Watson & Odyssey Scholars learn the importance of 'leaning in'

Elon students attended a conference in Winston-Salem, N.C., with a theme based on the bestselling book "Lean In" by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Naomi Takeuchi, president and founder of 1000 Cranes LLC, poses with Elon University Watson & Odyssey Scholars.
Watson and Odyssey Scholars attended the second annual Emerging Professionals Conference held Sept. 21 at Salem College in Winston-Salem, N.C., sponsored by the Center for Women in Business at Salem College. 

The conference provided opportunities for the scholars to learn and practice many of the skills needed to build a successful career in today’s highly competitive and diverse marketplace as well as network and develop relationships with industry leaders.

Students attended sessions covering topics such as: Building Your Brand, Power Communications, and Entrepreneurship in the Arts.  The morning keynote speaker, Naomi Takeuchi, president and founder of 1000 Cranes LLC, encouraged students to understand and embrace the value in servant leadership.

Jessica Faulkenberry, vice president of integrated relationship management at BB&T Bank, gave students tips and tricks to ace the job interview. 

“After speaking with many of the speakers, I realized that it is critical to pursue my passion while keeping my voice as a woman,” said Elon junior DeAndra Young, a biomedical engineering major. “I also learned that I need to lean in when necessary at the business table or lean over to encourage others around.”

The evening keynote event was moderated by WXII’s Wanda Starke. The panel was dedicated to the theme “Lean In,” based on the New York Times bestselling book of the same name by Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook. The panel featured female CEOs from around the country representing a variety of sectors.

The panelists, all members of the Young Presidents Organization, discussed their dedication to encouraging and supporting women in positions of leadership, their participation in Leanin.org, and tips for navigating male dominated environments and industries.

– Information provided by Esther Freeman, director of the Watson & Odyssey Scholars Program