Jan Fields, former president of McDonald’s USA LLC, headlined the second annual Women in Business Conference on Friday, February 26 at Nebraska Innovation Campus. More than 200 students and business professionals attended the conference hosted by the College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Fields shared lessons learned during her 35-year career with McDonald’s, a journey that began cooking french fries at McDonald’s in Dayton, Ohio, to leading 14,000 McDonald’s restaurants throughout the U.S.
“Lift while you climb in your career. People work for people, not companies,” said Fields. “We must listen more and talk less. You will set yourself a part by under-promising and over-delivering.”
Fields said people never cease to have opportunities to achieve more, so seize them like they are your last job.
“I make three larger goals a year: one personal, one family-oriented and one work-related. You must consider goals that are achievable, yet impactful. Goal setting is important to advancing ourselves,” she said.
The conference also featured a luncheon keynote speaker, nine breakout sessions led by community business leaders and a networking reception.
Amber Williams, director of Office of Admissions at UNL, motivated attendees to lead and strive for their best in her luncheon keynote. She challenged the audience to channel Beyoncé Knowles and use her song Formation as inspiration.
“I had to work hard and constantly seek to achieve my best. As Beyoncé says, you have to get what’s yours and slay,” she said. “You cannot allow the people around you to change the trajectory you have set for yourself.”
Topics addressed in the breakout sessions included negotiation, ending implicit bias and career advancement.
“This successful conference demonstrates the type of programming offered to our students and community as a world-class college of business,” said Dr. Donde Plowman, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean of the College of Business Administration. “When we sent our students to a Harvard conference two years ago, they came back wanting to start their own conference. Two years later, they are the ones telling me that our Women in Business Conference ‘feels like Harvard.’ That is progress and that is how to Start Something.”
Nelnet and Union Bank and Trust sponsored the conference, along with Ameritas, Talent Plus and the Lincoln Community Foundation. Kechely Wealth Management and National Research Corporation also provided support for the event.
Read conference highlights and key takeaways shared on social media by attendees in the event’s Storify: https://storify.com/UNLCBA/2016-women-in-business-conference