Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

CIE News


CIE Student Staff Attend Upsetting the Table Event in Raleigh, NC

by Caroline Hilla, Undergraduate Assistant at UNCW CIE, on June 8, 2016

Three of our student staff at the UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship traveled together to Raleigh on June 8th to attend the “Upsetting the Table” event featuring Robbie Hardy’s pre-released book coming out on June 13th. Sydney Sides, Paige Blankenship, and myself, enjoyed the networking session followed by a round robin discussion with panelists Robbie Hardy, Margaret Rosenfeld, Amy Smith, and Margot Lester. These four women discussed their experiences as a woman in their respective fields of business, what it takes to get to the top as a woman, and how to disrupt the standing gender roles in business to be successful. Hardy discussed the importance of women mentoring women in the workforce to better educate the incoming generation of networking techniques and the value of assertive communication. Hardy made several great points however the three that really made an impression on me were

  • Always bring a business card to a networking event. Even if they don’t look at it or use it to contact you, it is still a transaction to remember you by. You may just be passing a card, but you are also making a connection
  • If you are a wallflower or recovering wallflower when it comes to large events, connect with other wallflowers! Try to network with the other people standing more towards the outside of the center to practice communication skills
  • Avoid using conditional words such as “should, could, just, etc…” These words only weaken your statement and completely lose the attention of your audience. Avoid the fluff and say what you are trying to argue! Be confident in what you say and show your audience why you are passionate about it.

This event made such an impact on me and illuminated the importance of being confident in what you say. Everybody is at an event for a reason. They have something to say and something to represent, so don’t be scared to take the opportunity to make that connection and pick their brain! I am ecstatic to read and annotate Robbie’s book. Although I was only there for a few hours, Robbie and the other panelists empowered me and made me proud to be a female in the workforce. I am excited to work with our Manager of Programs and Operations, Laura Brogdon-Primavera, to plan an event in the future and feature Robbie Hardy as a speaker…possibly at Cucalorus Connect 2016!