My IWL Impact Story: Reflecting On a Life-Changing "Last"

Updated: Jun 18, 2019

By Margaret Geist, Former IWL Intern

The IWL team - Kim Graham Lee, Anna Rauh, Margaret Geist, and Katie Sheets - at the IWL Louisville Conference on April 25, 2019.

The idea of summing up my experience as an intern the past couple months is something I’ve found incredibly daunting. A semester of lasts: my last semester as a

college student, my last semester living in Indy and my last semester as a “college

intern.” My time as an intern for IWL holds significance, not just for the reasons listed

above but for so many others.

It seems fitting that I concluded my college chapter with such an impactful experience.

I chose Butler and all subsequent academic- and career-related paths based on my

personal passions and interests. My major, Critical Communication and Media Studies,

has taught me a great deal about media, society and the structures in place related to

constructs such as gender and race.

I was a feminist from a very young age, but was only able to truly define it after reading

countless articles by Steinem, Hooks, and Lorde. I have attended marches, protests,

readings and written countless research papers citing my thoughts on gender and racial

equality. Working with IWL allowed me to use the skills I’ve acquired in past employment roles to really make a sizable impact.

Working for a company founded by women and for women is something that, once experienced, will probably be something I look for in all future endeavors. I will miss lunches with the team and discussions that involved exchanges of praise, words of wisdom, and a trust that made me feel incredibly empowered.

Anna, thank you for always ensuring I was well-informed on every aspect of the company and always entrusting me with new tasks that may not have always been in my wheelhouse. I have grown a great deal of confidence in my abilities because of your encouragement and praise.

Kim, you inspire me! You are one of my role models and I am so grateful for all your

wisdom and support that I received in my time with IWL.

As part of her role as Marketing and Communications Intern, Margaret ran the IWL booth at the conference in Louisville on April 25, where she enjoyed connecting with lots of passionate women leaders.

My greatest memory in my time with IWL was the Louisville conference. Even though I played a small role in the planning of the conference, simply being there to witness the breakout sessions, the keynotes, and even interact with attendees symbolized a wonderful culmination of a great 5 months of work. Knowing all of the behind-the-scenes that factored into a full day of women celebrating women made it all the more rewarding. I most enjoyed my conversations with volunteers and attendees, who were so eager to learn more and share with me their excitement regarding the IWL message. Conferences such as IWL’s symbolize a new movement, a path to equality and a culture shift. I am still filled with so much gratitude after the events on April 25 and look forward to attending future conferences.

I want women in leadership to be celebrated, not as a “new fad” but as a standard. I know from my experiences that this future is closer than we think, and it is thanks to organizations like IWL. I am simply grateful that I had a small part in sharing the message and bringing us closer to that future!

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