If you are just getting started in your career. Tell us about how the GIVEN Forum helped you in this new chapter of your life.

“I attended GIVEN as a recent undergrad graduate, not really knowing what I wanted to do. I hoped that GIVEN would give me some inspiration on career paths and interests for Catholic women. I ended up learning of my current graduate school program through a fellow attendee and inspired by other women who were in ministry work. I see GIVEN as the catalyst that led to my decision to get a Masters in Theology and pursue ministry work.”

“Gave me a stronger sense of who I was as a daughter of God and how I am called to bring that purpose and light into everything I do, including my work.”

“GIVEN prepared me for professional work, for speaking and presentation skills, for networking and collaborative teamwork… Truthfully, it’s greatest impact isn’t in any of the relevant professional skills taught there per se, but in GIVEN’s tremendous gift of supporting my growth as a whole person (spiritual, professional, psychological, etc.), what the Jesuits call cura personalis, that prepared and encouraged me to pursue my academic and professional goals with greater openness to God’s will and cooperation with His providence.”

“I was in the process of applying to medical school at that point, and I honestly think I got some discouraging advice about the possibility of having kids while working as a doctor. I have since found some Catholic women mentors who have been more helpful in illuminating how it is possible to work part time as a doctor, which subspecialties to consider, etc. that has been more encouraging. And I am loving med school and pretty involved with the Catholic Medical Association!”

“I converted to Catholicism after completing an MDiv in a Protestant tradition. I could not find employment after I converted, and I wondered if I’d made a terrible mistake. GIVEN helped me persevere through that tumultuous time and find purpose in the harrowing existence of unemployment, where I could not find an avenue to use my college education in an employment setting, nor any of my spiritual gifts in a newfound religious tradition of Catholicism.”

“For most of my adult life I have struggled with what to make of the reality of being called to be a wife and mother (when I attended Given I was pregnant with my third) and a sense of vocation to the intellectual life and how these two callings may be lived out well. I think the witness of other Catholic women – Erica Bachiochi & Kim Daniels- who have larger families and also serve the Church with their intellects was very edifying and helpful in my personal discernment.”