TFS Scholarships Launches Online Toolkit to Provide College Funding Resources

LinkedIn

SALT LAKE CITY— TFS Scholarships (TFS), the most comprehensive online resource for higher education funding, has launched a free online toolkit to provide counselors, families and students with resources to help improve the college scholarship search process. The toolkit, available at tuitionfundingsources.com/resource-toolkit, provides downloadable resources and practical tips on how to find and apply for scholarships.

The launch comes in celebration with Financial Aid Awareness Month when many families are beginning the FAFSA process and researching financial aid options.

“We hope these resources help raise awareness around TFS and the 7 million college scholarships available to undergraduate, graduate and professional students,” said Richard Sorensen, president of TFS Scholarships. “Our goal is to help families discover alternative ways to offset the rising costs of higher education.”

The resource toolkit includes flyers, email templates, newsletter content, digital banners and table toppers which are designed to be shareable content that counselors, students and organizations can use to spread the word about how to find free money for college.

The newly revamped TFS website curates over 7 million scholarship opportunities from across the country – with the majority coming directly from colleges and universities—and matches them to students based on their personal profile, where they want to study, and stage of academic study. By tailoring the search criteria, TFS identifies scholarships that students are uniquely qualified for, thus lowering the application pool and increasing the chances of winning. By creating an online profile, students can find scholarships representing more than $41 billion in aid. About 5,000 new scholarships are added to the database every month and appear in real time.

Thanks to exclusive financial support from Wells Fargo, the TFS website is completely ad-free, and no selling of data, making it a safe and trusted place to search.

For more information about Tuition Funding Sources visit tuitionfundingsources.com.

 

About TFS Scholarships

TFS Scholarships (TFS) is an independent service that provides free access to scholarship opportunities for aspiring and current undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Founded in 1987, TFS began as a passion project to help students and has grown into the most comprehensive online resource for higher education funding. Today, TFS is a trusted place where students and families enjoy free access to more than 7 million scholarships representing more than $41 billion in college funding. In addition to its vast database that’s refreshed with 5,000 new scholarships every month, TFS also offers information about career planning, financial aid, and federal and private student loan programs as part of its commitment to helping students fund their future. Learn more at tuitionfundingsources.com.

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How to Answer “So, Tell Me About Yourself”

LinkedIn
Women-job-interview

So, the first question you’re probably going to get in an interview is, “Tell me about yourself.” This is not an invitation to recite your entire life story or even to go bullet by bullet through your resume.

Instead, it’s probably your first and best chance to pitch the hiring manager on why you’re the right one for the job.

A formula The Editor at The Muse likes is called the Present-Past-Future formula. So, first you start with the present—where you are right now. Then, segue into the past—a little bit about the experiences you’ve had and the skills you gained at the previous position. Finally, finish with the future—why you are really excited for this particular opportunity.

Below is an example:

If someone asked, “tell me about yourself,” you could say:

“Well, I’m currently an account executive at Smith, where I handle our top performing client. Before that, I worked at an agency where I was on three different major national healthcare brands. And while I really enjoyed the work that I did, I’d love the chance to dig in much deeper with one specific healthcare company, which is why I’m so excited about this opportunity with Metro Health Center.”

Remember throughout your answer to focus on the experiences and skills that are going to be most relevant for the hiring manager when they’re thinking about this particular position and this company. And ultimately, don’t be afraid to relax a little bit, tell stories and anecdotes—the hiring manager already has your resume, so they also want to know a little more about you.

Continue on to The Muse to read the complete article.

Conduct a free “unusual scholarship” search

LinkedIn
Students dressed in Duct Taped prom attire competing for a scholarship

For a complete list of weird scholarships, conduct a free scholarship search at www.tuitionfundingsources.com. Tuition Funding Sources (TFS) is the largest online resource for higher education funding, helping graduates and undegraduate students address the rising costs of school by providing free access to scholarship information.

Through its site TFS connects students to more than 7 million scholarships representing more than $41 billion in financial aid.
 
 

  1. Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest: – Students compete for scholarships by creating and wearing promwear made from Duck Brand duct tape and/or crafting tape.

 

  1. Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Scholarship Contest: – High School Seniors learn duck calls and compete for college scholarships.

 

  1. DoSomething.org Easy Scholarships: – students can win scholarships by performing fun community service projects, like registering to vote.

 

  1. Tall Club Scholarships: – Scholarships for students under 21 years of age, attending their first year of college, and who meet the height requirements of 5′ 10″ for women, and 6′ 2″ for men.

 

  1. Zolp Scholarship  – Annual awards for incoming undergraduate students at Loyola University Chicago whose last name is Zolp and are of the Catholic faith.

 

  1. Frederick and Mary Francis Beckley Left Handed Scholarship:  – For left handed students attending Juniata College

 

  1. Chick Evans Scholarship: – Scholarships for golf caddies graduating from high school.

 

  1. For the Love of Chocolate Foundation Scholarships:  – For the Love of Chocolate Foundation provides scholarships for students wanting specialized training in pastry arts.

 

  1. United Federation of Doll Clubs Scholarships; – Scholarships are to promote research, increased knowledge, understanding and appreciation of dolls.

 

  1. American Fire Sprinkler Association Scholarships:  – Scholarships are designed to educate the public at-large about automatic fire sprinklers.

STEM Workforce Facts You Must Know

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Professional Black Woman

Employment in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) occupations has grown 79 percent since 1990, from 9.7 million to 17.3 million, outpacing overall U.S. job growth.

There’s no single standard for which jobs count as STEM, and this may contribute to a number of misperceptions about who works in STEM and the difference that having a STEM-related degree can make in workers’ pocketbooks.

A new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data takes a broad-based look at the STEM workforce from 1990 to 2016 based on an analysis of adults ages 25 and older working in any of 74 occupations. These include computer, math, engineering, and architecture occupations, physical scientists, life scientists, and health-related occupations, such as healthcare practitioners and technicians, but not healthcare support workers, such as nursing aides and medical assistants.

Here are seven facts about the STEM workforce and STEM training.

STEM workers enjoy a pay advantage compared with non-STEM workers with similar levels of education. Among those with some college education, the typical full-time, year-round STEM worker earns $54,745 while a similarly educated non-STEM worker earns $40,505, or 26 percent less.

And among those with the highest levels of education, STEM workers out-earn their non-STEM counterparts by a similar margin. Non-STEM workers with a master’s degree typically earn 26 percent less than STEM workers with similar education. The median earnings of non-STEM workers with a professional or doctoral degree trail their STEM counterparts by 24 percent.

While STEM workers tend to be highly educated, roughly a third have not completed a bachelor’s or higher-level degree. Thirty-five percent of the STEM workforce does not have a bachelor’s degree. Overall, about three-in-ten STEM workers report having completed an associate degree (15 percent) or have some college education but no degree (14 percent). These workers are more prevalent among healthcare practitioners and technicians, computer workers, and engineers.

Some 36 percent of STEM workers have a bachelor’s degree but no graduate degree. Roughly three-in-ten STEM workers (29 percent) have earned a master’s, doctorate, or professional degree. Life scientists are the most highly educated among STEM workers, with 54 percent, on average, having an advanced degree.

About half of workers with college training in a STEM field are working in a non-STEM job. Among workers ages 25 and older with at least a bachelor’s degree, one-in-three (33 percent) have an undergraduate degree in a STEM field of study. But only about half (52 percent) of these STEM-trained workers are employed in a STEM occupation.

Among non-STEM occupations, management, business, and finance jobs attract a substantial share of college graduates with STEM training (17 percent), particularly those who majored in engineering. Roughly a quarter (24 percent) of engineering majors are in a managerial, business or finance job.

Overall, among adults with a STEM college major, women are more likely than men to work in a STEM occupation (56 percent vs. 49 percent). This difference is driven mainly by college graduates with a health professions major (such as nursing or pharmacy), most of whom are women.

But 38 percent of women and 53 percent of men with a college major in computers or computer science are employed in a computer occupation. And women with a college degree in engineering are less likely than men who majored in these fields to be working in an engineering job (24 percent vs. 30 percent). These differences in retention within a field of study for women in computer and engineering occupations are in keeping with other studies showing a “leaky pipeline” for women in STEM.

STEM training in college is associated with higher earnings, whether working in a STEM occupation or not. Among college-educated workers employed full-time year-round, the median earnings for those who have a STEM college major are $81,011, compared with $60,828 for other college majors.

The earnings advantage for those with a college major in a STEM field extends to workers outside of STEM occupations. Among all non-STEM workers, those who have a STEM college degree earn, on average, about $71,000; workers with a non-STEM degree working outside of STEM earn roughly $11,000 less annually.

The share of women varies widely across STEM job types. Women are underrepresented in some STEM job clusters, but in others, they match or exceed their share in the U.S. workforce overall.

In fact, women comprise three-quarters of healthcare practitioners and technicians, the largest occupational cluster classified as STEM in this analysis, with 9.0 million workers—6.7 million of whom are women.

And women’s gains since 1990 in the life sciences (up from 34 percent to 47 percent) have brought them roughly on par with their share in the total workforce (47 percent), a milestone reached in math occupations (46 percent) as well.

Women have made significant gains in life and physical sciences, but in other areas, their shares have been stable and in computer jobs it has declined. While there has been significant progress for women’s representation in the life and physical sciences since 1990, the share of women has been roughly stable in several other STEM job clusters.

In engineering, the job cluster in which women have the lowest levels of representation on average, women’s shares have inched up only slightly, from 12 percent in 1990 to 14 percent today.

African American and Hispanic representation in the STEM workforce. Overall, African Americans and Hispanics are underrepresented in the STEM workforce relative to their shares in the U.S. workforce as a whole. But there’s one exception: 11 percent of healthcare practitioners and technicians are black, similar to the share of black people in the total workforce.

Within job clusters, however, the share of African Americans and Hispanics varies widely. For example, 37 percent of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses are either black or Hispanic.

Source: pewresearch.org

Here’s How This Latina Navigated Her Transition From Finance To Tech

LinkedIn

Marlene Arroyo may have started her career in finance, but it was the human aspect of any job that always drew her in. From Dell to her current role as Vice President of People Operations at Liftoff Mobile Inc., a high growth tech company in Silicon Valley, she has made it her career mission to champion employees and embrace how their humanity impacts their jobs.It was knowing what her career mission was at its core that made it possible for her to transition from one career path to the next.

“Philosophically, it became apparent to me that human resources was my calling when, as a finance professional, I’d enjoy spending most of my time dissecting costs associated to SG&A, training, hiring and coaching,” shares Arroyo. “Mechanically, the way I was able to make this transition was by having informational meetings with HR executives, taking evening courses, asking for help and being open about my aspirations to my sponsors. While the art of Human Resources came naturally to me, to differentiate myself, I needed to supercharge the impact I delivered by drawing from my finance experience and ensuring that my strategic recommendation were backed by data.”

Now, she uses her skill-set to help others achieve the kind of growth that she’s constantly challenged herself to work towards.

“My biggest motivation [through this journey] has been my family,” says Arroyo. “I feel incredibly blessed to be the daughter of immigrant parents who instilled in me work ethic and resilience. While my parents still do not completely understand what I do, they know I work hard and they are my biggest fans. Each education milestone and career progression has been theirs as well. Their American Dream lives in me and owning that, keeps me motivated .”

Growing up in the Latinx culture and within her own family unit can explain in part why Arroyo has felt the desire to pay it forward to other generations by way of her career.

Below she shares advice for Latinxs who are searching for advice on how to land their dream job, how to self-care if you’re in the position of constantly pouring into others, and how to make sure you’re learning the most from your current job.

Vivian Nunez: How has your Latinidad influenced your career?

Marlene Arroyo: Passion, humility, honor, perseverance – are all a part of my core values that I hold because of my Latinidad. Knowing that there is a lot more work to be done to help young Latinas see that they, too, can achieve their goals, keeps me in the arena.

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

30 brilliant networking conversation starters

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Networking

When it comes to conversation, you’re a natural. You can chat up a storm with just about anyone, you’re a pro at listening, and you love meeting and connecting with new people.

But when it comes to starting that networking conversation? That’s a different story.

This is one of the most common concerns we hear about networking: How do you just walk up to someone you don’t know at an event—and start talking?

Well, it’s a tad easier than it sounds. Fact is, no one’s going to turn you away if you walk up, smile, and say, “I’m so-and-so. Nice to meet you.” In fact, others will probably be relieved that someone else started the conversation!

But, the process is definitely a lot easier when you have a few go-to icebreakers in your back pocket. So, we’ve put together a handy list to refer to before your next event—some of our own lines, a few favorites from our career expert friends, and icebreakers our Twitter and Facebook followers have used, too!

The Classics

When in doubt, just try the basics: asking what someone does, inquiring why he or she is at the event, or even just reaching out your hand and saying hi.

  • 1. “What’s your favorite conversation starter at a networking event?” – Connie B.
  • 2. “So, what do you do?” It gets them talking first and you can think about how to approach the conversation or how you could possibly work together. – @GrowSouthwest
  • 4. “Hi there! I’m Michelle. What are you passionate about?” – Michelle E.
  • 5. “What’s your story?” It always sparks a fascinating and non-generic conversation. – @leslieforman

Location, Location, Location

No matter what, you’ve got at least a couple things in common with every person in the room: the event you’re attending, the place it’s being held at, and the food and drink you’re consuming. Use that to your advantage by striking up conversation about what’s going on around you.

  • 6. If I’m at an event with food, I’ll often use that as a conversation starter, à la “I can’t stop eating these meatballs. Have you tried them?” – @erinaceously
  • 7. “How did you hear about this event?” – @myuliyam
  • 8. “It’s so hot (or cold) in here.” Hey, maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, but the person will either agree or disagree, and pretty soon you’re talking about weather patterns, your best umbrella, and then your career goals. – Jessica Gordon for The Muse
  • 9. “I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed by the deluge of info that’s being firehosed at us today. Is there one nugget of brilliance that’s really resonating with you?” – Alexandra Franzen
  • 10. “What a beautiful venue. Have you been here before?”

The Newsworthy

Another thing you have in common with, well, everyone? What happened in your city or the world today. While you don’t want to start up any hot political debates, some light-hearted headline sharing is a great way to break the ice.

  • 11.“What do you think about [insert topic germane to the event or person here]?” I’m biased: News is a great engagement tool. – @thatsportsgirl
  • 12. “Wow, I just can’t believe all the crazy news headlines today. What a week!”
  • 13. “Any chance you read the news today? I missed it, and I’m dying to know what’s happening with [insert news topic here].”
  • 14. “So, was it a pain for you to get here?” The mode of transportation and location in the city are always on peoples’ minds. There’s bound to be a story about it. – Jessica Gordon for The Muse
  • 15. “Did you catch the game last night?” It’s a classic, but it’s a classic for a reason

The Introverts

If you’re an introvert, walking into a room full of unknown people can feel extra intimidating. One of our favorite approaches is to look toward the outskirts of the room and find someone who looks a little lonely. Maybe that woman sitting by herself at the table doesn’t know anyone and is just hoping that someone will come talk to her. Be that person, and try one of these lines.

  • 16. “Man, these networking events can be so crazy. Mind if I join you over here where it’s a little quieter?” – Careerealism
  • 17. “As we’re both here at the (buffet, bar, waiting room), I feel I should introduce myself. I’m [name] from [company].” – @ainegreaney
  • 18. I like to compliment people on their clothes and accessories. I find this approach to be more friendly and less about professionally connecting, especially if you’re at a networking event. I believe both men and women can compliment each other on their choice of attire and use it as a conversation starter! – @MsMeganGrace
  • 19. “Excuse me. Do you know how much a polar bear weighs? Enough to break the ice! Hi, I’m Andi. Nice to meet you.” – Andrea M.
  • 20. “Man, I hate networking.” If you sense a fellow party-goer has similar misanthropic tendencies, walk up and start a conversation about your mutual distaste. – Jessica Gordon for The Muse
  • Continue on to The Muse to read the complete article.

    3 Tips for Filling Out Applications for College Financial Aid

    LinkedIn

    College students and parents are already looking ahead to the 2019—2020 school year with the FAFSA- the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The great news is that the Department of Education just launched “myStudentAid” app to make it easier for students and families to fill out the federal student aid application through their mobile phones.

    According to the National College Access Network, only 61 percent of high school students file a FAFSA, leaving more than $24 billion in state, federal and institutional aid on the table. Completion of the FAFSA form is one of the best predictors of whether a high school senior will go on to college, as seniors who complete the FAFSA are 63 percent more likely to enroll in postsecondary education.

    For the 2019-2010 school year, the FAFSA filing season opens on October 1st and the sooner students file, the better as some financial aid is awarded on a first come, first served basis or from programs with limited funds.

    Furthermore, students should look beyond federal student aid as scholarships are a great way to pay for college, and unlike loans they don’t need to be repaid. But winning scholarships takes time, dedication, intensive research, and hard work, especially on the essays. It’s deadline time for college applications, so it’s important to start the application for free money now!

    Tuition Funding Sources (TFS) offers access to 7 million scholarships and $41 billion in financial aid. Start by filling in the registration; then with a click, the site searches to find any scholarships for which you might qualify. The more information you provide about yourself, the more matches TFS can make.

    Richard Sorensen suggests these tips when applying for financial aid and scholarships:

    Tip No. 1: Apply through FAFSA mobile app

    The FAFSA mobile app is very simple to use as it asks one question on each page and after answering the question the student goes to the next page and the next question. The student can leave and return to the app as often as they want so it can be completed in several different sittings over a period of time.

    Some students don’t apply because they mistakenly think the FAFSA is only for students with financial aid. That’s not accurate, families should know that income is not the only factor used to determine the financial aid they can get. It also depends on the number of children in a family and how many are enrolled in college at the same time.

    Tip No. 2: Follow the steps carefully

    Even though the FAFSA mobile app is generally easy to use, pay attention to the signature process, because both parents and dependent students are required to sign before the application can be processed. Never tap to “Start Over” button when including a parent signature as this will erase all previous information. And if you need to add a school, click “New Search” not “Next” which moves students to the next question.

    Tip No. 3: Submit scholarship applications early

    Meet the deadlines and don’t wait until the due date. If the organization asks you to mail the application, don’t try to email it and if there is a maximum word count limit, don’t go over it. Most scholarship providers receive more qualified applications than available funds so reduce your chances of being disqualified because you didn’t follow their requirements.

    At TFS undergraduate and graduates can search for scholarships that fit their interest. The majority of the scholarship opportunities featured on TFS Scholarships website come directly from colleges and universities, rather than solely from competitive national pools – thereby increasing the chances of finding scholarships that are the best match for undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Each month TFS adds more than 5,000 new scholarships to its database maximizing the number of opportunities students have to earn funding for their education.

    TFS has been helping students for over 30 years and offers more than 7 million individual scholarships and more than $41 billion in aid. Visit tuitionfundingsources.com to learn more.

    JP Morgan Chase for LGBT inclusion

    LinkedIn

    Bill Kapfer Recognized for Going the Extra Mile

    The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) presented Bill Kapfer, Global Head of Supplier Diversity with a special recognition—The Champion of Enterprise Award. The organization wanted to recognize Bill for his tireless efforts in fostering success for LGBT business owners and executives.

    The Champion of Enterprise is among the highest honors presented by the NGLCC and recognizes an LGBT or allied person that has gone the extra mile to support LGBT equality & business opportunity.

    As Bill has stated before, “True inclusion goes beyond being an equal opportunity employer — it requires everyday actions to encourage and foster authenticity, building a culture that includes all people.”

    This continues to reign try as JPMorgan Chase Receives the HRC/NGLCC Apex Award

    At the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Conference in Philadelphia, JPMorgan Chase was recognized with the 2018 Apex award.

    This award recognizes companies that are living the values embodied by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

    November is National Scholarship Month NOW is the time to start applying for scholarships

    LinkedIn

    SALT LAKE CITY–TFS Scholarships is the most comprehensive free online resource for higher education funding connecting students to more than 7 million scholarships representing more than $41 billion in aid.

    It was founded in 1987 after Richard Sorensen’s father, an inner-city high school principal, bemoaned the lack of good scholarship resources for his students.

    High school seniors now applying for college should also be applying for scholarships, according to Richard Sorensen, an expert with more than 30 years experience helping students find scholarships.

    “College bound students should spend four to five hours a week looking for scholarships, starting in the fall of their senior year,” says Sorensen, President of TFS Scholarships. “They should think about finding scholarships like it’s a part time job.”

    A scholarship, unlike a student loan, is free money and should always be the first place students look for help in funding their college education. The majority of the scholarship opportunities featured on the TFS Scholarships website come directly from colleges and universities, rather than solely from competitive national pools, thereby increasing the chances of finding scholarships.

    “There are new scholarships posted on the site every month, each with different deadlines and time frames,” says Sorensen. “There is plenty of aid out there and a lot of it goes untouched. If a student is diligent, they’ll find it.”

    TFS Scholarships also posts a new scholarship opportunity every day on its Twitter, Facebook and Instagram social media accounts (@TFSscholarships), making it easy to find new scholarship opportunities. “We call it ‘The Scholarship of the Day,’” says Sorensen. “Most of the scholarships are available for all students so if a student or their parents follow us, they will have the opportunity to apply for more than 300 scholarships every year from this source alone.”

    TFS takes it a step further, digging deeper into localized scholarships. “If you wanted to go to Arizona State, for example, we have scholarships specific to that school,” says Sorensen.

    Each month TFS adds more than 5,000 new scholarships to its database in an effort to stay current with national scholarship growth rates – maximizing the number of opportunities students have to earn funding for their education.

    Once students have their scholarships in hand, how they manage them can have important implications. It is up to the student to inform the school of the scholarship.

    “The truth is, the money is going to be sent to the school in most cases,” says Sorensen. “If the money is going to tuition and books, it’s tax free. But it is taxable if they use it for living expenses. And if students get more money in scholarships than their direct expenses, they get the difference back from the school,” says Sorensen.

    The TFS website also provides financial aid information, resources about federal and private student loan programs, and a Career Aptitude Quiz that helps students identify the degrees and professions that best fit their skills.

    Thanks to the financial support of Wells Fargo, TFS has remained a free, online service that effectively connects students with college funding resources to fuel their academic future. “Students trust us with a lot of their personal information and we respect that,” says Sorensen. “With TFS, they never have to be worried about being bombarded by spam.”

    For more information about Tuition Funding Sources visit tuitionfundingsources.com.

    About TFS Scholarships

    TFS Scholarships (TFS) is an independent service that provides free access to scholarship opportunities for aspiring and current undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Founded in 1987, TFS began as a passion project to help students and has grown into the most comprehensive online resource for higher education funding. Today, TFS is a trusted place where students and families enjoy free access to more than 7 million scholarships representing more than $41 billion in college funding. In addition to its vast database that’s refreshed with 5,000 new scholarships every month, TFS also offers information about career planning, financial aid, and federal and private student loan programs as part of its commitment to helping students fund their future. Learn more at tuitionfundingsources.com.

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    How This Tech Founder Is Giving The Internet A Face Lift By Changing The Way We Shop

    LinkedIn

    Shirley Chen’s list of experiences is as diverse as it is impressive: she spent her childhood on China’s national gymnastics team, studied biochemical engineering at Columbia University, interned at Chanel, Bergdorf Goodman, and Vogue, and worked as a media and retail consultant at McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm.

    Chen never imagined her resume would include founding a company. But when a former Vogue colleague tapped her on the shoulder to run the marketing and business development for luxury goods brand Moda Operandi, a seed was planted. Chen was tasked with driving customer acquisition with a specific focus on digital e-commerce, and that’s where she spotted a gap in the market.

    Companies were so focused on the traffic from traditional platforms like Google and Facebook that they were missing a valuable source of customer acquisition—online content. When consumers wanted to find the trendiest swimsuit, most effective blackout curtains, or best-priced coffee maker, they looked for the answer in online magazines and blogs. The problem with that was two-fold. On the one hand, thanks to an aging internet, many older links on publishers’ pages are dead, leading consumers to 404 pages. On the other, many publishers were using hardcoded, static links to Amazon product pages (some 650 million times per month), meaning consumers didn’t have the opportunity to consider purchasing from other retailers, even if Amazon didn’t have the best price. In either case, it was a lose-lose-lose situation for consumers, advertisers, and publishers alike.

    Chen devised a solution with Narrativ, a tech company that’s using AI to #EndThe404 and build a better internet for shoppers by making sure that every time they click on a product link on a publisher’s site, it will lead not just to an active page, but to the retailers with the best price.

    “We built a SmartLink technology that repaired broken links online, and we democratized that pipeline that was being hard credited to Amazon through content,” Chen explained. “The mission is to improve the consumer shopping experience and build a better research experience as well when it comes to buying products.”

    The results so far have been stellar. In the year since their launch out of stealth mode, Narrativ has raised over $3.5 million in venture capital, rewired more than one billion links, and impacted more than 200 million internet users each month. Narrativ, who has also partnered with notable brands like Dermstore, Ulta Beauty, and New York Magazine, is set to deliver more than $600 million in advertiser value in 2018, and has earned a nod from the World Economic Forum as a Technology Pioneer.

    Chen stands at the helm of it all, CEO of a game-changing tech company she was once almost too afraid to build. She recalls the nervousness she felt when the idea first came to her. She approached two former employers to build it, but both declined. That’s when Chen’s mentor, head of McKinsey’s North America Media spoke the words that fired her up: “Why don’t you build this thing on your own? I think you’re being a real coward.” She knew that he spoke not to discourage her, but to push her to make a move.

    Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

    SHWAXX: Atlanta Barber Experiment Produces Cutting Edge All-Natural Product That Manages Various Types Of Hair

    LinkedIn
    Schwaxx Inventor

    Two years and 40 attempts later, Kevin Rodgers’s hair care product had to pass a final test: His wife’s.

    Following another late-night session where he mixed a special blend of natural oils in the kitchen of his Atlanta home, the 49-year-old Rodgers waited expectantly as his wife Lorraine rubbed the creamy pomade into her palms and then her hair.

    “I needed her approval,” Rodgers said. “After all that work, it wasn’t done until she said it was.”

    She looked him in the eye, smiled and gave her husband the thumbs up.

    SHWAXX Hydrate and Style was officially born. The all-natural product Rodgers intended to manage beards was a multipurpose reality. Through his experimentations, Rodgers created a water-soluble pomade that softens, hydrates and conditions all textures of beards and hair, especially coarse, thick hair consistent with many African Americans.

    His product features Shea butter, jojoba wax, and other organic ingredients that Rodgers toyed with for years before coming up with the right formula.

    “Some would say it was a struggle, but I would say it was a journey,” Rodgers said. “An exhilarating journey.” But Rodgers also knew that developing a great product was only the first step in realizing his dream. His next challenge was to transform himself from a creative inventor to a savvy entrepreneur.

    Rodgers enrolled in the StartMe Small Business Accelerator program held at and sponsored by the Emory University Goizueta School of Business and nonprofit organizations that empower small businesses.

    The 14-week program connects a select group of entrepreneurs to the knowledge, networks and SCHWAXX Cancapital needed to build and develop sustainable businesses. While helping Rodgers sharpen his business skills, the program also affirmed that his wife wasn’t the only person who thought the product he crafted was special: he became one of just 24 peer selected ventures to receive startup capital through the program.  When he and SHWAXX were among the recipients of a Growth Seed Investment Grant—over competition he deemed formidable—his emotions ranged from surprised to gratified.

    “Validation comes from within,” he said. “Affirmation, however, came through the steps and procedures that my mentors (in the program) tested me on each session. Halfway through the program. . . I stopped looking to win the seed grant, and focused heavily on my business plan, income statement and balance sheet.

    “StartMe gave us knowledge, network, and access to capital. We learned that knowledge must be converted into wisdom, network must become relationships and access to capital begins with a solid business plan and income projections. More specifically, I learned that accounting is the language of business.”

    He said he plans to use the $4,000 award to help produce larger quantities of SHWAXX and to expand his marketing platform.

    Rodgers attacks his new/old venture with the same passion and work ethic he has applied to other creative works. Those include a short film, “Every Idle Word,” about business, family, loyalty and the struggles within a barbershop which was released to critical acclaim in 2013. It was the visual version of a novel he had written nine years earlier, “The Barber Game.”

    He also taught himself guitar and performed under the stage name “Kevo Desh.”

    SCHWAXX Display“My wife teases me because I love to create,” Rodgers said. “I create through the arts, whether literary, music, or visual arts. I love to express how I feel, or where I would like to be creatively. So, to me, it is just one thing. There are different disciplines, but it is all expression through the arts.”

    Rodgers earns his living as a barber at his own boutique Atlanta shop, The Tilted Crown, replete with two chairs. In developing SHWAXX , Rodgers would end his workday as a barber and begin his evenings in the kitchen of his Atlanta home filing pots with various oils, mixing them to create about 40 pleasant-smelling incarnations over two years, he said. He test-marketed eight of those versions on clients before settling on the blend that earned his wife’s approval.

    “Barbering is art and science,” Rodgers said. “I study and practice the science of natural hair, the ingredients that can alter that hair and the results of these experiments. I chose to handcraft new products as an extension of my service as a barber.”

    Wife of 24-years, Lorraine, and daughters, Jaiah, a 2018 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Savannah State University, and Peyton, an incoming freshman at Howard University, served as his aides, stirring the oils, jarring them and applying labels to the finished product—or just supporting his vision.

    The goal, said Rodgers, who attended Norfolk State University with his wife after they met in high school, is for SHWAXX to evolve into a family business with his three women playing various significant roles in the management, production, marketing and selling of the product. “A local business and brand with global reach. Ultimately the SHWAXX brand will be a go-to product for natural hair consumers worldwide,” he said.

    Rodgers’s journey is far from reaching that goal. But he continues to receive affirmation every step of the way. As part of his marketing effort, he showcased SHWAXX at the Bronner Bros. International Beauty Show in Atlanta last February – one of the nation’s most prestigious showcases for African-American hairstylists, barbers and makeup artists.

    One attendee, Cedric Frazier, owner of Anointed Cuts barbershop in San Antonio, was impressed. “There are all kinds of products being sold and I usually don’t buy any at that event,” Frazier said. “But Kevin said, ‘Just try it.’ I did—and I hit the jackpot.

    “It’s all natural and it’s multi-purpose,” Frazier added. “When my clients use it and come to me, I can cut their hair. But if they use traditional hair grease, it’s going to be a long day. I have to shampoo their hair and get that stuff out of it. And with SHWAXX, you can use it on waves, dreadlocks, twists, beards. It hydrates the hair and you can style it at the same time.”

    SHWAXX received an even bigger boost through the hit television show, “Atlanta,” which stars Donald Glover. It was placed in a scene in the first episode of the recently completed Season 2 of the Emmy Award-winning FX series.

    “Over one million viewers have seen our SHWAXX logo (through the show),” Rodgers said. “Now we’ve got to help them understand what they saw. . . That’s the exciting part.”

    Author
    Curtis Bunn
    Urban News Service