When DWN Gives Back: A Member Reflects on Service

As the DePaul Women’s Network wraps up our winter clothing drive, DWN Service & Outreach Team Member Lynn Miller was inspired to write about what service means to women in the Network.

LynnMillerAs a part of DWN, I am constantly in awe of the amazing, strong women I find myself surrounded by. These women are purposeful and passionate and are selfless in their willingness to share their knowledge and their time with others. The DWN atmosphere is collaborative and uplifting, and this community of women seeks to channel their influence and their hard work toward something greater than themselves as individuals. That is a mission I can really get behind.

I have been so happy to be a part of one of DWN’s first service partnerships and believe within these types of experiences we can find ourselves embodying the true modern-day Louise spirit. The volunteer opportunities surrounding the St. Vincent de Paul Center’s annual Outreach Luncheon on Nov. 16 are just one way DWN members can share in the goodness of service to others – service that St. Louise de Marillac lived her life for. Louise said, “O my dear Sisters, you know better than I how great is our need to overcome ourselves.”

As the holidays grow near, along with the stressors and chaos of what the season has become, I am truly thankful for the ability to serve and overcome myself. And I look forward to many more opportunities to do so alongside the women of DWN.

To learn more about getting involved with DWN, please visit our website or email DPUWomensNetwork@depaul.edu.

 Lynn Miller is a member of DWN’s Service & Outreach team and is an Academic Advisor for the College of Communication at DePaul University.

Spirited Advice from the Women of Spirit & Action Awards

On Nov. 5, the DePaul University community joined together in the spirit of St. Louise de Marillac’s legacy to celebrate more than 100 faculty, staff and student honorees at the 2013-14 Women of Spirit & Action (WSA) Awards ceremony. The event was co-sponsored by the DePaul Women’s Network (DWN) and the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity. DWN Communications Team Member Jaclyn Hugg recaps and reflects upon the key themes of the signature DWN event.

If you attended the WSA Awards ceremony this week, chances are something about the event left an impression on you. Perhaps it was the fellowship you shared with colleagues and students over breakfast, a story told by the keynote speaker, or the joy you felt in either receiving a WSA award or knowing someone else who did.

For me, the vibrant essence of the celebration, which challenged notions of purpose and leadership and recognized the good works of women across the institution, prompted some internal inquiry that I would like to share with you, and ask that you ponder as well.

WSA MirrorWhen I look in the mirror, who do I see in the reflection? Do I see a friend, a sister, a mentor, a leader? Do I see a woman of spirit and action? Who am I, and who am I becoming?

When contemplating these questions, I began to reference the wisdom shared with us by the event’s keynote speaker, Connie Lindsey. Whereas Lindsey shared a whole host of valuable research and advice, I offer up the following five takeaways from her address that resonated most with me:

1. Match intention with attention

Do you wake up each morning and set an intention for the day? If so, are you mindful about matching your intention with your attention in order to accomplish what you set out to do? Lindsey said that we all suffer from what she calls, “intention deficit disorder.” It is simple human nature to get off-task and forget what we originally planned to accomplish. However, the good news is that, with practice, we can easily train ourselves to refocus our attention to align with our intentions.

2. Collaborate

As leaders, it is imperative to band together toward a common goal. As Lindsey explained, “There is no prize to being the lonely only.” Collaboration becomes increasingly vital for leaders who are women, because in order to create more balanced leadership, our voices need to be heard. More voices = bigger impact!

3. Stir up the bottom

Lindsey told a story of a time when she and her husband were spending a morning together one weekend, enjoying a hot cup of coffee—a vanilla latte, to be exact. The first couple sips of the drink caught her off-guard because she did not taste any of the vanilla flavoring. It was not until she stirred her coffee, that it began to taste like the vanilla latte she expected. “If you stir up the bottom,” she said, “the flavor can rise to the top.” And so I ask, what’s in your cup of life? What has been living inside of you just waiting to surface?

4. Don’t be afraid to love

Can love coexist with leadership? Absolutely—it should! “This is not the sentimental kind of love. Rather, it’s the kind that uplifts and strengthens,” Lindsey clarified.

5. Establish principles to live by

Lindsey shared a number of principles that have helped shape and guide her life, and encouraged the audience to establish a set of their own.

  • Be willing to stand alone
  • Live and walk in integrity
  • Listen twice as much as you speak
  • Live fearlessly and authentically by being bold and courageous
  • Connect your soul with your role

If I have captured your attention this long, I would like to offer you some homework. The assignment: Take a look in the mirror to assess how you—both as an individual and as a member of the DePaul family—are contributing to the noble quest to live more like St. Louise. Who do you see in the mirror’s reflection? What has your spirit been called to act on?

Remember that the ideals of compassionate personalism and the ability to get things done, demonstrated by St. Louise, can be lived out in many sizes and forms of service. If you are a student, maybe this means that you join and/or take on a leadership role within a student organization such as HerCDM or Future Women in Finance. For faculty and staff, perhaps you decide to participate in DePaul’s annual Vincentian Service Day, write a letter of recommendation for a student whom you mentor or get involved with DWN. The opportunities truly are endless to make your mark at DePaul and to embody the qualities of a modern-day Louise through spirit and action.

We would like to thank the following DWN members and friends of the Network for their contributions to this year’s WSA Awards ceremony: Sister Katie Norris, D.C.; keynote speaker Connie Lindsey; DWN leaders Joy Boggs, Jennifer McClelland and Aileen Johnson; and the full DWN Service & Outreach Team.

Jaclyn Hugg is a member of DWN’s Communications team and is Assistant Director of Advising for the College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University.

Learning to Network and Brand Yourself on Social Media

Marcy TweteDWN’s “Building Your Brand Using Social Media” event on Oct. 31 sold out quickly. If you couldn’t make the event in person, enjoy these lessons from guest speaker Marcy Twete, reported by DWN Communications Team Member Dorothy Griggs.

An expert in community development, corporate responsibility and diversity initiatives, Marcy Twete  is also the founder and adviser of the professional development website Career Girl Network and the author of the networking book “You Know Everybody!” Following are highlights from a recent workshop with DWN where Marcy shared the ins and outs of social networking.

Why Network?

Many people view networking as a four-letter word but also recognize it as a necessary evil. According to Marcy, the best way to think of networking is as a way to fulfill a need.

Because networking is so important, it is crucial to become a strategic networker and ensure that your efforts are intentional. Marcy described a strategic, intentional networker as someone who has contacts that are trusted and loyal, but is always adding new contacts; someone who is curious and loves meeting new people; someone who is willing to make new connections and is partnership focused; and someone who knows what’s important.

Where to Network?

The world of social media is constantly changing and evolving. With so many platforms available, many people are confused about which ones to use. Marcy suggested picking the one or two platforms that you enjoy most and committing to maintaining a presence on those. Rule of thumb: If you can’t invest time, don’t use it.

While many understand that LinkedIn is for business contacts, the other forms of social media are not so clear cut. Marcy provided the following analogies to help us determine how best to conduct ourselves on popular forms of social media.

• Twitter can be thought of as making contacts at a large cocktail party.

• Facebook is the backyard barbeque with family and friends.

• LinkedIn can be viewed as your attendance at a business meeting.

• Goggle Plus is the party everyone is talking about, but no one knows exactly where it is!

How to Network

Develop a networking wish list:

• What do you need?

• Who do you need?

• What processes do you need?

• What resources do you need?

• Assign a Career Guardian Angel for each goal. This could be someone you know or someone that you admire. Most importantly, write it down!

Create a professional bio:

• Start with your resume

• State who you are (without your employer’s name)

• Bring out big guns first

• Don’t forget past accomplishments

• Include at least one personal tidbit

Be mindful of what you post!

When reviewing job applications, 78 percent of prospective employees will do a Google search on a job prospect.

Questions to ask yourself before posting information online:

• How do I want to be perceived by future employers?

• Who will be looking at my profile?

• Where do I want to go in the future?

• Am I comfortable with my grandmother, boss and best friend looking at my profile?

Building Your Network

When you meet someone new online:

Follow them on Twitter

Skype

Introduce them to your network

When you meet someone new offline:

Perfect your elevator pitch

Write it down, and practice, practice, practice!

Strategies for both online and offline new contacts:

• Nurture the relationship

• Don’t ask for something every time you make contact

• Don’t give up on no. No usually means, “I need more information.”

• Don’t assume anything

• Follow up (STEP):

S – Situation. Describe the situation where initial contact took place.

T – Thank you. Handwritten notes are preferable.

E – Extraordinary. Talk about what makes you uniquely special.

P – Plan your next steps

• Ask how you can help the other person

• Be authentic!

Other Helpful Tidbits

• Create an online portfolio. DePaul employees have access to Digication, a free ePortfolio.

• Consider buying your name for use as your website domain

• Become a blogger/writer in your field, or ask to be a guest contributor on a blog you like and respect

• More social outlets:

o Aboutme.com – a splash page owned by Goggle

o Weebly.com

o wix.com

In closing, I’ll leave you with one of Marcy’s Favorite Tweets:

“Ask for what you want, you get advice. Ask for advice, you get what you want.”

Dorothy Griggs is a member of DWN’s Communications team and is the department assistant for the Center for Students with Disabilities at DePaul University.