Allie Rooney, a full-time MBA student at the Eccles School, attended the National Association of Women MBAs conference last fall. It was a great networking opportunity for her, and she ended up landing her dream job in a place she never thought she’d end up. Here’s her story in her own words and why she encourages students to attend conferences.

As a full-time MBA student, there’s an expectation that we attend professional conferences in order to network and get a better feel for what’s happening in our potential career fields. But who thinks they can go from a conference to a career? I didn’t, but here’s my story of how attending a conference turned into landing my dream job!

My first year in the program, I attended the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) conference, a great experience that introduced me to the world of MBA career fairs. As I completed my first year in the program, I was trying to decide between going back to NSHMBA or attending the National Black MBA Association conference. Both seemed like good opportunities, and I just couldn’t make up my mind.

Then, I heard about the National Association of Women MBAs conference.

I did some research and decided that this was where I needed to be. I sat down with a friend from my MBA program, and we decided to make it happen. We spoke with the director of our Graduate Career Management Center, and she agreed to sponsor our trip. The GCMC took it one step further and decided to invite any female students in the MBA program to attend. With the support of the GCMC and the admissions office, the University of Utah sent 15 women to the conference in Washington, D.C.

Our Women in Business Vice President, Cassie Sadinski, took the initiative to run for a position on the NAWMBA executive board, and she was selected! While at the conference, we listened to outstanding keynote speakers, networked with fellow MBA students, attended panels of professional women, and handed out resumes at a career fair.

One of my favorite experiences was attending the in