What is a "girl boss," and are you one?
“Girl bossery is a spectrum of just being awesome as a woman,” senior Lucy Nalen, a Girlboss fanatic, said.
The term “girl boss” was coined by Sophia Amoruso, who now has her own radio and website with content about life, career, money, health and more. Girlboss recently held a rally in New York City, bringing thousands of women together.
Senior Paige Moynihan is a prime example of a girl boss at the University of Richmond. She is a business administration major with concentrations in marketing and management. During Moynihan's last three years at UR, she has shown to be “undeniably true to herself,” a main quality of a girl boss, Nalen said.
Being a girl boss did not come easily, Moynihan said. There were moments in her first year at UR when she felt disconnected from herself and found herself doing things she wasn’t passionate about, she said.
Moynihan started out in the E. Claiborne Robins School of Business, but after her first semester, she contemplated whether she had made the right career choice.
“I wasn’t good at accounting, and some of the early intro classes didn’t come easy to me,” she said.
But marketing professor Bill Bergman helped Moynihan find her strengths. He suggested she look into a career in sales and introduced her to fellow marketing professor Jeffrey Carlson.
Three years after Moynihan's first conversations with Bergman and Carlson, the two professors coached Moynihan and the rest of the sales team -- Dejon Brissett, Lily Howlett, Torey Walsh and Xavier McCormick -- to UR’s first victory at the National Team Selling Competition held at Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.
“In a weird way, getting lost freshman year was actually a wonderful stroke of luck,” Moynihan said.
Moynihan has a lot more on her list of accomplishments during her time here than getting UR its first win at the sales competition. She holds five jobs, three on-campus and two off-campus.
On campus, Moynihan is a speech consultant, research assistant for marketing professor Nancy Ridgway and tour guide. She is also a campus ambassador for Coca-Cola and Paycom, where she will be working after she graduates.
During summer 2016, Moynihan worked in Richmond with ITL Inc., a medical device contract manufacturer based out of the UK. Part of her internship required her to work with many MBA candidates. Moynihan at first felt incredibly intimidated giving feedback to people twice her age with far more experience, she said.
Despite this, the experience taught Moynihan the importance of being able to articulate her own opinions and ideas, she said.
Now, Moynihan is able to instill that confidence in others through her work at the Speech Center.
Moynihan believes confidence is key to becoming a girl boss, she said.
Children are taught from a young age to be confident in themselves, dream big and believe life can be exactly what they want, Moynihan said. But this idea that anything is possible starts to fade as people grow older.
"[People] believe that they have to settle for a life rather than create a life made up of their own choices,” Moynihan said.
Moynihan herself began to experience this. But after realizing that she was settling for something she wasn’t passionate for, she made adjustments to find an environment where she thrived the most.
Now, Moynihan tries to unabashedly be herself, she said.
“I embrace all my strengths and weaknesses and take things that I’m good at and pursue them with everything I have,” she said.
Moynihan believes that everyone is a girl boss, and that they just need to find what works best for them to bring it out. Anyone who has the courage to stand up and say, “This is who I am. This is what I want, and I don’t care what anyone thinks of it,” is a girl boss, she said.
“What makes us different is what makes us powerful and, ultimately, what makes us girl bosses,” Moynihan said.
Contact contributor Kaori Tachibana at firstname.lastname@example.org.