By Kristina Bergess • March 05, 2015•Writers in Residence
I’ve been called honest and ambitious, as well as blunt and assertive. I have found that my ambition comes to many of my peers as unexpected. When I say I hope to be partner at a large firm, or general counsel of a company, I can see in their faces “Who do you think you are?” My answer: I am in my twenties with plenty of energy to put in the hard work, and I know what I want. While my career aspirations may evolve over time, why is it so uncommon for young women to be assertive and confident in the professional arena? Many women’s articles are written with the assumption that women are more communal, or soft-spoken. But that is not necessarily true for everyone.
For the young women just starting out in their careers, I want to let you know that it's okay to dream big, and not be shy about it. I have found that while the looks of others may not exude support, their looks of disbelief are inspiration for me to prove them wrong. In fact, having a professional goal definitely makes it easier to put in 110% effort in the work that I do, whether that is in my coursework or in my internships.
I would like to envision a world where young women are more comfortable being ambitious and talking about what they want. Women such as Justice Ginsberg, Justice O’Connor, or Hilary Clinton should not be exceptions, but the norm. However, their drive and ability to break the glass ceiling and to enter a world dominated by men did not happen overnight. I would imagine that it began early in their careers, and that they dreamed big.