Feminist Camp Day 2: Career Day

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Dipeeka is a 2010 LEADer who recently participated in Feminist Camp. Feminist Camp includes five immersive days of meetings and workshops across New York City highlighting diverse forms of feminism in action. Each day centers around a theme. Her blog posts about her time there originally appeared on the Soapbox Blog.

As feminist, I have often wondered how to channel my passions as a feminist into practical careers. Today was a day focused on meeting financially successful feminists to receive some practical career advice.

Our sessions today were held in Newman Ferrara LLP office, and our first speaker was Courtney Chenette, alum of the first feminist camp. A social justice lawyer in a real estate firm, Courtney considers herself an ‘undercover agent,’ who is slowly transforming workplace environment for females. Some cases she currently works with are sexual assault cases as they relate to boys, and police conduct carried out by the NYPD. She also talked about the financial ramifications of being sexual assault victims. Another area she focuses on is how institutions while restricting health insurance access to same sex couples ignore equal marriage law. She also talked about importance of creating a community of young women who have similar career interests and choices. One of the most influential things she said was that nothing replaces hard work in a career, and in order to move up the professional ladder, it is important to give your best. She talked about her hardest first year in law school, and that we should surround our lives with passionate people. She said, “Those who ignite passion in you will help you be essential”.

After Courtney’s interesting session, Amy and Carly talked about their experiences as interns, and the necessity to go above and beyond your assigned roles to be noticed by the employers. Carly also talked about identifying our personal goals and working style preferences to align to our prospective jobs.

Our next speaker was Stacey Tisdale, a financial service reporter, and former cash management analyst. She talked about financial issues of our generation, and pointed out how money is the leading cause of depression, abuse and self-image. She talked about importance of transparency in health care sectors, and social media changing financial sectors in years to come. For financial literacy, she focused on setting financial goals, knowing our distractions and knowing how we are perceived in the world (whether it be in a gender, class and race basis). She also mentioned that all of us have different childhood scripts, social scripts, and our perception of money that affects how we relate to money on a daily basis. Another crucial aspect on financial management she talked about is how feminism, and sexist viewpoints affect how women relate to money. She also mentioned the importance of negotiating as working women for better pays and opportunities as work.  It was exciting to receive a signed copy of her book titled The True Cost of Happiness: The Real Story Behind Managing Your Money.

We then talked to Adrian Granzella, the Editor in Chief at The Daily Muse. She started her career as a PR person, and then moved into event planning, marketing, and communication. Her four major career advice were, negotiating and asking what we want from the job. While 60 percent men negotiated their first salary, only about 6% females do so. Another advice was to have a variety of mentors, and to ask for opportunities when they show up. The advice that most resonated with me was accepting the change, uncertainty, and to accept it if we have not “figured out” our lives yet.

We then departed for our mini internships; Hanna, Asella and I had our mini-internship with Women Make Movies. Kristen Fitzpatrick, the public exhibition and acquisitions director and WMM hosted us. She walked us through the history of Women Make Movies, and explained how they mostly do distributions now. She also gave us practical advice on living in the NYC and some beautiful neighborhoods that are her ideals for living. Over pizza, we then watched Forbidden Lives, a documentary on young girls from Cuba, China and Iran who are raising awareness and initiating social changes through blogging and social media. We also watched another quirky documentary named ‘How to Lose Your Virginity’, which is based on the myths surrounding virginity in a society that does not have just two sexual identities anymore.

In the evening, we volunteered at a gala for Sanctuary for Families, an amazing organization that works to support survivors of domestic violence. It was a glitzy affair, and we got home a little late, but all in all it was fun!    

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