If you follow me on Twitter and Instagram, you probably followed my journey to the Her Campus Intercollegiate Conference or better titled, #HerConference, which was the hash-tag the attendees used all weekend.

I have to say I have been so excited for this conference ever since signing up for it and even though I was slightly nervous heading into Manhattan by myself on Saturday, I could not hide the happiness I felt.

I want to start off by saying this was something I have never done before; I had never done networking events, been to a journalism or blogging conference, and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. It was completely inspirational and put me in the right frame of mind before heading off to senior year.

After sitting through speakers and panels and hearing these successful people I feel more prepared than ever for the professional world. Just because I feel prepared does not mean that I am not scared because I think I might be more scared than ever.

There was a plethora of information and inspiring words of wisdom bestowed on us this weekend so I think I'll spread it out over a variety of posts. I got a lot of different ideas for blog posts during the conference so I won't overwhelm you with information.

This post will basically be a summary of the Saturday portion of the conference and then I'll do a separate one for Sunday. Then, I'll do other blog posts focused on lessons and tips I learned throughout the two days. There was a lot and I think it's important to share with you if you couldn't be there to hear it all.

Enough with the introduction, here's a break down of the day.

Saturday, July 27th

The entire conference was shaped for women by women. You could tell in the air, through the sponsors, it was so women friendly and it was wonderful. When you first walked in there was a BCBGeneration Sample Sale which had incredible prices and a beauty bar where I got my hair curled with Amika hair products (I scored some free samples and got to check out some other products that I've never heard of.

The conference was sponsored by Intel so scattered around the foyer area there were Intel Ultrabooks, laptops, and two in one tablets that we were allowed to play around with. I am an Apple lady but seeing the awesome features and variety of products that Intel had made me wish I could have one.

When I first got there, I registered with the lovely Her Campus women, got my free goodie bag (more on that later), got some breakfast, and chatted with some of the girls. I met some great ladies there and stuck with them the entire conference since I went solo on Saturday.

After about a half hour we went to the opening of the conference and the morning keynote. It was so wonderful meeting Windsor, Stephanie, and Annie, the co-founders of HerCampus and hearing them speak. They are gorgeous, intelligent, ambitious women and truly an inspiration.

Windsor, Co-Founder, President, and Publisher of HerCampus

They introduced the morning keynote speaker(s) Josie Natori and Jacqui Lividini ; Josie is the founder of Natouri Designs, a lingerie and fashion line. Lividini is the CEO and Founder of Lividini & Co, who revived the Lord and Taylor brand. The keynote focused mostly on Natori. She was a true inspiration and had such amazing advice to offer us young women who have dreams and aspirations. Like I said, I will go through my notes and give you more specific information on each speaker so this post doesn't go on forever.

Jacqui and Josie 

After the keynote, we were able to pick one of the four panels in the panel block. I chose to go to "Does the Devil Actually Wear Prada: Life as an Entry Level Editorial Assistant" which is ultimately my dream job. Listening to the intelligent, smart women on this panel was incredible and really helped me get a better insight into what I want to do.

Side note: all the people on these panels were from incredible publications such as Glamour, Women's Health, Self, Seventeen, and other great magazines! It truly was a journalism, magazine conference so I was in my element.

When the first panel was over, I networked a bit with the women and then headed to the second panel. The second panel was called How to Make Your Startup a Success. Levo was there!! WOO! That was exciting, listening to co-founder Amanda talk about Levo League. It was so inspiring listening to these women talk about their passion projects and what it takes to be successful.

Amanda Pouchot, Co-Founder of Levo League

We then were given lunch by Chiptole which sponsored the conference and goodness, it was delicious! After lunch, there was a lunch keynote who was Fran Hauser, the President of Digital at Time Warner. She was such an inspiration and really instilled some great lessons for careers.

The next block of panels were focused on building up your HerCampus chapter. I don't have one on my campus and don't necessarily have the time to start one but it was still interesting to see all the work that goes into it. 

Afterwards we heard another keynote, this time it was a representative, Nikki Nash, from Intel. Hearing her story from how she majored in Journalism and ended up at a tech company such as Intel was really wonderful. 

Annie Wang introducing Nikki

Nikki Nash

After she spoke, HerCampus gave one lucky girl an Intel Ultra-book (which I was SO jealous of) and then we watched a screening of "Girl Rising". There will definitely be a larger post on "Girl Rising" or maybe I'll write a SLM post on it!

Annie, Nikki, and the winner of the Ultra-book

All the cool door prizes were given away after the movie, which included scooters, books, bags, t-shirts, and other cool stuff!

I have to say, I was exhausted by the time it was ready to leave on Saturday but part of me didn't want it to end. That's why I was totally thrilled that I was headed back on Sunday. Sunday was just as amazing and I had one of my best friends from home with me, which lessen my anxiety. There will be another post on Sunday's portion of the conference.

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