erinalbert.com

books    •    bio    •    blog    •    store

                 

 




Archive for August, 2012

Top 10 Professional Moments Of All Time…Thus Far

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

I was asked to review a new book today for a fellow writer.  Not terribly unusual, perhaps, for some.  However, what it made me think of as I went on my walk tonight, were some of the best professional moments of my career thus far.

You see, I consider it an extreme privilege to help a fellow writer by reviewing his or her new book, especially if it isn’t even out in press yet.  Books are like babies–they take a TON of work, and you don’t always trust just anyone with your stuff.  There’s a lot of talk of writing, but not much action, either.  Of course, I immediately poured through the book to critique today between meetings and gave her an honest quote on it, and I hope she found it useful, but I was extremely grateful for the honor of helping her out.

So back to my walk: I got to thinking about some of my favorite professional career moments thus far.  There are some obvious choices – like starting a business, going to school, etc.  But, here are some that come to the top of my mind, randomly–beyond the extreme pleasure in reviewing other writers’ books, as I previously mentioned.  I’m certain there are others, but I’ve slept since then.  Here goes:

1. I helped a mom keep her child off of ADHD drugs, by suggesting other options between her, her child, and her child’s doctor.  She came back to thank me a few months later, and she kept her child off of the drugs.  As a pharmacist, one might think this is an odd story to recall as a top professional career moment, but it’s easily in my top 10, even though it happened a long time ago.  I think any healthcare professional has an obligation to prevent issues from happening in one’s health in the first place.  And granted, some kids and adults truly need drugs, for a myriad of reasons.  But I’m glad to see that non-drug therapies also work too, and I can make a difference, even without a prescription to fill.

2. Holding my first published book in my hands for the first time.  This one may make me sound like a tool, but I don’t care.  Writing a book is hard work.  And by the end, you’re sick of looking at the book.  It’s a process, and a journey, and a combo of good, bad, and ugly.  But, in the end, holding the book in your hands truly makes it worth the hassle.  It’s all love once it is back in your paws, ready to rock the world!

3. Graduating from pharmacy school, the first time.  Still the hardest degree for me to earn, ever.  The rest came easier for me, including law.  Props to the students earning their PharmDs today – not sure how they do it 6 years straight through, and not sure I could do it again, if I had to do it over again.

4. Hiring my first employee – that was pretty cool.

5. Helping pharmacy students think like entrepreneurs.  Still hands down, my favorite class to teach is entrepreneurship in pharmacy.  And that can take many different forms – from part time gigs on the side, all the way up to owning one’s own pharmacy.  There’s a spectrum of ‘trepping out there, and whether or not students actually start a business down the road, I’m more interested in them getting the mindset of thinking like an entrepreneur, which will serve them well over their own careers.

6. Helping pharmacy students write books.  I’ve got 2 writing/book projects under the umbrella of student book projects now, and working on a third.  A fourth crashed and burned. When one of the students last year who didn’t even work on the student books project came to the signing and said, “this is cooler than even graduating from pharmacy school!” that pretty much rocked my world.  I love writing, but I love helping others discovering that they love writing just as much if not more.

7. Buying my first real estate investment at age 18.  This one I must give a shout out to my family for allowing me to do.  It taught me several lessons, and bought me Organic Chemistry class tuition at Notre Dame one summer after selling it.  Investments and passive income rock.  I’m a big fan of capitalism, and I wish they taught more of this in school.  I was lucky to get it at home.

8.  Helping others launch or change their own careers.  I can’t really recall a specific case in point right now, it’s been a long day–but I’ve always tried to help out my friends and contacts get to their own career Shangri-Las, whatever those may be. I’m still working on several of my friends – so if you need some good peeps, let me know.

9.  Setting up a mentoring program for other women.  I worked with a women’s organization a few years ago and had a shot at setting up a mentoring program.  I think that might have been even more work than writing a book, because it involved writing content, working with teams of people, and bringing together people that are somewhat different.  Despite it being a ton of work, it in the end I think had at least a little impact.  If nothing else, the mentees learned a little more about the most important lesson of all: unearthing themselves.

There you have it.  I always keep my eyes peeled for other awesome career adventures, but these are the 10 that bubble up in my mind tonight.

Are Women’s Centers Necessary on College Campuses?

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

First off, Happy Women’s Equality Day! On this day in 1920, the 19th amendment was certified.  This gave women the right to vote.  We’ve come a long way.

Lately, one of the areas I’ve been studying a lot are women’s centers at colleges and universities.  Why?  Well, first, because none of the 4 colleges/universities I attended ever had such a center.  (OK – one did, but I found out AFTER I graduated, and it wasn’t directly in the school that I was in at the time.)

Second, women are just not at equity yet.  Despite the fact that we’ve achieved a majority in higher education since–shockingly–1981, if we WERE at equity – there would be a larger % of women at the helm of Fortune 100 companies, we’d be at parity on public corporate boards, and we’d also have more women in political leadership in the U.S.

Third, we seem to be reverting as a country into darker, more Draconian days when it comes to women’s rights.  I’ll say it – namely abortion.  This, I thought was settled in the 1970s.  And while I consider myself a fiscal conservative, I’m socially liberal, and I don’t like it when ANY party tries to strip me of my rights as a woman.

Why we need women’s centers, still, to this day, are for the reasons mentioned above.  Yes, while we have more women educating themselves, we just aren’t yet where we need to be in the places that high level decisions are being made just yet.  We aren’t in the boardrooms, we aren’t in the C-Suites, and we aren’t in Washington DC in positions of power.  It’s getting better, but we’ve still got a LONG way to go.  While the colleges and universities are doing a decent job educating women–I argue they are not yet doing enough to educate young women on how to become LEADERS – not just degree-earners.

So – we do need more and frequent women’s centers–to instill in women the “ships,” as I call them – leadership, entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, namely.  Until we’re at parity in those departments, we are not at parity, period.

We’ve still got a lot of work to do, ladies and gentlemen!

Ready, Set, Sharpen The Pencil

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

I cannot believe it – but summer for me is officially over, with the launch of professional phase orientation today at my first alma mater and day job employer: Butler University COPHS.  We began orienting, just this morning, the class of 2016.

Sounds like a space odyssey!

Anyway, the thing I love about the start of the semester is that it’s almost a control alt delete of my schedule and my life.  A chance at a new routine for a few months.  (Aside from the experiential work I do at Butler, which honestly is year round.)  But for everyone else, that might mean a child returning or starting school too.  Or starting a new job.  Fresh.

It’s a chance to sharpen the pencil, get out a clean, new, fresh sheet of paper, and redrawing your future.  That’s what I love most about the new semester.  It’s a chance to start over, in a small way.  I. Dig.

Here’s hoping your fall semester is off to a great start as well.  And I’ll go ahead and apologize in advance–as I’m working on a couple of book projects on top of the day gig and a few other new things.  I may not be blogging to the same regularity.  But all 13 of you I’m sure will understand.

Sharpen those pencils and happy fall semester, everyone!

5 More Things I’d Like In My Life

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

So, whenever I’ve been through a major transition in my life, I’ve always thought it was an excellent time to stop, and of course smell the roses, but more importantly, look forward to what I want to investigate more.  I think it’s important to appreciate where you’ve been, but I think it’s even more important to determine where you’re headed in the future.

That being said, when I’ve talked to groups recently, I’ve told audiences to be very careful what they wish for, because they just might get it.  Here’s what I’m not only going to wish for on my tiny blog, but what I’m talking about learning and discovering more of as I have conversations with my friends, mentors and new people in my network.  If you have wisdom to share in any of these arenas, I’d love to hear from you!

1. Digital storytelling – in the form of video.  I’m already on the path to learn more about this, and investing some of my resources into developing this skill over the coming 6 months.  This video I was in for the law school is an excellent example.  I like to learn how to better tell–both visually and structurally–a story in a quick video clip.  This is a powerful skill for the net, and one I’m excited to know more about.  Besides, there are NOT enough positive shows and stories on current big media.  Contrary to popular belief, most women don’t really care what The K family (I can’t even type the entire name – that would be acknowledging it too much) or the Housewives of ___ are up to – we crave more relevant information on how to become our best selves.

2. Politics – yes, I’ve talked about this one here before, written about it to encourage others (particularly women) to get excited about creating big change, and I’m going to be part of this year’s Hamilton County Leadership Academy.  The other program that I really want to know more about is the Yale Women’s Campaign School.  I’m lucky enough to have a couple of women in my network that have gone through this program, but I’d like to know more.

3. Non traditional law school students, or those with professional degrees thinking about going back to law school – this is the new tribe I’m looking to build as I write my next and new project on law school.

4.  Women in business – I think this dovetails with #1 above.  There are a LOT of women like us out there rocking businesses, but I’m just not seeing enough of it in other places where I read/watch/think.  Need more!

5.  Women on corporate for-profit boards – One of my big goals this year is that I want to get on one big huge company corporate board.  I’m ready to get cranking on this – esp. since it’s 3Q of this year!  But – again – not enough women that have “been there, done that” which I can reach out to and learn how they miraculously scored a seat on a corp. board to make a big difference.

I’m a big believer of putting ideas and intent into the universe, and watching the U bring it back to me.

What are you looking forward to more of in your life, and have you shared your intentions?

 

Camp Ambiguity

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

So, I’m back.

Where did I go?

I’d kind of like to equate it to something we can all relate to: summer camp. Albeit, my two camps were a little more hard core than canoeing and making s’mores.

First summer camp this summer, if you’ve not been one of my loyal baker’s dozen readers, was the bar exam.  That’s a camp where I got basically fat from sitting around sweating, studying, and stressing after law school graduation, until the end of July.  Also, it was carbohydrate induced.

(BTW, if you have a law student in your life – you really need to celebrate with them 3 times – 1. at graduation, 2. after the bar exam is over, 3. after they passed. If you can only afford one, choose #3. Just a helpful and friendly tip.)

Second summer camp this summer for me was getting as far away from bar exam camp as possible, in the form of a nearly 2-week trip to the European Union – Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Germany–yes, 4 countries in around 10ish days.  This was my phase one of post bar exam and law school recovery program.  That’s a camp where I just returned from, where I got basically fat from wandering around tiny villages that have the most amazing wines, food, butters and creams in the entire world.  It was fat induced.

(BTW, if you’re also a recovering bar-exam taker – you really should consider getting as far away as possible from your past life for a bit.  Yes, I’m giving you permission to run away for awhile.  If that means moving, or just taking a vacation to somewhere completely foreign to you, do what you can afford, but make sure you hit your own control-alt-delete buttons somehow post bar exam.  It’s good for you.)

Now, I’m past summer camp, at the strangest new campsite of all.  I’m hoping it will be protein induced.  It begins officially next week, when campus starts buzzing again for fall semester, and I get my normal school year groove back on, minus one big gaping hole: law school.  I’ve watched my friends pick up new hobbies and activities on Facebook around filling that gap–running, moving, one even pulled her wisdom teeth out (been there, done that, and something I would NOT recommend to fill the law school gap with…unless you really need it.)

For me, right now, my gap fillers will include a couple of writing projects.  But change is difficult, and constant.  While I was away, I was invited to try my hand at a couple of cool things to do this fall that I’ve never done before.  We’ll see how they go.

This is Camp Ambiguity–and I can’t see what type of canoeing and s’mores they offer this autumn, at this place.