Have you ever had to read an email 10 times before you fully grasped what it meant? That’s what happened to me when I found out that I was being sent to Los Angeles with an all-access pass to the Girlboss Rally to be the social correspondent for T-Mobile.
Though I knew of Sophia from social media and watching her Netflix series last year, when I found out I was going to the event I fell down a podcast rabbit hole and read every page on the Girlboss Rally website. It became a matter of patiently (or maybe not so patiently) waiting for the schedule to post. When it went up, I couldn’t wait to see Lizzie Velasquez speak. I’ve followed her story for years and been inspired by her ability to not allow the hate aimed towards her to defeat her and instead to use it for good.
When the rally weekend finally arrived, I flew in from Chicago and headed to the venue to explore. As I moved between the Ballerroom, Hustle Hall and the Startup Studio, I loved how each setup and room was unique. Everything from the lighting to the quotes on the wall—“Every day is the beginning of your career” was my favorite—was on point and Instagram-ready. And, let me tell you, having the staff pass was definitely a bonus. I was able to be front and center at all the sessions and that allowed me to capture some great pictures and videos.
“Everything from the lighting to the quotes on the wall—“Every day is the beginning of your career” was my favorite—was on point and Instagram-ready.”
If I had to choose, I’d say Hustle Hall was my favorite. It was intimate and I was very relaxed while in there. That could have been because I arrived during the meditation and sound bath. I, like many women, tend to get consumed by work and it feels like I’m constantly going. Sometimes I don’t realize that I need to take time for myself. I really connected with the speakers in Hustle Hall who spoke about taking time to recharge and focus on improving your body and mind.
There was inspiration to be found everywhere at the rally. Listening to Gwyneth Paltrow speak about being agile and finding a mentor really connected with me. She said, “Don’t build a network, build relationships,” and I’ve been thinking about that ever since. I also really enjoyed the “Wired, Inspired” panel and have been working on using the takeaways from the four tech-world leaders— embrace the twist and turns of your career/business, be open to risk, don’t be afraid to share your ideas—in my day to day life.
“Right from the start, the energy from the attendees was incredible.”
Then there were the people. Right from the start, the energy from the attendees was incredible. Not only could I see that everyone was having an amazing time by the smiles I saw on their faces, I could feel it, too. I met bold, friendly women from all over the country (I even met one from Puerto Rico) in all types of industries. Some were there with friends, some like me were there alone, but everyone left with new friends.
One of my favorite things about working for T-Mobile is their commitment to diversity and female leadership, so I loved getting to hear from the women on the “What Does ‘Equal’ Actually Look Like” panel. I was especially proud that T-Mobile’s own Executive Vice President of Customer Care, Callie Field, was part of that panel and shared the things that happened in her own life to empower her, and what she’s done to empower those around her. I really look up to Callie.
Callie wasn’t the only part of T-Mobile and Girlboss’s partnership that made me feel immense pride, though. I loved that T-Mobile was a part of the Game Changer Scholarship. The fact that these amazing women, who otherwise couldn’t afford tickets, have been able to attend the rally and were given the opportunity to come, meet, and learn from so many other amazing women feels amazing.
“My mom and sisters are already talking about coming to the New York Rally in November.”
I absolutely loved that my company was a part of this and that so many of the messages at the Girlboss Rally were similar to those that I hear at Women’s Leadership events that I attend at T-Mobile every quarter. From the importance of work/life integration to creating a more diverse and inclusive environment, it was great to see we’re all on the same page and to know that T-Mobile is filled with amazing #Girlbosses.
As I headed home to Chicago I had so many friends reach out, asking me how it went. I told them it was an incredible experience that opened my eyes to how I view myself and my career, and that they all needed to come. In fact, my mom and sisters are already talking about coming to the New York Rally in November.
I feel so inspired and ready to use my voice. Something that was said over and over again throughout the day was the importance of sharing our ideas and not being afraid of using your voice or taking risks. As Sophia said, “I would constantly underestimate myself but look at where I’m at now.”
Thank you to my T-Mobile family and everyone at Girlboss for such an amazing, inspiring, creative, beautiful, and life-changing experience.
As told to: Sara Nachlis