I had never been to Chatham University, and it was neat to see the quaint campus in the middle of bustling Oakland!
The girls were a bit unhappy that they would be split up upon arrival, as they were assigned to separate tables with girls from other schools. It gave them a chance to meet new peers and get to talk to the two professional women assigned to each table. I had to sit at the chaperone table, but that didn’t stop me from benefitting from the lectures and lessons of the day!
First, the girls played a board game that taught them about loans, investing and starting a business. They then reflected on the experience as a group. One of the girls said she learned that if you don’t claim your work, someone may take credit for it. Another explained how she invested in a failed ice cream store, and losing money was discouraging to her. Others made lots of money off of their investments, and the biggest earner won a prize at the end.
Next, the girls got to ask questions of the professional women at their tables and neighboring tables. These were local women who are entrepreneurs in the Pittsburgh community and who were willing to share their insights with the next generation of businesswomen. The girls got lunch, snacks, and listened to guest speakers.
Most of the girls at the conference had come with their schools, and the chaperone table was filled with teachers and school guidance councilors. I picked their brains and learned what they thought about the field of education, as I am considering getting my master’s in teaching next year. Just like the high school girls got advice for their futures, I got the chance to talk to educators and get advice on my future too!