What I learned at the BCG Northeast Women’s Conference

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Amanda McCarthy, left, with fellow Kellogg student and BCG intern Kate Mann.

By Amanda McCarthy

As part of my summer internship with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), I recently attended BCG’s 2015 Northeast Women’s Initiative Conference in NYC. The day was geared specifically toward associates, consultants and women like me who are spending a summer interning with the firm.

The morning kicked off with an amazing presentation by Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson on the benefits of a “Get Better” mindset. Citing research study after study to a room full of data lovers (myself included), Halvorson explained why we should all avoid a “Be Good” mindset – one where we are constantly attempting to prove ourselves and outperform others. Instead, we should embrace a “Get Better” mindset, where we always perceive ourselves as having more to learn. This allows us to embrace risk and be less afraid of failure, a key to professional success.

One of the points Halvorson made that stuck with me the most was that bright women are more likely to have a “Be Good” mindset. That made me really take time to think about whether I embrace a “Get Better” mindset, and if I don’t, how it could negatively affect my own career journey.

It was really inspiring to have the day to step away from work, to learn, reflect and share thoughts with hundreds of other career-driven women at the firm who, like me, are still at a relatively early stage of their careers.

Kate Mann, a fellow Kellogg student and summer consultant with BCG, echoed my thoughts when she described her reaction to the event:

“What I appreciated most about the conference was that it was tailored for women specifically at the associate / consultant levels,” Mann said. “The panels and Q&A were focused on topics that impact and interest those of us still in the earlier stages of our careers, and made for a much more relevant day of learning than a one-size-fits all conference.

“I thought the networking and post-internship panels led by more senior consultants, though not tailored specifically to women, were really strengthened by the opportunity to meet, network and learn with women at our same level from around the Northeast.”

BCG is one example, but it’s nice to know that many employers where Kellogg students plan to work are investing in the development of women — and diversity more broadly — at their firms. All in all it was a great day, and I look forward to talking more about it with my fellow Kellogg students when I get back to campus in a few weeks!

Amanda McCarthy is a rising second-year student in Kellogg’s Full-Time Two-Year MBA program. She serves as a Director of Marketing for the WBA. Prior to Kellogg, Amanda worked in media and marketing research in NYC, and spent this past summer at Boston Consulting Group’s NYC office.

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