Bethenny Frankel teaches students how to build their brand
About 400 people attended the event at the Sheraton University City
October 1, 2012, 12:01 am·
Renata Siruckova | DP
Bethenny’s Ever After… has arrived, and she’s come to Philadelphia to share her success with Penn’s future business leaders.
Wharton Women brought the creator of Skinnygirl Cocktails to Penn for its event, Building Your Brand with Bethenny Frankel. The event, which was held in Sheraton University City, began at 5:30 p.m. last Friday and included a speech by Frankel, followed by a question-and-answer session and a book-signing for the first 100 people to arrive at the event.
Wharton Women’s Vice President of Marketing, Wharton sophomore Kelsey Gliva, organized the event. She reached out to Frankel in April, and received a positive response from her representatives a few weeks later.
“I took a leap of faith,” she said. “I got a response that they were interested and it just snowballed from there.”
Wharton Women was eager to get Frankel to speak about her business ventures, and, as Gliva said, “There’s a lot to be said from listening to people with amazing experiences in the field who’ve taken a different path.” In turn, Frankel “was equally excited to come.”
College freshmen Rolanda Evelyn and Lauri Bonacorsi and Wharton freshman Roopa Shankar were the first to arrive at the Sheraton at around 2:15 p.m., even though the doors did not open until 4:30 p.m.
“It was worth it. We got a book,” Evelyn said.
Others were eager to get a book and to hear Frankel speak. By 5:30 p.m., the hotel’s ballroom was at full capacity, with approximately 400 students.
Although the audience was mostly female, College freshman Andre Ficerai took to Bethenny’s message as well.
“I feel like if a woman is facing any difficulties she’d be talking about, that would be similar for a gay guy, so I feel like I could at least relate on that level,” Ficerai said.
Frankel took the stage in her classic style — with poise and humor. She moved swiftly from story to story, and, as Engineering and Wharton freshman Sindura Chaparala said, “When things started getting monotonous, she’d just throw in a random story, and it was really interesting.”
Frankel brought out her TV personality to engage the audience and deliver her advice for students.
“You have to do everything to the best of your ability,” she said. “If you are delivering coffee on a movie set, then you deliver the best coffee that you possibly can.”
To the women in the room, she gave the advice to “never assume that anyone is smarter than you.”
Wharton freshman April Meehl said she took away from Frankel’s speech the lesson to look out for unexpected opportunities and never be afraid to try new things.
And Frankel’s advice for creating a brand as successful as Skinnygirl? “Stick to the dignity of the brand. Stick to what your message is.”