T-Birds in the Desert: Taking the Lead

Photo: Ariane Weidner

Last Wednesday night, a caravan of T-Birds made the pilgrimage to ASU in Tempe to see Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of the #1 bestseller, Lean In, give the keynote speech for the Take the Lead Challenge Event.

The event was also webcast from 6-8:30MT and in support of Take the Lead’s goal to help women take an equal share of leadership positions by 2025, Women’s International Club sponsored a viewing party in Yount Auditorium for those T-Birds that couldn’t attend the event in person.

Prior to Ms. Sandberg’s speech, there were several enlightening speakers including Carla Harris, Managing Director of Morgan Stanley and author of Expect to Win, who wowed the audience with “Carla’s Pearls.”

Ariane Weidner ’15, attended the event and shared her thoughts, “Carla Harris was an unexpected highlight for me. She gave some very useful tips and hearing from a woman that fought her way up Wall Street was quite impressive. I liked the section where she talked about the power of authenticity and how it is your comparative advantage because it builds trust and relationships to others.” Ariane went on to say, “Her comment about understanding your own perception by others in the marketplace and how to change that perception by training them and behaving in a certain way. That was a very helpful tip from her.”

Another T-Bird, Sure Zhou ’15, also made note of Carla Harris, saying, “I was deeply impressed by the speech from Carla Harris, managing director of Morgan Stanley. She showed amazing personal charisma, confidence and enthusiasm. She proved how exceptional an outstanding woman can be. It was a truly inspiring journey—and I am a guy.”

Barbara Barrett, former interim President of Thunderbird in 2012, had the honor of introducing Ms. Sandberg.  Ms. Sandberg spoke to the sold out auditorium for 30 minutes, highlighting key messages from her Lean In guidebook before moving into a 15 minute Q&A session with the host of Take the Lead.

Ann Wong ’15, was one of many T-Bird’s encouraged by Sheryl Sandberg, As Ann said, “[She] is a truly inspiring woman. She is an alumna of Harvard Business School, was part of Google, and now Facebook. To me, her experience is so valuable because I am in the Internet industry and want to keep this path when I finish my MBA program. She told us how important self-confidence is in our career life.”



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