This post is part of a series profiling women and their experiences at National Girlfriends Networking Day events across the country.
When we say that National Girlfriends Networking Day changes lives, we aren’t exaggerating. Take University of Delaware student Molly Carroll.
Molly says she “didn’t quite know what to expect” when she arrived at National Girlfriends Networking Day in June of 2014. This political science and journalism major was interning in New York at the time with one of the women on The New Agenda’s Advisory Council, and went along with her to see what the event was all about. A “huge fan” of Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, a panelist at the 2014 event, Molly was excited to meet her role model and intrigued by what NGN Day had to offer.
What happened next was nothing short of life changing, says Molly. As soon as she got to NGN Day, she “realized what a huge deal it was.” Molly was “floored by the talent that came in and spoke,” and “inspired by the creativity of the Twitter feed running at the same time.” To put it shortly, Molly was “amazed.”
“I went to the event last year and didn’t really known much about women’s rights or equality. It opened my eyes to female empowerment once I learned what it was all about,” says Molly. “I was so interested, I became a Women’s Studies major at school, and from that I’m able to learn more about the issues affecting me and other women.
It didn’t just stop there. One of the leaders of her sorority, Molly started a club on campus modeled after the NGN Day. “It’s called the Networking Club, and through it, I was able to give a girl a job from another member of The New Agenda, Kathryn Moos. It was really amazing to see it come full circle—I was inspired to make change, and the whole ‘learn, earn, and return,’ mentality produced real results.” National Girlfriend’s Networking Day, emphasized Molly, “can catalyze real change in someone.”
Aside from the tangible change the event inspired in Molly, Molly also gleaned advice from the panelists and the women she met that she carries with her to this day. “I take with me the overall motto of ‘learn and return,’ of providing for yourself and then providing opportunities to other women.” The generosity of the women at the event was extraordinarily meaningful for Molly; “everyone gave.” “The advice I received has stuck with me,” Molly emphasized, “that is, to keep working hard no matter what your goal is, and to not let anyone tell you ‘no’ because you’re a woman.”
Now an NGN Day veteran, Molly is attending the event in New York this year. “The best advice I’d give people is to just go,” says Molly. “It’s a really easy event to attend. I went in not knowing what to expect, so each opportunity I was given at NGN Day was a chance to grow.” National Girlfriends Networking Day is “the ground level as to who will give us jobs and who we can look up to.”
“At the event, keep an open mind and take people’s advice,” Molly advises. We here at The New Agenda are glad Molly did just that last year’s NGN Day—it led her to do incredible things, to continue to “learn, earn, and return.”
Attend NGN Day!
NGN Day takes place on June 4, 2015, from 11:30 am-1:30 pm EDT (8:30-10:30 am PDT). Click below to register for event locations nationwide.
Author Sarah Gruen, a summer intern for The New Agenda, is a rising junior at Tufts University majoring in English and Political Science.