Book Review: 10% Happier by Dan Harris

It is a bit unorthodox for us to write book review about meditation.  But spring is in the air and we’re all ready to break out of our usual routines up here in Minnesota!  So here goes…

Dan Harris is an ABC newscaster who got his start under Peter Jennings and has had some very stressful reporting assignments including 9/11 and the war in Iraq.  He is a very smart, talented individual and newscasters are known for being very “just the facts,” data-driven people.  So I was intrigued to learn Dan Harris had written a book on the benefits of meditation.

The practice of meditation can still hold connotations of being “woo-woo,” as Dan puts it.  In fact, the reason he came up with the title “10% Happier” for his book is because he got tired of the quizzical looks people gave him when he started talking about meditation.  When he stated that he meditated because “it made him 10% happier,” he seemed to gain more credibility with his audience.

So how did Dan discover meditation?  Peter Jennings assigned him to cover the general topic of religion which led him to interview individuals like Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra who advocated living in the present – mindfulness – rather than worrying about the past or future.  Dan’s wife recommended he meet a respected psychiatrist named Mark Epstein who used mindfulness in his work with clients.  Gradually Dan started to meditate on a daily basis and found that he became less reactive in emotionally charged stressful situations.  His path eventually led to a meditation retreat which was very transformational for him.

In winding down his book, Harris gives instructions on how to start a mindfulness meditation practice.  He discusses how medical research now supports meditation as helpful for a number of major health issues such as high blood pressure. CEO’s, scientists and a number of celebrities now meditate to increase their levels of calm, happiness and focus.   A recent Minneapolis Star Tribune article states General Mills is a pioneer in bringing “mindfulness,” or meditation, to the workplace.  Other large Minnesota companies including Target, the Mayo Clinic and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans have some sort of meditation offering for employees.

Additional Resources:

Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn is the Professor of Medicine Emeritus and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  Here is his brief YouTube video on the health benefits of meditation:

For free guided mindfulness meditations, check this website:

We know our students lead very busy lives filled with school and career demands.  Meditation can be a great stress-reduction strategy so I hope you find this information helpful.

Written by Senior Director of Career Services Lisa Cook

Join Live Webinar: “Navigating USAJOBS.GOV to Obtain an Internship/Career in the Federal Government”

The Department of Health and Human Services welcomes the Walden community to attend their upcoming webinar: “Navigating USAJOBS.GOV to Obtain an Internship/Career in the Federal Government.” 

The webinar will include:

  • Key information regarding internships via the Pathways Program;
  • Key information regarding full-time opportunities in the Federal Government;
  • An interactive live overview of the USAJOBS.GOV website;
  • Helpful job search tips;
  • Downloadable handouts for searching positions by major or discipline, and performing an advanced search;
  • And, a USAJOBS.GOV tutorial.

This webinar will be offered on:

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 from 10 – 11:30 a.m. ET

Register here:

(Use password: USAJOBS)

 Wednesday, March 11, 2015 from 3 – 4:30 p.m. ET

Register here:

(Use password: USAJOBS)

 Written by Career Services Advisor Nicolle Skalski

“Developing Social Entrepreneurs” Webinar, Thursday, March 12 from 6 to 7 pm Eastern

Are you familiar with the new and exciting field of social entrepreneurship?

In support of Walden’s mission of positive social change, Dr. Linda Kiltz and Dr. Wendy Andberg and two Walden alumni and a student from Walden’s School of Public Policy and Administration are collaborating with Career Services to offer a fascinating webinar on social entrepreneurship on Thursday, March 12, from 6 to 7 pm Eastern.

This webinar will describe how social entrepreneurship is a vehicle for social change, trends in employment and sectors for social entrepreneurs, and possible career paths. Six social entrepreneurship examples will be covered, including stories from two Walden alumni and one Walden student in public policy and administration, who use social entrepreneurship skills in their careers. They will share their stories and their career paths, and then we will open the discussion up to questions from our live webinar audience.

Regarding our three panelists, Ms. Sharon Jumper and Dr. Ahmed Tudeiru conducted research on the microfinance initiatives in Afghanistan and Southern Ghana, respectively. Dr. Michael Schenck studied the impact of climate change on the village of Newtok, Alaska.

Sharon Jumper, Ph.D. student
After serving as an intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, earned her J.D. degree and then practiced law for 10 years. She teaches at universities in the United States, China, and United Arab Emirates, and has published and presented her research at conferences in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East. Sharon volunteered in Afghanistan, developing training materials for managers of women’s affairs projects and speaking to the nation’s women leaders. She also served on the board of directors for Ariana Outreach, a U.S. based charity for Afghanistan. Her dissertation is a case study of Afghan microfinance projects.

Ahmed Tufeiru, Ph.D.
Ahmed is a Wall Street executive with over 15 years as an investment banker and financial analyst who has worked for many large Wall Street firms. He is currently the director at a quantitative asset management firm in the New York area, where he manages investment operations for multi-strategy portfolios of over $120 billion assets under management.

A native of Ghana, Ahmed serves on the board of directors of KASI Microfinance—a Tamale-based microfinance organization. He established a foundation through KASI that provides affordable access to capital and business training for impoverished women head porters in Southern Ghana. Also, Ahmed is a member of the board of governance of the Center for Media and Peace Initiatives, whose mission is conflict-resolution and socioeconomic development in Africa. An online adjunct faculty member, Ahmed is also the CEO and managing principal of Gateway Consulting Group—a multidisciplinary Ghanaian consulting firm with clients in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors in Ghana and beyond.

Michael Schenk, Ph.D.
A former Marine, Michael has served in 25 states and 30 countries, including multiple combat tours. Throughout his service, Michael has earned 14 medals, including the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with the Combat Distinguishing Device for valor. His work with Marine Reserves linked military capability and pre-deployment training, with the civilian relocation of Newtok, Alaska, a village of Alaskan Natives that was relocated due to slow-onset, climate-induced environmental changes. Michael is a high school history teacher, coach, and counselor.

To register for our “Developing Social Entrepreneurs” Webinar, Thursday, March 12 from 6 to 7 pm Eastern, please click here.

We hope you’ll join us for this exciting webinar!

Written by Senior Career Services Director Lisa Cook

Walden Career Services Center Joins YouTube and Facebook!

YouTube Channel Career SpotlightsFacebook screenshot

To make our recorded programs more accessible on mobile devices, we recently launched a YouTube Channel featuring our new Career Spotlights and archived webinar recordings. Career Spotlights are short videos of Walden students telling their career success stories. One student tells how she went from being unemployed to landing her dream job with a Fortune 500 Company! Our YouTube Channel also offers a variety of archived webinars to view at your convenience, from our Doctoral Webinar Series to our “Career Opportunities” webinars covering various career fields to our webinars tailored to our undergraduate students. Check it out today!

Have you “liked” our new Facebook community? We now have nearly 900 Likes. Our Facebook community features answers to student questions, announcements of upcoming webinars, articles of interest and TEDx talks you might find interesting. We hope you’ll join us there so you’ll be “in the know!”

Written by Lisa Cook, Senior Director of Career Services

Landing a Higher Ed Teaching Position in South Africa



Did you know that Walden University’s Career Services Center supports a global student population?  Thuthu is a M.S. in Instructional Design and Technology alumna who landed a higher ed teaching position as a Lecturer in Curriculum Studies at the University of the Free State (Bloemfontein, South Africa).  What factors contributed to her success?

Thuthu was inspired to pursue higher ed teaching positions during her studies at Walden University. Driven by Walden’s social change mission, she sought to transfer her knowledge, abilities, and skills to others and create change in South Africa.

Prior to working with Career Services, Thuthu applied to numerous higher ed teaching positions with no success.  She then located Career Services on the Walden Alumni website and scheduled an appointment with a career advisor.  She received feedback on her Curriculum Vita (CV), including tips on how to improve formatting, highlight key qualifications, and match transferable skills to position requirements.  Thuthu was referred to additional resume and CV resources, samples, and guidelines on the Career Services Center website.  After Thuthu improved her CV, she applied for the Lecturer in Curriculum Studies position and was contacted for an interview. She proudly shared that her new and improved CV “got attention” from employers.

To prepare for her interview, Thuthu visited the Quick Start Videos page, watched the Interview Strategies video, and practiced her interviewing skills using OptimalResume’s Interview Prep.  Thuthu’s diligence boosted her confidence and made a difference during the interview; many questions the interviewers asked were similar to the questions she reviewed.

Thuthu encourages students and alumni to seek assistance from career experts at Walden University. Thuthu says, “Not all institutions offer such support, so take advantage of it.”  We wish her the very best as she continues to make a difference in the lives of university students in South Africa.

Are you seeking international career opportunities? Visit the International Resources page.

Interested in higher ed teaching?  Watch Doctoral Webinar Series webinars.

Written by Senior Career Services Advisor, Dina Bergren

Career Transition into Education Technology

Ashley is a Ph.D. in Education−Educational Technology student who landed a position as an Assistant Manager of a county library technology center.   When she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, she never expected that someday she would teach technology courses and design training programs for over 200 library staff and thousands of library visitors.  Like many of us, Ashley’s career evolved as she gained new skills and shared her knowledge with others.  Ashley’s career path unfolded through the following phases:

Plunge into a New Career:   Ashley received a tip from a networking contact that Apple was hiring in her area.  She attended the event, interviewed, and was hired for an entry level Service Specialist position where she sold and set up electronic devices for customers.

Career Advancement:   Ashley honed her expertise at Apple and began training customers on advanced features.  She enjoyed seeing customers’ progress as she demonstrated new technology “tricks.”

Finding Purpose:   Ashley started volunteering at a local library where she provided technical support for visitors.  She was surprised by the number of visitors who had limited computer knowledge and no computer access in their homes.  She enjoyed helping them navigate the internet, use applications, and research information.

Tapping into Walden’s Career Resources:  Ashley enrolled in the Ph.D. in Education−Educational Technology program and attended her first residency where she met with a career advisor, gained resume tips, and learned career management strategies.  She continued engaging in her career by reading the Career Services blog, and attended Career Services’ Resume and LinkedIn Cafes.

Acing the Interview:   Reading Success Stories on the Career Services blog inspired Ashley to take her next career step.  She applied for the Assistant Manager position at the county library, was selected for an interview, and scheduled an appointment with Career Services to practice her interviewing skills.  Ashley commented, “Before career coaching, I was talking all about Apple.  I found it hard to talk about myself and my brand.”  Career Services helped Ashley communicate her brand as a technology specialist, trainer, and library volunteer.

Ashley encourages Walden students to maximize university resources, contact advisors, attend webinars, and actively engage in their learning.  We wish her the best as she pursues her passion for helping individuals access and master new technologies.

Are you ready for your career to unfold?  Follow Ashley’s advice and check out the following resources:

Written by Senior Career Services Advisor, Dina Bergren

Life Reimagined by Richard Leider and Alan Webber


Life Reimagined is a great read for those who are searching for new life possibilities, either in their work or personal lives. As we welcome in 2015 and consider goals and resolutions, this book’s roadmap may help.

The American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) recently started offering “Life Reimagined” workshops in the Twin Cities. Since we offer a “Midlife Job Search” webinar and many of our students are navigating career changes, Career Advisor Denise Pranke and I recently attended one of these workshops. It was very well-attended and interactive. The possibilities that attendees were considering covered a wide range, from empty nesters looking forward to selling their homes to pre-retirees looking to travel to career changers and those looking to add new volunteer roles or expand their present careers to new areas.

The most valuable takeaway of this book is its roadmap of six “practices” (Leider & Webber, 2013, p. 43) useful for moving forward in exploring different types of possibilities. The six practices are:
1) Reflect – conduct a self-assessment;
2) Connect – get advice from trusted friends and guides;
3) Explore – test different possibilities with curiosity and courage;
4) Choose –narrow your options by taking a deeper dive and reality check with a few options;
5) Repack – deciding what is essential for the road ahead – what to pack and what to keep – both the tangible and the intangible;
6) Act – take action towards making the possibilities real.

The map is pictured as a circle rather than a straight line so if you think this model would be helpful, pick the practice that best fits where you are in considering various possibilities. These six practices will help you ask questions and keep you on track through your journey of exploring various options.

This map syncs well with our 3 pronged “EPS” approach in the Career Services Center. We advise our students advancing their careers as follows:

“Try new Experiences; connect with new People; and tell your new Story.”

When our students gain new experiences where they stretch themselves and connect with new people – whether it’s volunteering or taking on a leadership role in their work or personal lives or presenting at a conference or joining Toastmasters , they start to view themselves differently, broaden their career identities, and tell new stories. These actions move them forward on their career paths far more effectively than other strategies.

What new possibilities will you reimagine for yourself in 2015? Would you share your thoughts on our Facebook page? We’d love to hear from you!

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for a Wonderful and Healthy 2015 from the Career Services Center!

Written by Senior Director of Career Services Lisa Cook