CREW Chicago at the CREW Network Convention
Attending CREW Convention in Las Vegas after almost eighteen months of social distancing without networking events was the equivalent of doing a cannon ball directly into a swimming pool on the first day of summer. But after the initial shock and awe subsided, it felt fantastic to be amongst professionals, colleagues, and friends again. As someone who has regularly been the only woman in my department for a majority of my career, CREW Convention was the very first time I had been in the same room with a significant number of commercial real estate women. To say it was eye opening and inspiring would be an understatement. I also loved the opportunity to explore a new city, as it was my first time traveling to Las Vegas.
It would be impossible to choose a favorite speaker, for they were all motivating and informative as they shared their personal career journeys and insights, but one overarching theme I noticed was reiterated throughout the week was perseverance, but doing it wisely by knowing your strengths and limitations. As a toddler mom with a demanding job, I appreciated now more than ever being encouraged “[not to] strive for perfection, but max out your super powers.” I found this message refreshing compared to the lean in philosophy that is typically encouraged for ambitious women.
As a former scholarship committee chair, a personal highlight of attending CREW Convention was getting to see the Network Scholarship recipients recognized at the awards ceremony. Having read and evaluated some of their applications for both the Chicago and Network Scholarships, it was heartwarming to be able to meet and congratulate those impressive women in person. I am so happy they get to have the experience of CREW Convention and feel the magnitude and support of CREW Network as they prepare to begin their careers.
While I enjoyed meeting CREW Convention attendees from all over the country, I really appreciated being able to spend quality time with the attendees from CREW Chicago and it was fun and comforting to have a large group of familiar faces at the Convention events. I was surprised how many CREW Chicago women attended whom I had never met before, and I enjoyed getting to know them at the CREW Chicago Dine Around.
Finally, attending CREW Convention gave me the opportunity to see and hear the CREW Network CEO and national officers present and connect their personalities to their names. I thoroughly enjoyed witnessing their passion for CREW in their announcements and future plans for CREW Network and am looking forward to hopefully participating in a new CREW Council. I’ll be the first to admit that in the past I have been so busy focusing on our own CREW Chicago chapter that I overlooked CREW Network and the benefits it offers. But as a result of attending CREW Convention, I feel more connected to CREW Network as a whole, and more motivated to utilize the CREW Network than ever.