NEWBERRY — Women received advice and encouragement from other women leaders Friday afternoon at Newberry College during the first Women’s Leadership Symposium.
Kay Banks, Dean of Students at Newberry College, welcomed the group and told them to mark their calendars for next year.
“It’s an idea several women had to bring women to speak on topics for all women in the community,” said Banks.
The symposium consisted of a morning and afternoon session where topics covered finances, health and stress, moving on after college, social media use and advancing in one’s career.
Kerri Wise from BB&T spoke about managing one’s finances. She recommended looking at the last six months of bank statements to see how one’s money has been spent. She recommended grouping spending into categories of entertainment, food, extracurricular activities, gas and clothing and accessories.
Then there are short-term and long-term goals. One short-term goal could be saving three months wages and a long-term goal is asking the cost of waiting.
The cost of waiting adds up, Wise said, because the longer one waits to start saving, the less there is to contribute.
As for credit cards, Wise confronted the myth of closing a credit card after it’s paid off. She said that is not good for credit score.
“It’s important to utilize the credit cards, so don’t close all your credit cards,” she said.
Nicole Cavanagh from the Newberry County Memorial Hospital spoke about dealing with a loved one who suffers from dementia.
“Caring for someone with dementia is a full time job,” said Cavanagh.
She also said people must be careful consumers of the information they receive and be careful not to be misinformed.
Cavanagh said to pay attention to the small details in the loved one’s life, which includes when the elder uses pronouns over proper names, having new collections of rubber bands or twist ties or increasing signs of forgetfulness.
She also said it’s OK to ask for help because of the stress that comes with wanting to be a perfect caregiver.
Kathy Stroud, who is also with Newberry County Memorial Hospital, spoke about women needing to take care of themselves.
She told of when she went to a doctor’s appointment and was asked what she does to take care of herself.
“I was so busy taking care of everyone else that I wasn’t taking care of myself,” she said. “You need to take 30 minutes for yourself. I strongly advise each of you to just take 30 minutes.”
Other tips Stroud gave included:
• Take off makeup at the end of the day. For every day a woman don’t wash makeup off, she ages another year, she said.
• Take medications correctly.
• Go home and wind down. Take a walk, read or just go outside.
• Love yourself for who you are and what you are. There comes a time when you have to look at yourself and take better care of yourself.
Recent Newberry College graduate Mylanda Middleton spoke about moving on from college and what she learned as she was preparing for life after college.
She relayed her four M’s: never stop moving, have a mission, market yourself and find your mode of transportation.
“The day you stop is when you limit yourself,” Middleton said. “If you keep going, you will get to your plan. Find your mode, you just have to keep moving.”
Jane Willis, an associate dean with Newberry College, spoke about the appropriate use of social media and how it can hurt or help one’s career.
“Every employer is checking social media,” said Willis. “Everything about you is Googleable. Be conscious about social media.”
Willis also said women need to think about the impression they make in the first 30 seconds and the perception people have of them — what do they say, what do you say and what do you do. She added that what a woman wears also sends a message about themselves.
Willis also said to be aware of verbal and non-verbal messages, noting that 93 percent of first impressions are non verbal. Verbal cues include speed, accent and tone of one’s voice, articulation and tact.
Pam Arrington, human resources director with the Newberry County School District, spoke about advancing one’s career.
She told how she went from being the personnel director of a company to working at the hospital in human resources to her current job with the school district.
“You need to be a part of your community, be involved because that will help you,” Arrington said. “Be generous, help others and also join a professional organization. Nothing is more important than being around others who do what you do.”
It is important to join professional organizations, but Arrington recommended taking up leadership opportunities within those organizations. Good communication and interpersonal skills are also vital as are confidence, good work ethics and taking risks.
“If you can’t find passion within your career objective, don’t take it,” Middleton advised.