Google logo pays tribute to Esther Afua Ocloo, ‘microlending’ pioneer

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Esther Afua Ocloo

Google is using its logo Tuesday to honor the birthday of one of the world’s most important entrepreneurs.

April 18 marks the 98th birthday of Esther Afua Ocloo, a businesswoman from Ghana who helped pioneer microlending, which focuses on lending budding entrepreneurs smaller loans.

Ocloo had less than a dollar when she started a business selling marmalade. She traveled to England to study food processing, sharing skills with other women in Ghana, as well as insight on starting and managing a business.

In 1979, she helped found Women’s World Banking, which offers small loans to low-income women.

“On what would have been her 98th birthday, today’s Doodle shows Esther empowering the women of Ghana with the tools to improve their lives and communities,” reads an excerpt from Google’s Doodle archive on Ocloo’s legacy.

Source: USA Today

How to Find a Job as a New Graduate

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Woman sitting at a desk working on a resume

Goodbye university. Hello working life. Well, that’s the plan anyway.

Making the transition from student life to full-time employment comes with mixed emotions. Beginning your career might mean sacrificing late-night drinks on a Tuesday at the campus pub, but it comes with plenty of benefits. Just picture what you’ll do with that first paycheck.

Graduating from a university or college and finding a job is a significant life event. And people handle it in different ways. Some new grads will take their time and go traveling to forestall the change. Others will be keen to get their professional lives started right away.

Regardless of when you plan on finding a job as a new grad, the process can be challenging. Many graduates lack familiarity with the basics of job searching, or how to sell themselves to employers when they have minimal work experience.

Not to worry, here we’ll cover some of the best strategies for finding a job for those who are recent graduates. This guide includes advice on:

  1. Setting expectations for your job search
  2. The importance of a well-crafted resume for new grads
  3. How to identify job opportunities
  4. Enhancing your professionalism

1) What to Expect As a Recent Graduate

OK, time for a reality check. Unless you are extremely fortunate, you will not find your perfect job right out of school. Sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s important to keep your expectations in check.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t do everything you can to land a fantastic job. But you need to remember that there are thousands of other new grads out there looking to jumpstart their careers too. And there aren’t many ‘amazing’ jobs on offer to people who have minimal experience.

You may find that there are limited opportunities on offer with your preferred company or in your ideal role. Be flexible in this case. Look for opportunities that vary slightly from these ideals.

By all means, stay true to your interests and background. Just don’t be too narrow in your view of how you can apply your skills and experience. For example, you may want a financial analyst position with a commercial bank.

Well, maybe that commercial bank isn’t hiring analysts right now but they are hiring project assistants. Chances are good that many of the skills required of a project assistant are required of financial analysts as well.

And maybe you can start off as a project assistant, prove your abilities, and make a leap to an analyst.

The point is to look for opportunities that are relevant to the career path you foresee for yourself. This may also mean pursuing unpaid internship opportunities as a potential starting point with a company or career path.

Internships often lead to full-time, paid roles; and worst-case, an internship offers you valuable experience that you can use to help secure employment elsewhere.

2) Be Ready-to-go With Your Resume

Before you start your job search, you had better make sure you have a resume or CV that you can send along to recruiters or other contacts. You won’t find too many organizations that don’t require you to submit one or the other as part of their hiring process.

As a new grad, if you’re serious about landing a professional job, your resume or CV should look the part. So throw away that Word document you created five years ago when you applied for a job as a restaurant server, and upgrade to a modern version.

You will want to give careful attention to layout and design so that you can make a visual impact on recruiters. A resume builder can help on that front. But even more important is the content you include.

As a new grad, your best strategy for developing a resume/CV is to create an initial version that you can alter to fit the different positions you will be applying for. Don’t make the mistake of using the same resume/CV over and over again for every application.

One of the basics of resume writing is to customize your resume/CV to reflect the requirements of a particular job description. In other words, you need to show recruiters that you’ve got what they are asking for.

In terms of content, students and recent graduates can struggle to decide what to list on their resumes, especially if they lack relevant work experience. However, there are plenty of tricks for writing a resume with little to no experience.

What’s important is that you think hard about how other experiences, such as school work or extra-curricular, demonstrate the abilities you can apply to real-world work.

Continue on to novoresume to read the complete article.

The World’s Largest MBA Tour hosted by QS

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Conference attendees shaking hands and smiling

The World’s Largest MBA Tour hosted by QS is coming to a city near you! Attendees will have the opportunity to speak face-to-face with representatives from dozens of top international and local business schools and get all of their MBA-related questions answered!

Earn a salary boost, gain valuable leadership skills, or change industries altogether; the possibilities are endless with an MBA! This is a unique opportunity to meet face-to-face with top local and international business schools such as Brown University, NYU, INSEAD, and many more (check your local event page for a full list of participating schools).

At the event, you will be able to get all of your MBA-related questions answered under one roof as well as network with alumni and fellow attendees. Attendees will also be able to get their resume reviewed by a professional, a professional LinkedIn headshot taken, test prep resources, and so much more – all for FREE. And if that’s not enough, by attending the event, you’ll also gain access to scholarships worth up to $7 million that will help you succeed and get that MBA you’ve been dreaming of!

Additionally, the Toronto and New York events will both have a Women in Leadership workshop!

Take advantage of this partnership between Diversity Comm and QS and register for FREE to attend an upcoming event in your city!

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How Concierge Parenting Services Can Help Prepare Kids for College

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Group of students talking at a table filled with papers

College admissions issues has been stealing the headlines. From the college admission scandal, where wealthy people allegedly paid to help their kids get accepted to high ranking colleges, to the talk of adding diversity scores to help boost some SAT/ACT tests, the news is filled with the challenges that those wanting to go to a good college may face.

Some parents are opting to take an approach that is more tailored to helping the child become prepared to excel and get into the college of their choice. This new approach, called concierge parenting services, aims to provide a customized plan to take the child to the next level, by identifying their fullest potential and capitalizing on it.

“Too often, the approaches taken in schools are failing students. Every child learns differently, so a cookie cutter approach just doesn’t work,” explains Reena B. Patel, a parenting expert, licensed educational psychologist, and author, who offers virtual workshops. “Through concierge parenting services, parents can learn exactly what their child needs to focus on in order to excel. The plan has been tailored to their unique child.”

Recently, Gallup suggested that education in the country takes the opposite approach of standardized tests, which students are being inundated with around the nation. What they suggest is that students need a test that is for them and about them, so that they become better at understanding and developing their own unique talents, which will help them succeed in school and life. This is the goal of concierge parenting, too.

Concierge parenting is service offered by Patel and other professionals in the field, in which they conduct extensive assessment on the child. Here are some of the ways that concierge parenting services can help prepare kids for college:

  • The assessments that are conducted show a child’s strengths, so that they can capitalize on them in order to reach their goals.
  • Parents receive a customized learning profile of their child, which will give insight as to how they best learn and optimize their strengths while developing areas of need. Parents can use that information to ensure that their educational needs are being addressed and how to take their child to the next level of growth.
  • Their learning profile includes such things as the child’s emotional resilience. This is important information, because it sheds light on how well the child will adapt to stressful situations or challenges. They can use the information to help the child learn more coping skills.
  • Parents receive the tools that they need in order to help their child navigate studying, taking tests, and applying for colleges. Rather than guessing how to best go about these things, the information has been tailored to the needs and styles of the individual.
  • Similar to a concierge in a hotel, parents get a tailored approach that is focused on meeting their needs and ensuring their child’s success. By taking advantage of a service like this, parents can learn their child’s strengths then nurture them and focus on excelling those strengths to be the best version of themselves.

“If you want to feel confident about your child’s education and future college acceptance, you can’t go wrong with taking a concierge parenting approach,” added Patel. “The purpose of concierge parenting is to help remove the stress, hurdles, and disappointment that may come later on. It helps your child to set out on their path with a detailed map to help them successfully get there.”

Patel offers several concierge parenting services packages, including being able to tailor a program to meet individual needs and goals. Two of her popular packages are titled Optimal Learning and New Parent. The Optimal Learning package offers a comprehensive assessment, customized report with specific tools to apply, follow up emails to ask questions, comprehensive evaluations to include, but not limited to, intelligence testing, academic testing, social and emotional readiness, and executive functioning testing. The New Parent package focuses on the idea that every baby and child is unique and has a different temperament. It’s ideal for new parents or a parent of a teen. Finding time to address challenges, such as behaviors, or how best to get your baby to sleep is hard. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a service customized just for your family and child? One that is effective and developed by a professional expert.

Each concierge parenting package includes initial consultation to identify concerns and goals, three session observation, modeling, and implementation of expert techniques, and one follow up virtual call after strategies are implemented.

In addition to offering concierge parenting services, Patel is the founder of AutiZm& More. As a licensed educational psychologist and guidance counselor, she helps children and their families with the use of positive behavior support strategies across home, school, and community settings. She does workshops around California, and virtual workshops globally where she provides this information to health professionals, families, and educators. She is also the author of a book that helps children with anxiety coping strategies called “Winnie & Her Worries,” and author of a book about autism awareness and acceptance, called “My Friend Max: A Story about a Friend with Autism.” Both of her books are available on Amazon. To learn more about her services, visit the website at reenabpatel.com.

About Reena B. Patel
Based in the San Diego area, Reena B. Patel (LEP, BCBA) is a renowned parenting expert, guidance counselor, licensed educational psychologist, and board-certified behavior analyst. For more than 20 years, Patel has had the privilege of working with families and children, supporting all aspects of education and positive wellness. She works extensively with developing children as well as children with exceptional needs, supporting their academic, behavioral and social development.  She was recently nominated for San Diego Magazine’s “Woman of the Year.” To learn more about her books and services, visit the website at reenabpatel.com, and to get more parenting tips, follow her on Instagram @reenabpatel.

Gallup. It’s time to try the opposite of standardized testinggallup.com/education/237284

One-Year or Two-Year MBA: Is There a Simple Answer?

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group of college students walking to lecture hall

By Steve Fortin

There are now literally hundreds of MBA programs available worldwide. Evaluating an MBA today is roughly the equivalent of talking about a car—one needs more specific details to really understand how one program compares to another.

In the same way that there is often little in common between a small sports car and a large SUV, MBA programs come in many variations. Indeed, there are many comparative factors to consider, including a program’s standing in global rankings, academic design, specializations, entry requirements, delivery mode, or, most relevant to this discussion, its duration.

MBAs have become diversified products, catering to segmented clientele’s needs. Upon exploring whether a two-year MBA program is superior to a one-year program, there is, unfortunately, no simple answer to suit all circumstances.

Internships and career changes

The first argument in support of a two-year MBA program pertains to the job market. Even within a two-year program, students are under pressure, as they juggle academics with career-prep workshops. Most programs begin in August and employers arrive on campus as early as September to recruit, both for summer internships and full-time jobs. Many students say that they are unsure of the field in which they wish to specialize, yet are asked to commit to a job search within a chosen industry almost immediately.

In a two-year MBA program, this issue is actually less problematic. Students complete internships first and are then provided with additional opportunities to engage with employers the following autumn. Moreover, some students accept full-time jobs with the same employer, usually during the last two weeks of their summer internship. Most remain in the same industry, but move laterally to a different employer and/or to a different job category. Finally, some realize that the chosen industry was not for them and move to a different one altogether, typically seeking a different field of specialization in their MBA. Given the duration of the program, students will have one more round of campus recruitment and a full eight months of courses left, making such transitions possible and easy to make. We have found that students enter the next round of recruitment better prepared, more aware of their strengths and weaknesses, as well as their goals and aspirations.

A two-year MBA program allows more time to build a strong foundation

The second argument in support of a two-year MBA program relates to academics. To acquire in-depth knowledge, one needs time flexibility to build their schedule, as well as to digest and integrate content. While knowledge can often be acquired relatively quickly, developing competency requires more time. One needs to read, apply the material, build presentations, study, write exams, and experience the use of the material in real life.

One aspect that most professors will likely agree on is that the faster one is forced to learn something, the faster this material will be forgotten. A two-year MBA program allows more time to build a strong foundation, as well as to consider and select options within a given field. More time allows for more informed choices, and more informed choices translate to a more adapted education.

The third and final strength of a two-year MBA program is its resilience to errors. Students may not be aware of the different choices that exist in management education or on the management job market. If a student begins his or her studies in marketing and either struggles academically or lacks interest, there is time to reorient. As mentioned previously, if a student completes an internship and does not appreciate the practical aspects of a field, there is still time to change direction. Finally, it is also noteworthy to mention that a key advantage of an MBA is the networking opportunities that it brings. However, it can be more challenging to build lasting relationships over a more condensed period of time.

Value of one-year vs. two-year MBA may hinge on your circumstances

To summarize, the value of a two-year MBA program over a shorter one is essentially a matter of “it depends.” As a rule of thumb, the more removed an applicant is from the world of management at the time of admission, the more he or she should contemplate the two-year degree. The strength of a two-year program is the additional time that it affords to build expertise, explore the job market, and validate both academic and career choices. In my opinion, ideal candidates for such a program would be international students, as well as those seeking a career change, such as engineers, lawyers, teachers, artists and others who are interested in a management career and/or in relocating to a different country.

However, the closer one is to the world of management, the stronger the argument in favor of a one-year MBA. Those looking to move up in their career are the target clientele. Career climbers are less likely to feel the need to acquire knowledge of the job market, or to build strong foundations in management. Thus, students who meet this profile will likely be well-served by a one-year degree. This is why, after all, MBA programs of varying durations exist in the first place, as they are built to adapt to different clienteles and their respective needs.

Nevertheless, as the saying goes, the proof is often in the pudding. Indeed, this is probably the strongest argument of all: When given a choice to go faster, our well-informed students choose to take more time!

Explosive: Former Theater Major, Now Navy Bomb Squad Leader, is Real-Life Action Hero

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When Hollywood makes movies featuring female soldiers and sailors, those characters typically have some improbable combination of strength, intelligence, grace and courage. Throw in a quirky backstory – She studied theatre! She plays clarinet! – and you have the makings of a perfect, albeit unrealistic, female military action hero.

But these women do exist. America’s Navy is filled with them, and few have a more interesting story than Ensign Brianne “Brie” Coger, a 10-year Navy veteran who was one of just 12 female enlisted Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) technicians in the entire fleet before earning her commission in 2018.

EODs are part of the Navy’s elite Special Warfare community. This is the territory of Navy SEALs – exceptional men and women who have the intelligence, physical fitness, and drive to rise to the top. It’s work that demands a state of mind marked by extreme courage and capability under fire.

Quirky background

Coger grew up in Staten Island, New York. She excelled in sports, particularly swimming, and still holds some swimming records at her high school. A talented musician, she also played clarinet with the school orchestra and marching band. Later, at the University of Miami (Fla.), she studied theater and dreamed of becoming a Hollywood stunt woman.

Coger competes in the 2013 CrossFit Euro Regionals in Copenhagen. Coger is a dedicated CrossFit competitor and has competed in individual and team CrossFit events at home and abroad.

Coger spent two challenging years after college working odd jobs back home in New York, trying to pursue an acting career. When the opportunities fizzled, Coger looked for a different kind of challenge and found it in the Navy.

Nothing typical

“What I love about EOD is that there is no typical day,” she said. “Whether we’re going out to do some diving and an underwater detonation, or we have to go to a remote location in the mountains to do some IED training, or just working a chemical or biological problem in a laboratory situation – there’s nothing typical about any of that, and that’s exactly what I needed in my life.”

EODs are the world’s ultimate bomb squad, trained to disarm conventional bombs, mines, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and chemical – even nuclear – weapons. They perform some of the most harrowing, dangerous work on earth to keep others from harm’s way — but that was precisely what appealed to Coger.

“I was really drawn to EOD because I wanted to be part of a protective force,” she said. “You still get to do all the cool stuff, but an EOD doesn’t go out and cause trouble; they’re there to make the situation better. That really spoke to me.”

Another competition, this time from the Epic Series in 2014. “Epic is like a like a strongman competition with multiple stations doing things like assault bikes, telephone pole tosses, sledgehammer smashing – stuff like that,” Coger says. “That was a keg race.”

Forging ahead

Coger says she’s never felt that her gender was an issue in her Navy career. In fact, she has enjoyed tremendous success in a relatively short time, rising to chief petty officer – a senior enlisted rate – in just eight years before being selected for officer training in 2017. After more than a decade as an enlisted Sailor, Coger earned her commission in 2018 after completing Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I. Coger has since graduated from the exclusive Navy Dive School in Florida and is now in San Diego getting ready to deploy. Her first assignment as a new officer? Leading a platoon of EOD Techs – the same people she worked with as an enlisted sailor.

“People think that joining the military means giving up things, but I’ve never seen it like that,” she said. “You aren’t losing something; you are gaining opportunities. The biggest thing that has helped me in my career is saying yes; embracing whatever’s out there and keeping my eyes and ears open to what’s possible.”

Forge your own path. Go to Navy.com

What You Need to Know About WBENC Certification

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Not only is the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the United States, but it is also one of four organizations approved by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) certification, as part of the SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting program.

Each year, the federal government sets a goal to award at least 5 percent of all federal contracting dollars to certified Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs), particularly in industries where WOSBs are underrepresented. Becoming a certified WOSB and joining the SBA’s contracting program ensures your business is eligible to compete for federal contracts set aside for this program.

Who is Eligible?

To be eligible for WOSB certification, your company must:

  • Be at least 51 percent, unconditionally and directly, owned and controlled by one or more women, who are U.S. citizens.
  • Be “small” in its primary industry in accordance with the SBA’s size standards for that industry. Use the SBA’s Size Standards Tool to check your industry.
  • Have women manage day-to-day operations and also make long-term decisions.

What Are the Benefits?

Becoming a certified WOSB and participating in the SBA’s WOSB contracting program allows your business to compete for federal contracts within a more limited pool of other qualified WOSBs, thereby increasing your chances of winning business.

These contracts are for industries where WOSBs are underrepresented. Check out the SBA’s list of eligible industries and their NAICS codes.

How Do I Get Started?

If you are already a WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), you can easily apply for WOSB certification as part of your recertification process at no additional charge.

Before starting the application process, please review the criteria for certification and ensure you meet the SBA’s size standards for your industry. When you are applying for recertification, select “Yes” to the WOSB certification question and upload the documents labeled “WOSB Applicants.”

If you are a women-owned business and not yet certified by WBENC, take a moment to read about the benefits of WBENC Certification to see if it is a fit for your business. WBENC is the nation’s largest certifier of women-owned businesses and our world-class certification standard is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations representing America’s most prestigious brands. If you choose to apply for WBENC certification, you can apply for WOSB certification at the same time.

It’s important to note that once you receive your WOSB certification, you still must complete additional steps to participate in the WOSB Federal Contracting program, including providing proof of certification information through certify.SBA.gov, and updating your business profile at SAM.gov to show contracting officers that your business is in the women’s contracting program. Check out SBA.gov for details.

Where Can I Learn More?

  • Visit wbenc.org/government for details on the WOSB certification process, documentation required, and frequently asked questions.
  • For more information about the SBA’s WOSB Federal Contracting program, visit SBA.gov.

Demand for MPS Degrees on the Rise

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Students going over paperwork seated outside

By Lawrence Hardy, Georgetown University

The past 20 years have seen tremendous growth in the number of master’s degrees awarded—and this trend shows no signs of stopping.

Indeed, according to the report Understanding the Changing Market for Professional Master’s Programs by the Education Advisory Board (EAB)—which does market research for colleges and universities—within the next seven years master’s degrees will account for nearly a third of all postsecondary degrees.

But there’s a twist: This increase won’t be coming from “traditional” master’s programs. “The new growth will come primarily from professional master’s programs focused on specific job skills that help students gain a new job or advance in an existing position,” the EAB report said, referring to degrees like the Master of Professional Studies (MPS).

The importance of any college degree to future job earnings cannot be overstated. A report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce titled, “Good Jobs are Back: College Graduates are First in Line,” said that 2.9 million “good jobs” (those that paid upwards of $53,000) have been created since 2010 and that 2.8 million of these positions went to college graduates. But the higher education advantage doesn’t stop with a bachelor’s degree.

“We’re creating a lot of bachelor-degree jobs, but people with graduate degrees are the ones who have really seen their earnings go up,” said Andrew Hanson, a Senior Analyst for the Center.

 

A Different Kind of Master’s Degree

To help meet the increased demand, Georgetown’s School of Continuing Studies (SCS) offers a broad range of MPS degrees and Executive MPS degrees and plans to add more based on the evolving needs of working professionals and employers.

SCS currently offers MPS degrees in areas including Emergency & Disaster Management, Global Strategic Communications, and Hospitality Management. To see other programs offered, visit scs.georgetown.edu.

Though all master’s degrees help increase a person’s ability to advance within his or her career, “what really sets job seekers apart is having in-depth knowledge that no other candidates have, and that comes from the type of skills conferred in a very specialized master’s program,” said Lisa Geraci, a Senior Consultant for EAB. “It’s no longer enough to be just a generalist.”

 

Four Kinds of “Working Professionals”

How does an MPS degree differ from a “traditional” master’s degree? The answer speaks to both the types of students who enroll and the type of education they are receiving.

First, the students: They are usually “nontraditional,” meaning not right out of college. They are, on average, a few years older. And perhaps, most significantly, they are usually employed. But the term “working professionals,” while accurate, isn’t precise enough to describe their specific needs. Thus, EAB divides them into four groups:

  • Career Starters—Recent graduates seeking a professional degree before entering the workforce. (These, of course, do not fit the “nontraditional” or “working professional” designations.)
  • Career Changers—Mid-career adults seeking graduate degrees to move into new fields.
  • Career Advancers—Mid-career professionals seeking graduate degrees to earn a promotion or a raise.
  • Career Crossers—Mid-career professionals seeking cross-training to advance in current fields.

Most fundamentally, MPS degrees teach students very specific knowledge with the goal of helping them in their current careers or in a career they are aiming to pursue. Theoretical knowledge taught by more traditional master’s programs may be useful, but most students need practical, applicable skills that they can use in their current workplaces.

 

MPS Programs Are Tailored to Student Needs

One of the biggest advantages of professional programs like the MPS, students said, is the opportunity to connect with students and faculty who work in the field. There are ample opportunities for networking, internships, and other career advancement benefits. Not only does this make for fascinating class discussions, but it also provides students with established industry contacts—an advantage when they look to advance in their careers.

For those seeking to enter an MPS program, academic prerequisites are just as important as workplace skills, life experience, and, of course, the potential to use the MPS to advance the candidate’s career and the needs of society.

Because most students are working and their time is limited, they need a master’s program that has an accelerated format and flexible class times that can work around their schedules. A well-designed professional degree program “breaks through the constraints of geography, schedule, age, and academic preparation that have historically and artificially limited the master’s degree marketplace,” the EAB report said. “Freed of these constraints, professional master’s programs appeal to the needs of a much larger population.”

About the Author

Lawrence Hardy serves as a writer and editor for the Marketing department at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies.

 

Source: scs.georgetown.edu

Explosive: Former Theater Major, Now Navy Bomb Squad Leader, Is Real-Life Action Hero

LinkedIn

When Hollywood makes movies featuring female soldiers and sailors, those characters typically have some improbable combination of strength, intelligence, grace and courage. Throw in a quirky backstory – She studied theatre! She plays clarinet! – and you have the makings of a perfect, albeit unrealistic, female military action hero. 

But these women do exist. America’s Navy is filled with them, and few have a more interesting story than Ensign Brianne “Brie” Coger, a 10-year Navy veteran who was one of just 12 female enlisted Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) technicians in the entire fleet before earning her commission in 2018.

EODs are part of the Navy’s elite Special Warfare community. This is the territory of Navy SEALs – exceptional men and women who have the intelligence, physical fitness, and drive to rise to the top. It’s work that demands a state of mind marked by extreme courage and capability under fire.

Quirky background

Coger grew up in Staten Island, New York. She excelled in sports, particularly swimming, and still holds some swimming records at her high school. A talented musician, she also played clarinet with the school orchestra and marching band. Later, at the University of Miami (Fla.), she studied theater and dreamed of becoming a Hollywood stunt woman.

Coger spent two challenging years after college working odd jobs back home in New York, trying to pursue an acting career. When the opportunities fizzled, Coger looked for a different kind of challenge and found it in the Navy.

Nothing typical

“What I love about EOD is that there is no typical day,” she said. “Whether we’re going out to do some diving and an underwater detonation, or we have to go to a remote location in the mountains to do some IED training, or just working a chemical or biological problem in a laboratory situation – there’s nothing typical about any of that, and that’s exactly what I needed in my life.”

EODs are the world’s ultimate bomb squad, trained to disarm conventional bombs, mines, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and chemical – even nuclear – weapons. They perform some of the most harrowing, dangerous work on earth to keep others from harm’s way — but that was precisely what appealed to Coger.

150506-N-CW570-290
AQABA, Jordan (May 6, 2015) Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 1st Class Brie Coger, assigned to Commander, Task Group 56.1, discusses anti-improvised explosive device techniques with Jordanian and United Arab Emirati military personnel at the Royal Jordanian Naval Base in Aqaba during exercise Eager Lion 2015. Eager Lion is a recurring multinational exercise designed to strengthen military-to-military relationships, increase interoperability between partner nations, and enhance regional security and stability. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Arthurgwain L. Marquez/Released)

“I was really drawn to EOD because I wanted to be part of a protective force,” she said. “You still get to do all the cool stuff, but an EOD doesn’t go out and cause trouble; they’re there to make the situation better. That really spoke to me.”

Forging ahead

Coger says she’s never felt that her gender was an issue in her Navy career. In fact, she has enjoyed tremendous success in a relatively short time, rising to chief petty officer – a senior enlisted rate – in just eight years before being selected for officer training in 2017. After more than a decade as an enlisted Sailor, Coger earned her commission in 2018 after completing Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I. Coger has since graduated from the exclusive Navy Dive School in Florida and is now in San Diego getting ready to deploy. Her first assignment as a new officer? Leading a platoon of EOD Techs – the same people she worked with as an enlisted sailor.

“People think that joining the military means giving up things, but I’ve never seen it like that,” she said. “You aren’t losing something; you are gaining opportunities. The biggest thing that has helped me in my career is saying yes; embracing whatever’s out there and keeping my eyes and ears open to what’s possible.”

Forge your own path. Go to Navy.com

Celebrating International Women’s Day

LinkedIn

Every year on March 8th, women around the world come together to celebrate women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements. International Women’s Day is an opportunity to stand in solidarity with all those fearless women standing up for gender equality and spotlight those who often pass unnoticed.

This year’s campaign theme—#BalanceforBetter—represents how, from grassroots activism to worldwide action, we are entering an exciting period of history where the world expects balance. Balance drives a better working world, and the better the balance, the better the world. “We notice its absence and celebrate its presence. Let’s all help create a #BalanceforBetter.”

The 2019 #BalanceforBetter campaign does not start or end on International Women’s Day—it runs all year long. Its theme provides a unified direction to guide and galvanize continuous collective action, with #BalanceforBetter activity reinforced and amplified all year.

Source: internationalwomensday.com

Ethiopia’s First Woman President

SOTERAS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Sahle-Work Zewde’s election as president of Ethiopia is a landmark in many respects. It is the first time in Ethiopia’s history that a woman is assuming this elected high office, a new milestone in Ethiopia’s trajectory towards women’s empowerment and effective participation in political decision-making. She is also Africa’s only serving head of state.

Source: au.int

Brazil’s New Agriculture Minister
Tereza Cristina: Tereza Cristina, Brazil’s agriculture minister SERGIO LIMA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Tereza Cristina, head of Brazil’s farmer’s caucus in the lower house, was named by President Jair Bolsonaro as agriculture minister. She is the first female cabinet member the president-elect has appointed and the second to hold the position, after Kátia Abreu.

Source: Bloomberg.com

First Female Mayor of Tunisia

After 160 years, and 32 mayors, the North African capital of Tunisia has elected its first-ever female mayor. Souad Abderrahim a self-made businesswoman said in an interview after being elected, “I am only one among many women who have struggled for years for equality.”

Source: washingtonpost.com

Haifa’s First Woman Mayor
Einat: Einat Kalisch-Rotem, mayor of Haifa, Israel EDWARD KAPROV
This past fall Einat Kalisch-Rotem made history as the first woman to become mayor in Haifa, one of Israel’s three largest cities. Kalisch-Rotem ran on an independent list with the “Living in Haifa” faction against the incumbent mayor, Yona Yahav, whom she defeated with 55 percent of the vote.

Source: jta.org

Japan’s First Female Fighter Pilot
Misa Matsushima: First Lieutenant Misa Matsushima of the Japan Air Self Defence Force poses in the cockpit of an F-15J air superiority fighter at Nyutabaru airbase in the outskirts of Miyazaki, Miyazaki in Japan JIJI PRESS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
1st Lt. Misa Matsuhima made history this past summer when she became the first woman to qualify as a fighter jet pilot in Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF). “My longtime dream has come true. I want to become a fully-fledged pilot, no different from men, as soon as possible,” she said after a ceremony at an ASDF base.

Source: japantimes.co.jp

Women Joining Front Lines in the British Army
Kat Dixon: Royal Wessex Yeomanry Tank Gunner reservist Lance Corporal Kat Dixon, 28, from Swindon in Southwest England BEN BIRCHALL/PA IMAGES VIA GETTY IMAGES
Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson announced that all roles in the military are now open to women. Lance Corporal Kat Dixon from Swindon, is one of the first to serve in a frontline role as a tank gunner in the British Army.

Source: swindonadvertiser.co.uk

First Woman Wins Clipper Round-the-World Yacht Race
Wendy Tuck: Wendy Tuck became the first female skipper to win the Clipper Round-the-World Yacht Race in 2018. MIGUEL ROJO/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Wendy Tuck from Australia made history this past summer when she became the first female skipper to win the Clipper Round-the-World Yacht Race. Tuck told the Australian Daily Telegraph, “I hate banging on about women. I just do what I do but I am very proud.”

Source: bbc.com

Long Beach Teacher Changes Lives in New Documentary “Freedom Writers: Stories from the Heart” Airs Mar. 28 on PBS SoCal

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PBS SoCal recently announced the premiere of “Freedom Writers: Stories from the Heart​,” a documentary that follows a Southern Calif. teacher’s journey to change the lives of her students, transforming their literacy skills through hands-on, active learning.

The film will air on Thurs., Mar. 28 at 8 p.m. on PBS SoCal and be available for streaming following the broadcast at pbssocal.org/freedomwriters.

Directed and executive produced by Don Hahn (The Gamble House, Maleficent, The Lion King) and produced by Lori Korngiebel (The Finest Hours, John Carter), “Freedom Writers: Stories from the Heart​” follows idealistic teacher Erin Gruwell as she tries to reach 150 at-risk students who were labeled “unteachable.” It’s 1994 and Long Beach, Calif. is a racially divided community filled with drugs, gang warfare and homicides. Inside the classroom, Gruwell encounters hostility, indifference and racial divisions between students. The struggle and strife on the streets has carried into the school halls.

Refusing to give up, Gruwell uses relevant literature and media to compare current reality in urban America to the worst examples throughout history of man’s inhumanity to one another. Her students are particularly inspired by the writings of Anne Frank and Zlata Filipovic. They ultimately choose to put down their weapons and pick up a pen. The once-hardened teens discover a new way to express themselves in order to embrace history, humanity and hope. By sharing their stories, they rewrite their futures and become catalysts for change.

Several community screenings of the film will be held at various colleges throughout Southern Calif. as listed below (*subject to change).  For more information about the film and attending the screenings, please go to pbssocal.org/freedomwriters.

  • Thurs., Feb. 28 at Chapman University at 7 pm
  • Tues., Mar. 6 at University of California Riverside at 7 pm
  • Wed., Mar. 13 at Cal State University Channel Islands at 5 pm
  • Thurs., Mar. 14 at University of California Irvine at 7 pm
  • Sun., Mar. 17 at the Museum of Tolerance at 6 pm
  • Tues., Mar. 19 at Cal State University San Bernadino at 6 pm
  • Wed., Mar. 20 at Cal State University Long Beach at 6 pm

Join the conversation on social media using @PBSSoCal and #FreedomWritersPBS

ABOUT PBS SOCAL

PBS SoCal delivers content and experiences that inspire, inform and entertain – over the air, online, in the community and in the classroom. We offer the full slate of beloved PBS programs including MASTERPIECE, NOVA, PBS NewsHour, Frontline, Independent Lens, a broad library of documentary films including works from Ken Burns; and educational PBS KIDS programs including Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Curious George. Our programs are accessible for free through four broadcast channels, and available for streaming at pbssocal.org, on the PBS mobile apps, and via connected TV services Android TV, Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. PBS SoCal is a donor-supported community institution that is a part of Public Media Group of Southern California, the flagship PBS station for 19 million diverse people across California.