How to succeed: Panelists to advise Catawba women tonight

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Successful young professionals, including Catawba alumnae, will share how to succeed in those first jobs out of college with Catawba students at the college’s third annual Women’s Panel slated from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, in Tom Smith Auditorium.

The presentation, “How to Succeed in the Real World” will provide advice and an opportunity for networking.

Attendees can also enjoy a fondue dessert bar and a chance to win door prizes sponsored by Catawba’s Career Services, C2C (Catawba to Career), and Enterprise Holdings. The public is also invited to attend.

Five panelists include Megan Spidell of Dummit Fradin, Attorneys at Law; Summer Sturgill of Enterprise Holdings; Rebecca Shomo of Novant Health Orthopedic and Sports Medicine; Jacquelyn T. Jensen of Empire Distributors of North Carolina; and Meredith Abramson of Rowan-Salisbury Schools-Erwin Middle School.

The discussion will be moderated by Darlene Ball, a 1962 graduate and chair of the Catawba College board of trustees.

Panelists will share critical lessons they learned early in their careers and address the following topics:

  • Self confidence in the workplace (ok to fail? Need thick skin?);
  • Networking and mentoring;
  • Balancing home, work, family, self;
  • Keys to success in that first job (team player, communications, work ethic, politics).

Panelists’ Bios

Spidell is a 2009 honors graduate from Catawba College and 2012 graduate of Elon University School of Law. She is the managing attorney of the Greensboro office for Dummit Fradin, practicing primarily family law. She is a 2016 recipient of the Super Lawyers: Rising Stars award and recognized as Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite. She received the 2014 National Trial Lawyers – Top 100.

Sturgill graduated in 2008 from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a bachelor of arts in marketing. In 2011 she joined the Enterprise Rent-A-Car team as an entry level management trainee. While working her way up the corporate ladder, she held positions such as management assistant, assistant manager, branch manager, regional hiring manager, and her current position as a remarketing account manager.  Since her start with the company four years ago, she has received seven promotions based on her performance. Best advice: You can never lead if you have never followed. In the words of Thomas Paine, lead, follow, or get out of the way.

Shomo graduated in 2013 from Catawba College, earning her bachelor of science degree in athletic training and physical education with a minor in special education. After graduating, she attended Tulane University, where she received her master’s in liberal arts in 2015. She is an athletic trainer at Novant Health Orthopedic and Sports Medicine in Salisbury.

Jensen, a 2011 graduate of Catawba College, is a retail chain account manager with Empire Distributors of North Carolina, a wholesale alcoholic beverage distributor with more than 700 employees in eight locations. She is responsible for North Carolina wine and beer sales business for Walmart, BI-LO, Kmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS, Sheetz and Speedway. Previously, she worked for Johnson Brothers Liquor Co. as a retail territory manager. She is a resident of Spencer, where she lives with husband Chace. She serves on the Historic Preservation Commission for the town of Spencer.

Abramson came to Catawba on an academic/soccer scholarship, graduating in 1996 with a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education. She also earned her master of education from Catawba.  Her career in the Rowan-Salisbury School System began the day she finished her student teaching and has been in middle and high school English. In 2014, however, her talent and love of the arts allowed her to segue into the art classroom. She won the North Carolina Association of Educators’ Terry Sanford Award that recognizes creativity and innovation in teaching, and was the runner-up teacher of the year for the Rowan-Salisbury Schools.  On the side, she manages an art-business, Whimziggy.  She lives in Salisbury with husband Andy and daughters, Macy, 13, and Miles, 10.

The moderator, Ball, was a biology and chemistry major at Catawba, served as SGA president and was the Whitener Award winner. She enjoyed a long career in textiles, first at Dan River Mills in research and later working for close to four decades,with Burlington Industries. Since 2008, she has been a partner in Seating Safety Solutions.