Philadelphia, PA: In a Room Full of Greatness

I recently experienced my first National Black MBA Association conference in Philadelphia, PA as an MBA Sustainable Business Practices candidate graduating in May 2018. In the weeks leading up to the conference, I  mentally prepared myself for the career exposition, making sure I was ready to take advantage of the over 300 companies and organizations looking to hire MBA graduates. What I didn’t think to prepare for was the atmosphere, devotion, and encouragement from everyone at the conference. I arrived early Wednesday morning and was received with warm greetings that continued throughout the conference. I felt like I was meeting a family I didn’t know existed, a family who was rooting for my success and wanted to provide me with the essential tools for both career and personal growth.  The breakout sessions I attended were exceptionally impactful, and I left with skills I could immediately incorporate into my coursework and could carry over to my future career.

Although most of my preparation for the conference went toward the career exposition, I still wasn’t prepared for the greatness that filled the room – men and women of color ready to take on the world-while dressed to impress. The confidence, determination, and poise coming from all corners of the room was very powerful. I was so proud to be a part of this community and wanted nothing but success for all involved. We were in a position where we could expose our excellence to future employers and make connections that might not have otherwise been possible.

Outside of the breakout sessions, speakers, and the career exposition, I had a chance to unwind each night and connect with some first-timers, like myself, and others who were repeat attendees. I was exposed to a network of doers who thrived on building up our community. I left the conference on Friday fearless and eager to continue to strive for excellence.  After such an impactful event, the National Black MBA Association conference has a new lifetime attendee.

I had a chance to attend the following breakout sessions:

  • Presenting Data Effectively
    • Marcie Braden (moderator)
    • Stephanie Evergreen ( speaker)
  • Leading with Purpose
    • Damon A. Williams ( speaker )
  • The CEOs Luncheon
    • Kristin B. Gyimah (remarks)
    • Verdun Perry (remarks)
    • Catherine LeBlanc (presenter)
    • Mel Parker (presenter)
    • Arne Sorenson (Panelists)
    • Lisa Wardell (Panelists)
    • Bill Lacey (Panelists)
  • Mastering the Career Pivot
    • Annette Harris (moderator)
    • Gerald Chertavian (Panelist)- CEO and founder of YearUp
    • Lorenzo Claridy (Panelist)
    • Conrod Kelly (Panelist)
    • Matthew Levy (Panelist)

– Candace Carter, MBA’18