Real people telling real stories of real careers. A common perception is that careers move in straight lines, from first job to last, yet this is rarely true. Real careers have highs and lows, planned changes and unexpected ones. On each episode of Career Curves, we talk to someone who has had an interesting, curvy career to find out how they navigated the twists and turns. We focus on the opportunities and challenges that came their way, digging into key decisions they faced and how they made them. Listen in and walk away with inspiration and ideas to help you maneuver through the curves in your own career.
Powering Forward with Malia Cohen
Malia Cohen discovered when she was a child that she wanted to serve in government. She visualized herself in her dream job and then made it happen. Today, she has moved on from that role and sits on the California State Board of Equalization and serves as President of the San Francisco Police Commission, the first African-American woman in both of these roles. So how has she powered forward to make her goals a reality in spite of many obstacles along the way? On this episode, she shares her story openly and honestly, and imparts wisdom and advice that can benefit anyone in any career. Listen and be inspired.
Meet the Guest
Malia M. Cohen serves as a Member of the California State Board of Equalization (BOE), California’s elected tax commission. She was elected to the BOE in November 2018, served as Chair in 2019, and is the first African-American woman to serve on the Board.
As the BOE Board Member for District 2, she represents 10 million constituents living in all or parts of 23 counties extending from Del Norte County in the north to Santa Barbara County in the south. In January 2019, her BOE Board Member colleagues unanimously selected her to serve as Chair of the Board.
A strong advocate for social justice and inclusion, Board Member Cohen pledges to ensure that the views of all who come before the Board of Equalization are considered carefully, with respect, civility, and courtesy. She further commits to collaborate with her colleagues to guarantee that all the actions of the BOE are open, transparent, and above reproach.
Prior to being elected to the Board of Equalization, Board Member Cohen served as President of the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco. She was first elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2010 and re-elected in 2014.
As a Member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, she served as the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee. As Finance Chair, she oversaw the adoption of an $11 billion budget, and measures concerning bond issues, taxes, fees, and redevelopment and real estate matters. She also served as a fiduciary member of the San Francisco Transportation Authority, which manages the proceeds of a half-cent sales tax that generates $100 million annually for transportation investments in the County.
Previously, she served as a Commissioner of the San Francisco Employee Retirement System (SFERS), which manages a $23 billion pension fund. As President of SFERS, she led efforts to divest from fossil fuels and thermal coal investments and moved $100 million into a fossil fuel-free index fund.
Throughout her life, Board Member Cohen has fought for diversity and inclusion. She has championed policies and programs that protect public health, foster economic development, promote new affordable housing, and that create good jobs through protecting and expanding our manufacturing base.
Board Member Cohen was born and raised in San Francisco. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Fisk University, a historically Black university in Nashville, Tennessee, and a Masters in Science in Public Policy & Management from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Keep Pushing Ahead with Saiman Shetty
Making moves into new roles and new companies can be challenging, especially if people are telling you what you want to do isn’t available to you or you’re an immigrant needing to get over visa hurdles. Our guest on this episode, Saiman Shetty, technical program manager of robots at Nuro, has faced and overcome these challenges, not by luck or chance but by design. With perseverance, determination, and a lot of hard work, he’s crafted a career journey that includes working for companies like Tesla and Lyft. It includes side hustles as an entrepreneur founding and launching his own companies. And, it includes navigating student and work visas until finally receiving an EB-1A "Einstein Visa" in 2019, giving him the right to work in the US indefinitely. He has an interesting story to tell filled with rich advice for anyone navigating their career.
Meet the Guest
Saiman Shetty is a Technical Program Manager for Robots at Nuro. Previously, he worked at Tesla and also played a pivotal role as one of the founding members of Lyft's self-driving team. He is an immigrant entrepreneur who heads the product team at ResumePuppy, and has been awarded the "Einstein Visa" or EB-1A Green Card. He is now using his experience with his own EB-1A journey to help immigrants via his course, "Smart Green Card". He is very active on LinkedIn, and posts frequently on Robotics & AI topics. He's also an avid outdoors person who loves to hike a lot!
Smart Green Card. Be sure to check out the free mini-course.
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Writing Your Own Career Story with Jamie Pachino
Jamie Pachino is currently the Co-Executive Producer on The Right Stuff for Disney+. She always thought that she’d be an actor for her career, but she fell in love with writing plays and scripts along the way. Her work has been produced in four countries, honored with numerous awards, and she’s written for major studios like DreamWorks, Disney, Lionsgate and more. Jamie shares how she did it and the lessons she learned along the way. It’s an inspiring story of someone who followed her passion into a career of her dreams, and the script on that career is not even close to finished!
Meet the Guest
Jamie Pachino is an award winning playwright, screenwriter and TV writer. Her plays have been seen in four countries, published and named the winner of the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays production grant, the Laurie Foundation Theatre Visionary Award, Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work, and the Francesca Primus Prize by the American Theatre Critics Association, among many others. Jamie’s plays have been produced, developed and read at Steppenwolf, Long Wharf, Hartford Stage, LCT3 (Lincoln Center), American Conservatory Theatre, Roundabout, Geva, San Jose Rep, Pasadena Playhouse, Northlight, Florida Stage, A Contemporary Theatre, and the Women’s Playwright Conference in Athens, Greece, among many others.
Jamie has written on the staffs of TV series for Amazon (SNEAKY PETE, CHARLOTTE WALSH LIKES TO WIN), AMC (HALT AND CATCH FIRE), NBC (CHICAGO PD, THE BRAVE), TNT (FRANKLIN & BASH) and USA (FAIRLY LEGAL). She has written features for DreamWorks, Disney, Lionsgate, Walden Media, Vanguard Films and others, and teleplays for Amazon, the Hallmark Hall of Fame, Lifetime, Up, and the Hallmark Channel. She is currently writing on the staff of THE RIGHT STUFF for Disney+, a pilot for Bad Robot Productions, and her screenplay MASTERPIECE has been optioned.
Jamie has served on the faculties of Northwestern University (her alma mater), University of California Irvine, National Louis University, Columbia College and The Chicago Academy of the Arts. She is a proud member of the WGA, The Playwrights Center, and the International Center for Women Playwrights, and is represented by Kaplan Stahler Agency, APA (theatre), Harden Curtis (London), and Cartel Entertainment. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband Lindsay Jones and their two children.
More at www.jamiepachino.com.
Building on What You've Learned with Marcus Chung
What role does learning play as you are building your career? Marcus Chung, VP of Manufacturing and Supply Chain at ThirdLove, has learned from each and every one of his experiences, and he has continuously applied that information to move toward roles that better tap into his passions and strengths. Part of his career journey has included roles and companies that weren’t always a perfect fit, but he needed the learning from those experiences to truly discover his ideal path. By closing some doors along the way, he has opened windows to a more fulfilling and rewarding career.
Meet the Guest
An apparel sourcing and supply chain leader, Marcus Chung has held roles focused on delivering value through strategic supply chain management. Currently VP of Manufacturing and Supply Chain for direct-to-consumer women's intimates brand ThirdLove, Marcus's team is responsible for sourcing, production, product quality, logistics and fulfillment. His experience includes leading global teams to deliver exceptional product quality, cost and delivery results. In addition, he has developed strategies and engaged with the broader apparel industry to drive sustainability and protect garment workers' rights in the supply chain.
Marcus earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Wesleyan University and an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. He served as a Trustee for Wesleyan University and served two terms on the board of directors for Net Impact, a non-profit organization whose mission is to mobilize a new generation to use their careers to drive transformational change in their workplaces and the world.
Marcus recently wrote an article on the impact robots, 3D technology and artificial intelligence are having on the apparel supply chain. You can read it here.
Stalking Success with Gabrielle Bosché
Gabrielle Bosché became addicted to achievement at an early age. Her incredible drive helped her achieve early success (including publishing her first book at 17!), but it came at a cost to her health and relationships.
The unlock in her career journey was connecting her work to her life purpose. She intentionally crafted a career centered around her passions and founded two companies in the process – The Millennial Solution and The Purpose Company. She continues to share her learning with others and recently published her fifth book called "The Purpose Factor."
Gabrielle tells people to "stalk success" and learn as much as they can from the wisdom and achievements of others. She has followed her own advice and has channeled it into an extraordinary and fulfilling career.
Meet the Guest
Raised in an alcoholic household, Gabrielle became addicted to achievement because that was the only thing she could control. From self-publishing her first book at 17 to becoming an elite athlete to losing 20 pounds in 2 months to win a beauty pageant, Gabrielle found her identity as an "achiever." After extreme dieting caused her to lose chunks of her hair and most of her relationships, Gabrielle knew she needed a change. Her journey to discover her own purpose resulted in what is known as the #1 purpose discovery process in the world.
Gabrielle is one of the most booked Millennial motivators in the world. She has been called the "next generation of motivators" by Tom Ziglar and is a popular TEDx presenter, bestselling author, and co-founder of The Purpose Company. Her work has been endorsed by the likes of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Brian Tracy, Lewis Howes, and co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Marc Victor Hansen. Gabrielle has worked with everyone from presidential campaigns, the U.S. Navy and Air Force, and the top brands in the world. Gabrielle has been featured in major media outlets including NPR, Sirius XM Radio, Bloomberg Radio, Glamour Magazine, Business Insider, and Los Angeles Times.
Gabrielle quit her job at 23 to launch her first company, consulting major brands and the government on how to reach Millennials. Her breakout moment came when at a networking meeting she introduced herself as a "Millennial expert" to someone who would end up being her first client (the U.S. Navy). Gabrielle has written 5 books ranging from Millennial motivation, next-generation entrepreneurship, and how to find your purpose. Gabrielle's approach to life, love, and business is the self-deprecating deeply wise and insanely practical solution we need right now.
The Millennial Solution
The Purpose Company
The Purpose Factor
Embracing Differences with Adriane Armstrong
“I have had an identity of being different from such an early age that it's never even occurred to me to try to fit in with those around me.” That’s how Adriane Armstrong, CEO of the nonprofit social enterprise Juma Ventures, explains why she chose a career in the nonprofit sector while her classmates were pursuing for-profit, high tech startups.
For many, going against the grain isn’t easy. In this interview, Adriane tells her story including the early experiences that motivated her to want to help others and the strategic, deliberate steps she took to build a career where she could do exactly this. It’s an inspiring story filled with practical advice that anyone can use, especially those considering working in the nonprofit sector.
Our long-time listeners know that every year around the holidays, we like to feature the career journey of someone making a difference in the lives of others. This year, we’re thrilled to have Adriane as our guest and to highlight the work of Juma Ventures. Juma operates businesses with the purpose of employing young people. Its mission is to break the cycle of poverty by paving the way to work, education, and financial capability for youth across America.
Meet the Guest
Adriane Gamble Armstrong has dedicated her career to the nonprofit sector, working on issues ranging from education and community development to public health and environmental justice. Common threads in her work have been the pursuit of social justice and serving underserved communities. Adriane found Juma as a volunteer in 2005, joined staff as Managing Director of Programs in 2011, and became CEO in 2017. Prior to her appointment to CEO, Adriane served for three years as COO, and oversaw the programs & partnerships, evaluation, finance, information technology, human resources and operations functions of the agency. Through Adriane’s efforts in team building, partnership development and strategic execution, Juma has grown from a $3M organization in three cities, to the current footprint of six markets serving more than 1,000 youth per year with a budget of $7M.
Adriane serves on the board of the Hidden Genius Project, and sits on the Council of Nonprofit Leaders for Charity Navigator. She previously served on the board of Huckleberry Youth Programs, and is an alumna of the American Express Leadership Academy. Prior to joining Juma, Adriane managed a housing and social services program for youth aging out of foster care with Local Initiatives Support Corporation. Adriane holds an MBA with an emphasis in nonprofit management from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, as well as an M.A. in social psychology and a B.A. in comparative studies in race and ethnicity from Stanford University. She resides in Oakland with her husband and two sons.
If you’re interested in getting involved or donating to Juma Ventures, visit Juma.org.
Love this show. Beth is an awesome host. Great stories from real industry titans. Well worth a listen!
I am getting to know what I don’t know!
When we think about successful companies, we tend to praise a single individual; often the CEO. Career Curves shines a light on silent leaders who are never seen in the media but significantly impact company success. Beth has a unique ability to make conversations feel natural as if I am sitting in the room.
I am in currently in between jobs and the podcasts moderated by Beth Davies are such an inspiration. Beth does a great job interviewing all types of leaders from both the public and private sector. Keep these interviews going!