Pencils Down

I finally took the new GRE test and I am elated to be done. I can focus on other activities in my life. It was a long test and I had to be there bright and early. I struggled with the math, shocker. I feel really confident about the essay portion and the verbal was okay. I won’t get my official score for another two weeks. Until then, no more mentionS of testing and obscure vocab or the Pythagorean theorem.

Thankfully, after that ordeal was over and done with I headed to Northern VA for lunch. A former co-worker bought me lunch at this great Thai place. Thanks Melinda! I meant to take pictures today but forgot. Tsk. She shared some summer stories and upcoming fall and winter plans. I gave her a little inkling as to what I am up to these days and she offered to help connect me with two people; her husband has a management position and a friend who works in the development field for a nonprofit. I think having diverse perspectives will only help me learn and grow while broadening my perspective. My personal statement is going to be so distinctive and have a lot of character because all these recent and upcoming experiences.

And yes, I’ve been sharing my blogs with friends, tweeting and posting on blogs like The Daily Muse and The Everygirl. Thanks Forbes.com for yet another shout-out! And tomorrow, I am meeting with a the PR manager at one of my old internships (networking!). I might be guest blogging in the very near future. Also, I am looking forward to attending a local chapter meeting of the National Association of Professional Women. An evening with a room full of professional women should be enlightening.

Here’s to looking ahead.

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Twittering

Yes, it’s true. I am on Twitter. Second time is the charm. My first foray into the world of tweets was early this year with my account @volunteerista. Cute, right? I love volunteering and participating in community service projects. Doing a good deed is a no-brainer and helping others and the environment are pluses in my book. Plus, volunteering helps businesses too. I was the kid who collected everyone’s soda cans to make sure they were recycled. And in high school, I tutored middle school students and woke up early to stuff bags at breast cancer walks. The list goes on and on. I have a few volunteer opportunities this fall and winter that I will post later.

Anyway, I started a new account that corresponds with this blog. With Twitter, I can connect with millions of people about my interests in business, career, female entrepreneurship and the occasional tweet about fashion, music, travel and food. More importantly, people can reach out to me. Side note – One of my comments on Forbes was called out today. Exciting! Thanks Deborah.

Later today, I’m going to send an email to a blogger named Annie, whom I met at the BlogHer conference, to let her know I finally started this project and I’m on Twitter.  I’m not sure how much work it will be to get followers and write cheeky but interesting tweets. We’ll see what happens.

Happy Tweeting!

Care to Share?

Now that I have started to unravel this blog’s simple beginnings, I am realizing that it is a lot of work to make sense of it all. I want to continue to find/hunt/scour businesses owned my women, female leaders ruling the world and interesting and facts about their journeys. I am discovering that is difficult to retrieve information about women of color. Where are the brown yellow and black ladies? I want their profiles, better yet I want to profile them. In the near future, this will be a place for meaningful content with videos, pictures, interviews, links and anything else that helps form that narrative and then some.

My goal before Monday evening, is to share my blog with at least seven lucky peeps in my network. Sharing is caring! I want to hear from the people. This blog will force me to hopefully write and collect compelling material. As the days turn into weeks into months, I really hope my voice becomes stronger and maybe more defined. A little paid gig here and there doesn’t hurt either.

I have a lot of work to do. Let the sharing begin.

POST-Intro

I never started my blog with an introduction. No lead, no bio, not a thing. I did this on purpose because I wanted to see if I could successfully write more than six posts without bailing out. And now, I present to you an intro or something of the sort.

My name is Ijeoma (e-jho-maa) and I started blogging last week because I promised myself this summer that I would. I attended the 2012 BlogHer conference in New York City. Correction – I attended the PathFinder Day, which is more or less a precursor to the multi-day conference. I took Megabus, super duper early from Washington, D.C. six weeks ago to the day to attend the conference and the five hour bus trip was worth it. Thankfully, the weather was decent. August heat in NYC is not cute but the ultra fab Hilton New York was chilled to my liking.

The PathFinder Day was what I needed to at least understand why people blog. There were women everywhere. All shapes, sizes, demographics, etc. I think I spent most of the day slightly bemused. I was stepping out of my comfort zone but I was trying to imagine having a blog as a means of living, social change or simply for fun. Though I was little late (and had to leave early), I checked-in at the registration, got my badge and headed straight for the morning workshop that interested me the most: My Blog as Business.

I knew well in advance that I did not have a blog, nor was I in the process of beginning one but envisioning my future blog as a business was appealing. I like reading about business, particularly small/mid-sized businesses, and entrepreneurship. More importantly, I get inspired and empowered when I read articles or see videos about powerful women. Problem is, I don’t see it as often as I would like or that should exist online. I identify with a lot of communities – millienials, former viola and cello players, Americorps, Nigerians, first-generation Americans, folks who wear glasses. But I love being a woman who wants to lead people or manage a business.

So, I thought the workshop, My Blog as Business, would be perfect. And it would have been if I actually had a blog. Minor fail. I learned a lot of legalese and how to avoid being sued. Oh, and how to protect my content, though I am still trying to apply all that knowledge. After a very scrumptious lunch, I switched gears and decided I needed to refocus and be kind to myself. For round two, I chose, My Blog as Change Agent, to hone in on why I actually was at this conference in the first place.

I was skeptical. Really skeptical but ultimately kept an open mind and stayed positive. Besides, the speakers Deb and Diane were really nice and encouraging. The space they created was safe and hopeful, two very important qualities for a tyro. Long story short, I met a small group of women at my table who were giving me ideas and support. On the bus ride home, I sent them all emails. Now, I look forward to emailing them again to let them know I started a blog! I will include their blogs in another post.

The proof is in the badge. 

I didn’t take any pictures at the conference, sad face. Thankfully, I still have my name badge as evidence that I attended BlogHer’12. I am glad I did. How’s that for an intro?

Faves

It’s a new day and I’m excited to share a few things I found while I was perusing my usual suspects. I have a couple of sites and blogs that I follow. One is Forbes.com but more specifically the ForbesWoman section. Last night, I found a great article about web-based tools for small business, though some of them are not business specific. My three faves are:

  • SlideRocket – say goodbye to vapid, annoying PowerPoint presentations. With built-in multimedia as well as creative designs and colors, SlideRocket is just fun to play with to develop a memorable pitch.
  • WePay – Similar to PayPal but better? The site has additional features including web pages for stores, event registrations and online donations.
  • Bravo VideoThis is a pretty cool way to capture customer/fan testimonials on video. You can start a contest, share video across social networks and more.
Hope you find these tools useful. I know I will. There is so much information and resources out there. A whole lot of sifting to do, but it is worth it because who doesn’t want to be efficient, dynamic and ahead of the game. Look out for future lists of my faves.

The Day After

In September of 2001, I started my first year of high school. I was pretty excited about the next step in my life. The first week went just fine; complete with a pep rally, homework and a football game. The next week, specifically Tuesday, September 11th, will remain with me and countless Americans and people across the world forever. I was too confused and distraught to write in my diary but at 8:30am on Wednesday, September 12th, I attempted to explain what happened and how I felt. The following excerpt is a transcription of a diary entry I wrote –

My diary, January 2001 – December 2001
So much has happened so fast. At the moment, I should be in school. But that’s not the case. Here’s the story. Yesterday morning (9/11) the World Trade Center (WTC), also known as the Twin Towers, collapsed because of a terrorist attack. These terrorist hijacked four commercial planes. Another plane crashed into the Pentagon. The WTC and Pentagon had large fires that kept burning. Then, the unthinkable happened, the towers fell…It’s really and truly unbelievable. The videos on TV are.. odd. The plane actually went through the building and then the second one.
I mean… how could this happen?
Out of tragedy, even years later, there is hope. Hope to serve others. Hope to live out our personal and professional dreams. Hope for a peaceful world. Reflecting on this day is a good reminder that we can aspire to do more in hopes that good will always outlast evil. I pray for this hope and so much more.

Just Another

Funny enough, I heard Maroon 5’s “Sunday Morning” last night and reminisced. I really like that song. Thankfully, there was no rain today. A beautiful cerulean sky and puffy clouds set the tone for a simple, breezy day. Autumn is fast approaching and I cannot wait. I’ve practiced my vocab and did some mental math games to keep me sharp. I still have a few items on my list including updating my resume and writing a few thank you notes.

I have a feeling my schedule will start to fill up fast, which I prefer. I am looking forward to a few upcoming travels and events. Until then, I will be assiduous in my studies and scrupulous in editing my resume so that it’s in tip top shape. Two GRE words in one sentence, not too shabby.