Conversations on Careers and Professional Life, from the Foster School of Business office of MBA Career Management
Host Gregory Heller has conversations with University of Washington and Foster School faculty, staff, alumni, executives, current MBA candidates and other experts relating to career development, planning, and resilience. If you're navigating a career change, pursuing your MBA, or looking to develop a resilient mindset to help you with your job search, this podcast may be for you!
Rachel Hester on Pursuing an MBA Career in Sustainability At Nike
On this episode I speak with Rachel Hester, Foster MBA 2018. Rachel went to work for Nike in a finance manager role after graduating, and in a little less than a year moved into a role in sustainability Finance. Since we recorded this conversation during the summer of 2021, Rachel has moved on from Nike and joined VMWare to work on ESG strategy and finance.
Rachel shares some excellent advice for students who are interested in pursuing a career in sustainability.
I think there are three key takeaways from my conversation with Rachel:
Be vocal about your passion. If you want to work in sustainability especially at big company, sustainability might not be in your first role or title. But when you get that job, let anyone and everyone know what your interests are, and you can start that even while you are at Foster. Get sustainability experiences during your time in the program, internships, case competitions, applied projects, and things of that nature. Identifying your north star, developing a framework to guide the decisions you'll make during the program and stay focused on what your goal is. This is one of the reasons we take all of our students through some design thinking exercises based on the book and curriculum of Designing Your Life which comes out of the d.school at Stanford during our orientation programming. Some links to resources we mentioned:
My conversation with Austin Morton about his sustainability career path Sustainable World Radio Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Scientific Knowledge Doughnut Economics (Book) DoughnutEconomics.org Thinking In Systems (Book) SASB: Sustainability Accounting Standards Board Sustainable World Radio The Formula Botanica Podcast And a few more that we didn't:
MBA-Edge.com Sustainable Career Pathways http://edsjobslist.com/ http://www.greenjobsearch.org/ https://jobs.climatebase.org/
Back to Business With Authors Nancy Jensen & Sarah Duenwald Founders of The Swing Shift
My guests on this episode are the authors of Back To Business and founders of The Swing Shift Nancy Jensen and Sarah Duenwald. I am joined by my colleague Elaine Newtson for a really interesting conversation about coming back to work after taking a career pause. Nancy and Sarah's company, The Swing Shift offers women programs and services to compete in the modern job search. Their book, Back To Business: Finding Your Confidence, Embracing Your Skills, and Landing Your Dream Job After A Career Pause shares the lessons and strategies they have developed through their one-on-one and cohort based work at The Swing Shift with readers everywhere. As I finished up production on this episode, I read in the September issue of Harvard Business Review that 57% of male and 74% of female Millennials anticipate taking a career break for childcare, eldercare or to support a partner in a job. Career pauses are becoming more common, and smart companies are developing programs to keep their employees engaged and pave the way for their eventual return to the company when they are ready.
We covered a lot of territory in the conversation, so the episode is longer than most, but I think it is worth the listen for anyone contemplating taking a break from work, or thinking about coming back from one. Graduate students certainly fall into this category. The Foster MBA program takes students out of the workplace for 22 months (with a 3 month internship in the middle) and many of the lessons from the Swing Shift apply, especially around networking and mindset.
The authors share their recommendations about activating your networking, keeping your LinkedIn profile current, staying in touch with hiring managers regardless of the outcome of the interview process, handling rejections, identifying family friendly workplaces (look for women in leadership roles, parental leave policies, executives who have kids, even pictures of families on an office desk are good indicators.) We talked about the importance of making a childcare plan if you are thinking about starting a family, or returning from work after taking a break to start one. Childcare (the difficulty finding it, and the cost of it) are some of the biggest obstacles to people returning to work.
On networking, my conversations with Asal Mirsalimi, and colleagues Stacy Duhon and Elaine Newtson may be interesting listens. I also had a good conversation with author Alexandra Samuel about networking during the pandemic when in-person interaction may not be a possibility.
On rejection, and reframing failure, something we cover in this episode, a conversation I had with my colleague Julie Boden may be a good supplement.
We also talked about the importance of reflection, and on this topic, I've talked with a number of guests about journaling and reflective practices, Andy Hafenbrack, Tabitha Kirkland and Ryan Fehr among them.
You can learn more about The Swing Shift and their programs at TheSwingShift.co, and follow the links from there to learn more about Back To Business.
Until October 9th, 2021, LinkedIn Learning is making 40 course on career changing available for free.
You can also watch Elaine Newtson's University Book Store book event with the authors on YouTube.
If you enjoy the podcast, please take a few moments to answer a short survey that will help me plan season 7, coming out in winter 2022.
The Foster Venture Fellows Program
Evan Gray, Andrew Wen -- both members of Foster MBA class of 2022 and participants in the Foster Venture Fellows program -- and Cameron Borumand, the Founding Partner of Fuse VC join me to talk about the Foster Venture Fellows Program and more broadly about careers in venture capital.
Some of the resources we mentioned include:
https://johngannonblog.com/ https://www.strictlyvc.com/ https://www.axios.com/authors/danprimack Acquired, the podcast from Pioneer Square Labs Venture Deals (book) Geekwire.com Techcrunch.com If you enjoyed this episode and are interested in venture capital, another you might like is my conversation with Austin Guyette.
Whether this is your first or 40th episode of Conversations On Careers and Professional Life, I'd love to get your feedback. Please take a short survey.
Audrey Beaulac on How the Pandemic Has Impacted Workplace Style and Fashion
Style consultant Audrey Beaulac returns to discuss how the Covid-19 Pandemic, and Work From Home policies have impacted workplace fashions and style as many prepare to return to the office. We talk about online shopping, men's grooming, make-up, looking your best on Zoom (hint: it's about the lighting!) Trends in eyewear and finding great deals on clothing as the fashion retail industry continues to experience pandemic induced challenges.
You can listen to an earlier conversation with Audrey from March, 2019 on the podcast, but of the general advice still stands.
And if you have an extra minute, I'd appreciate your feedback on a short survey.
Advice For Incoming MBAs From Foster Students and Alumni
This episode features compiled advice for incoming MBA candidates at the Foster School of Business. I solicited advice from recent alumni, a few students, and even went into my archives for a clip from my conversation with Ruchi Singh about the Foster Consulting Society.
In the coming weeks, I'll be releasing episodes that feature longer conversations with Rachel Hester, Melissa Young and Evan Gray, who all offered advice for this episode. Subscribe to the podcast to make sure you don't miss those episodes.
I want to thank all of the people I featured on this episode of Conversations On Careers and Professional Life for taking the time to offer advice to Foster's incoming class of MBAs, in the order of their first appearance in the episode:
Evan Gray, MBA 2022 Rachel Hester, MBA 2018 Melissa Young, MBA 2018 Ruchi Singh, MBA 2020 Rekha Mathew, MBA 2020 Devin Doyle, MBA 2021 Abhro Pal, MBA 2020 Jessica Hatz, MBA 2021 Mallory Monsma, MBA 2020
Season 6 Preview
The upcoming season of Conversations on Careers and Professional life is right around the corner.
Episodes will start to drop late August and continue through the fall quarter. I've got some great conversations to share, starting with advice from students and alumni to incoming students at the foster school.
I'll share a conversation with two 2021 MBAs, Evan Gray and Andrew Wen, and the Founding Partner of Fuse VC about the Foster Venture Fellows program, and another conversation with the founders of the Swing Shift and authors of Back To Business, Sarah Dunewald and Nancy Jensen along with my colleague Elaine Newtson about returning to the workforce after a career pause.
This season, also features some conversations with alumni including Rachel Hester, a sustainability finance manager at Nike and Melissa Young a Client Partner working in digital advertising at Facebook.
I also have a great conversation with Kira Schabram, an assistant professor of management in the Foster School, about meaningful work and burnout.
Audrey Beaulac will be back to talk about how the pandemic has changed professional attire and style as many of us will be planning our returns to the office or thinking about our wardrobes for a hybrid workplace.
I also have a short survey on the website, http://conversationsoncareers.com/survey. Your feedback will help me plan season 7 which will come out at the beginning of the new year.
Great Podcast for MBA Students
Gregory does an excellent job presenting helpful tips and resources for all MBA students to use. Must-listen for UW MBA students.