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.
The Power of And with Neda Cvijetic
Do you ever feel boxed in or typecasted based on your current role or what you've studied? Dr. Neda Cvijetic has made it her mission to break down false barriers throughout her life and career. She's a senior engineering leader AND she has her own fashion business on the side called Hautefit. She has a strong intellect AND strong emotional intelligence. She has a thriving career AND a very fulfilling personal and family life.
She has worked for some of the hottest technology and innovation leaders in the world, including NEC, Tesla and Nvidia, AND recently started a new role as Senior Vice President -- Head of Artificial Intelligence at Stellantis, the parent company of some of the biggest car brands in the world.
So how does she do it? Listen to this inspiring episode to find out!
Meet the Guest
Neda Cvijetic is Senior Vice President – Head of Artificial Intelligence at Stellantis, where she leads AI software that will create breakthrough capabilities for all Stellantis brands. Prior to Stellantis, Neda worked on autonomous vehicles, AI, and computer vision at NVIDIA and was also the producer and host of DRIVE Labs, a video and blog series that provides a behind-the-scenes look at a range of AI and AV technologies under development at NVIDIA.
Prior to NVIDIA, Neda worked on advanced projects in Autopilot and Infotainment systems at Tesla, served on the adjunct faculty of Columbia University, and held senior research positions at NEC Labs America. She holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Virginia, as well as over 20 granted U.S. patents and peer-reviewed conference and journal publications with more than 4,000 Google scholar citations.
NVIDIA DRIVE Labs
AI podcast episode
Hautefit instagram: @hautefitofficial
Ava Astro episode: Neda Cvijetic Fashion & Engineering
Beyond Financial Success with Brenden Mulligan
“I’ve never had a job. And as soon as I stop liking what I'm doing, I generally try to change course.”
Throughout his career, Brenden Mulligan, founder of Podpage and head of product at Commonstock, has been driven by more than just financial success. From the music industry to startups, his passion has focused on solving problems and building products that customers love. He’s been fortunate to have a number of companies he created get acquired. Contrary to popular belief, this didn’t mean he became wealthy. Sometimes it simply meant he left the experience with no debt.
On this episode, he shares how he has built a career that keeps him challenged, growing, and satisfied. Listen and leave inspired.
Meet the Guest
Brenden Mulligan is founder of Podpage.com, which thousands of podcasters use to build and host their podcast websites. He's been working with creative people for over 15 years, including musicians, artists, software developers, and podcasters. He's founded and sold 3 other startups, most recently to Google.
Doing What You Love with Tamara Lewis
When Tamara Lewis was growing up in Jamaica, there were only two versions of what future "career success" might look like. She could become a doctor, or she could become a lawyer. She started college as a pre-med student ....and proceeded to change her major 14 times. She later was accepted into law school ....and ended up dropping out early in her first semester. The moral of this story? She was driven by what she "should" be doing versus following her passions, and she didn't find career fulfillment until she did just that.
Tamara ultimately learned that she was drawn to non-profit work and organizations, and she currently serves as the Vice President of Talent & Culture at The Conrad Hilton Foundation. Her advice to everyone is to DO WHAT YOU LOVE, and career success will follow.
Her story is inspirational and a perfect listen before students go back to school.
Meet the Guest
Tamara has held senior leadership roles with both national and global organizations in her 20 plus years in human resources.
In her current role, Tamara leads the Hilton Foundation’s efforts to create an inspiring and engaging atmosphere for its employees with a particular focus on establishing the strategic framework for the organization’s first global diversity and inclusion program. Additionally, Tamara serves on the board of Social Accountability International, a global non-governmental organization advancing human rights at work and Los Robles Regional Medical Center.
Prior to joining the Hilton Foundation Tamara lead human resource teams at Gentiva Health Services and directed global human resources and talent management for CARE, the global relief organization based in Atlanta. At CARE, Tamara she was responsible for directing the organization’s long-term vision, strategy and operational initiatives in the area of global compensation, recruitment, talent management, leadership succession and inclusion.
Tamara holds a master’s in business administration from Dowling College and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Hunter College.
Feeling burned out at work? It doesn’t have to be that way
LA Times December 1, 2020
Breaking News with Laura Meckler
"Being consistently good doesn't get you very far. You need to be occasionally amazing." That's advice from Laura Meckler, national education writer at the Washington Post. Her career is living proof, and by being good and occasionally amazing she rose up the journalism ladder to some of the most prestigious newspapers in the U.S., including a coveted stint as White House correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.
In this episode, Laura describes her journey, beginning with a pivotal role as Editor in Chief of her college newspaper. The road to prominence had a series of challenges and curves along the way, but she persevered and leveraged each of her experiences to continually move forward.
Her path is an excellent reminder that most careers don't follow a straight line. The highs, lows, triumphs and failures are all part of the career development process, and they build strength and resilience. How did Laura do it? Listen to this "Breaking News" episode to hear her remarkable story.
Meet the Guest
Laura Meckler is national education writer at the Washington Post, where she covers education across the country and federal education policy. She came to the Post from The Wall Street Journal, where she covered the White House, three presidential races, changing American demographics, immigration and health care. Before that, she worked for The Associated Press Washington bureau, writing about health and social policy and politics.
Before coming to Washington, Laura covered state government in Columbus, Ohio. She got her start covering everything from schools and cops to the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame festival at The Repository in Canton, Ohio, about 50 miles south of her hometown of Cleveland.
Laura graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, and serves as vice president of the board that oversees her college newspaper. She was a Nieman fellow at Harvard University in 2003-04, and in 1999, she won the Livingston Award for National Reporting, a prize given to journalists under age 35, for her coverage of organ donation and transplantation issues. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and two sons.
The Door to Opportunity with Matthew Confer
“The door to opportunity is a door marked PUSH.” Throughout his career, Matt Confer has taken to heart this advice from his parents. He’s actively looked for doors and then strategized how to get them open.
In this episode, Matt spells out the steps he took to create internship opportunities during college and then continually move forward in his career. (Spoiler alert: extreme networking is one of the keys to his success.) He’s currently VP of strategy and business development at Abilitie. The role and the work are not what he envisioned for himself when he was young, yet he loves where he is.
So, how did he build his career? Listen to find out and be inspired.
Meet the Guest
Matthew Confer is the Vice President of Strategy at Abilitie, a Leadership Development company based in Austin, Texas that provides immersive business simulations to a global client base that includes over 40 members of the Fortune 500. Matthew has spoken on the topic of decision making at the TEDx Conference with a talk entitled Before You Decide and he hosts the Learn To Lead Podcast where he speaks with his guests about their leadership journey and how they are working to develop the leaders of tomorrow.
TEDx Talk - Before You Decide
Learn To Lead Podcast
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.
Engaging and Relevant
Hearing Beth’s story was very interesting and lended a lot of credibility behind the idea of “career curves”. We all have to navigate our professional career paths and sometimes we just need to hear of what others have done along their path(s). This podcast is engaging and highly relevant. I recommend it to those facing a fork in the road or even a dead end.
Career Stories That Include the Peaks and the Valleys
One of the best pieces of advice I got was that careers don’t move in a 45 degree angle. We will experience peaks and valleys in our professional life. Host Beth Davis talks with successful people who are candid about their ups and downs in the workplace and the often circuitous routes they took along the way. Beth is a skillful interview, listens hard to what guests say, and asks good, open-ended questions.
Love this show. Beth is an awesome host. Great stories from real industry titans. Well worth a listen!