Meet Afro-Latina Scientist Dr. Jessica Esquivel

LinkedIn
Dr. Jessica Esquivel

By Erica Nahmad, Be Latina

It’s undeniable that representation matters and the idea of what a scientist could or should look like is changing, largely thanks to pioneers like Afro-Latina scientist Dr. Jessica Esquivel, who is breaking barriers for women in STEM one step at a time.

Dr. Esquivel isn’t just extraordinary because of what she is capable of as an Afro-Latina astrophysicist — she’s also extraordinary in her vulnerability and relatability. She’s on a mission to break barriers in science and to show the humanity behind scientists.

Dr. Esquivel makes science accessible to everyone, no matter what you look like or where you come from. As one of the only Afro-Latina scientists in her field, and one of the only women who looked like her to pursue a Ph.D. in physics, Dr. Esquivel knows a thing or two about the importance of representation, especially in STEM fields and science labs.

Women make up only 28% of the science, technology, engineering, and math workforce in the U.S. Those disparities are even more severe when you start to look at minority populations.

“When you start looking at the intersections of race and gender and then even sexuality, those numbers drop significantly,” Esquivel told CBS Chicago. “There are only about 100 to 150 black women with their Ph.D. in physics in the country!”

Fighting against the isolation of uniqueness
Dr. Jessica Esquivel recalls being a nontraditional student and being “the only” when she entered graduate school for physics — the only woman in her class, the only Black, the only Mexican, the only lesbian — and all of that made her feel very isolated.

“On top of such rigorous material, the isolation and otherness that happens due to being the only or one of few is an added burden marginalized people, especially those with multiple marginalized identities, have to deal with,” Dr. Esquivel told BeLatina in an email interview. On top of feeling like an outsider, isolation was also consuming. “Being away from family at a predominately white institution, where the number of microaggressions was constant, really affected my mental health and, in turn, my coursework and research, so it was important to surround myself with mentors who supported me and believed in my ability to be a scientist.”

While she anticipated that the physics curriculum would be incredibly challenging, she was definitely not prepared for how hard the rest of the experience would be and how it would impact her as a student and a scientist.

The challenges she faced professionally and personally made her realize early on just how crucial representation is in academia and all fields, but especially in STEM. “It was really impactful for me to learn that there were other Black women who had made it out of the grad school metaphorical trenches. It’s absolutely important to create inclusive spaces where marginalized people, including Black, Latina, and genderqueer people, can thrive,” she said.

“The secrets of our universe don’t discriminate, these secrets can and should be unraveled by all those who wish to embark on that journey, and my aim is to clear as many barriers and leave these physics spaces better than I entered them.”

When inclusion and equal opportunities are the ultimate goal
Dr. Jessica Esquivel isn’t just dedicating her time and energy to studying complex scientific concepts — think quantum entanglement, space-time fabric, the building blocks of the universe… some seriously abstract physics concepts straight out of a sci-fi movie, as she explains. On top of her research, she put in so much extra work to show people, especially younger generations of women of color, that the physics and STEM world is not some old white man’s club where this prestigious knowledge is only available to them. Dr. Esquivel is an expert in her field; she knows things that no one else currently knows and has the ability and the power to transfer that knowledge to others and pass it down to others. There is a place for everyone, including people who look like her, in the STEM world, and she’s on a mission to inspire others while working to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in the STEM space.

“Many of us who are underrepresented in STEM have taken on the responsibility of spearheading institutional change toward more just, equitable, and inclusive working environments as a form of survival,” she explains. “I’m putting in more work on top of the research I do because I recognize that I do better research if I feel supported and if I feel like I can bring my whole self to my job. My hope is that one day Black and brown women and gender-queer folks interested in science can pursue just that and not have to fight for their right to be a scientist or defend that they are worthy of doing science.”

Click here to read the full article on Be Latina.

How Corporate America Can Better Support High-Earning Women
LinkedIn
woman with briefcase climbing flight of stairs

By Betsy Leatherman

My husband and I have an arrangement that’s become increasingly common in the U.S.: I work outside the home, and he manages the home front, taking on the brunt of domestic and childcare duties. We’re in good company: Some 30% of married women out-earned their husbands, according to pre-pandemic statistics. When you factor in single mother-headed households, the share of female high earners climbs even higher: More than four in 10 working mothers have been their family’s sole or primary source of income.

But when you look at how much of corporate America functions, you’ll find that companies just aren’t doing enough to account for this reality. And the pandemic only made it worse, with too many organizations failing to adequately support female heads of households at such a challenging time. Frustrated, stressed and overwhelmed, some women quit their jobs despite their roles as primary providers, becoming among the nearly 1.8 million women who opted out of the workforce during the pandemic.

The good news? It’s never too late for businesses to improve ineffective, outdated working methods. Here are three steps leaders and companies can take to help women thrive in their careers as they support their families.

Recognize and respect boundaries

Even if a breadwinning woman has a spouse who shoulders much of the domestic load, that doesn’t mean she’s available for calls at any time of the day or night. For instance, it’s become increasingly understood that in families with children, regardless of the primary source of income, both parents want to spend time with and do things for their kids, whether cooking breakfast or walking them home from school. Sometimes certain things are best-taken care of by one parent or the other, depending on their skills or talents. I’m the go-to person in my house for Spanish homework help — I speak the language; my husband doesn’t. When my kids needed to be homeschooled in Spanish during the early days of the pandemic, I took time out of my day to help them conjugate their verbs.

I’m fortunate that my company gave me the flexibility to do that. Too many don’t. In fact, the new work-from-home model has, in some cases, raised expectations for employees to be more accessible for business meetings and calls, even on weekends. I’ve heard of older male leaders with grown children scheduling calls for Saturday mornings, much to the consternation of their female colleagues who had plans to attend gymnastics meets or baseball games during those times.

Of course, companies and managers can’t define what times are off-limits for breadwinning women and employees in general. It can be different for everyone. Here’s a solution: Before you assume, just ask. And when you learn a specific time of day is going to be problematic regularly — say, 8 a.m. is reserved for walking the dog, or 3:30 p.m. is school pick-up time — make a point of accommodating such schedule constraints as often as possible.

Champion professional development

Managers invested in the continued growth of their staff — and by extension, their company — understand the significance of professional development. But corporate America, historically, has an abysmal track record of genuinely giving women, especially leaders and high-earners, what they need.

Many driven female employees feel pressure to overachieve in every aspect of their personal and professional lives. These women need programs that offer guidance on everything from how to avoid burnout to a more productive approach to learning from mistakes — in other words, how to stop beating themselves up. Such programs should include mindset and skills training, with direction on shifting from a reactive to a proactive orientation in their work. When female leaders integrate what they learn into their management styles, they’ll be in a better position to flourish, which will, in turn, pay major dividends for their companies.

Establish meaningful connections

This is the easiest step but is all too often overlooked: Take time to get to know your colleagues — and show you care. As managers, in our focus on getting right down to business, we sometimes fail to see the inherent humanity in those we engage with every day. But in stressful times — and let’s face it when are times not stressful for high-achieving female high-earners? — taking just a few minutes to engage in meaningful conversation about something other than work can make all the difference.

For example, before any video call or business meeting starts, my boss never fails to first ask me about my boys. He does so because he recognizes that my family is the most important thing in my world and central to my well-being. On the surface, this act of acknowledgment may seem inconsequential, but these icebreakers make me feel seen and respected. It cements my appreciation for him and my entire organization. It makes me want to work that much harder. Leaders who make such small but powerful gestures can build trust with their employees, raise morale and create a healthier work environment.

The steps I’ve outlined can go a long way in supporting all employees, regardless of gender or breadwinning status. But they’ll be especially helpful in improving the professional and psychological well-being of the women who are the primary or sole earners in their homes. So many have had to scale countless hurdles to attain their current positions. Going forward, let’s make it easier for them to succeed.

Tips for Acing Your Next Interview
LinkedIn
professional woman working from during pandemic on her latop

Interviews are one of the basic steps to securing the job you want. They are your chance to sell your skills and abilities, which allows you to find out if the job and company are right for you. To ace your interviews, follow these simple and highly effective tips:

Review common interview questions. Practice answering them with someone else or in front of a mirror.

Come prepared with stories that relate to the skills that the employer wants while emphasizing your:

  • Strengths
  • Willingness to work and flexibility
  • Leadership skills
  • Ability and willingness to learn new things
  • Contributions to the organizations in which you have worked or volunteered
  • Creativity in solving problems and working with people

Figure out in advance how well you qualify for the job. For each requirement listed in the job posting, write down your qualifications. This process can signal if you lack a particular skill. Plan how you will address this in the interview to communicate that you can learn the skill.

Make a list of questions you would like to ask during the interview. Pick questions that will demonstrate your interest in the job and the company. You can comment on information sourced from the company website and then ask a related question. Also, ask questions about the job you will be expected to perform, like:

  • What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
  • How will my responsibilities and performance be measured? By whom?
  • Could you explain your organizational structure?
  • What computer equipment and software do you use?
  • What is the organization’s plan for the next five years?

Be prepared. Remember to bring important items to the interview:

  • Notebook and pens
  • Extra copies of your resume and a list of references
  • Copies of recommendation letter(s), licenses, transcripts, etc.
  • Portfolio of work samples

On the day of the interview, remember to:

  • Plan your schedule, so you arrive 10 to 15 minutes early.
  • Go by yourself.
  • Look professional. Dress in a manner appropriate for the job.
  • Leave your MP3 player, coffee, soda or backpack at home or in your car.
  • Turn off your cell phone.
  • Bring your sense of humor and SMILE!

Display confidence during the interview, but let the interviewer start the dialogue. Send a positive message with your body language.

  • Shake hands firmly, only if a hand is offered to you first.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Listen carefully. Welcome all questions, even the difficult ones, with a smile.
  • Give honest, direct answers.
  • Develop answers in your head before you respond. If you don’t understand a question, ask for it to be repeated or clarified. You don’t have to rush, but you don’t want to appear indecisive.

End the interview with a good impression. A positive end to the interview is another way to ensure your success.

  • Be courteous and allow the interview to end on time.
  • Restate any strengths and experiences that you might not have emphasized earlier.
  • Mention a particular accomplishment or activity that fits the job.
  • If you want the job, say so!
  • Find out if there will be additional interviews.
  • Ask when the employer plans to make a decision.

Don’t forget to send a thank-you note or letter after the interview

A thank-you note is another opportunity to sell your qualifications and leave a positive impression on the employer. A handwritten or typed thank-you note sent by mail is an excellent choice. However, you can also deliver your thanks in person or by phone. If time is short, an e-mailed thank-you note works too. The best approach will depend on the circumstances. Your message should include:

  • Statement of appreciation for the opportunity
  • Expression of continued interest in the job
  • A brief restatement of qualifications and skills
  • Additional background you may have failed to mention
  • Follow up on any websites, books, articles or contacts mentioned
  • Date and time you will follow up as previously agreed

Source: CareerOneStop

7 Ways HR Gives Bad Job References Without Giving Bad Job References
LinkedIn
woman working on her computer at table with filtered light coming through window

Have you ever heard the following mantra, it is repeated so often it almost sounds like a truism?

“Former employers direct all reference checks to their Human Resources departments, and those people won’t say anything negative about me.”

Not only does this statement frequently prove untrue, it sometimes misrepresents what HR can – and will – divulge about former employees.

7 Ways HR Can Give a Bad Reference without giving a bad job reference:
 

1. Stating that someone is not eligible for rehire, without offering details.
2. Suggesting that a legal file or similar venue would have to be examined to offer an opinion.
3. Offering employment dates/title and adding that they don’t wish to discuss the former employee further.
4. Explicitly offering negative commentary that – depending on the laws of that state – could conceivably be considered as legally legitimate.
5. Acting surprised / shocked and asking if we are certain they gave this contact as a reference.
6. Suggesting we check this person’s job references very carefully
7. Offering commentary in a tone of voice indicating hesitancy, guarded remarks, or otherwise implying unrevealed negativity.

Here’s How HR Can Give a Good Reference without Giving a Good Reference:
1. We really miss xxx – wish he / she would return.

The Truth:
Most Human Resources professionals will follow proper protocol in confirming employment dates and title (only). However, in addition to WHAT is said, reference checkers also evaluate HOW something is said. In other words, they listen to tone of voice and note the HR staffer’s willingness to respond to their questions. Both are critical factors in reference checks – how will your employment be reflected in their responses?

Note there are no federal laws that address what an employer can – or cannot say – about a former employee. As mentioned above, some states allow “qualified immunity” to employer commentary provided it is considered truthful and unbiased.

About Allison & Taylor, The Reference Checking Company

Critical when seeking a job or promotion.
Consider checking and validating your former employment references. Don’t lose a promotion or job opportunity due to mediocre or bad job references.

JobReferences.com, powered by Allison & Taylor, The Reference Checking Company will call your former employer to obtain your references, document the results and provide a report to you.

Cover Letter 101
LinkedIn
womans hands on laptop wearing smart watch

A cover letter is a one-page document that supplements your resume. Though they may not be required for every job you apply to, including a short letter to accompany your resume is an excellent way to help you stand out in the application process. Your application materials should look like they belong together visually. If you take the time to write a cover letter, be sure the style matches your resume. Remember, a generic cover letter is not worth your time. Make it personal, or don’t do it at all.

Why Should I Write a Cover Letter?

A cover letter lets you tell your employment story with some freedom to express yourself. You can explain your qualifications more fully. Clearly state why you are a good fit for the position and the company. You want to demonstrate an understanding of the specific challenges this company is facing and how you are prepared to add value. Keep this document to one page in length, max. If you can make your point in fewer words or paragraphs, do it.

The Cover Letter Structure

A cover letter, like your resume, should be developed individually for the position and company where you are applying. Remember, a great paragraph needs to have at least three complete sentences — a topic sentence and two supporting statements. The best structure for a cover letter can be described as the following:

  • Heading and greeting. Include the date, your name and your contact information. Address the letter to a specific person whenever possible. If you can’t find an individual’s name, use the job title of the recipient (Maintenance Supervisor, Office Manager) or perhaps “Human Resources” or “Search Committee.” Do not address your letter to a business, a department or “To Whom It May Concern.”
  • Opening and introduction. Explain who you are and your reason for writing, including how you found out about the position. Use the first paragraph to express your energy, enthusiasm, skills, education and work experience that could contribute to the employer’s success.
  • Body. Sell yourself. Reveal why you are a perfect and unique match for the position. Explain why you have chosen the employer. Briefly summarize your talents, experience and achievements. Give a story about a time you went above and beyond in a similar role or share a specific problem you solved in a previous job. Don’t just repeat the information found in your resume. Go one layer deeper about what makes you the best candidate.
  • Assertive closing. Thank the person for taking the time to read your letter. Use an appropriate closing, such as “Sincerely.” Tell the employer how you plan to follow-up.

Types of Cover Letters

While a generic cover letter is effective much of the time, you may want to consider one of the following types of cover letters depending on the nature of your application:

  • Invited cover letter. Use this format when responding to an ad or other listing. Describe how your qualifications meet the needs of the position.
  • Cold-contact cover letter. Use this format to contact employers who have not advertised or published job openings. Research careers to find the requirements for the job you’re applying for matching your qualifications with that research.
  • Referral cover letter. Use this format if you were referred to a job opening through networking, informational interviews or contact with employers. A referral may be to a specific job opening (advertised or unadvertised) or to an employer who may or may not be hiring now. Make sure you mention the person who referred you.
  • Job match or “T” cover letter. Use this format to match the specific requirements of the job one-to-one with your qualifications, for example “You need 10 years’ experience.” and “I bring 12 years’ experience.” You can learn about the requirements from the job ad, position descriptions, phone conversations, career research and informational interviews.

Remember, cover letters, much like a resume, are supposed to be brief and informative. Use the cover letter to show off your ability, talent and capabilities, but don’t worry about including every tiny detail in your letter. Give it a try and best of luck!

Sources: Ohio Means Jobs, CareerOneStop

Michelle Yeoh Makes History With Best Actress Win at 2023 Oscars: ‘This Is a Beacon of Hope’
LinkedIn
michelle yeoh with oscar in hand smiling on stage

In a stunning victory, Michelle Yeoh took home the trophy for best actress at the 2023 Oscars on Sunday. The Everything Everywhere All at Once actress made history as the first Asian American to win the category and the first woman of color to receive the award in two decades, following Halle Berry, who was the first Black woman and woman of color to win the Academy Award in 2002 and presented Yeoh with her history-making win tonight.

“To all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities,” Yeoh said in her acceptance speech. “This is proof that dream big and dreams do come true. And ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime.”

She added: “I have to dedicate this to my mom – all the moms in the world – because they are really the superheroes, and without them, none of us would be here tonight. She’s 84, and I’m taking this home to her. She’s watching right now in Malaysia with my family and friends. I love you guys. I’m bringing this home to you and also to my extended family in Hong Kong, where I started my career. Thank you for letting me stand on your shoulders giving me a leg up so that I can be here today.”

Yeoh has been a force in filmmaking since the Eighties, rising to fame for her starring roles in action films Police Story 3: Supercop, James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies, and international sensation Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon by Ang Lee. And while Yeoh has been an icon and prolific actress and stuntwoman for decades, her performance as Evelyn Wang in the 2022 film Everything Everywhere All at Once garnered long-deserved accolades from several largely white institutions.

In January, the beloved actress accepted the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy and shared a touching speech about the impact of her win for the role of Evelyn Quan Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once. “I’m holding onto this,” Yeoh said as she held up her trophy. “It’s been an amazing journey and incredible fight to be here today. But I think it’s been worth it.”

Click here to read the complete article on Rolling Stone.

3 Ways to Maintain Balance When Your Work World Shifts
LinkedIn
confident career woman going in to office for an annual review

You may have heard of “quiet quitting,” a term that is creating a lot of buzz around setting boundaries at work. The idea is that rather than leave a job, some workers are deciding to keep doing their duties but not go above and beyond, sparking debates about what’s “normal” when roles shift and more responsibilities are presumed to be assumed.

“Quiet quitting” is making its rounds on social media and web forums everywhere for good reason. Imagine that your manager wants you to take on more responsibility at work, but doesn’t give you a promotion.

(It’s not an uncommon story. After all, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), U.S. workers work an average of 1,791 hours per year versus an OECD country average of 1,716.)
 
You can do one of the following:

  1. Grin and bear it.
  2. Demand perks, a salary bump or a bonus for your work.
  3. Desperately search for guidance because no one told you how to handle this situation.

Your answer will likely vary depending on what led to the change.

Team dynamics can shift for any number of reasons. A coworker could be taking leave or a new job, the company might be downsizing or your employer could simply decide to change your role. Whatever the catalyst, you’ll want to have a chat with your manager to define your new responsibilities, set boundaries and ensure that you’re treated fairly.

Understand the terms

Before deciding whether or not to ask for more money or a better title, find out if your new responsibilities are permanent and what prompted them.

For example, if you’re shouldering the workload of a coworker who will be out for parental leave, you might be able to negotiate an interim salary adjustment or bonus for your temporary workload adjustment. On the other hand, if your company is cutting costs after a round of layoffs, it’s probably not a good time to ask for a raise.

Read the room and think about how your needs and the company’s needs overlap and then you can make your move.

Ask for more

No matter how much you like to think of yourself as a “team player,” you don’t work for free. If your increased workload is due to temporary changes, like a colleague taking a sabbatical or medical leave, you should be paid for the additional work you’ll be doing. Be sure to ask for a specific number, whether it’s a raise or a bonus, and quantify that number with data.

If your workload is increasing because a colleague is leaving permanently, find out if the company is planning to fill the vacancy. If you’re absorbing duties for a vacant role that could be a promotion, ask for the promotion or even an “acting” title to demonstrate your skills.

In situations where a raise or a title change are out of the question, get creative. Explore perks like additional paid time off or even a one-time bonus. If the company offers educational reimbursement, you could even request more tuition or training reimbursement.

In either situation, don’t let negotiations continue indefinitely. If your manager asks for more time to figure out a plan, schedule a follow-up meeting right away.

Define expectations

Your employer shouldn’t expect you to do the jobs of two or three people in the same amount of time for the same pay. It’s neither fair nor sustainable. Setting reasonable expectations up front for your redefined role can help you avoid burnout later.

As you discuss your workload with your manager, try to create realistic estimates for how much time you’ll need to perform each task well and ask about reassigning some of your existing workload — or pieces of the new workload — to other team members. Before leaving the meeting, set a check-in date so you can reassess the situation after you’ve had time to adapt to your new role. Some of your new duties may be easier than you expected, but you may need more training or mentorship to thrive in other areas.

Put it in writing

Ideally, you’ll be completely aligned with your manager on expectations, but it’s always best to have written terms that you can reference. That doesn’t mean you have to ask your manager to draft a to-do list for you. Instead, take notes as you discuss expectations and new assignments — plus any changes to your compensation, benefits or title — and send your manager a follow-up email outlining what you discussed. If the company tries to renege later, you can point back to your email documenting the terms you agreed to.

Carpe diem

While taking on extra work is challenging, it’s also a chance to show that you’re ready for bigger roles. Setting expectations and boundaries with your manager before you jump into an expanded role can help position you for success.

Whether you use the opportunity to move up the ranks within your current company or seek another position with a new employer, shifts in your workload can sometimes be stepping stones to advance your career. Embrace the change.

Source: Glassdoor

6 STEM Scholarships You Should Know About
LinkedIn
woman scientist looking at test tube

Just about every career in the STEM field requires some form of university-level education. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to spend every penny you own and then some to pursue your dream job.

Whether it’s through federal funding, non-profit organizations or individual donations, there are tons of scholarship and grant opportunities for students wanting to pursue the world of STEM.

Here are just a few of the scholarships that you can apply for:

The Society of Women Engineers Scholarship

Since World War II, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) has been doing all they can to support the needs of women engineers across the country. One of the ways they do this is through the SWE Scholarship Program, which provides varying fund amounts to those identifying as women and studying in undergraduate or graduate programs in the STEM field. While the specific amount you can receive varies, the program gave away over $1,220,000 in scholarships in 2021 alone. All students, from incoming freshman to graduate students, may apply but freshman must fill out a separate application form.

  • Amount: Varies
  • Number of Scholarships Given: Varies
  • Application Dates: Applications usually often in December for upperclassman and the following March for freshman
  • How to Learn More: swe.org/applications/login.asp

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronauts Scholarships

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronauts (AAIA) is an organization dedicated to supporting the future generation of people interested in the aerospace field. One of the ways they do this is through their scholarship program, where undergraduates and graduates alike can fill out a single application and be eligible for consideration for up to three scholarships from their program. To apply, you must be at least a sophomore in college and a member of AAIA.

USDA/1890 Scholars Program

The USDA/1890 National Scholars Program is a partnership between USDA and the 1890 historically Black land-grant colleges and universities. The program provides full tuition, employment, employee benefits, fees, books and room and board each year for up to four years for selected students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, food science, natural resource science or a related academic discipline at one of 19 designated 1890s land-grant colleges and universities. The scholarship may be renewed each year, contingent upon satisfactory academic performance and normal progress toward the bachelor’s degree. Scholars accepted into the program will be eligible for noncompetitive conversion to a permanent appointment with USDA upon successful completion of their degree requirements by the end of the agreement period.

  • Amount: Full Tuition Coverage
  • Number of Scholarships Given: Varies
  • Application Dates: Varies
  • How to Learn More: gov/youth/scholarships

Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART)

In a collaboration with American Society for Engineering Education and the Department of Defense, the Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) program is for students wanting to go into engineering, biosciences, chemical engineering, civil engineering, chemistry and cognitive, neural and behavioral sciences. In addition to full tuition coverage, SMART students will receive health insurance, mentoring, internship opportunities and a guaranteed job offer from the Department of Defense. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA, be available for summer internships and are expected to accept the job position offered to them upon completing their education.

  • Amount: Full Tuition Coverage, plus more
  • Number of Scholarships Given: Varies
  • Application Dates: Varies
  • How to Learn More: org/smart

NOAA Undergraduate Scholarships

NOAA Office of Education’s student scholarship programs provide opportunities for undergraduate students to gain hands-on experience while pursuing research and educational training in NOAA-mission sciences. The Hollings and EPP/MSI Undergraduate Scholarship share a common application and students who are eligible for both programs are encouraged to apply to both. To be eligible, you must be a sophomore at a four-year university program, a junior at a five-year university program or a community college student transferring to a university.

The S-STEM Program

Recognizing that financial aid alone cannot increase retention and graduation in STEM, the National Science Foundation (NSF) founded the S-STEM Program, a fund that provides awards to institutions of higher education (IHEs) to fund scholarships and to adapt, implement and study evidence-based curricular and co-curricular activities that have been shown to be effective in supporting recruitment, retention, transfer (if appropriate), student success, academic/career pathways and graduation in STEM. While most of the students who receive this award are studying an area of the STEM field, proposals can be made for funds to be given to students who meet the same qualifications, but are studying a high-demand industry. The amounts distributed depend on the institution.

Sources: The College Consensus, National Science Foundation, USDA, NOAA, SMART Scholarship, AIAA, Society of Women Engineers

Your first career move, powered by Netflix
LinkedIn
group of diverse career co-workers gathered around conference table with laptops

Netflix is partnering with Formation to build a world where people from every walk of life have a seat at the table in tech.

Our program will be completely free of charge for students accepted. It is designed to unlock your engineering potential with personalized training and world-class mentorship from the best engineers across the tech industry.

The below information will be required, and adding why you want to land a New Grad Engineering role at Netflix.

The application requires:

Info about your experience, education, and background

Info regarding your eligibility for the program

A one minute video telling us about yourself

Apply today at https://formation.dev/partners/netflix

Application deadline is March 5, 2023.

3 Steps to a Great Elevator Pitch
LinkedIn
Smiling businesswoman portrait

By T. Johnson

Imagine you step into an elevator, and someone you professionally admire is standing inside. You exchange pleasantries, and she casually says, “So tell me about yourself.” It’s a broad question we’ve all heard, and a great answer can create new opportunities in both your professional and personal life. But you only have 30 seconds to impress your abilities upon this influential person. Are you able to articulate your strengths and accomplishments in that time? And can you naturally integrate an “ask” into the conversation?

Perfecting a response to such a general inquiry can be quite challenging, and it requires some thoughtful preparation. Having a solid answer to this question can help in many settings — in interviews, networking events, etc. — not just elevators.

To help you draft and complete an exceptional elevator pitch, here are three key steps you need to consider:

Step One: Brainstorm Your Skills

Let’s brainstorm your best qualities, skills and past performance highlights that you should mention in your elevator pitch. What comes to mind first? This is not exclusively for professional experience — maybe you are highly organized and efficient in your personal life. Perhaps you volunteer regularly in your community. List everything that you’re proud of or passionate about.

  1. What do you enjoy doing? What are you great at?
  2. What positive feedback have you received from an employer and/or teacher?
  3. What are your greatest accomplishments?

Step Two: Personalize Your Answer

A personalized elevator pitch will make you memorable and relatable. Think about how you can stand out and look special amongst a large candidate pool. What makes you special and worth investing in over another applicant? We can refer to this as your “unique value proposition (UVP).”

Your UVP can be a professional qualification or certification, but it can also be a personal characteristic, such as intellect. Just make sure you quantify your claim with detailed, factual information. For example, if your UVP is that you are highly intelligent, make sure you follow that claim with quantifiable and relevant proof.

To develop your UVP, answer the following questions:

  1. What does a hiring manager desire? Whether applying to an actual position or imagining your dream position, what is that professional position’s objective and/or purpose? Think about why the position exists and how it functions. What is the goal of someone in that position? You can follow an actual job description or imagine what a hiring manager would desire from such a candidate.
  2. What do qualified candidates offer? What type of skills or abilities does a person need in this position? This can be anything from education to professional and life experiences. Think about what the perfect candidate would embody. You can follow the requirements listed in an actual job description or imagine what an ideal candidate would provide.
  3. What unique abilities do you offer? What do you want to mention that is not detailed through your general qualifications and skills but makes you unique? While only listing skills, talents and/or hobbies relevant to the desired position, make sure to include extra details about yourself beyond the requirements contained in the job description.

When answering these questions, your overlapping answers are the best qualities to focus on for your UVP. 

Step Three: Define Your Goal or “Ask”

What is the professional goal that you are currently working towards? This is a pivotal part of your elevator pitch. If the person to whom you are speaking is a hiring manager, your boss or someone who can help you attain your professional goals, what would you like to ask of them?

While your goal can be hugely aspirational, your “ask” requires someone else’s assistance, so remember to keep it reasonable. Ask for an informational interview to explore potential opportunities, rather than directly asking for a job, which could be seen as requesting preferential treatment. An elevator pitch is not an opportunity to set an expectation of another person; it’s an opportunity to prove yourself!

  1. What is your short-term professional goal? What is your long-term professional goal? If you need more help defining goals, check out the YALI Network Online Course lesson “Setting and Achieving Goals.”
  2. What is the career objective or your dream job?
  3. What will help you achieve your objective or attain your dream job (e.g., internship, job, advice, reference, mentor)?

Put It All Together

Once complete, go back through these three exercises and highlight or circle the top points you want to emphasize in your elevator pitch. Pick one top point from each step, then place each part together in a smooth and natural dialogue. While having a written script helps draft what you wish to say, you won’t always have a precise script in front of you, so try to keep things conversational and light. Be sure to practice giving your elevator pitch in front of a mirror and with friends, family or colleagues.

Here are a couple of examples of strong elevator pitches. Make sure you tailor yours to speak about your own experiences, strengths, skills and goals!

Example 1: Hi, my name is [insert name]. I’m currently studying education, and I’m interested in securing a job that will allow me to continue teaching and developing lessons. One of my greatest strengths is my ability to make my courses very practical for my students, helping them apply these lessons in their communities. Because my former volunteer work with nonprofit programs was key to my success, it’s important for me to help others develop to their highest potential. Do you know of any education nonprofits where they are looking for someone like me to help others reach their potential?

Example 2: Hi, I’m [insert name]. I’m a Human Resources Manager at [insert company] looking for more experience in the field. I’m looking for advice on further expanding my expertise in this field because my ultimate goal is to help organizations develop more tolerant workplace cultures. My supervisors frequently compliment me for being able to see different sides of the same story and negotiate with different personalities.

So, you gave your elevator pitch? Great work! Don’t forget to exchange contact information with your new professional acquaintance, and always follow up with a thank-you note (if the acquaintance did you a favor).

Source: Young Africans Leaders Initiative

Leidos

United States Postal Services-Diversity

United States Postal Services-Diversity

American Family Insurance

American Family Insurance

Alight

Alight
 

Robert Half