Two months ago when I booked my flight to attend the Junior Enterprise Inaugural Conference, I hoped for nothing more than to network in a beautiful city halfway across the United States. Looking back on the experience, I am confident that I have gained so much more than what I could have imagined. Before the trip, I had a very inadequate understanding of what JE USA truly was. In fact, I don’t think I even fully grasped what CUBE was. Of course, I knew that we were a new student-run consulting organization, but what I didn’t realize was that CUBE is symbolic of something much more significant than that.

Speakers from all different walks of life and fields of study filled the conference itinerary. Despite their differences, all of them shared a common outlook on life and desire to make a positive change in the world. Michelle Hunt was the speaker who kicked off the conference. Her talk was centric to the idea of shifting the paradigm of success.  She urged all of us to challenge the notion that success is measured solely by monetary value or achieved by sacrificing some parts of our morality.  Her inspiring words laid the groundwork for what was to come throughout the weekend.  There were a few more seminars that reiterated this idea through different perspectives.

The conference also provided many opportunities for personal growth through workshops and professional networking. Eureca led a workshop that challenged each consultant to identify our weaknesses and strategize ways in which we could overcome them. This not only allowed for active self-reflection, but it also allowed us to get to know other consultants from around the country, broadening our network. Anheuser-Bush and FALCONI were among the companies that gave presentations throughout the weekend. Representatives from each offered valuable insights on how to spearhead societal issues by building a dynamic workplace culture. Each of them presented strategies that their respective companies have implemented to do so, such as challenging the young workforce by pushing the boundaries of their comfort zones. By the end of the weekend, we got opportunities to have interviews and one-on-one discussions with these representatives.

The culmination of the conference led me to have a deeper understanding of what the Junior Enterprise movement is. One of the biggest takeaways I received from this trip was that we, as a new wave generation of scholars, have the power to change the world. CUBE Consulting, being the first Junior Enterprise in the United States, sets many precedents for the legacy that this movement strives to leave. Coming home from this trip has left me with a great sense of pride to be a part of such an outstanding organization, and I’m more motivated than ever to change the world for the better through my Junior Enterprise and beyond.

- Heather Habinyak, External Relations Manager at CUBE Consulting