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Scholarship in Action

The Value of a Networking, Education and Determination

Scholarship in Action

This summer, I attended the MGM Resort Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Conference through Global Gaming Women’s (GGW) scholarship program. The conference reaffirmed my commitment to completing my education, energized my career plans and inspired me to surpass merely getting by each day.

Sometimes hearing other people’s journeys helps us realize the success we can achieve.

GGW’s Charitable Education Fund creates opportunities for women who may not have the financial resources to attend conferences and educational programs on their own. Attending a conference such as the Women’s Leadership Conference opened my eyes to a perspective of what you can achieve as a woman in our industry and how to build the confidence to begin.

Not only does GGW offer support to the Women’s Leadership Conference, but two other scholarships as well—including online classes through the International Game Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and attendance at educational sessions of the Global Gaming Expo Conference. In addition to its scholarship program, GGW’s networking events held throughout the year, which are often no charge to attend, are a great forum to share ideas and experiences at local gaming conferences with other women of the industry.

This year’s conference was a catalyst for change in my life—a wake-up call for my career. The seminars I attended were inspiring and led by women with whom I could identify and who I could admire. It was an easy, comfortable environment to engage and to network with female gaming colleagues.

Most importantly, the conference really boosted my can-do attitude—Stop sitting on the sideline and go get it, Alina! I left motivated to increase my networking skills and to devote more time to volunteering to keep my perspectives fresh. I plan to keep in touch with the women I met and use their career advice to read, learn and stay engaged within the community.

Although I was motivated to attend the conference because of its focus on female growth and leadership, my real motivation was my education. Juggling a full-time job while finishing your college education online is not easy—let alone finding time to contribute to my family of three children and a husband. Between long work hours and late-night emails, weekend papers and reading assignments, as well as cooking and chauffeuring the kids around, it’s hard to find a moment for yourself.

There were times when I asked myself, “It is really worth it?” The women I met at the Women’s Leadership Conference reassured me it is. Fortunately—I am also driven by my employer?Arizona Charlie’s Decatur—which provides me with tuition assistance for my education. I enjoy where I work, so I am hoping that the combination of an undergraduate degree and networking will help me seek professional growth.

Typically, I am a reader of this column, not an author of it, so my advice to fellow women of the industry looking to further their career, to be inspired to do more or to do better is simply: find the courage to introduce yourself.

Whether you’re at a conference, a volunteer event, a company-wide meeting or even just walking across the office, you’ll be surprised how much people have in common with you and who may be willing to help, if you simply make a small gesture to begin to build a rapport. You will not only make new business connections, but new friends.

With my newfound determination and improved networking skills, I plan to grow in my current career path and complete my college education. GGW has helped motivate me to do this, and it can help you, too. Simply make an introduction—like I did.

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