Victoria Chames_1's blog
While it’s tempting to take a break from job searching during the holidays, it’s actually beneficial for you to continue your job search momentum. The holidays provide some distinct advantages and special opportunities for proactive job seekers. Furthermore, the new year also brings new budgets and new opportunities for many companies, which means January and February are big months for hiring.
Here’s your job search checklist for the holidays:
Network over eggnog
During the holidays your inbox is filled with invitations to social events that provide perfect opportunities to network. Pick the brains of family and friends who have jobs or career paths that interest you.
Spruce up your resume
New year, new you, new resume! Head into the new year with an updated resume and profile on LinkedIn and ensure both are up to date and reflect the experience you need for the job you want.
Spread the cheer through volunteering
Organizations often ramp up their philanthropic activities during the holidays and volunteering can be a great way to network, gain skills, and fill the gap that unemployment might otherwise leave on your resume.
Consider temporary positions
Many companies have end-of-year deadlines - at the same time that many workers want to take vacation time - so they look to staffing agencies to fill gaps. A temporary job can be a great way to get your foot in the door at a new company and add experience to your resume.
Relax and reboot
Use the holidays to reflect on both the successes and failures in your job search thus far, and work on developing a strategy to kick-start the new year.
Tis’ the season for a new job, good luck!
Our Net Impact community continues to drive impact for a more just and sustainable world and we like to highlight members on our blog who are leading the change.
Meet Joanne Ng.
In our office she is an impact design fellow, but beyond our walls she is a passionate innovator using creativity to design solutions that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but that are thoughtful in their social and environmental impacts.
Can you tell us more about your work on the Senegalese latrine design?
The dry-toilet bathroom project for rural schools in Senegal came about when a couple of our team members met at a research symposium. One of our team members presented her detailed research on Menstrual Hygiene Management in West Africa, and the other two architecture students and I joined her to design a tangible solution to tackle the issue of the lack of access to sanitation facilities in rural school campuses. In our design, we focus on using local materials, placing the bathroom in an open, but safe environment, and designing an affordable solution that can be replicated in similar environments in the area. In March we received research funding to conduct field research and present our initial designs to UN Women and PEPAM, a governmental water and sanitation organization. We are also in the process of designing a web platform to serve as a research and project hub on Menstrual Hygiene Management to invite deeper conversations around the topic.
And how did you get involved with sustainable bamboo architecture?
The research on bamboo as a sustainable building material in the Dominican Republic was a part of my Architecture thesis: “Amplifying Architecture: Understanding and Designing for Social and Environmental Impact”. Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on earth, and is incredibly strong. Research has proven that bamboo has greater tensile strength than steel, and almost double the compressive strength of concrete. I wanted to learn about how we can take the abundance of this sustainable building material around the world to become as common as concrete, wood, and steel as building materials.
What inspired you to work for community development in the Dominican Republic?
As I learned more about different design approaches and methods, I became very interested in participatory and human-centered design. I feel that it is most important for designers to first listen to what the client actually wants and needs, create dialogue to understand the root causes of the wants and needs, and involve the community to take part in the design process of a product or building. I wanted to take the opportunity to live and work with the Haitian community in the Dominican Republic to learn about how to effectively design buildings such as community centers, housing, or schools, that serve as infrastructure of community development.
What advice would you give to someone launching their own project at work or school?
Be curious and open-minded, and join the sticky conversations. Share your ideas and connect with other students and professors, you might be surprised by the support you can find. Join Net Impact to be a part of a great community, I wish I had known about Net Impact when I was in school.
If you were given an extra hour every day, what would you do with it?
Learn another language!
The 2016 Net Impact Conference convened over 2,400 students and professionals who are passionate about changing the world. The conference activated this movement of change agents by providing three days of inspiration, connection, and impact. Now that the conference is over, it is up to us to keep the conference spirit alive.
Recent events have shown a divided nation, but collectively we can inspire and drive social and environmental impact. We just have to stay strong, stay inspired, and stay energized for the future.
1. Follow up with your 2016 Net Impact Conference connections
Did you meet someone who you had a great conversation with, someone who inspired you, or someone you thought you could learn from? Reach out and thank them. You always want to keep your network engaged so you can continue to learn and find inspiration from them.
2. Stay involved with Net Impact
Net Impact turns passion into action and we have many ways for you to stay involved. You can become a member, join a local chapter, participate in a leadership program, or attend a local event. Let the 2016 Net Impact Conference be your launching pad and keep the momentum going for even greater impact.
3. Sign up for updates for our 2017 Net Impact Conference in Atlanta, GA
It’s never too early to plan for impact. At the 2017 Net Impact Conference you will network with like-minded people, meet recruiters, build skills, and find your career with impact in Atlanta. Every year our conference is more than an event, it's a movement for those who want to change the world.
4. Make a difference in your community
Put your inspiration and passion for change into action by making a difference in your community. For ideas, check out our blog on how to have a positive impact this fall. One example is donating old coats and blankets to a homeless shelter, this small act could save a life for someone in need.
5. Inspire others
Recent events may have your friends and family feeling confused, sad, or even scared. You can be their inspiration to take their desire for change and put it to action. Take the lessons you learned, stories you heard, and inspiration you discovered from the 2016 Net Impact Conference and inspire your own network to have a positive impact on the world.
So the 2016 Net Impact Conference may be over, but you can make sure the impact is just beginning.
Each fall Net Impact hosts a national conference to activate a movement for those who want to change the world. The 2017 Net Impact Conference will take place October 26-28 in Atlanta, GA! See a recap of last year's main event to get you excited for all that is waiting for you this year in Atlanta, register now.
Here is a summary of the 2016 Net Impact Conference in case you missed it, need a refresher, or are looking for inspiration to continue to make the world a better place.
The 2016 Net Impact Conference
The 2016 Net Impact Conference provided opportunities to learn about the latest trends and inspiring stories in social change, network with impact leaders, and gain the skills and experiences for a lifetime of impact.
Inspiring your actions
We had over 250 speakers from our breakout sessions activating the community to make a lasting social and environmental impact, with our keynote speakers inspiring hundreds of individuals from our main stage. Our four keynote sessions each had a special theme- take a closer look:
Our opening keynote focused on making history through reinventing industries and featured speakers who are reimagining industries from sexual wellness to e-commerce.
- Liz Maw, CEO- Net Impact
- Jamie Bonini, Vice President, Toyota Production System Support Center- Toyota Motor North America Inc.
- Meika Hollender, Co-Founder and Marketing Director - Sustain Natural
- Chad Dickerson, CEO- Etsy
The power of movements was the theme for keynote two and examined how unity drives action. "Social change is a team sport,” said Jay Coen Gilbert, Co-Founder of B Lab.
- Alicia Garza, Co-Founder - BlackLivesMatter
- Jay Coen Gilbert, Co-Founder - B Lab
Our third keynote focused on the private sector stepping up to address social and environmental issues from the world’s biggest retailer to everyone’s favorite soup company.
- Doug McMillon, President and CEO - Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
- Mark Alexander, President - Americas Simple Meals and Beverages, Campbell Soup Company
Finally, we looked to the future of impact with our closing keynote where we received advice from inspiring impact leaders on how to make impact that starts now and lasts a lifetime. This included Michael Smith, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director of Cabinet Affairs, My Brother's Keeper, The White House, who told us to “"Be fearless. Be collaborative. Bet on the winners.”
- Vance Crowe, Director of Millennial Engagement, Monsanto
- Ahmad Ashkar, CEO and Founder, Hult Prize
- Michael Smith, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director of Cabinet Affairs, My Brother's Keeper, The White House
- Kiah Williams, co-founder, SIRUM
Building your network
The conference provided many opportunities to network with current and future change agents:
Attendees networking with Sustain Natural Co-Founder and Marketing Director, Meika Hollender after her keynote speech.
Our Career Expo provided students the opportunity to network with professionals and recruiters from international corporations, social enterprises, and nonprofits.
Off-site visits, happy hours, receptions, and other engaging after hours events, including this quiz night at a local bar, provided fun opportunities to network beyond the conference walls.
Accelerating your future
Regardless of your job title, education, or experience the 2016 Net Impact Conference provided opportunities to help you learn how to advance your impact:
During this skill-building session particpants learned how virtual reality can be a key tool to reduce time, cost, and effort in the process of solution building for different issues, and build empathy throughout the process.
Through hands-on activities and tailored training materials our Up to Us students focused on the importance of the national debt and generating solutions.
Our Impact Accelerator gave professionals the tools, mindset, and community to make an even greater impact through their careers.
Overall the 2016 Net Impact Conference equipped our future impact leaders (you!) with the inspiration, network, skills, and experiences needed to make history. Now, more than ever, we need to collectively work towards creating a better world for us all. Let the 2016 Net Impact Conference be your launching pad to keep driving social and enviornmental impact forward.
The second day of the 2016 Net Impact Conference featured two keynote sessions and twice the fun! Catch up on the day's events and make sure to live stream our thrid and final day.
Day two brought two powerful and inspirining keynote sessions:
Make History: Power of Movements
Alicia Garza, Co-Founder - BlackLivesMatter
"So yes, all lives matter and for all lives to matter, black lives must matter too."
Jay Coen Gilbert, Co-Founder - B Lab
"Social change is a team sport."
Make History: Big Bets and Bold Goals
Doug McMillon, President and CEO - Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
"By 2025 Walmart will be powered by 50% renewable energy."
Mark Alexander, President - Americas Simple Meals and Beverages, Campbell Soup Company
"Our aim is to be the most transparent food company in the industry."
Atendees also participated in numerous breakout sessions from networking salons to panels...
and training for all of our Up to Us students:
Finally our Expo featured leaders from international corporations, social enterprises, and nonprofits providing students the opportunity to network with professionals and recruiters.
We've got one day left, including our closing keynote featuring Kiah Williams of SIRUM, Ahmad Ashkar of Hult Prize, and Michael Smith of the White House. Watch it live.
The 2016 Net Impact Conference has started to make history, kicking off with day 1! Couldn't make it? Here's our recap of the first of three days filled with inspiration, connections, and change. And make sure you don't miss out on day 2 - watch our keynote live stream!
Day 1 featured engaging events in the conference center...
and around Philadelphia.
We even had a fun quiz night at a local bar:
And finally we saw our incredible keynote speakers discussing how they make history everyday by reinventing industries.
Liz Maw, CEO- Net Impact
"You can make history outside the headlines and you can make change without being a household name."
Jamie Bonini, Vice President, Toyota Production System Support Center- Toyota Motor North America Inc.
“You may not think of mobility as a social issue, but it is..."
Meika Hollender, Co-Founder and Marketing Director - Sustain Natural
"I am on a mission that every single time a women buys, carries, and uses condoms she feels proud and not ashamed."
Chad Dickerson, CEO- Etsy
"People and profit together is really where the magic happens."
Overall it was a historic first day for NI16. Are you interested in being a part of history? Watch our live stream of day 2 to help shape your future and the world.
Countries all over the world compete to be chosen as host cities for the Olympic Games, the reason? The Olympic Games generate positive social and economic impact. As a symbol for unity and national pride the Olympic Games bring citizens together while encouraging investments in transportation, infrastructure, and the job market.
This provides an excellent opportunity for Brazil to prosper from the upcoming summer Olympic Games being held in Rio De Janeiro. Rio, a city currently struggling with issues including violence, a virus outbreak, and polluted waters, can find innovative ways to use the Olympics to solve current challenges within the city. Here’s one way they are bracing for impact, with help from a few famous chefs:
Celebrity chefs are planning to cut down on food waste while feeding favelas in Brazil during the Olympic Games.
Wait, tell me more about favelas.
Ok, favelas are poor communities in Brazil with houses made from scrap materials such as wood and metal sheeting that often do not have services such as sanitation, water, or electricity. You might be more familiar with terms such as “shantytowns” or “slums” and it’s been stated that around 22% of Rio's population live in these communities.
So what’s the plan?
Celebrity chefs are planning on salvaging food waste from the Olympic Village catering services beginning August 9, a project lead by chefs and activists Massimo Bottura and David Hertz. Meals will be cooked, free of charge, for needy residents of the Lapa neighborhood, a favela in Rio. Organizers have spent the last month rehabilitating an empty storefront to be used for the project which after the Games will serve as an ongoing community hub with food-related programming and cooking classes.
The empty storefront which will become the community food hub. Source: How the Olympic Village Will Feed Favelas, Citylab.com.
But how much food is going to be produced at the Games?
A lot! With a kitchen the size of two football fields and a cohort of hungry athletes to feed, the Olympic Food and Beverage Team estimates it will cook 60,000 meals a day. The chefs forecast they will be able to recover 12 tons of kitchen scraps and aim to use what would otherwise be discarded as food waste, to prepare 100 dinners each night through the Olympic Games.
With food waste a huge challenge in the country (35% of produce is trashed even before it reaches tables in Brazil and even more is discarded afterwards) this movement is an exciting opportunity for social and environmental good, and may even initiate a shift in the landscape of food waste in Brazil.
So it won’t be just athletes winning in Rio this summer; helping the environment by limiting food waste, feeding hungry and low income communities, and pushing for long term social change makes this project a win-win-win. Hats off to the chefs.
What do Ben and Jerry’s, Patagonia, and Warby Parker all have in common? They are all certified B Corps. Jay Coen Gilbert, co-founder of B Lab, the nonprofit organization that provides the B Corps certification, has just been announced as a 2016 Net Impact Conference keynote speaker. Inspired by the idea that companies shouldn’t just compete to be the best in the world, but to be the best for the world too, B Lab was born. Gilbert is an essential part of the non-profit that is redefining what success means for business. As you get ready for NI16 take some time to learn about this exciting movement and keynote speaker Gilbert.
What is B Lab?
B Lab is a non-profit organization that works to drive systemic change by aligning the interest of business with those of society, through community building, innovative corporate structures, and helping businesses measure and manage their impacts. The non-profit certifies businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability, and aspire to use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems.
Companies with the B Corp title are differentiating themselves from competitor and attracting investors, consumers, and press. B Lab has grown a global community of over 1800 businesses acting as a force for good.
Jay Coen Gilbert
Gilbert grew up in New York City before heading west to Stanford University. Prior to B Lab and “despite having no game,” Gilbert co-founded and sold AND 1, a $250M basketball footwear and apparel company based outside Philadelphia. Gilbert led AND 1’s product and marketing and was AND 1’s CEO during its period of most rapid growth. After all that hard work, Gilbert enjoyed a sabbatical Down Under and in Monteverde, Costa Rica with his wife and their two children, before coming back to Pennsylvania and starting B Lab with fellow Stanford Alums Bart Houlahan and Andrew Kassoy.
2016 Net Impact Conference
The 2016 Net Impact Conference in Philadelphia this November 3-5, will provide you with the opportunity to learn how businesses are solving the world’s biggest social and environmental challenges. With Jay Coen Gilbert as a keynote speaker, you can hear from the man who helped start the B Corp movement which is continuing to grow as more and more businesses are seeing that through the power of their collective voice, society can enjoy a more shared and durable prosperity for all.
Register for NI16
Asheen Phansey, a dedicated Net Impact member, never had a rule book for sustainability success. But after winning our Impact at Work Challenge in 2012, he knows a thing or two about what it means to recruit the right allies and launch projects to help the environment.
Asheen, an engineer at Dassault Systemes, and his partner on the marketing team, managed to eliminate over a ton of harmful plastic from the company’s waste stream, implement commuter incentives, and offset 100% of the company’s electricity with renewable energy credits. With 10,000 employees and more than 100 offices at Dassault, they faced numerous challenges along the way, the biggest one being the question of how to create momentum amongst like minded employees. Follow suit in your own workspace by sticking to a few simple steps that Asheen describes as his key principles for success:
1. Change your mindset
Being a successful intrapreneur is easier than you might think. “The best intrapreneurs are empathic translators: that is, they can understand the needs and concerns of the various stakeholders involved, and speak the language of their domain,” says Asheen. Begin by networking internally with a lot of people from diverse areas of expertise to better understand their concerns. The more business knowledge your team has, the better you can draw from to help understand and solve challenges.
2. Look for allies in all sorts of places
According to Asheen, “You should find and gather your allies no matter where they are in the organization – high, low, and sideways.” Find your team’s shared values as well as your allies’ ‘day-job’ goals to better develop shared-responsibility projects. Provide them with some value: share news of successes within the company and sustainability trends in the industry and beyond. In addition, treat them well, by sharing credit when you make announcements about your projects.
3. Events drive actions
By acknowledging that intrapreneurship projects are extracurricular to most of your allies’ day jobs, you’re already halfway there. But don’t let this circumstance allow projects to fall off the to-do list. As Asheen says, you should schedule regular meetings in order to “create a culture where people are embarrassed to show up with no progress since the last meeting.”
4. Small wins build a big picture
Intrapreneurship can sometimes progress extremely slowly. Do not get discouraged by this as the tiny steps you make will eventually turn into meaningful advances towards a more sustainable office environment. Something small,such as making sure the lights get turned off at day’s end, means more on a larger scale. After all, nothing says “we’re not really serious about sustainability” like having your office building lit up like a Christmas tree when employees drive by it at night.
5. Be scrappy
Make use of your resources. Net Impact – including the online materials, the local chapters, and the conference-- remains one of the first sources to which Asheen points would-be intrapreneurs. Provide incentives. According to Asheen, a certificate is your secret weapon: Give your colleagues something tangible to put on their resume.
6. Set the tone right from the start
“Make sure you treat intrapreneurship projects as real work projects: send out an agenda prior to your meetings, follow it during your meetings (while still having fun, of course!), agree on next steps when everyone’s together and inspired, and send out agreed-upon action items just afterward. This formality sends the message that these projects are important to the business and should be supported.
Want to launch your own project like Asheen? Join Climate Disruptors to get a weekly dose of inspiration and resources to help you launch your own project at work. Find your way to our next webinar on June 29th in order to learn more about how to Facilitate Behavior Change for Climate Impact held by strategy consultant Matt Biggar. Unable to make it? Send any questions in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can be sure they are addressed!
Late one night in Fall 2015 an email arrived at my inbox about a program called “Get REAL.” I had just finished a long stretch of studying. The only sound in the house was the humming of my hard drive, the only light the fluorescence of my desk lamp and laptop.
This was right after I had learned my MBA program would be moving completely online, four months after a painful breakup, and right after my company had been acquired in the biggest tech company acquisition ever at $67 billion. The Get REAL message was sounding good – I wanted grounding in something I could positively impact! I clicked in.
An accepted application and a month later, I found myself sitting in Seattle with 50 other students from around the country, who also wanted to make a difference and increase diversity and inclusion on their campus. As part of the Racial Equity and Awareness Leadership program, we shared our life narratives with each other – the role that our “differences” have played in the winding arcs of our experiences. We learned together about the academic framework of systematic oppression, and I started to think more deeply about the silences in my own and other people’s lives. Perhaps some of these silences could be filled with courageous dialogue, instead of self-perpetuating assumptions about who the people around me are.
The exercise from the training program that has most stayed with me was simple and powerful. There were four piles of beads in the middle of each discussion table – each pile a different color to represent a different race. Each of us at the table was given a small plastic box, and told to put a bead in the box after each question the facilitator asked. The questions started: “What color is your best friend? Your favorite teacher growing up? Your dentist? Your pastor? Your first sports coach? Your hairdresser?” At the end of the exercise, we all looked at the beads in our boxes, and found that a lot of the beads were the same color as our own skin. Why was this so?
To inform my thinking, when I got home I started reading a book called “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” by developmental psychologist Beverly Daniel Tatum. Around the same time, protests started to happen on the Simmons campus, demanding a more culturally inclusive and equitable environment – demanding not just words, but action. As I started to learn from Beverly, building an inclusive community takes conscious effort from all involved – challenging assumptions, acknowledging unintentional harm done (but done nonetheless), and above all staying optimistic that the final destination will be worth the work.
I didn’t have a hard time with this optimism; I come from a long line of justice-oriented optimists. My ancestors include Amelia Bloomer, who invented of the first pants for women (called “Bloomers” – go figure!); Gerrit Smith, one of the funders of John Brown’s Raid at Harper’s Ferry during the pre-Civil War era; and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, an abolitionist and women’s rights activist who worked with Susan B. Anthony to advance women’s right to vote.
I also know the Simmons community pretty well; in addition to being an MBA candidate here, I was an undergrad at the school from 2003-7, and my mother attended Simmons in the seventies. Finally, as a Feminist, I look at Simmons’ message of empowering women and understand that this means empowering ALL women in the community – not just those who look a certain way or come from a certain background.
So, in short, there was no way I wasn’t going to do something! Net Impact Program Manager Dwight Smith helped me to think through how to gather a coalition and take steps toward Racial Equity and Awareness Leadership on campus. He used his experience and knowledge to channel my ideas in a productive direction. With his help, soon enough we had a mixed graduate and undergraduate power team going – Deborah Bell, Ferry Cadet, Stephanie DeFina, Alex Mireles, Allison Keller, Professor Stacy Blake-Beard, Professor Teresa Nelson, Sam Medeiros, Indra Guertler, Barbara Carter, and others – all committed to drawing out Simmons’ full potential for REAL community. It was amazing to work with these women!
Yet while I was excited to be doing the work, I struggled internally. Due to my job and school schedule, I couldn’t make it to half the meetings held by the student groups who were already leading the charge toward racial equity on campus. I come from an Irish/Lithuanian/English/Scottish background; would I be viewed as feeding off of a “movement that wasn’t mine?” In the end, would my effort fall into the dreaded cycle of “talk about justice, get excited, nothing really changes?” In contrast with my family history’s proud example, I started to have feelings of shame, and doubted whether anyone would care enough to listen or participate in any activity I coordinated.
With the help of the excellent team highlighted above, Simmons Net Impact planned and carried out two events this Spring: a trip from the Simmons campus to Boston’s Museum of African American History, and a discussion of inclusive innovation in the makeup industry. I found both of the events extremely rewarding – the energy brought by the attendees accentuated the feeling of rebirth and warmth that embraces Boston every Spring. (This was after that strange April snowstorm.)
And what I was afraid would happen also did happen – only a handful of people came to each event. Both events were scheduled near the end of the semester, and I know many people couldn’t come because they needed to do homework/work-work/be with their families.
Now, a lot of business-minded people would look at the attendance numbers and see the events as a failure. And in the short term, maybe they are right. But that’s not what Net Impact is about. It’s about looking at what is best in yourself and the people around you, and building on that. It may not be measurable right now. But I know that I and every person who helped plan our two events this April are more connected and more engaged with fellow justice-minded people than they were beforehand. That, to me, is a successful business outcome.
During the second event – the discussion of inclusive innovation in the makeup industry – I mentioned the box of beads and how I’d put it together at the Get REAL training. Wondering if it might still be in my work bag, I went over and dug in. My hand grasped on a little thing that made a clinking noise as its contents shook around – it was still there! I grabbed it out and showed the discussion attendees the souvenir from my experience in Seattle.
Why was I so excited to still have this little box with plastic beads? It was a symbol of the (sometimes invisible) community that I know is there for me, pushing for justice each in our own way, and with the same fears and hopes. And it’s given me a new philosophy of leadership: Alone, I am only what I know; together, we are what we know is possible. I’m willing to bet the latter has the bigger return on investment. Thanks Net Impact for helping me Get REAL!
This post was originally published on the Simmons School of Management's Net Impact page.