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7 minutes | May 6, 2021
Season 1 Capstone ... Reflections after One Year of Podcasting
In this episode, host Rob Hendrickson shares his thoughts about Season 1 of his JobSpeakers podcasting journey and speaks to what may come next.
44 minutes | Apr 28, 2021
JobSpeaker Steve Burgos - Chicago Architect
"Most people don't realize that architecture is a team sport," says this week's guest, Steve Burgos, who demystifies this highly romanticized profession from all angles: drawing designs, managing budgets, inspecting construction, brushing up on building codes, communicating with clients, and more. Designing and managing projects ranging from solariums on residential homes to resorts in northern Egypt, Steve covers the different stages of an architect's career, explains where he spends his time, emphasizes the hard work behind every structure, shares what makes him proud about what he does, and lays out his journey from being a little guy who wanted to draw for comic books to a successful Chicago architect.
37 minutes | Apr 21, 2021
JobSpeaker Claudia T. Miller - Results-Driven Career Coach
Claudia Miller's job is to help her clients convert career ambitions into plans, plans into action, and action into achievement. By helping with personal branding, resume writing, online profile polishing, and one-on-one interview coaching (among other related services), Claudia helps her clients achieve more than they thought possible. Does it always work? Well ... most of the time, but it always works if her clients are committed, disciplined, and willing to put in the hard work. In this episode, hear about the three most common mistakes job seekers make and the missteps Claudia herself took as she learned about herself and the kinds of jobs that motivated her to do more, be more, and make an impact in others' lives.
42 minutes | Apr 15, 2021
JobSpeaker Ally Bergmann - Nonprofit Director Saving Others from Substance Abuse
It almost ruined her, but Ally Bergmann didn't let it. Bucking the family trend - both her parents had been alcoholics - Ally quit drinking cold turkey at the age of 29 and has since built a life dedicated to helping others deal with the disease of substance abuse through counseling or avoid it altogether through prevention. In this very personal and important episode, learn what triggered Ally to stop drinking, how she found her calling and returned to college to achieve undergraduate and graduate degrees, and what she did to build and manage a career dedicated to a purpose forged very early in life. Finally, hear Ally's take on the joys and challenges of working in the nonprofit arena.
41 minutes | Apr 8, 2021
JobSpeaker Cindy Levin - A Full-Circle Journey, from Auto Engineering to Advocacy to Authorship
Her dream was to be a Walt Disney Imagineer - a super cool job by anyone's standards - but our guest Cindy Levin's path took her in a slightly different but equally cool direction: working as an automobile engineer at GM's proving grounds. While she worked to eliminate vibrations in vehicles, she was allowed on company time to tutor kids in math for one hour per week. Reflecting back, Cindy recalls, "that was my favorite part of the week." Fast forward to becoming a new mom during a long, dark Chicago winter, when Cindy tapped into her dormant give-back-to-the-community reserves. She began writing letters to Congress and perhaps without knowing it at the time, started an advocacy career phase focused on shifting public policy in areas covering poverty, hunger, and global health. Now, as Cindy's children have begun following in mom's footsteps (many more letters going to Congress these days!), she is about a year away from finishing and publishing a book about how moms make great activists - impressive indeed! In this episode, learn what it takes to write a book, how volunteering is an ideal career springboard, what it is like to work for nonprofit organizations, and how one person's career journey brought her back to the causes she cares most about and making a better world for our kids.
43 minutes | Mar 31, 2021
JobSpeaker Caroline Randall Williams - Acclaimed Writer Dishing Out Truths
Our guest this week is an award-winning poet, young adult novelist, and cookbook author as well as an activist, public intellectual, performance artist, and scholar. Named by Southern Living as “One of the 50 People changing the South,” Caroline Randall Williams views her work and her identity as inextricably linked. As a truth-teller who endeavors to "have a say in how things get remembered," Caroline in this episode unpacks the jobs of being a writer, professor, and change agent in the context of serving causes that matter to our time now and will "impact the record" for years to come. Like the beautiful meals in her cookbook, Soul Food Love, our guest this week serves up the gritty and glorious experiences that have shaped her career and life journey, so that we may all learn a thing or two. Bon appetite!
33 minutes | Mar 24, 2021
JobSpeaker Sejal Rao - Breaking Barriers as a Biomedical Engineering VP
Her job is cool, really cool. Visit the operating room to watch surgeries live? Check. Talk to surgeons and nurses about how to make their instruments better? Check. Devise cutting-edge instruments a joystick-operated robot will use to perform surgeries? Check. Yes, very cool indeed - but being a biomedical engineer also involves behind-the-scenes design and development processes that require exacting rigor, thorough testing, detailed documentation, and organized project management - along with a big dollop of creativity and problem-solving. Our guest this week walks through the ins and outs of a biomedical engineering profession while sharing how she has risen to the executive ranks, what she has learned about being a leader in her field, and whom she hopes to inspire as a result.
40 minutes | Mar 17, 2021
JobSpeaker David Connell - Digital Communications Director for the Urban Institute
Do you work to live, or live to work? It's an important question many of us ignore ... but not this week's guest, David Connell, who has crafted a successful career in digital communications while managing to be crystal clear about his personal and professional priorities (hint: David knows how to unplug after a productive day to spend time with his wife and two sons). As for choosing his working path, says David, "my generation was never expected to pick a career before college - that's when we were supposed to start figuring that out!" Still, David had the presence of mind to pursue a liberal arts education that helped him learn to communicate and think critically, and he used those skills to pursue writing and eventually web design and content development opportunities. Now a director, David shapes the Urban Institute's digital communications strategy and leads a team to execute that strategy. Hear more about David's career journey, the four paths to pursue a digital communications career, and, as a bonus, a little-known novel David might one day publish!
38 minutes | Mar 10, 2021
JobSpeaker Jennifer Burden - Founder and CEO of the World Moms Network
Can you change the world? Guess what - you can! This week's guest Jennifer Burden had an idea about the power and diversity of motherhood and now, ten years later, the World Moms Network represents a growing family of moms from 30 countries who rally behind important causes like reducing poverty, providing safe drinking water, supplying vaccinations, and providing relief to victims of human trafficking. As Jennifer says, "We like to handle the tough issues," and this is exactly what she and her moms have done. Hear this inspiring story about the power of hope and perseverance and learn about the amazing people and experiences that have made up Jen's journey to date.
34 minutes | Mar 4, 2021
JobSpeaker Hugo Lembert - Adaptable Apartment Advertising Sales Executive
From his first job working in the duty free shop of an airport in the Dominican Republic, Hugo Lembert joined a newspaper in New York City to drive classified advertising sales ... until that business dried up overnight and forced him to adjust his career path and migrate toward the digital media space. In this episode, learn more about advertising sales, how to build trust with customers, and the lessons you learn when you have to navigate a career during periods of uncertainty.
29 minutes | Feb 25, 2021
JobSpeaker John DiSilvestri - Chemical Engineer & Senior Leader at Amalie Oil Company
Even though he played with chemicals and blew stuff up when he was young, our guest this week still found choosing a college major was one of his life's hardest decisions. Still, he followed his passion, studied chemical engineering, and has made a career "making things better." Now a VP of Development and Technical Services at Amalie Oil Company, John works with a cross-functional team of marketing, sales, and chemical engineering professionals who take ideas and turn them into products like engine oil and grease for electric vehicles (just two of the approximately 1,000 formulations John manages!). In this episode, hear how John and his team helped a well-known drag racing team start winning races, learn once and for all how frequently you should change the oil in your car, and pick up some priceless leadership advice from someone who has moved up the ranks but has never stopped loving his time in the lab.
37 minutes | Feb 18, 2021
JobSpeaker Tara Doherty - Prolific Buyer for Michael's Arts & Crafts Stores
Do you remember rainbow looms? How about adult coloring books? Well, those fun crafty items and thousands more come from somewhere, and that somewhere in the case of the over 1,400 Michael's crafts stores is the buyers who stay in front of trends and find manufacturers the world over to bring those items to US consumers. In the words of our guest Tara, "our job is to make people happy," and she has been doing that for over ten years in a range of positions leading to her current buyer position at Michael's. What's a buyer's work life like? Tara explains ... 70% math, 20% strategy, and 50% hard work! In this deep-dive episode, hear more about the reality versus the myth of being a retail buyer, and get ready to be energized by someone who makes very clear being a buyer is a "heavy lift" but super-worth-it if you have the underlying passion.
40 minutes | Feb 11, 2021
JobSpeaker Joaquin Fox - Northern Arizona Tour Guide, Story Teller & Curiosity Maven
It was the dead of night when Joaquin was backpacking and got stuck in a severe snowstorm. "I could have survived the night," he said, but fate would connect him to the owner of a local tour guide company who miraculously found and rescued him - and then offered him a job! In this episode, hear more about Joaquin's experiences conducting over 1,000 tours to the Grand Canyon, famous red rock formations, the Coconino National Forest, and other iconic destinations as a tour guide for the well-known Pink Jeep Tours operating out of Sedona, Arizona. But as they say in those commercials, "wait, there's more!" And the "more" in this case is Joaquin's story as a boy who dropped out of high school but worked hard, learned all he could, and eventually achieved a master's degree in finance - all the while cherishing the natural and cultural landscape around him. Joaquin is proof that there is no 'right' path - but one's path can be right in the end.
40 minutes | Feb 3, 2021
JobSpeaker Dimitri Bianco - Risk Modeling Quant Evangelist
Quant evangelist? What in the world? This week our guest Dimitri Bianco tells us about a profession and field of discipline focused on developing and validating predictive models used to make important business decisions with potentially significant financial implications. Every wonder why the same person who approaches five lenders for mortgage quotes gets five different terms and rates? As Dimitri explains in this episode, it's because each one of those lenders has a different risk profile and a different model for deciding what to offer its prospective customers. And although the details of modelling can be very technical and complicated, Dimitri demystifies and simplifies what this work really involves, explains why it gets him out of bed in the morning (and sometimes in the middle of the night!), and provides priceless advice to those who love solving problems and are looking for opportunities to apply that talent in the real world.
27 minutes | Jan 28, 2021
JobSpeaker Dorothy Smith - Determined and Driven Dental Hygienist
Could you clean teeth for a living? Looks simple right? It's not! This week's guest, Dorothy Smith, demystifies a profession we have all experienced up-close and personal (after all, their hands are inside your mouth for about 30 minutes). Having done this for 28 years, Dorothy tells us what is required to be trained and certified in this field, how posture and ergonomics play into this physically taxing job, how she was a little grossed out a few times, and what she does to make her patients comfortable. But beyond all that, Dorothy also shares how she overcame an accident that halted her life for about a year and left her with a badly injured dominant hand. However, Dorothy explains, "I've always been stubborn," and that stubborn streak drove her to emerge from a dark time to pursue - and obtain - a nursing degree that she hopes will soon position her to work in a hospital operating room. A surprising career shift? Not at all, since Dorothy's favorite TV show as a young girl was the surgery channel!
38 minutes | Jan 21, 2021
JobSpeaker Guy Averill - Lifelong Farmer by Vocation & President of Watercress Farms
Our guest this week, Guy Averill, has loved working the land since his boyhood in England. And while some get to their current professions by way of a circuitous journey involving many different jobs, Guy's path never veered too far away from farming. Why? Because he loves it too much, calling it a true vocation. Is it hard work? Yes. Are there a lot of things that can go wrong? You know it. Is it a career that requires constant learning? Absolutely. But Guy has embraced all of those things and is now the president of a watercress farm that supplies this extremely healthy dark, leafy green to England and the U.S. In fact, his mum in England makes it a habit of telling every grocer who will listen, "My son grew this!!!!" Learn about the farming profession - the joys, challenges, and more - in this honest and revealing episode.
39 minutes | Jan 13, 2021
JobSpeaker Corey McGonigle - Intrepid Project Manager RV'ing Across the Country
Unconventionally refreshing, forever fun, and intrepid to the fullest, Corey McGonigle is an IT project manager by trade and an adventurer by heart who approaches life with vim, vigor, and a huge dose of kindness. Dropping out of college early in her career, Corey found her passion in project management early and, after working overseas, decided at her son's suggestion to return to college and get her degree (listen to hear the funny story about which school she chose and why!). From that point, there was no holding her back. Recording this episode from her RV - which she is driving to various destinations across the country - Corey tells us about the job of being a project manager and shares her secrets for being really good at an important and fun profession that has and continues to enrich her life. As she says near the end of our conversation, "You never know what's going to come around that next curve, but you know it's going to be great!"
33 minutes | Jan 6, 2021
JobSpeaker Vince Harris - Shining His Light, from Jet Engine Mechanic to Calibration Specialist
Vince Harris started his career as a jet engine mechanic in the Air Force. Now he is a measurement expert who ensures the tools we use and the parts on which they are used are all perfectly calibrated. Why does this matter, you ask? Because without calibration, things eventually break - like airplanes, for example (yes, this is important stuff!). In this episode, learn about Vince's job as a calibration specialist, his journey getting there, and how he uses the "power of positivity" to fuel his success and "shine his light." In his own words, "Any day I wake up is a good day indeed!"
41 minutes | Dec 30, 2020
JobSpeaker Ray Vicks - A Leadership Journey from Auditor to Chief Financial Officer and Beyond
This week's guest Ray Vicks was the first in his big family (12 kids!) to attend college. Having landed a solid job with Arthur Andersen right out of school, Ray spent his first years "learning how to xerox" before buckling down and moving up the ranks. Hear how his biggest professional disappointment led to his eventual ascendancy to partnership in a competing firm and eventually the role of Chief Financial Officer for a healthcare company. You don't achieve all of this without accumulating a full suitcase of life lessons, and Ray unpacks them all in this story-rich episode. Settle in, take a few notes, and let Ray's lessons shape your career path.
41 minutes | Dec 23, 2020
JobSpeaker Kim Young - Social Services Entrepreneur (from International Adoptions to Private Therapy Practice)
Most people would never say, "social services" and "entrepreneur" in the same breath. And those people have never met our guest this week, Kim Young, who started her career working for an international adoptions agency (she would fly to countries like Nicaragua and pick up the babies!). Later, Kim worked for an agency providing services to the Department of Children and Families in Connecticut; in fact, she was so good at that job, the owner asked her if she'd like to take it over. Fast-forward a few years, and Kim has grown that business to 15 employees and, never one to sit still, has opened her own private therapy practice in Maine focused on helping kids aged 11 through 18. In this episode, hear more about Kim's journey and learn about that special "something" that has propelled Kim to succeed at everything she's attempted.
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