Archive for April, 2008

Asking questions to expand your network

Monday, April 28th, 2008

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Last Friday I presented a Networking workshop for the scholars of the Young Latinas Leadership Institute, a group of the 100 Hispanic Women organization. They are students at the City University of New York (CUNY) who receive a $1000 scholarship every year during their four years of college plus mentorship, internships and support from 100 Hispanic Women.

    I talked about the importance of establishing relationships while they are in college and that an excellent way to develop a good network is by becoming visible to others. That means, to get others to know you and notice you for your uniqueness, relevance and for what you have to offer.

      One way to achieve this is by asking questions at workshops and presentations you attend so you get noticed by presenters and participants alike. The key is to ask the right question! So here is a description of what a good question sounds like:

        • It makes you look smart while it doesn’t make you look smarter than the presenter

          • It allows the presenter to continue to show off his or her expertise

            • It gives the audience additional information that they hadn’t heard yet• It doesn’t put the presenter on the spot

              • It’s not confrontational

                My suggestion is that before you ask a question at an event, you introduce yourself and thank the presenter for the presentation or for his/her insights or for his/her inspiration, whatever the case may be. Then go ahead and ask a question that is:

                  • Short

                    • Well phrased
                    • To the point

                    The idea is that when you ask good questions, most of the time, people want to meet you and find out more about who you are and what you do. And that is a powerful way to expand your professional network.

                    Careers Online

                    Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

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                    Around three million people are currently studying careers online! An amazing number. And because the average age of an online student is 36-37 and they are mostly adults who work full time and have a family and little time to go to college, this number reflects a great desire to improve and open up possibilities.

                    I recently did a couple of segments on TV about this topic and was shocked by the large number of emails I received requesting more information.

                    Many people are being denied promotions because they don’t have a college degree or they don’t have a Mater’s degree. So, taking courses online may give you a unique chance to finish your education or to take it to the next level.

                    You can study all sorts of careers online and you won’t believe the level of interaction you get. You communicate with your classmates and professors via email and synchronous classes while you get to meet professionals who, like you, work full time and can bring real life cases to the table.

                    The biggest advantage to studying online is that you choose when and where you want to do your assignments so it gives you the flexibility you need to carry on with your life. Also, because you don’t have to travel or pay for room and board, it usually costs less than a state university.

                    When choosing a college, make sure it’s an accredited institution. To verify that it is, check that the accrediting organizations are listed with the U.S. Education department: www.us.edu and with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation www.chea.org.

                    You can find links to some of the best known and more serious universities to the right of this blog under “links”.

                    Still dreaming of the Dream Act

                    Sunday, April 6th, 2008

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                      U.S.Senator Ken Salazar was the keynote speaker at the Harvard Business School Latino Association Organization’s dinner last Friday.

                      He spoke about his experiences growing up as the grandson of immigrants from Mexico. And although his speech was interesting as it showed how close most Latinos are to the generation who immigrated into this country, I found that the most interesting part of his presentation was the question and answer period.

                        I asked him about the Dream act. What he thought in terms of the bill passing and what we could do to help its passing. He said that last year the Senate spent three days discussing the bill and that in the end they couldn’t get the number of senators needed to pass it. “There is still discrimination in this country,” Senator Salazar said.

                          The Senator also shared that during the discussion of the bill, his office received hundreds of bricks by mail asking him to build a wall and deport all undocumented immigrants.

                            I think people who are in favor of giving a path to legalization to those youngsters who were brought illegally into this country by their parents, should continue to make their voices heard by their representatives. We should continue to write letters, make phone calls and speak publicly about this problem and the consequences of not giving teenagers raised in this country a chance to fulfill their dreams of going to college and contributing to our economy and society.

                              Senator Ken Salazar is hopeful that if our next president is a Democrat, immigration will be one of the top priority issues on the agenda. I think that even if it is, we must continue to make our voices heard in the mainstream if we want to help change the status quo.

                              Science and Consciousness Conference

                              Friday, April 4th, 2008

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                              I was in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for a few days this week taking part of the Science and Consciousness Conference. It’s a fabulous annual event organized by The Message Conference, where frontier scientists and people interested in a variety of fields where science and consciousness meet, come together.

                              This is one of the most enriching experiences of the year for me. I get to hear people like Rupert Sheldrake talk about morphic resonnance and Eric Pearl about tapping into the universal field in order to heal yourself and others. Dannion Brinkley spoke of his three near dead experiences and Konstantin Korotkov spoke about measuring energy fields.

                              The common denominator of this conference was the theme that we are all reaching a new level of consciousness and that a major transformation will take place within 4 to 6 years for which we should all prepare.

                              What I find most interesting is trying to mesh these very profound insights with my every day life and activities, passing on as much of my knowledge to others as possible.