Intern Insights: POWER Trip

July 14, 2022

POWER Group in Chicago at the famous bean!

Hi Everyone, my name is Dani and as a student-athlete (women’s tennis) at Clemson, I’ve had the unique opportunity to work with Student Athlete Development to build my network and leadership connections beyond the tennis arena. I’m thrilled to share my recent involvement with POWER Leadership Academy.

This past June Clemson athletics, together with IPTAY, took a group of women student athletes and staff to a POWER Chicago trip. POWER is a group of women athletes and staff at Clemson who work on ensure the female student athlete’s college experience is enhanced through ensuring women collegiate athletes at Clemson are provided the same resources and opportunities as the male sports. We spent three days in Chicago and while difficulty parcel down into one post, I will walk you through our trip and the greatest takeaways that I think will benefit all students as we work to become young scholars and professionals.


DAY 1: Style

As soon as we hopped off the plane, we swung by Nordstrom to shop for business professional attire. We all had our own stylists who helped us find the right outfits for us. The biggest take away from there was that one should never be afraid to be yourself, even when you are dressing for professional events. Everyone has their own style and way of expression and that we can channel that expression for multiple settings. For example, I felt more comfortable and worked with my stylist to find brightly colored and fitted clothing while my friend appreciates more muted colors that are bit more breezy. No style is better than another, it just means we all bring something different to the table and can look professional in our own ways.


DAY2: Drop the Doubts

As our first activity, we met with two women who work at IMPROV company. We did various games and talks in order to get comfortable with each other and the work we would be doing.  What I didn’t realize until the end of the session is that I was learning so much about myself, too, because some of our activities really enabled us to open up with one another. The biggest lesson learned there was to never be afraid to be yourself, to show your personality or your emotions/worries. Being a woman, I sometimes believe we think we need to close-up and be the calm one in the room and control our emotions at our best, however, if expressed in the right way, you will see how many people share the same thoughts as you. 

We also had a networking session with a variety of successful women who were top in their fields like marketing, management, law, and so much more. To be honest,  I was worried before talking to them; I did not think there was going to be a flawless conversation or that they would even be interested in talking to me. However, once they walked in and I started conversation with a couple of these wonderful women, my nerves went away, the conversations were quality, and they wanted to know about me. During our conversations they  saw and pointed out so many great skills and characteristics that I knew I had but I didn’t think they were a big deal.  I have learned to not be so critical towards myself and take pride in all the assets that I have and not to doubt myself. I walked in there with so many insecurities, which turned out to be my best qualities, so never doubt yourself!


We visited Gatorade headquarters and our tour guide showed around the offices, explaining that it was emptier than normal because COVID protocols only dictated that employees be in-office for meetings. However, we were able to ask those in attendance many question about the work environment, the skills relevant for the job and the pathways they took to arrive where they are today.  What I realized that so many of these women didn’t even know that they wanted to be in marketing or in whatever they’re doing now. The whole point is that it does not matter where you are now or that you are undecided with what you want to do, it is all about trying and seeing what you like, what you’re best at and exploring until you find what you truly want to keep doing for a long time or as a career. They did not say that college degree did not matter, not at all, however they did say you can work almost everywhere with any college degree if you are someone who is hard working and wants to learn. 

Although I am an undergraduate student, I think the greatest lesson learned is to never be scared to network and we all have valuable qualities and skills–we just have to believe in ourselves–and that can make all the difference.

-Dani Medvedeva, Summer 2022 Intern

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