On March 7 Women’s Ministry hosted “Self-Made” in the Gentile Gallery, a night for women to work on professional skills for interviews and careers.
Seniors Gina Andronico and Mary Drasin partnered with Women’s Ministry to organize the event as their Center for Leadership capstone project. The night brought together students and professional women who work at Franciscan University for networking, discussion and advice.
Andronico and Drasin led a fashion show game to test participants’ knowledge of how to dress professionally in different situations. They also showed videos on good interview skills and how to recognize workplace harassment. Students then had the opportunity to discuss these topics in small groups with the professional women.
The event highlighted Christi Aborn and Liz Schriner, who shared their experiences in different jobs and seeking God’s will for their womanhood as they discerned careers.
Aborn, coordinator of pilgrimages for the university, shared how her pursuit of happiness in a career changed to a pursuit of service the more she understood her calling. She said, “I don’t care whether I’m on top or whether I have the lowest paying job… What I seek is service to the Lord.”
Shriner, the major gifts officer at Franciscan, said St. John Paul II’s “Apostolic Letter to Women” helped her understand her vocation as a working woman and a mother. “Women are to come into the boardroom, to the kitchen table, to the peace table, as women… we are to come with our skirts on, in the sense that we are to come with our femininity, whatever that might look like,” she explained.
Andronico said the idea for the night came from a lack of discussion on campus for women’s career vocations. “We are a married person, a single person or in a religious life, but within each state in life we also have a carer vocation or vocation as a student… As women’s ministry, we needed to bring that to light.”
Freshman Isabel Nishimuta said she felt inspired and that the night “boosted my confidence to prepare for that stage in life.” She also said it helped her to realize “women bring something to the table that men don’t because of our femininity and womanhood, that we just have a whole new view, a whole perspective that men don’t have.”
Schriner’s parting advice to young women was to live their vocation as a student now. “Go and have an adventure! Try different things, that’s what this is for… As a woman, you are unique. You are valued. And humanity desperately needs you to be the best, feminine self that you can be.”