That Pre-Law Millennial: 10 Lessons from the Columbia Women’s Leadership Conference

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a Women's Leadership Conference organized by the Columbia Spectator, where we heard from an impressive, inspiring group of professionals across different industries (e.g. finance, media, non-profits).

Here are 10 of the insights they shared:

  1. "You can't achieve ambitious goals by only looking at your own narrow slice—you need the broader picture." — Lisbeth Shepherd, Founder/Executive Director of Green City Force
  2. "In deciding between opportunities to pursue, ask yourself: "What do I want to learn?" Your industry may look completely different in 35 years, so you need to keep learning." — Leah Meisterlin, Assistant Professor at Columbia's School of Architecture
  3. "Sometimes, people in positions of power will say that you "don't look" like you belong here. You've got to not listen to that, keep showing up and find another way." — Carmen Rita Wong, author and former CNBC TV host
  4. "Be ambitious and build a timeless business that can be passed down generations. Take an accounting class, learn how to do your books, get a URL that's timeless and let it grow with you." — Asra Nomani, journalist and co-director of the Pearl Project
  5. "I believe that we as women should have an entrepreneurial mindset. Whatever you choose to do, you have to think and manage your career like an entrepreneur. My daughter recently told me, "I want to be a doctor," expecting me to be impressed. I told her: "That's great, but I want you to own the hospital." — Angelica Perez-Litwin, Founder/CEO of Latinas Think Big
  6. Tips for communicating in meetings: "It's not just about being able to articulate facts and figures, but also your view and opinion. Prepare before meetings and come up with 1-2 points you'd like to contribute. If you can't think of points, raise questions. Ask questions earlier rather than later in the meeting. Become good at recapping things at the end." — Kyung-Ah Park, MD at Goldman Sachs
  7. "You don't need to take a cynical view of your career. Tackle the nub of problems intelligently and aggressively—but be compassionate, and be kind." — Davia Temin, President/CEO at Temin and Company
  8. "7 times down, 8 times up: it doesn't matter how many times you're down, it's the +1 that matters."; "Research shows that people are judged on 2 things: warmth and competence." — Davia Temin, President/CEO at Temin and Company
  9. "Every single success I've had in politics, it's because of the support of the network of women behind me. There are always ups and downs. But the downs are always a lot harder to manage than the ups—it's important to have true friends who can support you through all situations." — Cecilia Birge, Former Mayor of Montgomery Township
  10. "Power unused is power useless." — Gloria Feldt, Co-founder/President, Take The Lead


Genevieve Antono is an undergraduate at Columbia University in the City of New York (Class of 2017) and the 2014-2016 President of the Columbia Pre-Law Society. At Columbia, she also founded a Corporate Law Mentoring Circle for her peers.

Check out her LinkedIn at:


Julie Cummings

I love that you captured each of these quotes to share with your readers! One of my favorites is number 5—“That’s great, but I want you to own the hospital.” Dream B.I.G.!

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