by: Rachel Berg
The first weekend of October was our annual team bonding trip in Chicago. I have been on the UIUC team for the past two years and this year was the most engaging trip we have had to date. From the co-founders and CEO, to the UIUC team and newly established Northwestern academy, we had over 20 MakerGirl leaders join us. A few alumni and board of adviser members were even able to join us Friday evening too. It was eye-opening to see how far we have come and have all of the amazing people who have contributed to MakerGirl so far all in one shared space together.
Friday evening started off with dinner at City Winery. This was something that was added to the agenda this year and one of my personal favorite highlights. Everyone was able to truly get to know each other and talk about all of the recent successes of MakerGirl. From the Board of Advisors to the Northwestern directors, everyone met someone new. I had the chance to get to know the Northwestern directors more and talk about the ideas they have for the sessions they run. The new UIUC team members, met our co-founders Julia and Lizzy for the first time. Julia and Lizzy bring so much drive and inspire each and every one of us to be go-getters for the future. The energy I felt at dinner was indescribable. And of course, we ate some delicious food!
Afterwards, we had to get dessert so we headed off to Bombobar for gelato, doughnuts, and coffee… yum!
On Saturday, 8 of us went to The Escape Game. We tried our hand at the Special Ops mission and broke out with only a couple minutes left! Everyone’s different perspectives helped us solve the different puzzles together. After all of the critical thinking, we refueled at SweetGreen.
The last thing on the agenda was attending the Women in Innovation event held by SoGal Chicago in the Build312 entrepreneurial space. We networked with the speakers Michael Donnelly (founder of FWD Collective), Ashley Moy (CEO of Cast21), and Kristen Sonday (Co-Founder of Paladin). The speakers talked about what it’s truly like being an entrepreneur- both the successes and struggles. I was inspired listening to how their companies and organizations grew and how they were able to overcome challenges. I have a renewed drive for my life after this event. These women work fearlessly for a cause they are passionate about and that is what I strive to do.
As for me, I will be graduating this upcoming May. Although this was my last team bonding trip as a student, I know I will continue to help with MakerGirl however I can and definitely go to next year’s team bonding events to meet MakerGirl’s future team leaders.