PLEN changed the way I looked at the career of my interest. At first, I thought it was unattainable, until I met women from all sectors of politics. PLEN made this happen. I met women who started off just like me and made the experience very personal and a reality waiting to happen. Thank You PLEN!!!
PLEN is an excellent organization that does a great job of motivating and educating young women who want to get involved in various types of public service. PLEN works with women who are interested in science, healthcare, the legal system, and other areas of interest.
As a two-time PLEN alum (of both the Women in Congress and Leveraging Communications & Technology seminars), I am very happy to speak on PLEN's behalf and would eagerly recommend it to any college-age woman who wants to get a headstart on her career.
As a PLEN Alum, I was given an opportunity that far exceeded my expectation. I was given the chance to explore a new city I've always dreamed of visiting. I was given the chance to meet other women who were determined and ambitious just like me. I was given the chance to grow and learn from the PLEN seminar I attended.
PLEN is an experience of a lifetime! I went to their technology conference knowing it would be great, but it exceeded my expectations. The programing was insightful and engaging. But most importantly, the PLEN volunteers, staff, and fellow attendees made it a rewarding and empowering experience. I recommend women to join the PLEN network, they won't regret it. It is also a great opportunity to explore D.C. with other talented and curious participants.
PLEN is an amazing organization. I spent a week in Washington, D.C. and met many women in the field of international policy through their Women & International Policy seminar. They were able to connect young women (like myself) to women in all stages of their career development. It was a great introduction for me to understand what I might want for myself in the future as well as to begin building my connections now. The speakers they were able to bring held senior positions yet they were also a group of women who are really open to helping others.
I spent the week of March 18-22 in Washington, D.C. attending a week long educational program, Women and Congress, consisting of a series of seminars sponsored by the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN). It was an enlightening and invigorating experience.
PLEN is a national organization dedicated to preparing women for leadership in the public policy arena (www.plen.org). But don't let that switch off your interest! The primary goal of PLEN is to ensure that college women have the professional skills, connections, and knowledge needed to launch their careers upon graduation (www.plen.org). This they accomplished in spades! During the week long program we were exposed to a variety of political leadership careers and given advice on how to become leaders ourselves. We met with female Congressional and Executive Branch leaders, their staff, and other policy oriented professionals. Several of the speakers were previous PLEN participants and all were engaged, enthusiastic, and supportive. I never felt so encouraged! I wish there had been a program like this when I was in my early twenties; it would have changed my life's path.
The speakers were dynamic and varied, as were the topics. We heard presentations on how congress really works, careers in energy, environment and transportation policy, healthcare implementation policy, congressional rules, advocating for immigration policy reform, nat’l. & homeland security policy, how congress affects women globally, women’s leadership in congress, careers on the campaign trail, finding the right job and landing it, and DC business etiquette. We met with Representative Virginia Foxx (NC-05), Michelle Altman (Health-care Implementation), Meghan Taira (Leg.Assist. to Senator Schumer (D-NY), Jeanne Butterfield (Special Council, Immigration policy reform), Michele Jawando (Gen'l. Council, Senator Gilibrand (D-NY)), Susan Scanlan (Chair, Nat'l. Council on Women Org. and President, Women's Research and Education Institute), Melissa Feld (Mgr., PAC & Political Affairs, Gen'l Motors Co.), and many, many more. We participated in advocacy training, a lobby day, a goal setting workshop, a resume workshop, a visit to the Democratic/Republican National Committee (your choice), and an evening networking reception. We arranged meetings with our members of congress and observed Senate/House hearing(s). Free time (though there was little of it) was spent sightseeing in our nation's capitol.
While most of the participants were in their twenties, there were several of us who were age thirty and above (I am 56). There were probably as many different reasons for attending as there were attendees. However, we all gained valuable insight, instruction, ideas, and contacts to further each of our goals. One of the caveats that we were given was this: "As with any experience in life, you get out of it what you put into it."
I came away from the experience feeling empowered and excited. I had personally spoken with three of the speakers in the field I was interested in, exchanged business cards and made plans for further meetings. Every young (or not so young) woman should participate in this kind of experience to prepare for entry into the workforce. An immersion in a female focused business environment like this is so beneficial that I think it should be required for every female college student. The experience of being surrounded by like-minded, intelligent, and engaged women is worth the cost of the program. For those traveling from other states, discounted hotel accommodations were arranged by the PLEN at the Carlysle Hotel at a very reasonable rate.
Washington DC has its own energy and pulse; the people who work there are like no other. Just being in the environment was invigorating. You should do it, even if you think you don't have the time. It is so worth it.
As a Sophomore in college, I went to PLEN Women and Congress in Washington DC for a week. The people I got to meet changed my whole perspective on what I want to do in the future, as did the experiences I had. I went back to school and recommended that all women go to PLEN at least once. With PLEN, I think that my interests would never have come out.
As a sophomore, I attended PLEN to learn about the difference between obtaining a J.D. or a M.P.P. During the Seminar, I learned about lobbying, met other outstanding women and traveled back to New Jersey knowing a lot more than I had expected. PLEN is an amazing and irreplaceable resource for young women to obtain professional knowledge. The seminars that PLEN provides allows collegiate women of different backgrounds and interests to speak with professional women and network. There are more women needed in our government and PLEN is doing a great job of introducing young women to possibilities earlier on.
I attended the PLEN Women, Law and Public Policy Seminar in November 2012. The PLEN Seminar introduced me to the many options that are available to someone to work within the field of Law and Public Policy. We heard from and talked with women in DC who are doing a wide range of work from Non-Profit starters to Lobbyists. The Seminar taught me how to effectively network and how to promote myself in a professional setting. I would strongly recommend PLEN to any female-identified person interested in public policy in DC and in their home state.
I attended one of PLEN's seminars in Washington, DC. During the seminar I learned about how to be a more effective citizen advocate. It also helped prepare me for the scary process of getting a job. I had a few interviews scheduled for the week after the PLEN conference, and signed a contract a week later! Thanks PLEN!