Lisa Ventriss told the group of students about a courageous move she had to make in quitting her full-time job to go to school full-time in order to accelerate her education.
While the three women took very different paths to their current high-level positions in the business world, they each echoed the difficult struggle to balance their personal and professional lives.
Whether youre a man or a woman, you have to know what your limitations are, said Ventriss. While balance is a part of life for everyone, Blittersdorf added that distraction is inherent in womens lives, and can pose an even greater challenge.
Society encourages you to push harder on things that are more public, said Heffernan. She urged the group of students not to forget to take care of themselves, even with something as simple as getting enough sleep each night.
Each of the women, while overcoming their own personal struggles has certainly seen success. Blittersdorf, who said she had to overcome shyness to network in the business world, now manages a $30 million company with 65 employees. The company saw a 40 percent growth last year and is expecting a similar number again this year.
Describing the shy nature she had to overcome, Blittersdorf said, For those of you who are like me, I encourage you to push yourselves.
Patricia Heffernan also said she dealt with shyness as she moved through the business world. I could never have sat up here when I was younger, she said.
The three panel members also talked about the unique perspectives women bring to the table and how many boards are more effective if they include both men and women.
Women need to be there when important decisions are made, said Blittersdorf.
Lisa Ventriss said, I tell my husband all the time, I am the strongest person you know, so get out of my way. And he does.
Afterward, Couture said she was happy with the days discussion and thought it went very well. We need leaders in school systems. I think they did a great job of bringing out their talents and skills, she said.
Even for a day, I think it inspired a lot of people.
Although Couture still has a paper to write and a final presentation to give, she has already put much time and thought into her graduation challenge.