Collegiettes from all over the country gathered in New York City last month to celebrate HC’s 5th Annual Her Conference. Created to give college women like you the tools you need to excel on-campus and in the workplace, the annual event draws over 600 students—not to mention over 75 noteworthy professionals and brands—to talk all things female empowerment. The weekend was non-stop action with inspiring keynote speeches, panels, and workshops, as well as fun activations, contests, and giveaways. Weren’t able to make it? We’ve got you covered with these must-know event highlights.
On Friday evening, before the weekend even began (thanks, AMTRAK, for getting us there!) collegiettes enjoyed an exclusive in-store shopping event and meet and greet with keynote speaker and esteemed fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff complete with champs, treats, and signed RM handbags! Saturday kicked off with a delicious breakfast (Chobani for the win) followed by Rebecca’s introductory conversation with Her Campus President and Co-founder Windsor Hanger Western. One of our favorite piece of wisdom she shared? “Whenever you take your own path, you always win.”
HC Co-Founder Windsor Hanger Western with Rebecca Minkoff.
The day continued with panels covering everything from how to land an entry-level gig in journalism to becoming a social media maven. Panelists hailed from such lauded companies as Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Buzzfeed, Good Morning America, MTV, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, CNBC, Victoria’s Secret and The Muse, just to name a few. Collegiettes stayed hydrated and (well-fed!) with sweets, treats, and meals courtesy of Shake Shack, Suja Juice, Baked by Melissa, Sugarfina, and Kettle Brand.
How sweet is Baked by Melissa’s HCXO cupcake mosaic?!
Saturday’s keynotes also included SELF Editor-in-Chief Joyce Chang and Andi Dorfman, author, former Atlanta ADA and star of ABC’s “The Bachelor & The Bachelorette.” We love these two soundbites from both incredible women:
“Be the person you needed when you were younger.” — Joyce Chang
“In order to persevere, you have to fail.” — Andi Dorfman
The energy kept up between panels with fun activities from some of HC’s ~BFF~ brands:
- Vera Bradley offered dedicated photo ops
- Using their famous swiping technology, Tinder provided a polling station to identify trends in fashion, beauty, entertainment, and politics, set in a truly epic 3,500 red rose flower wall!
- The DivaCup presented a fem care activation to explain once and for all, the most mysterious (and our new favorite) menstrual care necessity
- A professional beauty bar by ULTA Beauty offered hair and makeup touch ups (naked palette for everyone!) ensured that collegiettes could get glam (and profesh) LinkedIn headshots
The ULTA Beauty Bar was *every* collegiette’s dream.
Conference participants also celebrated the return of the beloved tracksuit with a #TrackIsBack popsicles and prosecco networking reception and Instagram scavenger hunt courtesy of Juicy Couture—HC’s first ever partner.
Track. Is. Back.
The fun continued on Sunday with the same goody bags and activations, new panelists, and even some workshops run by the HC staff.
A look inside the enviable #HerConference swag bag.
Sunday kicked off with a major keynote speech by ESSENCE Editor-in-Chief Vanessa De Luca. We especially loved this always-true takeaway: “A winner never quits and a quitter never wins.”
Vanessa De Luca is an unstoppable force in the magazine biz.
The day continued with an amazing line up of speakers hailing from Refinery29, POPSUGAR, Marie Claire, The International Business Times, ELLE, Soul Cycle, Forbes, Bustle, DoSomething.org, and HarperCollins.
Next up on the keynote roster was Olympic champion, fitness advocate, and author Nastia Liukin who shared the most valuable lessons she’s learned during her time in the spotlight. She urged, “You can never quit on a bad day.” Preach!
The Olympic champion
Finally, the day concluded with a conversation with Samantha Power, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, led by Her Campus Editor-in-Chief, Stephanie Kaplan Lewis. Samantha revealed everything from what (or rather, who! Cough – Obama – cough) inspired her to work in government to her passion for human rights.
Samantha Power is remarkable.
Our favorite time keepers, Bertha Watches, were also on hand to present a check to the winner of their super-inspiring scholarship contest. It recognized one very lucky collegiette for her standout uniqueness. Love it!
As if that wasn’t enough, weekend attendees entered raffles to win prizes from brands like 7 For All Mankind, Aritzia, UGG, Urban Decay, Vince Camuto, and more.
It was definitely a weekend to remember. Until next year collegiettes!