My MSW Enhances My Entrepreneurial Skills

According to the National Association of Social Workers, “Social workers help people increase their capacities for problem solving and coping, and they help them obtain needed resources, facilitate interactions between individuals and between people and their environments, make organizations responsible to people, and influence social policies.” I couldn’t agree more.

 

In a matter of moments I can find dozens of articles and lists online that highlight skills that predict entrepreneurial success. Skills frequently identified include communication skills, planning and organizing skills, the ability to recognize opportunities, high ethical standards, resilience, and negotiation skills. I provide college success coaching, career coaching to entry-level job hunters and experienced employees seeking promotion and community relations consulting. I strongly believe that my MSW degree enhances the aforementioned skills and as aided me greatly on my entrepreneurial journey.

 

As you know, I received my Masters of Social Work degree from University of Maryland, Baltimore with a concentration in Management and Community Organization and a specialization in Social Action and Community Development. I have been able to apply my understanding of human behavior, motivation, and interpersonal connections learned in the classroom in business and nonprofit environments.

 

The traditional social work skills of empathy, boundary setting, active listening, advocacy, and self-awareness implemented as in entrepreneurial endeavors have also allowed me to:
-Conduct needs assessments
-Understand changes in the work environment
-Build effective teams
-Guide strategic planning sessions
-Assess public perception and images
-Facilitate community partnerships
-Emphasize systematic change/improvement
-Manage a 21st century workforce
-Teach and train volunteers, interns, and employees

 

I have found that one of the greatest strengths of the social work profession is the diversity of opportunities to make a difference while doing work that you love.

Happy Social Work Month!

i love social work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicki Sanders is an experienced trainer, group facilitator, and program manager. She has packaged her Masters of Social Work degree and over 15 years of work experience into Packaged For Success, a training and professional development company. Packaged For Success provides career coaching to college students, entry-level job hunters, and experienced employees seeking a promotion. Packaged For Success also offers communication and productivity improvement training for employees and supervisors and provides consultation on building sustainable, impactful, socially responsible community programs.

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What Kind Of Social Worker Are You?

I love social work. March is National Social Work Month and I get to celebrate all month long. Let me begin with a basic breakdown of the profession and my career path.

The social work field can be divided into three areas: micro, mezzo, and macro.

  1. Micro (social work) is the most well-known area and includes direct work with individuals and families.
  2. Mezzo (social work) supports small to medium sized groups like neighborhoods, school, and local agencies.
  3. Macro (social work) focuses on larger systemic or institutional interventions and can include lobbying or policy change.

 

I knew when I decided to pursue social work during my senior year in high school that I would not become a counselor or therapist. Clinical social work is not for me. There is an eleven year period between my earning a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and earning my Masters of Social Work degree from University of Maryland, Baltimore with a concentration in Management and Community Organization and a specialization in Social Action and Community Development. I entered graduate school knowing that I wanted to work with communities and systems and also that my ultimate goal was to become a Manager/Supervisor. My favorite courses included Human Resources Management, Program Management, and Community Organizing.

 

A social work degree can prepare a person for a job as a Lobbyist, Researcher, Employment Specialist, Grant Writer, or Substance Abuse Counselor. Although most people have no idea what my academic concentration or specialization mean, I have applied my classroom knowledge in the real world much too many times to name. I have held the positions of Case Manager, Site Coordinator, Assistant Director, Program Director, and Adjunct Professor. My work has included hiring, training, group facilitation, program development, and supervision.

 

WHAT DO YOU DO NOW? I am a social entrepreneur who provides college success coaching, career coaching, and community relations consulting.

 

Now, wasn’t that easy to understand?

social workers rock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicki Sanders is an experienced trainer, group facilitator, and program manager. She has packaged her Masters of Social Work degree and over 15 years of work experience into Packaged For Success, a training and professional development company. Packaged For Success provides career coaching to college students, entry-level job hunters, and experienced employees seeking a promotion. Packaged For Success also offers communication and productivity improvement training for employees and supervisors and provides consultation on building sustainable, impactful, socially responsible community programs.

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Are College Students Prepared For The Real World?

I am a strong proponent of education. I believe that education begins at home and that the world is our classroom. When asked if a college education is “worth it” I say yes it is. I believe that college is still a valuable investment that that requires systemic improvement.

 

Should parents or professors teach about HMOs and IRAs and credit scores?

Who is at fault if college students aren’t prepared for the ‘real world’ after graduation?

 

Check out the Buzz Feed video and share your thoughts.

 

 

Get To Graduation Workshop
The path to a college degree is rarely linear. Earning a degree is only part of the successful higher education equation. A well-adjusted student has a plan B, C and D, understands the importance of strong connections, practical experience, and marketable skills, and has learned to leverage campus and career opportunities. This workshop will help both graduate and undergraduate students maintain motivation and make the most of their college years.

After completing the Get to Graduation Workshop, students will be able to:
1. Select courses that match their academic goals
2. Apply classroom knowledge in the real world
3. Identify and utilize beneficial campus resources
4. Create a professional network
5. Develop a career plan that complements their field of study

 

Nicki Sanders is an experienced trainer, group facilitator, and program manager. She has packaged her Masters of Social Work degree and over 15 years of work experience into Packaged For Success, a training and professional development company. Packaged For Success provides career coaching to college students, entry-level job hunters, and experienced employees seeking a promotion. Packaged For Success also offers communication and productivity improvement training for employees and supervisors and provides consultation on building sustainable, impactful, socially responsible community programs.

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How To Increase College Graduation Rates For Foster Youth

Nationwide, more than 400,000 children live in foster care. Each year, an estimated 20,000 young people “age out” of the U.S. foster care system at 18 or 21 years old. Many of these young people carry the trauma of their past, have experienced gaps in their education, have limited work history and job skills, and weak personal and professional connections. They still need support and services.

Nationally less than 3% of young adults who age out of foster care go to college. ln a 2010 study by researchers at the University of Chicago, only 6 percent of former foster youths had earned a two- or four-year degree by age 24. The numbers of colleges creating programs to support current and foster youth are increasing. Support services of value to foster youth include:

  • Scholarships
  • Counseling
  • Support Groups
  • Tutoring
  • Mentorship
  • School Supplies
  • Book Vouchers
  • Campus Housing
  • Linens
  • Personal Hygiene Items
  • Cleaning Products
  • Employment Opportunities
  • Holiday Meals and Events
  • Community/Social Service Connections

 

Learn More:

  1. Independent Living in the 21st Century
  2. Why is 21 the Magic Cut-Off Age?
  3. Are You Willing to Give Them a Chance?

 

 

Quality College Education

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicki Sanders is an experienced trainer, group facilitator, and program manager. She has packaged her Masters of Social Work degree and over 15 years of work experience into Packaged For Success, a training and professional development company. Packaged For Success provides career coaching to college students, entry-level job hunters, and experienced employees seeking a promotion. Packaged For Success also offers communication and productivity improvement training for employees and supervisors and provides consultation on building sustainable, impactful, socially responsible community programs.

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Is It Shark Tank Or Charity Tank?

Last fall I wrote a blog titled 23 Ways To Earn Money In College. Many colleges are now offering entrepreneurship degrees in addition to business management and business administration. Social entrepreneurship is a fast growing industry.

 

On Friday, ABC aired a Shark Tank episode where all the businesses were created by college students. It was a great episode with great ventures. I hope that these young people become household names. We may have even been introduced to the next billionaire.

 

The most memorable exchange of the night took place after the final deal was made. A young man, Christopher Gray, who earned over one million dollars in college scholarships partnered with web developers and launched Scholly Scholarship app to help other students fund their education. It was a brilliant and much needed idea.

 

Christopher completed his business pitch and before Robert and Mark could have all their questions answered Lori offered him exactly the amount of money and percentage of interest that he asked for. Daymond joined her in the offer. What happened next was unexpected. A “shark fight” that divided the group ensued and Robert, Mark, and Kevin stormed out.

 

Before their great exodus, Robert blurted out the line of the night, “this is shark tank not charity tank.” I was left with lots of questions after witnessing such a ridiculous explosion of anger.
-Why does passion for a project or belief in a person equate to charity?
-Was it all staged?
-Did things escalate because Lori is a woman?
-What it a race issue?
-Did Lori and Daymond take advantage of a naive college student?
-Can’t business be about more than money?
-Aren’t all investments risky?

 

I hope that this was not a publicity stunt. I want to believe that Shark Tank is above petty arguments to boost ratings. I was more disappointed that the “shark fight” overshadowed the brilliance of the app. Although Christopher received exactly what he asked for, I believe he may have received more money by answering more questions. I believe that the by giving Robert, Kevin, and Mark the answers they wanted would have resulted in more competition and a more beneficial and less dramatic shark fight would have taken place. I hope that episode wasn’t the beginning of the end of Shark Tank as we’ve known it.

 

For weekly viewers, Shark Tank is like a free online course where you learn about business pitches, business evaluation, and business negotiation. The show offers more than entertainment and I wish shark tan fans and budding entrepreneurs would have been able to learn more about how the app works on the back end. The conversation could have given another app developer the insight needed to go to the next level.

 

Thousands of dollars in scholarships are unclaimed every year while student loan debts increase. Despite the dramatics, many people promoted and purchased the scholarship app during and immediately after the episode aired. Lori and Daymond are successful entrepreneurs with the skills, experience, connections, and income to grow an app into a viable business. The real life and business lessons for Christopher will happen in his personal meetings with his new shark partners.

 

The bottom line is that this app will positively impact many lives – that is an important business principle for me.

Scholly tweet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicki Sanders is an experienced trainer, group facilitator, and program manager. She has packaged her Masters of Social Work degree and over 15 years of work experience into Packaged For Success, a training and professional development company. Packaged For Success provides career coaching to college students, entry-level job hunters, and experienced employees seeking a promotion. Packaged For Success also offers communication and productivity improvement training for employees and supervisors and provides consultation on building sustainable, impactful, socially responsible community programs.

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5 Things To Consider Before Selecting College Courses

Independence – one of the best things about college life can also be one of the most challenging.

Unlike high school, college students have much more autonomy in selecting the classes you take. The goal of a college education is to develop well-rounded students who become global citizens. General education requirements usually include art, music, humanities, foreign language, and history. Colleges can offer hundreds of courses in a semester which in turn can result in frustration or confusion for many students during registration. Communications majors may be required to take biology and math majors may be required to take sociology. Meeting with your advisor and understanding the general education and core requirements for your major and can help eliminate overwhelm but don’t stop there.

 

Here are 5 things to consider before selecting your college courses:

1. Brain Function – Knowing not only your learning style but what time of day you are most alert and productive can play a key role in earning good grades.

2. Professor – Who is teaching a course is as important as the subject of the course.  It’s a good idea to research your professors not only to learn about their education and qualifications but also to find out their teaching style and how former students performed in their classes.

3. Responsibilities – I recommend that students attend class during their peak performance periods but the reality is that many students are balancing jobs, families, and social activities with class time and study time. Select a schedule that allows for adequate self-care and meeting non-academic and academic obligations.

4. Career Opportunities –Many adults change careers 2-3 times during their working years thus an interdisciplinary approach to education can make you more employable. Don’t overlook courses like statistics, software applications, independent research or practicum that offer opportunities to apply classroom knowledge while developing professional skills or making professional connections.

5. YOU – On your journey to graduation, surprisingly the easiest item to overlook when creating a college schedule is you. Don’t forget to move beyond requirements and consider your likes and interests. College is a time to satisfy your intellectual curiosity, improve your problem-solving skills, and get to know yourself better. Make an effort to choose courses that challenge and develop you academically, socially, personally, and professionally.

 

5 Things To Consider Before Selecting College Courses

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicki Sanders is an experienced trainer, group facilitator, and program manager. She has packaged her Masters of Social Work degree and over 15 years of work experience into Packaged For Success, a training and professional development company. Packaged For Success provides career coaching to college students, entry-level job hunters, and experienced employees seeking a promotion. Packaged For Success also offers communication and productivity improvement training for employees and supervisors and provides consultation on building sustainable, impactful, socially responsible community programs.

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You Should Follow Your College Online

Families of college-bound students are becoming savvy shoppers. Over the last few years there has a lot of emphasis placed on the college admissions process. Students are not hedging their bets on one dream school. They understand the need to select a school based on academics, location, social activities, and cost. As students become more selective, many colleges are now using social media to market to potential students. Institutions understand the benefits of communicating with potential students in the student’s natural mode of communication.

 

There are many benefits to current students connecting online to the businesses and industries that they are interested in. The more tech savvy institutions also understand that social media is a great tool to keep current students engaged and informed.

 

Stay connected to your college online to:

  • Learn the background and qualifications of your administration and professors
  • Connect with other students
  • Find out what’s happening in your major/department
  • Find out about social, academic, and career events
  • Connect with alumni

 

What are other benefits to connecting with your college online?

 

Quality College Education

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicki Sanders is an experienced trainer, group facilitator, and program manager. She has packaged her Masters of Social Work degree and over 15 years of work experience into Packaged For Success, a training and professional development company. Packaged For Success provides career coaching to college students, entry-level job hunters, and experienced employees seeking a promotion. Packaged For Success also offers communication and productivity improvement training for employees and supervisors and provides consultation on building sustainable, impactful, socially responsible corporate programs.

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3 Lessons Learned While Stuck In My Coat

I often say (and hear from others) “that only happens to you Nicki”. Not in the sad, Charlie Brown kind of way, more in the “are you serious” while laughing kind of way. Last Thursday was no exception. I was leaving one appointment heading to another and caught my scarf in my zipper as I zipped my coat. No big deal right? Wrong!! I was really stuck. I was able to get the scarf out but the zipper was off track at the top and not at the bottom. If the zipper was caught at the bottom I could have stepped out of the coat. If the zipper was caught in the middle I would have had enough room to free myself or pull it over my head. Yep, you guessed it. The zipper was caught up at the top near my neck. It was in too awkward a position for me to do anything – and I didn’t have any tools to do anything with.

 

Here are the 3 lessons I learned while stuck in my coat:

 

1. Set The Intention
As I drove in my car I realized the best chance I had to get out of my coat was to find a dry cleaner who offered alterations. Instead of assuming there was no dry cleaner near me I set the intention and located what I was looking for on a street I have driven down hundreds of times. I’m sure it wasn’t a new business. I had never seen this dry cleaners because I didn’t need it before.

 

2. Ask For Help
Initially I was going to break the zipper and find another coat on winter clearance sale but I could not move it. My quick fix wouldn’t work, so I pull into the dry cleaner’s parking lot with great expectation. Instead of being embarrassed I walk inside and ask the seamstress if she repairs zippers. She tells me that she does but it usually takes a week. I tell her that won’t work because I’m stuck in my coat right now. She gives me that “are you serious” look. I’m surely she is thinking this grown woman can’t get herself out of her coat. She stands and tries to move the zipper with no success. She then asks for help from her coworker. They were both polite and experienced – awesome customer service.

 

3. Laugh At Yourself
I now have two women, who are five feet tall at best, trying to free me from my coat. They pull out about 4 different pairs of pliers. The seamstress even whips out a razor blade and instructs me to hold my head high so she doesn’t cut my neck. Because I am probably 8 inches taller than them both, the second worker is now standing on the counter. Yes, standing on the counter. I was laughing inside. I really wanted to take out my phone for a selfie but I didn’t want the women to think I was stranger than they already did. I have the habit of always thinking and going, but it was so funny to me that I was able to stop and be present.

 

After about 8 minutes the two women and their tools freed me. The seamstress took my coat and repaired the zipper in like 3 minutes. They smiled and gave me my broken zipper to keep as a souvenir.  I smiled, thanked them and paid extra!

3 Lessons Learned While Stuck In My Coat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicki Sanders is an experienced trainer, group facilitator, and program manager. She has packaged her Masters of Social Work degree and over 15 years of work experience into Packaged For Success, a training and professional development company. Packaged For Success provides career coaching to college students, entry-level job hunters, and experienced employees seeking a promotion. Packaged For Success also offers communication and productivity improvement training for employees and supervisors and provides consultation on building sustainable, impactful, socially responsible corporate programs.

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Happy Valentine’s Day College Students

This Valentine’s Day I want to show my appreciation by offering a special FREE gift to current college students.

 

This weekend I will REVIEW and CRITIQUE the RESUME of the first 10 current college students who respond below to this Valentine’s Day (Friday 2/13/15) blog post.

 

A resume is written snapshot of your experiences, skills, and abilities. This critical document is one of the first ways to introduce yourself to potential employers. Avoiding spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes and clearly articulating your proficiencies and strengths are essential to standing out in a crowded employment field. Whether you are applying for your dream job or your summer internship I want to help you ensure that you showcase your professional best.

 

Claim your free gift today!  Limited opportunity!

Valetines Day special gift 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This free Valentine’s Day gift includes a critique of your existing resume with recommendations for improvement ONLY. Each resume should be no more than two pages in length. Offer expires on Sunday, February 15, 2015, at 10:00pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Nicki Sanders is an experienced trainer, group facilitator, and program manager. She has packaged her Masters of Social Work degree and over 15 years of work experience into Packaged For Success, a training and professional development company. Packaged For Success provides career coaching to college students, entry-level job hunters, and experienced employees seeking a promotion. Packaged For Success also offers communication and productivity improvement training for employees and supervisors and provides consultation on building sustainable, impactful, socially responsible corporate programs.

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25 Ways To Get Good Grades In College

In order to graduate from college you have to pass your classes. You should strive to do more than just pass your classes. Every student should strive to get good grades in college. Good grades qualify your for certain campus opportunities, internships, scholarships, and awards. Good grades can also boost your self-confidence and help you stay motivated. #GetToGraduation

 

1. Expect to succeed
2. Choose your courses wisely
3. Come to class regularly and on time
4. Read your syllabus in its entirety
5. Get organized – use a planner/calendar
6. Be sure you have all the needed course materials
7. Read course material
8. Take good notes in class
9. Participate in class
10. Ask questions for clarification
11. Schedule a specific time to study
12. Study in a location free from distractions
13. Review class notes as soon as possible
14. Complete all assignments
15. Visit your professor during office hours for additional insight
16. Make sure your professor knows you as an individual student not just a class member
17. Understand your learning style
18. Don’t overextend yourself socially or academically
19. Break down large assignments into smaller tasks
20. Complete most difficult and least favorite tasks first
21. Exchange contact information with a classmate
22. Find out about anything you miss if you are absent from class
23. Check your college (student) email daily
24. Get help when needed – tutor, writing center, etc.
25. Select project and research topics that interest you

 

Get To Graduation Workshop – The path to a college degree is rarely linear. Earning a degree is only part of the successful higher education equation. A well-adjusted student has a plan B, C and D, understands the importance of strong connections, practical experience, and marketable skills, and has learned to leverage campus and career opportunities. This workshop will help both graduate and undergraduate students maintain motivation and make the most of their college years.

 

25 ways to get good grades in college

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicki Sanders is an experienced trainer, group facilitator, and program manager. She has packaged her Masters of Social Work degree and over 15 years of work experience into Packaged For Success, a training and professional development company. Packaged For Success provides career coaching to college students, entry-level job hunters, and experienced employees seeking a promotion. Packaged For Success also offers communication and productivity improvement training for employees and supervisors and provides consultation on building sustainable, impactful, socially responsible corporate programs.

© Copyright Protected. ALL RIGHTS ARE RESERVED.

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