Patrick Kobler, an AFF-Dallas board member and program coordinator at the George W. Bush Institute wrote up a summary of the AFF-Dallas Markets, Energy and The Environment event on September 11 on the Bush Institute’s blog (re-posted below). Original content is from this site.
Investing in Young Minds: AFF Discusses Energy and Growth with Dallas Young Professionals
On the eve of The 4% Growth Project’s energy regulation conference, several Bush Institute fellows and staff gathered for a panel discussion on how the energy sector can power America’s economic growth.
Hosted by the Dallas Chapter of America’s Future Foundation (AFF) – a nonprofit that promotes the ideals of the free market system to area young professionals – the discussion attracted over 40 Dallas young professionals. Moderated by the Bush Institute’s Director of Operations Michael McMahan, who served in the U.S. Department of Energy under President Bush, panelists engaged in topics ranging from creating markets for environmental protection, to the effectiveness of proposed carbon taxes, and how liquefied natural gas exports could help the economy. The young professionals in attendance got a front row seat to experts from the field and a preview to the impactful discussions that would take place from dawn until dusk the following day at the Bush Institute conference.
The event included Q & A with three economic experts, including Bush Institute Research Fellow Matt Denhart, author of the recent Growth and Immigration: A Handbook of Vital Immigration and Economic Growth Statistics. Beyond his expertise on the impact of immigration on America’s economy, Denhart brought forth his research on energy and growth to stimulate an intense discussion about how regulation can be better structured to both achieve stronger economic growth and improve environmental quality.
Dr. Falaschetti, Executive Director of the Property and Environment Research Center and also a Bush Institute fellow, brought a unique perspective to the discussion with his background in environmental issues. While many often consider advocates of the environment and proponents of the free market at odds, Dr. Falaschetti set the record straight:, “Good energy policy is green policy.” Believing environmental resources and the growth of energy and markets can work in tandem, Dr. Falaschetti provided a fresh insight on the issues facing today’s energy sector.
The Bush Institute believes that its initiatives – designed to spread freedom at home and abroad – are amplified when the Dallas community is involved. This sentiment was echoed by panelist Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute at the SMU Cox School of Business. Specifically referencing the relationship between the Bush Center and SMU, Bullock believes the partnership provides students “the opportunity to meet the key [people] in city and government,” an opportunity that they “would not otherwise have.”
Last week’s event marked the third time this year that Bush Institute fellows and staff have presented before AFF Dallas, furthering President Bush’s belief that: “the marketplace is the best way to allocate resources.” In February, Amity Shlaes, Director of The 4% Growth Project, met with the AFF Dallas to discuss her bestselling book Coolidge and in July Dr. Eric Bing, Senior Fellow and Director of Global Health, met with the group to present free market solutions to global health issues, many of which are discussed in his recent book Pharmacy on a Bicycle: Innovative Solutions for Global Health and Poverty.
The promise of young minds inspires us to better every human life, and investing in young leaders creates an impact that will last far beyond our lifetime. The Bush Institute is honored to be a part of the Dallas community, and looks forward to investing in young minds through engagement with SMU and by partaking in action-orientated discussions with the city’s young professionals.
So, you live in DC and work in politics. Congratulations, you are now the most powerful person you know from your home town. Unfortunately, you are one of many in this city and it takes more than power to succeed. It takes a village… wait, no it doesn’t. Sorry, I was channeling my inner-Hillary for a moment. Correction: it takes a network.
You’re probably saying to yourself, “of course it does, but that’s easier said than done.” I have news for you – everything is easier said than done. Building a network takes a real effort, but with the proper preparation and execution, networking can be simple.
There are two things I tell everyone when teaching them the secrets of effective networking: 1. Be sincere and 2. Don’t be weird. How does one accomplish these two things? The answer is in the relationships you develop.
Most people think politics is all about who you know and what people can do for each other. While this is true in some regards, those who approach the situation only thinking that are doomed to fail or top out very early. Lasting relationships and coalitions are what truly make an effective professional.
The next time you find yourself in the all-too-common DC scenario of meeting a new person at a happy hour, make an attempt at getting to know who they are as a person and not as a stepping stone you plan on using on your way to the top. This means not asking the question, “so, what do you do?” Instead try, “where are you from?” or “have you ever been here before?” Casual questions can lead to more thoughtful questions and that is when you really start getting to know someone. When you sense the conversation is approaching its end, stop talking, exchange business cards, thank them for the conversation, and move on to the next person. Lingering can lead to inappropriate or nervous talk just for the sake of talking. Avoiding this means you avoid getting weird.
Building a personal relationship with a person instead of their position in life will serve you well in the long run. Someone is much more inclined to help a friend than a stranger, and in the end, if having a new friend is your only consolation, you’re still coming out on top.
Patti Simpson is director of political and career services for the Leadership Institute
America’s Future Foundation is pleased to announce the addition this month of Brit Vorreiter as Director of Programs, along with Heather Curry as a part-time Senior Advisor, Kristine Esposo and Peter Suderman as board members, and Arthur Brooks as an advisory board member.
Brit will manage AFF’s suite of programs and events in Washington, D.C. including policy roundtables, professional development programs, leadership dinners, the gala, happy hours, and collaborative programs.
Brit Vorreiter is a native of Louisville, Kentucky, and gradated Summa Cum Laude from Mercer University in Macon, GA with a BBA in Economics and Management. Brit has been working in the free-market arena since the summer of 2012, first as a Koch Summer Fellow at George Washington’s Regulatory Studies Center, an intern with the State Policy Network, and more recently as an Event Associate with Mercatus and the Institute for Humane Studies.
“Brit’s experience in planning events for the liberty movement and deep passion for liberty is perfect to build America’s Future Foundation,” said Executive Director Roger Custer. “We look forward to her leadership and new ideas which will strengthen AFF’s important networking and professional development programs.”
“We are honored to have Brit join our team as Director of Programs,” noted AFF Chairman of the Board Jeff Berkowitz. “Brit’s talent, energy, and determination make her exactly the right person to lead AFF’s programs toward continued success.”
Please consider supporting AFF’s work to identify and develop young professional leaders for liberty. Make your tax-deductible gift today.
American politics has become so dysfunctional that name-calling seems to take precedence over policy-making, even as the nation faces critical challenges like a faltering economy and rising fiscal debt. The mainstream media, for example, threw itself into a tizzy earlier this year covering the back and forth between Senator John McCain and Governor Chris Christie and Senator Rand Paul over growing support for libertarian thought within the Republican Party. Senator McCain derided Senator Paul and likeminded leaders as “wacko birds”, with the latter striking back by referring to the former as “moss covered”. Several months later, disagreement over issues of national security, privacy and government spending resulted in Senator Paul describing Governor Christie as the “king of bacon”, an unsubtle jab at the New Jerseyan’s weight. And these are just recent examples of intraparty bickering, with acrimony now routine between elected officials and politicos of the two major parties at all levels of government.
However, members of the Millennial Action Project (MAP) believe that political gridlock and dysfunction are not inevitable and that fostering a more solutions-oriented politics begins with emulating the values of the Millennial generation. Data indicates that the rising generation is highly collaborative by nature and transcends rigid party affiliation. After all, Millennials grew up in a still ongoing era of technological innovation and are thus defined by an entrepreneurial, optimistic, and pragmatic worldview.
Thus, MAP proposes that “by promoting Millennial values, advancing Millennial ideas, and fostering future-oriented leadership, we can disrupt today’s political stagnation and create a more constructive environment for forward-looking policymaking.” Simply put, whether you’re liberal, libertarian, or anything in between, political labels shouldn’t hold people back from genuine dialogue and working together to formulate smart policy.
If you too feel that it’s possible to be principled without being hyperpartisan and that Millennials need to be more outspoken about driving the debate of ideas in America, check out the Millennial Action Project website and learn more about the organization and its programs. Furthermore, please join supporters of MAP on Capitol Hill this afternoon, Wednesday, September 18th for the organization’s official launch and that of the affiliated Bipartisan Congressional Future Caucus, co-chaired by Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI). The event will future a panel of both Congressional co-chairs, along with Steven Olikara, Executive Director & Co-Founder of MAP, Aneesh Chopra, former U.S. Chief Technology Officer, and Scott Case, founding CEO of Startup America Partnership and founding CTO of Priceline.com, with John Stanton, D.C. Bureau Chief of BuzzFeed as moderator. You can submit questions for the panel and voice your support by tweeting @MActionProject or #FutureCaucus.
For more information, go to http://millennialaction.org/launch. Help MAP make creative cooperation—rather than ideological conflict—the dominant mode of American politics!
Clifton Yin is a domestic policy advisor at the Millennial Action Project, a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
AFF Pittsburgh kicked off the fall with a roundtable about the influence of third parties. Over 20 young professionals gathered to hear doctoral candidate Anthony Comegna tell the story of the Locofocos fraction of the Democratic Party in the early 19th century. All were amazed to learn how many similarities exist between those early activists and today’s tea party. The Locofocos believed the mainstream political parties were letting Americans down by failing to defend principles like liberty, self-reliance and limited government. Thanks to the Locofocos, the national conversation changed as they forced politicians to debate the abolition of slavery and abolishing the U.S. Bank. Guests left encouraged that third parties and party factions can have a large influence on national politics.
Some students seem to be born knowing what they want to do. We all know students like this – Perhaps you sat next to someone in your high school math class who announced that they were going to be a doctor, applied to and was accepted to a college with a good premed program (where they majored in biology or chemistry) and who is right on track to take MCAT’s and apply to medical schools by his senior year of college. Maybe you yourself are such a student.
Or perhaps you’re the other type of student – Maybe you were a late bloomer who fell in love with development economics when you took a junior year abroad in Greece or maybe you were one of those people who has too many interests to ever choose just one. And now, as you contemplate graduate school, you may be wondering if it’s even possible for someone to apply for graduate school in a subject they didn’t major in and may have only recently discovered. Perhaps you have a general idea of what you want to study (public health or international relations) but feel intimidated when you talk to other students who seem by now to have honed in on very specific interests (the politics of AIDS in Africa, or the Reagan Doctrine and its effects on Latin America, for example).
The secret is that there is no one right way to apply to graduate school or to be successful once you arrive there. Some students do indeed have a very clearly defined interest and they might even apply to a program in order to work with a specific individual (the world’s foremost expert on the politics of AIDS in Africa, for example). In this case, it is indeed appropriate to contact a particular professor and to let him or her know of your interest in writing a Master’s thesis or completing a dissertation with this individual.
Others might simply want to choose a well-regarded program in the subject that interests them and expect that during their initial coursework they will be able to narrow down their specific interests. They too may find that they ‘click’ with a specific professor once they have a chance to take a seminar or visit with that person. They may discover that they have a hidden talent for survey research or statistical analysis which they haven’t yet tapped as an undergraduate.
As you make choices about graduate school, one thing to remember is that the best-laid plans are still always subject to change. You might choose a graduate program based on your hopes of forging a relationship with an individual who is currently there and later find that this person is on sabbatical or has even moved on to another university by the time you arrive. He or she may not be taking on new grad students. Thus, if you do wish to work with a specific individual, it’s appropriate to ask about his or her availability and willingness to work with new students.
The next thing to remember is that no matter what your major is, you will still have certain skills that you bring to your graduate school application. Perhaps you speak a foreign language well, are an excellent writer and did well on your standardized tests. Perhaps you have worked for a professor who is willing to write you an excellent letter of recommendation. Not everyone who enters a political science graduate program will have majored in poli sci as an undergraduate, and not everyone who becomes an economist will have majored in economics.
Indeed, the admissions committee sometimes appreciates the diversity which those from other fields can bring to a discipline. They may bring a fresh perspective and a new way of looking at the literature. (I was an undergraduate Russian major who read a lot of work by dissident poets. At some point, I realized that many of these poems were political and it was the politics which fascinated me as much as the language and literature. I was able to make a strong case for why I was a good fit in a political science graduate program. Someone who majored in biology might find that they are actually interested in the politics of genetic testing and also wind up in a political science program. The possibilities are endless.)
But regardless of whether you are as focused as a laser or somewhat less so, you will find that a strong liberal arts background will provide a good foundation for graduate school in many fields, provided that you learn how to write, think and research.
Mary Manjikian, Ph.D., is Associate Dean and Assistant Professor at Regent University’s Robertson School of Government. She is a former Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State. For more information about the School of Government, please visit this site.
When searching for a job, it can be difficult to wait on potential employers to contact you after you applied for several positions, met hiring managers at receptions, and did your job. However, there is another method to get yourself noticed and gain valuable advice: the informational interview.
Informational interviews are similar to real interviews but the expectation is to learn from each other without the pressure of a job offer or rejection on the horizon. You can ask the interviewer about his or her advice, what a job with the organization might entail, and which other people may be able to help. You never know what will result from an informational interview, and you’ll have a new contact moving forward.
When job searching, I asked for several informational interviews with people from different fields in which I was interested. To this day, I am in touch with several of the people with whom I interviewed. I’ve even worked with one on numerous projects that I had no way to anticipate when we had the interview.
Here are some tips for informational interviews:
1. Treat the informational interview like a real interview. Dress appropriately and act like you are interviewing for a real job, because the interviewer will remember how you conduct yourself in the meeting. Come prepared with well-researched questions about the person and the organization so you can have an intelligent conversation and offer some thoughts that will benefit the interviewer.
2. Ask with a simple email. You should send a simple email with a headline similar to “Do You Have a Few Minutes?” or “Can We Do An Informational Interview?” In the body of the email, ask for 30 minutes of the person’s time and mention any mutual friends or jobs you want that are in the organization or a similar one.
3. Provide value for the interviewer. Remember that the interviewer is giving his or her time voluntarily and could do a lot of other work during the time you are there. Be sure to come prepared with intelligent questions about that person and the organization, and offer coherent answers to the questions you are asked. Offer to help the person or organization and do your best to make it worth the other person’s time.
Recently, a student from Emerson College asked me for an informational interview. She found me through a web search and simply emailed to ask. I agreed, and she is now better networked with IHS and an intern with the Massachusetts free market think tank; neither of which she knew about before the interview.
You will be more likely to get a job and much better networked when you ask for informational interviews. Distinguish yourself by taking initiative to ask for them, and do your homework before you arrive. Best of luck to you!
Roger Custer is executive director of America’s Future Foundation. He often meets with young people for informational interviews and does his best to help as many liberty-minded young professionals as possible.
Here’s a question I commonly receive: how does one determine an appropriate salary range? Yikes. That’s like answering, how do you fall in love? Hell, if I know!
I jest. However, determining one’s salary isn’t something you can easily calculate with a simple formula. Rather, it’s a very subjective, imperfect science that involves many factors. Let’s walk through some of the factors hiring managers and candidates should consider when determining salary.
1. Years of experience – How many years have you spent in the working world? Were your roles fulltime? Part-time? Do you have long gaps in between jobs?
2. Work history – What types of positions have you held? What sorts of responsibilities have you had? Did you manage people? What value did you create in these roles?
3. Quality of employers – Did you work for solid, reputable entities?
4. Longevity – How long did you last at each role? Did you have good reasons for making job changes?
5. Salary history – What do you earn now? How has your salary record progressed? Have you been overpaid? Underpaid?
6. Location – Where do you live? What’s the cost of living?
7. Role at hand – What is the new role under consideration? Does it involve more responsibilities than your current role? Fewer? Will it involve a significant change of lifestyle (i.e. lots of travel, long hours, etc.)? How does your work history apply to this role?
8. The market – What does the job market look like? Is there a surplus of talent or openings? How’s the economy? Are organizations scraping by or living as if we’re in the 80s?
9. Now, take all these factors, add in a healthy dose of subjective value, equal parts pride and humility, eye of newt, a pinch of turmeric, and voilà! There’s your magic number.
Right, so you see how complicated this is.
Since I can’t give you a magic number, let me just offer some things to consider as you develop your salary requirements:
-Some people are getting pay increases with new jobs, but many people are making lateral moves or even pay cuts in order to move into stable positions.
- If you’re on the job market now, don’t expect a big pay increase when you take a new role. If you’re currently at 50k, your salary expectations probably shouldn’t be 70-80. A range of 50-60k or 55-65k would be more realistic.
- Perhaps it goes without saying, but if you are currently unemployed, you will have less leverage in salary negotiations.
- If you’ve been in a position without significant raises over the last few years, you shouldn’t feel entitled to a large pay increase in your next role to make up for it. Remember, this is a tough market, and most organizations are tightening their belts.
- Consider the role and the responsibilities of the job. If you’re applying for a position of less responsibility, there’s a good chance you’ll take a pay cut. If you have clear fundraising or revenue-generating expectations, salary might be higher. For many organizations, the value a new hire will bring to the organization relative to other employees is a major factor in determining salary.
Now, if anyone has thoughts on the love question, I’m all ears.
Claire Kittle is executive director at Talent Market.
Everybody needs somebody’s help along the path to success. The key to getting others to help you (and thankfully, most people really do want to be helpful) is to know your audience, know what you want, and know how to ask.
Many people are uncomfortable about asking for help because they believe they’re showing a weakness. Which in turn makes them hem and haw and look uncertain (i.e. act weak). Knowing when and how to ask for help is, in reality, a valuable strength.
You need to ask the right people. When you need assistance, no matter how big or how small, the first thing you need to do is identify the right list of potential sources. Do your research to ensure that whoever you approach has experience (and some known success), in the situation at hand. Asking someone for help with issues they don’t understand will make them uncomfortable, and will get you nowhere.
Be specific about what you need and when you need it. Ask for what you need in an efficient, clear, and confident manner. This makes it easy for the person to actually give you the help you need.
Make your appeal appealing. Say that you need an office-mate’s help because of her particular skills. Everyone likes to share and show off their unique talents and strengths. Frame your request in a way that recognizes their skills and why you think they could be helpful. But be sure not to resort to flattery — at least not the shameless variety.
Give the person a gracious way to say no. Sometimes they don’t have time or expertise to be helpful. Allowing someone to say no gracefully will ensure you can approach them in the future with no unease. Simply say, “I know you’re extremely busy, so please feel free to say no if you need to.”
Help build a team environment. If you’re part of a team, it’s everyone’s job to help everybody else. This is a really good way to show some leadership and emotional intelligence through building team strength and unity by being generous to and supportive of your co-workers..
Show your gratitude. Thank people for their help, give credit publicly, and be sure to offer to reciprocate whenever you can. Not only is this simply good manners, it will create good feelings and lead to more help down the line.
Todd Noebel is the Director of Hiring and Professional Development with the Institute for Humane Studies and Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He has over 20 years of experience in human resources and recruiting in executive search as well as corporate settings.
Graduate education is getting a bad rap these days, but its detractors are taking a short-sighted view of individual opportunity on the one hand and long-term changes in the work-force on the other. Critics suggest that young Americans should be entrepreneurial and create their own careers. Critics also mock the proliferation of questionable-quality online programs while at the same time deriding the cost of better university programs. What are we to make of all this?
As a fiscal conservative, and more importantly, the son of a small business owner, I strongly agree that Americans should be entrepreneurial and creative. We need many more Henry Fords, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Tory Burches, and their ilk.
But most successful enterprises, from start-ups to non-profits to mature corporations, rely heavily on a highly educated workforce. And by ‘highly educated’ I don’t simply mean the ability to read and write, but I also mean employees who have the technical expertise to do the job (e.g. in technology or languages or finance) as well as a broader understanding of the context of the marketplace. For a moment, think like a CEO: what kind of team do you want to hire?
Universities, and more specifically graduate or professional education, provide this well-prepared, diverse workforce. Indeed, it is likely that a reasonably successful young leader who as their B.A. behind them and a few years of grueling-yet-profitable experience on their resume would benefit from slowing down and adding some deeper learning and skills to their toolbox, and thus will be all the more attractive in their next job interview.
Of course, all of the statistics are out there to demonstrate that Masters degrees in particular are likely to raise one’s earning potential significantly. It is true that the savvy leader-of-tomorrow can learn most lessons that the marketplace has to teach in the School of Hard Knocks, but why do it the hard way? A graduate education allows one to concentrate many of those lessons into a shorter, and less brutal, time period. Moreover, one’s classmates in a graduate program are often good teachers in and of themselves. Many have years of experience and are coming back to learn more about themselves, hone their craft, and gain a competitive edge by using the grad school experience to reconsider their options. This is an excellent strategy when one thinks about the dynamism of the 21st century economy.
It is true, of course, that there are a variety of quality graduate programs out there. But the smart individual will do the research and not be suckered in by slick campaigns promising easy-entrance and a speed-of-light matriculation. Here’s what to look for: standards. Only apply to programs that have high entrance standards, such as GPA requirements and a professional test (e.g. GRE, LSAT). You want to ensure you surround yourself with other high-quality students. Furthermore, what level of professional attainment does the faculty have? Look up their biographies online and see if they have the bona fides to teach you what you need to know to excel in your field.
It is no longer the case that non-traditional and online graduate education must be of poor quality. You may choose to go full-time in residence, or part-time in residence (e.g. evenings), or take the courses online. In 2013 there are plenty of high quality programs to choose from. At the end of the day, if you are wondering about whether or not to apply to a graduate program, just ask yourself these questions: do I really believe that in 2020 my competitors are going to have less education than I? In 2020 do I want employees who are not well-educated and well-trained? What is the logical direction for a successful American economy? The answers seem obvious, at least to those making more money and influencing more people thanks to their graduate degree.
Eric D. Patterson, Ph.D., is a former White House Fellow during the George W. Bush administration and the current Dean of Regent University’s Robertson School of Government. For more information about the School of Government, please visit this site.
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