Session 10: SUMMARY

March 26, 2009

Session 10 PPT Link


First: Under Session 10 Summary page (this page) – please blog your takeaway you stated in class today.

1. Management and Operations Plan Draft


2. Read: (bios of speakers)
–         Ways women lead by Judy Rosener
–         Why can’t men lead like women by Appelbaum and Shapiro
–         Hot Mommas Project research blurb


3. Skill Building: Leadership Styles & Time Management


4. Provide online feedback: Peer forum – Jennifer & Laura


5. Mentor Interview – first collection of interviews
Follow instructions from Session 9 to complete mentor interview.  (Sample included at following link). You have until April 9. Early turn ins accepted April 2. See interview sample (Part 1 of Mentor assmt) and project write up  sample at column, and imbedded in post below. Part 1 due 4/9, 2 due 4/30.



  1. I have two main takeaways for the semester thus far. The first is how we learned that there are many successful female entrepreneurs. However, for some reason, we tend to keep our businesses small instead of growing them into large corporations. In planning my business, I will keep this in mind when opportunities to grow present themselves. The second takeaway is related to the first, in a sense. After reading the articles about management and strategic selection of employees, I realized the importance of not only growing the business, but employing those with common objectives and vision for the company.

  2. My one take-away was communication. On the first day of class, we created a list of our strengths and weaknesses. Communication was on my list of weaknesses and I knew that that was an area where I needed improvement. Class sessions, readings, and skill-building exercises help helped me to realize the great importance and power of communications. From networking to negotiation, communication is a key. Even effective communication is a characteristic of a good leader. I have tried to apply the many things I learned thus far to my own life, so I can be able to communicate effectively, such as getting rid of phrases that would weaken my messages and speaking confidently.

  3. My main takeaway for the semester so far has been “don’t underestimate yourself”. During the speaker panel, Marty mentioned that women tend to underestimate themselves when it comes to leadership. His point really stuck with me and although it may not be true for everyone, it made me think about whether I am physically unable or if I am just telling myself I can’t. In the case I wrote, I spoke about my own personal struggles with confidence and explained the reasons why it keeps me from building the empire I always dreamed I would. I do have a tendency to underestimate my abilities but after taking this class I have realized that I am capable of so much more than I give myself credit for. My entire outlook on life has changed because of this and I am finally ready to take the world by storm!

  4. One of my biggest takeaways so far has been thinking entrepreneurially. I have always inherently known that I would like to own my own business one day, but I have been missing that element of thinking this way in everyday life. I was never the little kid with the lemonade stand, or the one selling candy to my friends during lunch. In fact, I was always pretty terrible at selling things in general. Since I started taking this class, however, I’ve begun to look at regular situations as an opportunity to gain experience as an entrepreneur.
    Recently, for example, I had the opportunity to purchase an expensive software package for pennies compared to what it is really worth. Before loading it on my laptop I called my mom to see if she thought it was a good idea (I was worried it might cause my laptop to crash). My mom thought we should wait until I get a new laptop in the next year or so. I told her that my intention was to either use it, let someone else in the family use it, or I was going to sell it over the internet to make a profit (not wait for another year for it to depreciate and loose all its value). My mom pointed out that this was very entrepreneurial of me; that was the moment it hit me, she was right.

  5. My main takeaway so far was communication and networking. I was never put in a position where I was pressured to network before beginning my business plan. I was completely in the dark about certain things and I found that the only way to get the information I needed was basically to stalk people. I learned that people actually are interested in talking to you and helping out students, so I can’t be afraid to ask questions and be assertive. After a week of not hearing back from anyone when I first started my plan, I decided to take the plunge and follow up until I got a response. This ended up paying off and I obtained a lot of the information necessary to continue working on my venture. I think this lesson will stick with me and prove to be beneficial in the future as I look for a job.

  6. My main takeaway from the semester thus far have been the financial skill building worksheets. Although while doing the skill building sheets for the first time they seemed rocket science, I have actually learned valuable financial skills to not only use in the business world, but also in my personal life. Considering I’m graduating from college (aka getting cut off from my parents), and moving to a new country, understand how to manage my finances isn’t even up for discussion- it’s essential. I also hope that this is a new marketable skill I can bring to whatever jobs I apply for.

  7. My biggest takeaway from class this semester is that self awareness is the key to self correction, This has been emphasized through class exercises in contemplating our strengths and weaknesses and in understanding negotiation. Knowing weaknesses in skills and in negotiation helps to understand what you can work on and improve to become a more well-rounded individual.

  8. My takeaway was ‘thinking entrepreneurially.’ I believe that this class has helped me to look around everywhere for potential business ideas. I also realized that I am creative, even though I am not an artist, or other obvious creative type. Aditionally, I learned that you should not give up and the work we have done doing business plans help me to see that even if your original idea does not pan out, at least you did the research to help you know that before you opened for business, and that new ideas will come.

  9. My takeaway is networking. From doing our networking assignment early in the semester I got to meet other people who are already out there running their own small businesses. By speaking with them I can see that they are looking do one day do business with me. I find this to be true with other female entrepreneurs as well since there seems to be type of commonality there. One friend I met owns an accounting firm in DuPont. I remember she said that she tries to pick up one or two clients wherever she goes. This is not limited to networking events, but just in everyday life. I am eager to graduate and hit the ground running.

  10. My greatest take away from class so far has been the importance of negotiating, saying what I mean, and looking to a greatly-matched mentor for help. I am awful at negotiating and saying what I mean, but as I now am aware that I have to work on these things, I can feel improvements in my personal and professional lives. I ask my roommates to take out the garbage and I speak my opinion on where I want to go on a Saturday night. I now ask for the amount of money I deserve instead of settling for being underpaid.

  11. My key takeaways from class are networking and peer mentoring.

    Networking as been the most rewarding and and scary thing to do since being in this class. After reading about how others network and realizing that it is not a bi deal, I decided to “try it on” and step outside of myself and speak up and say Hi to people I know and don’t know. So I approached my teacher about a new idea that I have, and she loved it. She also invited me to meet some of her friends that will be beneficial to the project.

    Another brief takeaway is peer mentoring. I think this is the most interesting part about this class. The other day I was rereading some cases and realized that I do not know anyone besides Alicia and Betsy and that I know more deep stuff about people and not the simple things like a first name. I think I need to use the new found networking confidence and try to put faces to names.

  12. My biggest takeaway so far in WEL class is networking. Networking was something the career center for the business school has always told us to do. However, I could not understand why people would want to take time out of their busy schedule to speak with me. I have now bit the bullet and realized that its actually fun and can lead to many opportunities. As I mentioned in class, once I began networking I had three informational interviews over spring break and one over the phone the morning of last class. I am also “bugging” three other people for interviews. Since last class, I have been working with my mentor to see who else I should speak with about possible job positions in the future. All in all, it has been an eye opening experience and I would strongly recommend networking and asking for informational interviews to others.

  13. I had two main takeaways from class so far this semester. First, the feasibility plan has really helped me flesh out my idea of entrepreneurship. I really only have one entrepreneurial idea that I would like to pursue at this point, and I have been formulating it over the past three years. However, I had never really considered and developed a lot of the pieces of the organization that have come up for the feasibility plan, such as financial planning (through the start-up costs and proforma statements) and the organizational structure. Second, and as part of that, coming from a business background (my undergraduate degree), I expected to easily deal with the financial aspects of the plan. However, I realized that I am not as prepared as I thought I was and I don’t have the confidence that I need in my ability to project revenues and expenses. I also had never practiced financial statements for a nonprofit organization before, and I have just learned more about how to project for them as opposed to corporations.

  14. From the category of stregnths and weaknesses and generally our skill building and getting to know ourselves- I need to stand up for myself more. I am not a shy girl and I can confidently walk into an interview but I hate to be persistent and make my presence known. So, I guess I’m not as confident as I thought I am and making me aware has allowed me to be more confident- I’m awesome, these people want to hire me and I just have to make sure they know I’m ready to be hired! So the other day, I picked up the phone and did some follow ups for job applications I had submitted.

  15. My biggest takeaway is being able to point out my strengths and weaknesses. At the beginning of the semester, we made a list of these, however, looking back the list seems superficial. Since then, activities such as the negotiation exercise and the “trying on behaviors” assignments I have been able to realize that there are more important areas that I need to improve on. I need to be more comfortable negotiating in a business setting. I need to learn to speak without masking my certainty. And I need to be comfortable with change and accept challenges more willingly. These are the changes that I can make that will ultimately lead to me becoming a more marketable and successful businesswoman.

  16. My main takeaways from this class are from two different sections; Class content, and Personal growth. In terms of class content I thought the most important thing I’ll take away is everything we discussed about and read about in our text books related to Cash Flow. Especially after talking with my mentor, who also stressed the importance of understand cash flow, do I really understand that I could have a great idea, great employees, EVEN profit, and somehow end up with no cash running my business into the ground. I just thought it was a really interesting concept that I should watch out for if/when I decide to pursue my entrepreneurial career. The other thing I learned was about not underestimating myself. I mentioned in class, that I initially came into this class by mistake, then really felt out of place when I realized the differences between me and the rest of the class in terms of where we were in our lives and our jobs. But looking back, I can tell people that I’ve come up with a venture concept idea, plan, financials, I’ve even called random people up on the phone to ask them questions about their business!! This is all something I thought I wasn’t capable of, and even during the class, I never took a second to step back and say to myself, “Heather, look at what YOU’ve done, look at all of this!” And at the same time, I was having fun with the work! Not only do I know I can enjoy something I thought was going to be really hard, but at the same time, I can put in the work, and actually do something of worth.

  17. My takeaway from the semester is thinking entrepreneurially. I never realized before how multifaceted entrepreneurship truly is and that it applies to everything, not just business. It’s also helped me realize my personal interest in social entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is also something that you can apply to any passion. It involves thinking analytically and being creative and harnessing your best skills to be successful. Thinking entrepreneurially is definitely something I will take with me to any future position or idea I may have!

  18. This semester I learned that I have the ability to be creative and innovative. I now find it much easier to see opportunities everywhere and turn ordinary things into extraordinary. Before taking this class, I neither considered myself an entrepreneur nor had I envisioned starting my own business. This class has helped me realize that there are opportunities everywhere, and perhaps one day I would enjoy forming my own company. Through research, discussions, and networking events, I know that I need to take the initiative to capitalize on these opportunities and have confidence in my skills and knowledge.

  19. My takeaway was the importance of networking and mentoring. Before taking this class, I did not know that people attended events just for the sake of networking. I truly thought that networking happened naturally, when people met by chance. It seemed fake to me people would be interested in hearing about other people and talking about themselves. I do not know many many in the US, so it was really hard for me to come out of my shell and go to strangers and say who I am… I learned that if I believe that what I have to share is important, people are going to care and want to hear about me. Also, I learned that it is great to mingle because you never know when you are going meet someone to be of special importance in your career. We can also be helpful to others, and that is just so rewarding! Mentoring is also a wonderful experience! They do care about us! It is very comforting to know that people besides you family want you to succeed because of who you. On top of that, they are willing to help and guide us! As a result of these lessons, I have been to many events, where I was putting myself out there, and it was totally worth it! I met wonderful people, learned so many things from them, and even many friends! I just can’t say enough how important it was for me to learn to let go and make opportunities for myself by networking and being mentored.

  20. My main takeaway has been realizing the importance of surrounding yourself with a community of people with similar motivations. I have always had a excellent support system in terms of family and friends, but the forum of strong women in this class is unlike anything I have experienced before. Because everyone is working on entrepreneurial endeavors, the encouragement, empathy and suggestions mean much more than if they were coming from one of my typical supporters. I am constantly in awe of how bright and motivated all the women in WEL are, and look forward to hearing about everyone’s continued success with their feasibility plans!

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