Situated in a lecture room at Hodge Hall, home of the Kelley School of Business, a woman addressed a small crowd of budding businesspeople, arrayed in short-sleeve tops and skirts. The name of the speaker was Tiffany Olson, president of Nuclear Pharmacy Services at Cardinal Health.
Olson served as the keynote speaker at “React to Passion”, an annual conference sponsored by the student organization Women in Business. The event, made up of about 100 future businesswomen, took place on February 18th. The main part of the affair, a speech delivered by Olson about finding one’s niche in the professional world, began at 1 p.m.
Olson works as an executive in the business of healthcare. She manages pharmacies and manufacturing facilities that serve to treat and diagnose patients. She has worked as an executive in the medical field for NaviMed and Roche Diagnostics.
Olson replaced the intended keynote speaker for the event, Ann Murtlow, who could not attend due to an illness.
At the conference, Olson said it’s important to be a willow tree instead of an oak tree in pursuit of one’s passion.
“It’s about being flexible and just really making sure that you’re not so rigid in your journey,” she said.
Olson invited participation from the audience by having them stand on one foot. She pointed out how everyone struggled to maintain their equilibrium.
“One of the things that I have always found difficult to do, is finding the balance,” she said.
Prior to her speech, a discussion panel took place at 12:15 p.m., comprised of six leaders in a variety of business fields. Balance seemed to be a similar theme, as recounts panelist Daniel Preston, a professor at Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
“Balance is key,” said Preston. “I think of balance more than just work and family, but also exercise, peace of mind, and spending time where I can just think.”
Another panelist differed with Preston’s prescription on how to find fulfillment when considering the direction of a career path.
“You got to find something that you’re seriously interested in and passionate about,” said panelist Carolyn Goerner, a professor at the Kelley School of Business. “I really think that’s the secret.”
A student that attended the event said the most constructive part of the event was how the speakers shared their own life experiences.
“The speakers were very real with us,” said Elizabeth Horita, a freshman studying finance and chemistry. “They gave very realistic answers, talking about how to actually get balance in your life.”
Grace Liu, a freshman studying marketing and international business, said the most helpful segment was the discussion panel.
“Everyone was very authentic in their answers and was willing to share what they really love and are passionate about,” said Liu.
Upcoming events include Kelley Women’s Day on Wednesday, March 8 and the Kelley Women’s Career Expo on Friday, March 24.