Silvia Ivelisse Perez - Succesful Life & Leadership Coach
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We are very pleased to introduce you to Silvia Ivelisse Perez, Life & Leadership coach, speaker, writer, producer, director, and actress based in Miami, Florida. With so many accomplishments, she is definitely a Collegiate Gigster.

What kind of work do you do? Do you also have a side-Gig? If not, do you have any hobbies or other activities you wouldn’t mind developing into a paid Gig?

I am Professional Life and Leadership Coach, member of the International Coach Federation. I am also a motivational speaker, creative writer, producer/director and actress with more than 10 years of experience in the film industry.

What did you study in college? What did you enjoy the most about your chosen course of study?

I studied business administration in college, however I made a career change, obtaining a certification from the University of Miami to follow my passion for empowering others as a certified life and leadership coach.

What I enjoy most about my course of study, is all the new learning I have acquire about the human behavior, emotional intelligence and effective way to promote forward movement in many key areas of life.

How does your education help you in the work that you do today?

The Professional Coach Certification Program has equipped me with the tools and knowledge I need to succeed as a Professional Coach. It has given me the correct strategies to help my clients address specific personal projects, achieve business successes, and general conditions and transitions in their personal life, relationships or profession by examining what is going on right now, discovering what their obstacles or challenges might be, and choosing a course of action to make.

Would you also consider returning to school to learn something new? If so, what would that be?

Even though my time is limited due to my commitment to keeping a healthy work/life balance, I am looking into going back to school to obtain my emotional intelligence certification in mid 2019.

What resources could a site like Colégas provide that would help you achieve your goals?

My main goal in life at this moment is to use my years of experience, my life experience and my coaching certification to help clients from all walks of life be all that they can be through the power of coaching. I believe the Colégas can be a bridge to do just that!

Do you have any advice or professional strategies you could share with our readers?

To be successful in any area, especially in business you’ll need to constantly focus on self-improvement. Awaken your love of learning strength; take every opportunity you have to learn from those who have reached the life goals you are aiming for, and invest time in acquiring the knowledge that you make you stand out from the rest. Develop an effective marketing strategy to carve out your own niche in a competitive marketplace. To do so, you'll need to determine what makes your business different from the rest of the competition and make your “wow factor” the focus of your marketing efforts.

For more information about Silvia Ivelisse Perez, her life coaching, and her many other projects, here is her contact info:

Silvia Ivelisse Perez
info@silcoach.com
www.SilCoach.com

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Colegas Group2018
Cristina Garcia-Versteegh - Multilingual Education Advocate and Director of LangoKids Irvine Language Academy
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We are very pleased to introduce fellow Collegiate Gigster Cristina Garcia-Versteegh, owner and director of LangoKids Irvine Language Academy. She is a strong proponent of teaching children more than one language, believes in continuing one's education throughout life, and is also an amazing positive influence for children and Gigsters everywhere. We could not be more pleased to share her story.

What kind of work do you do? Do you also have a side-Gig? If not, do you have any hobbies or other activities you wouldn’t mind developing into a paid Gig?

I own and direct a language school in Irvine, CA. We specialize in teaching Spanish and French through the Immersion approach. We teach kids ages 2 to 10 years old and we offer from the most basic to the most advanced level of fluency in Spanish and French. Our classes are highly dynamic and non-traditional. My side hobby is to read literary works, and also to write Emergent Reader books and picture books for kids. These books are educational and highly cultural. I intend to one day create an interactive platform for people to download the material, and for me to go around places (schools, libraries, educational organizations) giving conferences about Spanish language and the cultural things embedded in the books, and reading the books and teaching how to read in Spanish in a fun and easy way.

What did you study in college? What did you enjoy the most about your chosen course of study?

I completed most of my education in Colombia. In College I studied Modern Languages Teaching (Spanish, French and English). I enjoyed learning the languages more in depth, all the required reading, and doing my internships. I knew from that point that I was shaped and called to be a teacher. As I worked as an English professor at a university, I pursued another degree called a Specialization in Bilingual Education. Then, I was introduced to the concept of teaching languages through play for kids and adults. I created and applied different games with a linguistic focus and they were well received and I could see great results. Lastly, I wanted to pursue some degree that fed my intellect and my passion for World Literature. I was awarded a scholarship to earn a Master of Arts in English and World Literature in PA, USA. I just loved to have the tools I needed to dive deeper into literary works. I was able to study, compare and analyze authors and works that were close to my heritage under a different, more specialized lens and learn more about myself and where I came from.

How does your education help you in the work that you do today?

Immensely. All I do now revolves around all my studies in second language acquisition and language learning. The concepts I apply now and teach my teachers and clients I learned back then through classes, research, and readings. I also had amazing professors that taught me the power of being a good influence for my students. Of course, I had bad professors but from that I also learned to never settle for less when I can give my all in a class and in the development of curriculum and material for my classes.

Would you also consider returning to school to learn something new? If so, what would that be?

I am interested in pursuing a PhD program in Educational Neuroscience or a Ed.D program in the near future.

What resources could a site like Colégas provide that would help you achieve your goals?


The Colegas group is lead by Marie who has vast knowledge of education, schools, grants, and more. I know I can reach out to her when I look for a guide, and she can connect me with schools and other gigsters in the field. I see this platform as a great way to network with people in different professions and expertise. We can work together with the Colegas group to link people with schools and for the ones that come out of out school to have a space to share their experiences and work and have a place to start spreading their knowledge.

Do you have any advice or professional strategies you could share with our readers?

Readiness an timing are important. I consider that right now being a business owner, educator, and mom of young kids is my main focus so my educational goals are on standby and that's OK. I don't regret it or dwell on it, I just wait patiently as I am not ready to jump on the roller coaster of a rigorous study and put it all in jeopardy. It's prudent to do things when the right time present itself.

To learn more about Cristina Garcia-Versteegh and her language school, please visit their website: LangoKids Irvine Language Academy.

Colegas Group2018
Albert Koetsier - Engineer, Photographer, Artist, Entrepreneur, and Lecturer
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Meet Albert Koetsier, a fellow Advisory board member of our company, and also a highly successful engineer, photographer, artist,  entrepreneur, and now also a lecturer at UC Riverside and several other local campuses. Albert is best known for his X-Rayography artwork, which is now sold world-wide - he is the third highest listed artist on Art.com.

What kind of work do you do? Do you also have a side-Gig? If not, do you have any hobbies or other activities you wouldn’t mind developing into a paid Gig?

I am a retired engineer who started a new career after retirement as an artist, this was somewhat of a success, but I am retired from the art world now as well. I now teach emeritus classes at UC Riverside, Santiago College, and California State University San Marcos. This is a passion for me, I really enjoy teaching.

What did you study in college? What did you enjoy the most about your chosen course of study?

I studied Electronic Engineering. What I enjoyed most about it was a better understanding of Physics and the physical world around us. I was also a lifelong student of the Arts, particularly music as well as two-dimensional and three-dimensional art. It matched my interest in photography, which is a life-long passion of mine as well. All these things taught me to look, learn, analyze and appreciate the physical universe.

How does your education help you in the work that you do today?

My study at the technical university helps me explain "Ohms Law" to my grand kids (just kidding - it's a running joke in my family). Even while I was working as an engineer, my lifelong interest in art helped me better appreciate and understand the world around me. Engineering is a very practical field, but it also has philosophical applications - just ask any engineer and they will tell you a similar story.

Would you also consider returning to school to learn something new? If so, what would that be?

Yes, absolutely. I would study the psychology of art, if there is such a field, and I also would study quantum physics. You would be surprised, but these fields are not that different on a certain level. It would be fascinating to study these two fields together.

What resources could a site like Colégas provide that would help you achieve your goals?

I don't know yet. I love to teach, so public speaking would be a natural extension of that for me. I suppose everything I've done since I first retired from engineering has been a Gig of sorts. Isn't being an entrepreneur a lot like being a Gigster?

I also appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts here. One thing that Colégas seems to be doing is giving people a chance not just to empower themselves, but also to share their own experiences in life and in work. This is a very important task, so please keep doing this in whatever way you can.

Do you have any advice or professional strategies you could share with our readers?

Discover what your best qualities are and work to develop these. This will bring you more happiness in all that you do.

To learn more about Albert Koetsier, you can visit his art website at BeyondLight.com.

 

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Colegas Group2018
Arnie Bernstein - Writer, Editor, Teacher, & Public Speaker
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Meet Arnie Bernstein, an accomplished writer, editor, teacher, and public speaker. He shares with us valuable tips and strategies about the writing process. This is useful not just for writers, but also for anyone who needs to put ideas in writing for a larger audience, from leaders to bloggers to teachers, these are important skills to develop.

What kind of work do you do? Do you also have a side-gig? If not, do you have any hobbies or other activities you wouldn’t mind developing into a paid gig?

I'm a freelance writer, internationally published nonfiction author with major presses in the United States and Poland, college writing teacher, and writing coach. A jack-of-all-scribbling trades.

What did you study in college? What did you enjoy the most about your chosen course of study?

MA in Creative Writing at Columbia College - Chicago
BA in Film Studies at Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

As far as the film studies, opening up my mind to exploring different ways of seeing the world. Creative writing: using my skills to expand on the exploration. I think I've done okay on both ends.

How does your education help you in the work that you do today?

As a writer, the skills I learned in the Columbia College Fiction Writing program are invaluable. The creative process emphasized getting the words on the page, letting go of inhibitions, creating that unholy mess of a first draft that pays no attention to annoying things like spelling, grammar, and the rules of gravity. Once the draft is done, diving into it and cutting words, sentences, paragraphs, pages, and more and then going back to writing. Writing is hard work. But the basics of storytelling, be it a novel, biography, or inter-office memo are all the same: using prose to grab a reader's attention and pay attention to what's on the page.

I use these skills in my teaching as well. Student writers often feel constrained by the formulas they were taught in high school. My job is to break that mold so the natural voice will emerge on the page. When students have the confidence to express thoughts in their unique voices, the skills which will translate to other classes and into a career path.

Would you also consider returning to school to learn something new? If so, what would that be?

I'd get a PhD in history, the most fascinating thing there is to study.

What resources could a site like Colégas provide that would help you achieve your goals?

Job links and networking connections.

Do you have any advice or professional strategies you could share with our readers?

Good writing is rewriting.

The first thing that goes on the page is your name. Make sure your work lives up to the standards of what your good name means to the world. Networking is your friend. Don't be shy about it either.

To learn more about Arnie Bernstein, you can visit his website here.

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Colegas Group2018
Máximo Anguiano - Actor/Producer, Entrepreneur, and Advocate
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Meet Máximo Anguiano. To quote from his Linked In Profile: He is "an actor, activist, athlete, creative, entrepreneur, public intellectual, personality, organizer, and thought-leader out of San Antonio, Texas. He has emerged as one of the most talented and dynamic individuals of his generation... He is the former Executive Director of the ¡Adelante! U.S. Education Leadership Fund, brainchild behind Independent Creative Services, and the current Vice President of Community Outreach at BeVisible Latinx. [Currently] a Master’s of Science candidate at Grand Valley State University, Maximo [also] studied at Macquarie University in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia where he completed an ethnographic case study on the colonialism of the Indigenous Australian population—the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders."

To be specific, Máximo is the quintessential Collegiate Gigster, and we are pleased to feature him on our site.

What kind of work do you do? Do you also have a side-gig? If not, do you have any hobbies or other activities you wouldn’t mind developing into a paid gig?

I'm an all-around achiever, with an aggressive outlook on work. I enjoy and spend most of my time organizing, strategizing, being a father, exercising, formulating ideas, helping people, and bridging the gaps between humanity. I'm currently working on my latest project, #WeLiveHeritage, which is a 7-format pilot series to creatively highlight all of the critical & conscious conversations that the masses of Latinx/@/a/o people are not hearing.

What did you study in college? What did you enjoy the most about your chosen course of study?

I studied English in college; I enjoyed being exposed to words, expressions, books--learning more broadly on how to master a language.

How does your education help you in the work that you do today?

Well, I do quite a bit of public speaking today. I can't imagine I'd be as skilled at it, without having the formal & informal training I received in school. I'd also say that the majority of work that I do revolves around just speaking to others; we have to use our words to bring people together. Human connection is being lost because of our inability to speak to others. I spend a good deal of time today learning how to finesse conversations and shape desired outcomes in the workplace.

Would you also consider returning to school to learn something new? If so, what would that be?

Yes. Probably Law School or a PhD in Sociology.

What resources could a site like Colégas provide that would help you achieve your goals?

Connection - please follow me on Twitter @blurbsmithblots! :-) as well as on LinkedIn

Do you have any advice or professional strategies you could share with our readers?

Go get life. Whatever you want in life, it's there waiting for you. Don't wait. Don't be afraid. Don't make excuses. Find. A. Way. Life will always be what you make it. Fight for yours or allow life to pass you by.

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Colegas Group
Everyone Can Sell Photos as a Side-Gig
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One of our Gigsters let us know that she earns extra income (not just in the summers) by selling her photos. We were intrigued and so we inquired how easy this is. It turns out it is actually not too hard. The key is in volume. Unless the photo is Pulitzer-prize-worthy, a single picture isn't going to earn a large income, but a decent number of photos arranged by themes and properly tagged can actually earn income. The beauty of this is that these photos can continue to earn income over time. Here is what we found out about this. For quick reference, we arranged this article into a FAQ:

Q. What kinds of photos are people looking for?
A. There are two types of photos that are most often purchased: large scenes and situational. The large scenery pictures are the type that include vacation-type views, monuments, famous landmarks, and pretty much anything that you would typically see on a postcard. Situational photos involve people, usually in a work setting.

Q. That description seems broad, can you clarify what kinds of pictures people are willing to pay for?
A. Photos should tell a story, so for example a scenery picture should invite further reflection and draw people in. Situational photos should invoke a sentiment, an idea, a concept. These are needed by businesses when they want to include the photo in an ad campaign or publication. For example, something that invokes loyalty, hard work, interest, agreement, a eureka moment, etc. Bottom line, a photo should tell a story.

Q. What about the people in the pictures?
A. This is the most often asked question and a discussion on this is beyond the scope of this article. To keep it simple, if the people are recognizable, they need to give consent, and usually on paper. Many stock photos use models, but they often look unnatural, posed, and too clean, so if you can find people willing to give consent without posing, that gives you an advantage.

Q. I never considered selling my photos, how do I start?
A. Start taking photos wherever you go, especially of buildings, large landscapes, sunsets, and monuments.

Q. How do I store my photos? I don't have any software.
A. Make it a habit to always off-load your photos into folders on your computer when you return home. When you do, your mind will be fresh and you can remember details that you can add to the photos - just use detailed file names if you don't have a program that can edit the metadata. After you do this for a while, you will want to find a reasonably priced software program to edit the metadata. Look for something fairly standard from a large company like Adobe PhotoShop Elements.

Q. You said that it's about quantity, what did you mean?
A. Take lots of photos of every scene, use repetitive-shooting capabilities, fill up your camera/phone memory - not doing so is simply a waste of memory. This will also get you in the habit of off-loading them to your computer each time. Separate out the best ones. Remember, not all the photos will be excellent, but with multiple angles and perspectives on each subject, you should find some that are good enough.

Q. OK, but that will take time. I won't be going anywhere this summer and I need to start because I have limited funds.
A. You'd be surprised what you can find around your own neighborhood. The Gigster we spoke to started taking pictures of graffiti and life in her own neighborhood. They turned out to be some of her most popular photos when she started. Also, download and pick out photos from what you already have on your phone, you probably have at least dozens of good photos already.

Q. OK, but where do I list my photos for sale?
A. Not so fast - this is a phased process. First upload your good photos to a site where people can see them. While the interface is a little simplistic, Flickr is a good option - it is well established, costs nothing to get started, and has the largest online storage capacity we found (of course there are other options as well). On photo sites like Flickr, people can rate your photos and post comments. You may even give some of your photos away for free to get more traction. After a couple of weeks, you will know which photos are the most liked, and those are the ones you put up for sale.

Q. How much can I make?
A. Don't believe the hype, photos do not sell for hundreds of dollars. As a matter of fact, many photographers will negotiate down, especially when selling more than one photo. For a standard low-resolution but decent photo taken with a cell phone, expect to sell it for $1-5. If you give exclusive rights (meaning you won't ever use it again yourself), then $15-25 is typical. This is why it's about volume.

Q. OK, I have a large collection of sorted, tagged, and liked photos on Flickr, but I'd like to sell them in sets to make more money - how do I do that?
A. If you've been doing this for a while and you have enough good photos to sort them into themes, it may be time to sell them in sets. This is best done through a stock photo library. If you are ready for this, like the Gigster who gave us these tips, then you should sign yourself up with bigger sites like Shutterstock, Adobe Stock Photos, iStockPhoto or other large sites that specialize in this. Just remember to also keep selling single photos. Stock photo libraries should be used in conjunction with single sales as that will provide more exposure.

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There are many options for selling photos. The above recommendations aren't hard and fast rules. It worked for our Gigster, as a side-income, and it could work for you. As with any Gig, it will take some time to become good at it. However, over time, the income can grow. Remember, people are always looking for that one particular photo that happens to meet their need. Maybe that photo could be yours.

Colegas Group2018
Presenting at UCLA, by Dr. Marie Nubia-Feliciano
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This is a follow up to the Call to Action is sent along last week. I posted a request for speakers from a contact at UCLA. Hopefully you were either able to take advantage of the opportunity or pass it along to someone who could. To model what I ask of you, I also followed up on the Gig.

I was fortunate enough to be signed on to do a presentation on the history of Panama and Colombia. Although Latin American history is slightly outside my area of expertise, I do have foundational knowledge to build on and I was able to create a solid presentation. Granted there was a bit of prep, but nothing I am not used to doing as a faculty member. The final presentation was a success and the honorarium was of $700. Not bad for a two-hour presentation.

I share this story as proof of concept: Gigs such as these can and do pay. A college education provides the foundational knowledge in addition to the experience and confidence to speak and present when an opportunity such as this presents itself.

Being Collegiate Gigsters prepares us to go after these types of opportunities. We have the transferable skills to know how to create a great presentation on a topic that we are familiar with. We have invested in ourselves through our education and our commitment to lifelong learning. We are professionals with a wealth of knowledge to approach almost any speaking opportunity with confidence.

We know it is often difficult to find these opportunities and that email lists aren't the best way to communicate or share these opportunities widely. This is why we are working so hard on Colégas and also our first project, Public Academic, to provide that crucial information so that all of you can plan ahead and pursue the Gigs that are available out there.

Colegas Group2018
Lynette Correa-Velez, M.Ed. - Co-Founder and CEO, GradPipeline

Today we are very happy to feature Lynette Correa-Velez, M.Ed. She is Co-Founder and CEO of a non-profit to help underrepresented students attain graduate degrees. Her experience and insight will likely be valuable to many Collegiate Gigsters here.

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What kind of work do you do? Do you also have a side-gig? If not, do you have any hobbies or other activities you wouldn’t mind developing into a paid gig?

I am the Co-Founder/CEO of GradPipeline. GradPipeline is a national, 501c3 e-nonprofit that e-coaches first-generation, U.S. people of color (African American, Latinx, and Native Americans) in attaining a graduate degree (Master’s or Doctorate or PhD only) from application to graduation:  GradPipeline website.

As a bilingual, trained Career Coach with over 15 years of career and workforce development experience, I have always “side-preneured”. I would career coach in-person or virtually individuals or in groups career enhancers or career changes. It has always brought me great joy to co-empower people to their life’s purpose to get paid for what they love to do in their careers!

What did you study in college? What did you enjoy the most about your chosen course of study?

I have my M.Ed. in Human Resource Development with a concentration in Management of e-learning for Workplace Learning and Training from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and my B.S. in Human Resource Management and Business Management with a minor in Psychology from Lesley University (LU) located in my home state of Massachusetts. As a first-generation high school and college graduate, what I love about what I studied is the opportunity to “pay it forward”. I have mentored others especially Latin@s for the past 20 years. There are not that many Latinas in the human resources field nationally and yet the HR department is such an integral part of an organization’s workforce and workplace culture. I intend to change that.  

How does your education help you in the work that you do today?

My formal education has helped me in the work that I do today by providing access to information, people, resources, and opportunities that I would not have otherwise. Being a human capital empowerment professional, it’s important to be a life-long learner as local, state, regional and federal policies and procedures consistently change which in turn affects how an organization can recruit and retain staff. As a SHRM member, early adapter of technology, and member of my UIUC & LU Alumni Associations, I can have access to that information and simultaneously inform my networks through email and/or my social media pages. You may follow me Twitter @LynetteCorVelez or request me on LinkedIn to connect!

Would you also consider returning to school to learn something new? If so, what would that be?

YES! I am currently in the process of applying for my Doctorate in Diversity and Equity in Education (Ed.D.) with an emphasis in Human Resource Development at my amazing alma mater at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As a life-long education advocate with a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) lens, it’s the perfect program for someone with my interests and background on improving recruitment and retention of staff but most especially staff of color. I hope to hear good news by August 2018. I will be saying some little prayers and crossing my fingers in the meantime…LOL!

What resources could a site like Colégas provide that would help you achieve your goals?

Colegas is an amazing organization for Gigsters such as myself. I hope to continue career coaching people as well as coaching HR departments, K-12 school systems, colleges and universities, and companies on their DEI initiatives through my customizable and interactive diversity trainings. I believe Colegas can assist with introductions on short and long-term paid opportunities, both remote/virtually and in-person nationally not only for myself but for my GradPipeline Scholars as well.

Do you have any advice or professional strategies you could share with our readers?

Create a personal board of advisors if you do not have one. Expand your personal board of advisors if you do have one.

Continue to build your personal and professional support network, both virtually and in-person, where you live locally and nationally. You are not alone. I could not do everything that I do today as a Mom to a 23-month-old son, a Wife, an Education Social Entrepreneur, Community Volunteer and more if I did not have the love and support of my personal board of advisors which include my husband, mentors of all ages and professional backgrounds, and close family and friends. There is value in building a community of individuals who can guide and support you on your journey.

Colegas Group2018
Lauren Frances Guerra Ph.D. - Adjunct Professor of Chicano Studies, UCLA

Today, we are honored to have a fellow Gigster, Lauren Frances Guerra Ph.D., share her experiences with us. She also happens to be bilingual in English and Spanish, another fantastic asset.

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Q. What kind of work do you do? Do you also have a side-gig? If not, do you have any hobbies or other activities you wouldn’t mind developing into a paid gig?

"I'm an adjunct professor of Chicano Studies, focused on Latinx Religion [ed. Latinx is a gender neutral term used in lieu of Latino or Latina]. I have done translation (Spanish-English) before. I have blogged in the past for the Forum for Theological Education group. I have mentored and reviewed graduate school applications.  I've also lead day long retreats and can do ministry/church related work."

Q. What did you study in college? What did you enjoy the most about your chosen course of study?

"As an undergraduate...I was a dual degree student: Bachelors in Spanish and Bachelors in Theology with minor in Philosophy. On the theology side...I love critical thinking and existential questions. I'm also very committed to social justice. On the literature side, I adore being part of the Latinx Culture and reading Latin American literature. I always wanted to be fully bi-lingual which is why I pursued Spanish."

Q. How does your education help you in the work that you do today?

"I'm teaching and writing.... I love being able to be very interdisciplinary."

Q. Would you also consider returning to school to learn something new? If so, what would that be?

"Possibly- I've considered medical school and law school."

Q. What resources could a site like Colégas provide that would help you achieve your goals?

"Learning to use social media more intentionally to market my skills."

Q. Do you have any advice or professional strategies you could share with our readers?

"I would encourage readers to find a mentor, if they don't have one already. If they are in academia especially, having a support network at your institution and outside of it are critical!!"

Colegas Group2018