2010 National Conference
September 25-26, 2010 at Washington Plaza Hotel, D.C.
The 6th Annual National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Ally Student Career Conference & PRIDE Career Fair took place on September 25-26th in Washington, D.C at the Washington Plaza Hotel. There were over 250 participants in attendance and 20 workshops for participants to attend. There were participants from 40 different Colleges and Universities at the conference. Keynote and guest speakers included Jonathan Capehart, Tim Gunn, Elizabeth Birch, and Amanda Simpson.
Essay Contest Winner:
North Carolina A&T State University
Participating in the OUT for Work conference has been an eye-opening experience that has instilled in me values that I will forever cherish and provided me with tools and resources that I will be sure to take advantage of in order to be my best out-self.
The most important piece of information that I learned is that coming out is something that I will need to do again and again in different situations. For me, this was big news that I'm just now wrapping around my head. I've always thought that as soon as I came out, the worst was over. I would think that everyone knew who I was and I would never again have to establish who I am, but I was mistaken. I finally discerned that not everyone you go, people are going to know who you are.
The HOT List booklet is certainly a tool I will put to use. Having information readily available on how friendly and welcoming companies are of people with different sexual orientations and gender identities makes it easier to weigh that factor when decided where to work. Those who have attended the conference representing various companies and resources that are just under my nose. I can use them to answer questions I otherwise would have to search high and low for an answer such as, "Do you enjoy working there? What's an average day like? What sort of work does this position engage in at your company?"
Transitioning from academia to the workplace are not at all very different. Your fellow students at school are just like your co-workers at your job. Your teacher in school is much like your supervisors at work. The labels "student and co-worker" and "teacher and supervisor" are synonyms for the same type of person but in a different setting. The only true difference between academia and the workplace is that while you are in school. You are setting the foundation for skills you will need to activate in the workplace. That difference is very subtle because even at the workplace you are still learning and growing and adding more bricks to your foundation of skills.
Prior to attending the OUT for Work conference, it wasn't easy for me to speak the words "I'm gay" I wouldn't hide it or deny it, but the words just would not flow off my tongue. All the guest speakers and people I met have given me such awesome inspiration. Above all, I am taking with me "you can't be productive if you're always hiding." OUT for Work has been a monumental experience, now whenever I have to speak those words, smoothly and easily, I can come out naturally.
Essay Contest Quotes – 2010 National Conference – Washington, D.C
Thomas Stockwell | University of Michigan – Flint
"I was fortunate enough to have received a scholarship and I will be sure to share all the information I receive from this event with my LGBT student organization."
Lowell Reade |
Harvey Mudd College
"What Stephanie Hill said was, in my mind, groundbreaking. She said “It’s your attitude, not your aptitude that defines you altitude.” I was inspired to change the way I think about my academics.
The workshops led me to realize that not only will be a great applicant, but being gay sets me aside from the other applicants, in a positive, not a negative way.
I am leaving the conference not as the self-perceived mediocre student I thought I was, one that couldn’t have had a chance at making it with these companies, but rather as a confident, high-altitude student that these companies want to hire.”