Lessons from The Smart Girls Summit


This past week, from July 9-10, The Smart Girls Group held their first ever conference in New York City at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center. Over 300 Smart Girls from around the US (and even some other countries!) attended the two day event. For many, it was the first time meeting their SGG sisters. The energy Wednesday morning was palpable as girls found people they only recognized by name from the Loop or Guide, or that they had only interacted with on Twitter. Something astounding to all of us who attended was how quickly we could become great friends with other girls, because we felt like we already knew each other. And while this isn’t one of the official ten lessons I’ll be talking about in this post, I’d like to include as a useful tip that you should always wear your name tag on the right side of your chest (shoutout to Maggie Royce for telling me this)! Both days of the conference were filled with fabulous, inspiring keynote speakers and panelists, and here is some of the best of the wisdom they had to impart on the Smart Girls.

1. From How to Achieve Your Dreams by 30

“You can learn how to move mountains with family and friends around you.” -Soraya Darabi

“Don’t put numbers on your goals.” -Tammy Tibbetts

“View your obstacles as opportunities.” -Kendall Ciesemier

2. From Keynote: D’Arcy Rudnay

“Don’t worry if you don’t know what you want to do.”

“When you read, you broaden your horizons and it gives you an idea of what life could be.”

3. From Women in Business

“Always be challenged and look for the next milestone to reach.”

“Networking is everything.”

4. From Trailblazing in the Media

“Smart Girls are the celebrities of the world; we just need to amplify our voices.” -Kayla Webley

“I’m living my dream, I just have to keep myself dreaming bigger.” -Denise Restauri

“Don’t let your to-do’s get in the way of your what-if’s.” -Ashley Parrish

10448970_1514481358781923_17855734_n5. From Keynote: Shiza Shahid

“The magic happens when you bring diverse perspectives together with shared values and passions.”

“Life very often has other plans and the best thing you can do in that moment is be fearless.”

“Whatever you choose, your job has to be your love.”

“Life takes you where it wants to take you and you just have to keep your eyes open and be ready for the ride.”

6. From Keynote: Stephanie Ruhle

“In a male dominated industry, you are special.”

“I never ask myself, ‘Do I have it all?'”

“If you’re trying to be happy tomorrow, tomorrow is never going to come.”

7. From Keynote: Brenda Berkman

“Social change is a matter of everyone refusing to accept the stereotypes for both genders.”

“Don’t be held back by other people’s expectations of you.”

“Find your passion in life, not based on money or prestige or what your parents and peers tell you to do, but what you find interesting and important.”

8. From Future of Feminism

“I believe in us reaching our maximum potential by going outside of our comfort zones.” -Renata Black

9. From When I Was A Smart Girl

“Don’t ever look at your decision as the end. Think of it as the beginning to keep going forward.” -Gina Greer

“Look closely at the opportunities that scare you.” -Yasmina Zaidman

10. From Blogging & Branding

“Just put your blinders on and fall in love with what you’re doing.” -Carly Heitlinger928616_966622120018873_345062031_n

“You can’t write about your life if you’re not out there living your life.” -Mackenzie Horan

“A Smart Girl is being authentically kind across all platforms.” -Molly Ford

“You need to have a plan about where you want to head eventually.” -Lauren Lally


To learn more about what occurred at the summit if you missed it, or to reminisce if you attended, search #LiveSmartNYC on Twitter and Instagram!

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Maggie Chaquette

Director of Communications for Campus Chapters. Founder and President of Smart Girls Group at Georgetown University (Hoya Saxa!). Instagram and Pinterest lover, Foodie, Yogi, Aspiring Runner. Member of November Project DCA #thetribeisstrong