Catawba hosts career success event for women

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 2, 2015

On March 23, female students from Catawba College were exposed to a unique forum entitled “What You Need to Succeed,” where successful individuals from the community served on a panel and offered advice on various areas of professional success.

The panelists were willing to answer any questions and eagerly shared their own personal experiences and how they got to where they are now.

Gary Blabon, Catawba alum and director of operations for Novant Health Rowan Medical Center, illustrated how to do the right thing when faced with adversity, even if it means losing your job. He urged the students in the audience to know what’s important to them and to be educated about the company’s mission, vision and values prior to applying and interviewing for the job.

Dr. Raquel Ingram, the new nursing program chair and associate professor of nursing at Catawba, spoke about being confident in the workplace and beyond. She encouraged the women in attendance to acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses and work on turning those weaknesses into strengths, and to dare to be different. She spoke on self-love, self-trust and self-respect.

“Every day is not a confidence booster,” she said, but advised that you can always turn your day around by remaining positive and finding the good in any situation, even when feeling like nothing is going your way.

Elaine Spalding, president of the Rowan Chamber of Commerce, provided the women with five tips of successful networking.

She told them to always put their “chamber cheeks on,” to practice their “ten second commercial,” to have their name tag on and business cards prepared, to mingle effectively and to follow up appropriately.

Ted Goins, president and chief executive officer of Lutheran Services Carolinas, tackled the topic of entitlement.

There is often the misconception amongst college students that a college degree alone will set one up for success.

He also shared that any work can become a vocation.

“Love, honesty and integrity covers it all,” Goins said.

Lynne Scott Safrit, president of Castle and Cooke North Carolina and a 1980 Catawba alumnae, discussed balancing work, home, family and self.

She advised the students to set priorities and boundaries and shared some of her own experiences.

She stressed to never stop learning and to not wait forever for the “perfect job” and encouraged the students to gain experience and build resumés, because one never knows what one might find out about his or her self.

After the panelists concluded speaking and answered questions, students proceeded to a dessert reception where they were able to mingle and network with the panelists.