Simone Peloquin WeLead Class of 2015
Program Manager, impl. project
What was the most valuable thing you learned from WeLead?
The most valuable thing I learned from WeLead is the importance of being involved in a tight-knit community of women in the early stages of your career. The shared experience WeLead provides is invaluable during this time for professional development and mentoring, and I loved connecting with speakers and fellow WeLeaders working in diverse roles and sectors. Being able to explore your interests in the pursuit of your career goals with such a strong WeLead support network was vital to my professional development. To this day, when I reach out to my WeLead network for assistance, I know I will receive it.
What was your favorite part of the program?
My favorite part of WeLead was the professional development session, as well as the fundraising training. I had never fund-raised prior to WeLead, but after the training sessions, the results completely exceeded my expectations! I can now confidently approach fundraising opportunities personally and professionally with a solid foundational understanding of the process.
What advice would you give to the current WeLead class?
Use all of the resources WeLead offers to connect with WeLead alumni and stay in touch with your class! Always pay forward the support and learning experience you received in WeLead to alumni and those in current and future cohorts. WeLeaders want to see each other succeed, it's a wonderful group! Ask a ton of questions, don't be afraid to reach out and make connections. Follow up with speakers/presenters for coffee or a phone call after - they want to see you succeed. It pays to be intentional and forge genuine connections with our classmates and session speakers.
How did you secure your current position, and did it include any WeLead networking or alumnae?
I secured my current role as a Program Manager at impl. project through a connection I made with a former colleague from the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. While I didn't secure the role directly through a WeLead contact, I used the networking and professional development skills I learned in my WeLead cohort to job hunt, network, and interview for the position!
Any other thoughts on your WeLead experience?
Seeing the program grow and evolve since my class graduated has been fantastic and rewarding. I am so proud of everything my fellow cohort members have accomplished in the years since we graduated, and to be part of this community.
Peloquin is a foreign policy specialist who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul MN and a Master of Arts degree in Politics/International Relations from New York University. In addition to supporting WeLead, she volunteers with the Washington International Horse Show.