With the situation in Ferguson, it reminds me that People of Color (POC) are in this together so although I have never lived the life of an African American fe(male), I do understand how the color of your skin can sway people’s perceptions/prejudices. As a member of the Asian American community, I am a fierce advocate of creating opportunities for all of us to have a seat at the table but it’s also necessary that those who have privilege, use their advantages. Do I think that my own upbringing with a white German American father and a Vietnamese mother shaped my attitudes? Absolutely! NPR’s Michel Martin captured this concept beautifully in her piece about white women using their privilege to help with women of color.
So I’ve been enthralled with Makers. They’ve been providing great content via twitter & this video was terrific in talking about the next generation of women using our differences as females to become leaders. Check them out and give them a follow @MAKERSwomen!
With congressional recess, DC is a little less hectic but that doesn’t mean that we’re not kicking butt in fundraising for our clients. Thus far, we have 13 events scheduled on 8 different days so we’re ready for September 30th to hurry up and get here. OK, not really but I’m going for momentum! #GOFIGHTWIN
There are times when I stop and think about why I continue to work in politics. A moment of clarity in the storm of what can be endless hours calling and emailing people to ask them for money. This constant and unrelenting pace can be daunting in figuring out how I fit into the bigger scheme of political life. I try to take a “work to live instead of live to work” mentality and these steps help with mindfulness, not only in your professional live but also in personal maturity as well.
I’m a procrastinator although I disguise it very well with my organizational skills (most people think I’m kidding when I describe myself that way but I’m being brutally honest!). I tend to focus on deadlines and know my limits when it comes to just how much I can procrastinate to get things done. As a result, I end up working in full on “get it done” mode and then chill out. Being more productive while also being efficient is the sweet spot of work productivity – here’s how you can do it.
I meet so many people in my line of work and oftentimes, it requires me to be my version of Andy Sachs from the “Devil Wears Prada” (the scene specifically where she recalls names of spouses and the last time Miranda Priestly last saw a person) to my clients. I, on the other hand, can’t recall people in my personal endeavors to save my life. The stakes are a little higher in my professional career and it’s funny when people tell me that I have such a keen memory, but yet I can’t remember the person I just met in my pilates class (sorry, whoever you are who said hi to me, but I can’t remember when I met you!). People tend to forget names and here’s why but honestly, I wish they included a few tricks in this article!
As a serial entrepreneur (did you know that I used to own a small catering company?), I’m always looking for knowledge from more experienced entrepreneurs. Here are 7 suggestions of people you can follow who drop knowledge on the daily.
I hear a lot about female competition, which is tough already when as women we’re faced with so many external challenges. It can be difficult to stop comparing your narrative to someone else’s, but I think being an only child, I already have a different mentality about doing my own thang. I truly believe that a fellow female’s accomplishments shows everyone that females have the ability and the wherewithal to get things done. So I rejoice in my friends’ successes and love to see how they’ve grown. I like reveling in their light because it encourages me to focus. Reading this article only reinforced my own personal beliefs – we can all get it girl!
So last week I shared some ways you could network or at the very least, make your networking more strategic. Like any muscle, this is a skill that gets better with practice. Of course, you will have moments that will be embarrassing, laughable and moments to remember. So here’s how you can recover from the network fails (cuz it’s going to happen!).
One of my SHEros is the incomparable Julia Childs and her tenacity along with her entrepreneurial spirit are definitely awe inspiring. Not only did she bring French cuisine to American households, she also taught us to keep trying.
I often get asked about my attire (probably because I instagram my work outfits – @madalenemielke) and I often wonder where young professionals get their wardrobe advice. Here’s a primer for all levels of professional dress (men & women).
As a woman and person of color, I’ve faced challenges in my professional career as a political fundraiser. Inappropriate behavior can run rampant when people are removed from the confines of an office setting and sometimes, the professional space that you think you’re physically in doesn’t help the women working there either. If you think it only happens in politics (Real life isn’t exactly House of Cards) then this article about women raising money in tech will certainly make you more aware.
I used to think I was a runner since I ran in high school competitively and more casually in college but although I still run about 2xs a week, I’ve incorporated other exercise to alleviate stress and clear my mind to prepare for the day (I’m a morning person!). These female candidates talk about their fitness regiment (some of them already elected) and it tells me that I might need to step up my game!
Back in the day, I had a quarter life crisis due to burn out in my fundraising job – fast forward 16 years (!!) later and I have been working as a fundraising consultant at my own firm for 12 of those years. No matter what age or where you are in your career, you need to recognize burnout and address how you can manage it.
Thanks for reading! Hit me up with your comments! — Madalene
I often get asked for career advice and I always say that I’m not a career counselor but I can usually help with getting you from Point A to Point B. Here are great tips for people who are starting out in their preferred industry.
No matter what stage you are in your career, a mentor can certainly help you up your game as well as provide an objective view of your future. Don’t know what a relationship with a mentor entails? Well we got that covered.
I had a young woman of color ask my opinion on this piece and while I’ve not worked in a highly corporate arena, I’ve been fortunate to work in an industry that values diversity. I hope that others see that having a variety of perspectives provides a deeper understanding of your community and helps to educate your opinions.
With so much talk about who is going to be the nominees for the Ds & Rs, it’s funny (or not) to know that Darth Vader is pretty popular!
This week kicked off #APAHAM2014 so we had a flurry of activity celebrating and reflecting on what the AAPI community has done and what it will continue to do in serving our country. It’s a reunion of sorts – people from across the country collaborating on ways that will better serve our constituency and catching up with people that you may only communicate with via email and phone. Being together IRL brings that personal connection that only weeks like these can provide. It’s been AAPI 24/7 so I’ve collected quite a few things to read!
In case you missed the Vice President Joe Biden at the Opening Ceremony for the start of APAHM2014, you can read about it.
Are you preparing to be a great leader for the 21st century? Here are a few thoughts about it from a Ted talk by Roselinde Torres.
In watching Mika Brzenzinksi on Morning Joe, she talks about her mom, Emilie Brzezinksi’s work as an artist, mother & wife while balancing life in DC and there’s an opportunity on June 2nd to see them in DC at Politics and Prose.
This week brought back the return of Congress from a 2 week district work period so that meant events, events, + more events. No complaints because that means events = checks being delivered. As a result, I get to add more numbers!
So we gotta give former President Bill Clinton some props too. His alma mater, Georgetown University recently posted a 4 part lecture series where the former President discusses “the guiding principles that have shaped his career in public service”. Since we think leadership is key to a life in elected office it’s always a good idea to keep learning from the best.
Since we last Shared the Headlines, we finished the 1st quarter of the election year and we’re barreling through the 2nd. Spring has finally arrived to DC and with that everyone’s more than fair share of allergies. So while everyone is making fundraising calls and trying not to sneeze on one another, here are the headlines!
Which leads me to how the young(er) generation is taking the initiative to train their colleagues within the AAPI community to learn the basics of digital strategy. Although the amazing folks of The Brain Trust met their goal of raising the funds that they needed for the training, they want to give SCHOLARSHIPS to the participants. So get on over there and put in a few bucks ($10 contributions add up – ask the folks who did the grassroots fundraising for the Obama campaign).
Gird your loins, Asian Heritage Month is around the corner (the entire month of May!) so we’ll have some fun posts on what’s happening with the numerous celebrations.
I hope everyone had a great holiday season! With the start of 2014, we’ve switched the “on” button for Election 2014. Every campaign season is different and as I’ve gotten older, I fondly remember some really great moments and the enthusiasm for being on the road.
These days as a consultant, I get to stay in the comforts of my home and that makes me (momentarily) forget that life in DC isn’t certainly life beyond the Beltway. I used to spend the last 6 weeks out on the road doing GOTV because I started doing professional politics in field. One of my favorite moments was when I worked in Pittsburgh as the Deputy GOTV Director. My office was located in one of the tallest buildings in downtown in a law firm. I had an office where 3 key volunteers helped me everyday to organize the GOTV activity for all of Pittsburgh. This little secluded oasis was away from the frenzy of the main headquarters office, which was always brimming with activity. At night, the space was used for phone banking so volunteers would do phone calls. The space was so chic that they used the space for surrogate phone banking so as we were getting closer to Election Day, surrogates would file in and make calls urging people to vote. So while sitting in my office on the phone dealing with what was a crisis at the time, the Pittsburgh Director walks in my office and tries to introduce me to actor, Martin Sheen aka President Bartlett of The West Wing. I’m awkwardly looking at the phone while I see mouths moving in introduction and hello’s and thanks for all that you do while trying to handle the person on the phone and saying hello to the fictional POTUS. Classic moment.
Let the fun begin! What are your favorite campaign moments?
I’ve had strong women in my life as role models. Of course, the 1st person who comes to mind is my own mother. In my professional life, I like to credit 2 women who took a chance on me and let me flourish because they saw that I had skills that would benefit the team.
In the political arena, Emily’s List has been there to support pro-choice Democratic women; the Women’s Information Network (of which, I’m a proud Advisory Board member) will be celebrating 25 years of connecting women in DC to one another for professional and personal growth; and of course, there is Running Start, an organization that helps young women see the possibilities of themselves running for elected office (I’m proud to say that I’m also a mentor to their Running Start Fellows and that my current associate, Fiona Zhu, went through their high school program). These organizations along with many others have been instrumental in helping young women achieve their goals in public service. If you haven’t taken a look at their portfolio, you should take the time to see how an investment in these organizations is also an investment into our future.