Apr 252014

Last night, I attended the third annual Women Leading Women event at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. The keynote speaker was Brenda Freeman, Global Head of Television Marketing for Dreamworks Animation. Prior to that she was the chief marketing officer of the Cartoon Network. The event was set-up in an informal Q&A format, moderated by Vice Dean Joyce Russell.

Like me, Freeman is a double Terp! She has her undergraduate degree in engineering from the A. James Clark School of Engineering (’87) and her MBA from the Smith School (’91).

The event was sold-out, nearly filling the 250-seat Frank Auditorium in Van Munching Hall. I was able to catch up with a bunch of Smith EMBA alumni friends and also meet many new people. And I always love to support my EMBA executive coach, Joyce Russell!

Whenever I go to this event, surrounded by hundreds of women, I’m almost overcome with emotion. All of these women are just like me! Listening to the opening music that sets the energetic tone for the event, I felt excited and proud to be a business women and a #WomanLeader. As the event goes on and the energy builds, your confidence builds and you feel so encouraged and ready to take on the world! I feel like it’s a major catalyst for positive change. I came away from the event with dozens of ideas on how to improve my work life and my personal life.

I was live tweeting the event… here are some of my favorite tweets and words of advice from @AArford. I was also tweeting @SmithSchool.

Alissa A. Arford @AArford · 20h

Crowd is growing for sold-out Women Leading Women event! #womemleaders #terps #mba #bschool @smithschool #umd pic.twitter.com/dCQLBFVNRa

Video and tweeting crew are ready to go #womenleaders @SmithSchool #umd #terps pic.twitter.com/jdG8Eu6OLf

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Sharon Strange Lewis kicks off #womenleaders event @smithschool #umd pic.twitter.com/rftxQMTTz5

Alissa A. Arford @AArford · 20h

Audience full of #womenleaders @smithschool #umd #terps pic.twitter.com/1gft4JEuJq

Alissa A. Arford @AArford · 19h

Brenda Freeman says she had great female role models over her career – informal board if directors. #womenleaders pic.twitter.com/bWPZe6MqZh

Some women aren’t comfortable leading/taking a stretch job. #womenleaders @SmithSchool – take risks, speak up, be clear with expectations

Alissa A. Arford @AArford · 19h

I love this event! #womenleaders = Brenda Freeman @SmithSchool #MBA ’91 @DWAnimation – Be Confident but Be Yourself pic.twitter.com/LuInQnkcJl

You never feel like you’re giving enough time to the stakeholders in your life. Let it go. Enjoy the ride. You only get one. #womenleaders

“My level of expectation of what’s perfect has changed over the years” – Brenda Freeman on balance #womenleaders

Show signals of balance for employees – leaders set the workplace tone #womenleaders

Part of finding your passion is being open. Your path will change – Brenda Freeman #womenleaders @SmithSchool

Even subtle body language can signal whether or not you are ready to take the next career step. #womenleaders

Soft skill success depends on your company culture / location. Is it NYC direct or southern passive aggressive? #womenleaders @SmithSchool

Amazing #WomenLeaders event @smithschool #umd – thanks to Brenda Freeman @dwanimation for an inspiring talk! pic.twitter.com/Y7I0e2bqrD

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