Cyprus leader inspires college students

By Erika Mahoney

March 8, 2013 Updated Mar 8, 2013 at 7:12 AM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Words of inspiration can go a long way, especially when directed to college students on the brink of graduation.

Binghamton University students have been hosting a variety of programs to celebrate International Women's Day, an internationally recognized holiday that falls on March 8.

On Thursday night, General-Consul for the Republic of Cyprus, Koula Sophianou, spoke about how to take the next step in life.

As a woman working in diplomatic relations, she shared her advice with the audience based on her experiences.

In 1998, she began working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus.

She assumed the job of Consul-General in New York City in 2009.

She said life is busy, but she loves her job and always tries to stay positive.

She said no matter what direction students decide to take for their lives, having self-confidence is key.

When asked what she hopes students take away from her talk, Sophianou said: "To trust themselves. Believe in themselves. And it's good to be different and that the most important thing is what you feel. The most important thing when you enter an interview is you enter the room and really feel confident about yourself."

Sophianou said being a woman in her field has never been a problem because she didn't make it a problem.

She said regardless of gender, success is based on how people handle opportunities when they're presented.