‘IT MADE ME MORE CONFIDENT’
Dana Powell, who graduated with a BBA from Georgia State in 2016, was a member of the first WomenLead class in spring 2015. “WomenLead taught me lessons that I would never have imagined learning in a traditional classroom,” Powell says. “It pushes us to realize the potential each of us has to be great leaders, not just great workers.”
In particular, she says, the panel discussions, company visits, and networking events made in-class lessons tangible, and forced students to realize their goals were attainable.
Powell, who graduated summa cum laude, is now a business development and strategy analyst at Cartoon Network. “WomenLead helped me be confident in every professional situation — from meeting with business leaders to navigating a networking event to job searching and even salary negotiation,” she says. “It made me more confident in my gifts and my abilities.”
SCALING THE PROGRAM
Enrollment for the fall 2017 course is now underway, and 64 students already have applied, Mansfield says. “We’re just getting started, so I think we’ll need to add a fourth section,” she says. “I think we’ll have 100 students coming down the pipeline.”
How to scale the program is something Mansfield’s thinks about a lot. “It’s not just the number, but the intent that this should be a truly university-wide program,” she says. “It’s a huge campus, over 50,000 students, and so far we’ve represented 39 different majors. And we have a handful of men, too. Three this semester — they’re all in the science section.”
Mansfield hopes WomenLead will become part of the fabric of Georgia State, that there will be least five sections of the class per semester, and that there will be a WomenLead Center on campus.
“It’s a little like working at a startup, from developing the curriculum to raising money,” she says. “And I get emails almost every day from former students, saying that they got internships, or they’ve been clerking for a Georgia legislator, or they’re doing things they would never have done without WomenLead. I see a multiplier effect for the community in the long term — a vast majority of the students are from Atlanta, and many will stay here.”