It started with an idea and a committee entrusted with a pivotal task. Now a decade later, Break Through continues to provide Susquehanna students and alumni with an annual conference to explore, connect and grow. With topics ranging from how to leverage a degree to ethics and sustainability, Break Through is not your traditional networking event — nor was it ever intended to be.
In fact, I can still recall moments from when the committee first gathered to plan what we hoped would become an enduring conference. To personally witness many of our ideas become reality was a transformative moment that really reinforced in me Susquehanna’s commitment to support its students and alumni. We designed events that were informative, collaborative and beneficial to individuals of diverse backgrounds, fields and philosophies. We created opportunities to explore various topics, connect with peers and experienced professionals, and fundamentally grow through shared experiences. Most importantly, we aimed to inspire individuals to be active participants in their futures and to envision their own definitions of success.
Those last aspirations really resonated with me and prompted me to share my thoughts when it was time for the committee to name the conference. I wanted to break through — I wanted to explore, connect and grow alongside others who were also empowered to achieve and excel.
While it may be surreal to recall how the conference’s name came to be, I can say without a doubt that Break Through is a pivotal experience for countless Susquehanna students and alumni. My interactions with Break Through as a student participant in its inaugural year — and now as an alumna — continue to enrich my professional and personal development. The panel and networking sessions I’ve attended in the past still provide me with critical insight for situations I might encounter in the future. They also encourage me to consider alternative perspectives and communication styles when collaborating with those who may be experts in fields outside of my immediate industry.
The long-lasting impact of Break Through also reminds me to pass it forward — to be an individual who motivates others to dream big, to persevere, to act and to remember that one person’s potential can multiply into endless opportunities for generations to come.
I hope Break Through reminds all of us to do just that — break through.
Stephanie Chan ’13 earned dual degrees in finance and public relations. As a student, she was a presidential fellow and head resident assistant, and was active in SIFE, The Lanthorn, the marketing club and several honor societies. Today she is a vice president for JP Morgan Chase & Co.Return to top