Vision-Impaired Student Shares Her Perspective: On The Rise Conference

By Emma Saunders

Emma Saunders, is a health information student, slated to graduate in May 2019. She attended  the Women In Tech: On The Rise conference, jointly sponsored by HERdacity, Accenture and Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union in San Antonio on March 22, 2019.  Emma  attended the event to network and find out more about career opportunities for women in tech.  She shares the following insights from the conference.


The Keynote speech was on having presence in Tech and was delivered by Marina Gavito, Development Director at USAA.  What were your key take-aways from Marina’s presentation?

What stuck with me [was to] “remember your stuff” [and] to be prepared and to admit when you do not know something. I can relate to her speaking point concerning finding your style of assertiveness and that it is very situational. When I am writing an email or talking with someone, I assess the situation and figure out if I am being too assertive as I do not want to come across as mean and your posture conveys your confidence in any situation. I know that if I hype myself up, I am more confident going into a situation and the outcome will be better.


The Strategic Networking panel featured a panel professionals from various fields who spoke on lessons learned about  the importance of developing connections and networking as they progressed through their careers in tech. What were your key learnings from the Strategic Networking panel?

The main takeaway was you are always networking. One thing that will help with networking is to know who you are as a person and what are your goals in life. When talking to people you need to consider how that person likes to communicate, this can be through face to face, email, text, or a phone call and be persistent and never give up.


How do you see yourself using what you learned in the Strategic Networking panel?

I am working on my second bachelor’s degree in health information management and have seen that knowing people will get you farther in the field. Over the past semester and a half I have been attending events in IT such as the San Antonio Women in Technology event back in October and the On The rise event. Both of these have allowed me to see who is working in both the healthcare and IT fields and what opportunities are out there for a new grad.


Overall, what was your biggest takeaway from the Women in Tech: On the Rise event?

My biggest takeaway from this event is that more women need to be given a chance to work in the field of IT. I understand the statistics of women in positions in IT, but i would like to learn more about  people with disabilities in IT and in particular, how many women with disabilities are working in IT today. I would love to be included in these statistics one day soon!

To learn more about our upcoming events our Upcoming Events page. You can also check out our webinar on The Art of Strategic Networking by HERdacity President & CEO, Mary Flanagan.

Author Bio

Emma Saunders



My name is Emma Saunders and I am a second degree seeking student in health information management at Texas State University and am graduating in May. My first degree is in nutrition from Stephen F. Austin State University. I am from Houston and am working with my second Seeing Eye dog, a German Shephard named Tracy. I am a visually impaired woman looking for a career in healthcare or IT. While working on both degrees I have found networking to be the best and most effective way to make professional contacts I can use while looking for the perfect job.

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