that you’re competing with, and the moment you think you’ve got the cat in the bag, is the moment that you have lost everything you have sacrificed to get to this point. You need to keep trying, and keep going above and beyond yourself or else someone else WILL step on you to rise above you.
So, is IBC worth the time? Absolutely. The above are but a few pointers IBC’s presenters graced their participants with, and can clearly be applied to many aspects of one’s current situation. Furthermore, it’s a shortcut to insightful wisdom without having to go through the aging process. The next time you hear IBC, make sure you RSVP and attend!