Young Women’s Professional Dinner: Go Confidently Into the World

Young Women’s Professional Dinner: Go Confidently Into the World

Each year Row New York hosts the Young Women’s Professional Dinner. At last week’s dinner, we heard from women across a variety of professions: concert production, the arts, non-profit, finance, education, law, public policy, and more. Our speakers shared how each of them had a winding road leading to their successful positions today. They emphasized to our girls how there is no right major, the importance of following one’s passions, and to walk with confidence. Panelists worked with the girls to help them identify the unique interests, skills, and characteristics that each of them bring to the table.

Olivia Orlando, a Row New York 2008 alum, was a panelist at the dinner. We caught up with her to learn more about her experience talking to the very girl(s) she used to be.

For all the women out there looking for some solid advice, read on (especially point number 2!).


Olivia Orlando graduated from Row New York in 2008. She connected with our current students to lend career and life advice at the recent Young Women’s Professional Dinner.


What was it like for you (a Row New York alum) to be a guest panelist at our Young Professional Women’s Dinner?

It was so exciting to see how far RNY has come since my time on the team. The girls were so inspiring and eager to engage in meaningful conversations about “life after Row New York” – so many great questions were asked and connections formed. I was also so impressed with how professionally all the young women were dressed! I called my mom afterward and reminisced about how I scrambled to buy a suit before my first internship interview in college – way to go ladies!!

What advice did you share with our student-athletes and why? What do young women need to hear?

I told them to never be afraid to stand up for what they believe in and to never let your “haters” see you down. It took a lot of work and pep talks, but I don’t allow anyone to put me down because of who I am or what I stand for. Young women need to feel comfortable going into the world with an overwhelming sense of self-confidence and worth – this should be the norm, not the admirable exception. My Grannie used to tell me you can never be too confident, too prepared, or too educated – strive each day to get to where you want to be and I promise you will wake up one day and realize you are THERE… and it feels even better than winning a race or getting your varsity sweatshirt (I promise!).

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How did RNY, college or careers inform who and what you do today?

RNY gave me the confidence to go into any situation standing tall, with my head held high. Being a rower was (and still is!) something I was so proud to share with people – it helped me break away from the status quo and develop a very real sense of who I am and for that, I will be forever indebted to RNY.

A big thank you goes out to Maverick Capital for hosting us and to all the inspiring women that brought this event to life with their stories, life hacks, and belief in our girls.