As an administrative assistant at Educational Testing Service in Princeton, N.J., Vanessa Hubbard planned board and committee meetings for her department, bringing up to 75 people to four- and five-star properties for five days. While she was a whiz at planning the programs, she wasn't comfortable signing the sizable contracts required — and she had no idea how to negotiate. “I had no training, so when the contract came, I had to take it at face value,” recalls Hubbard, who has since joined ...

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