“Adapting with Energy” by Amanda Tan

 

 

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Diving into Renewable Energy: An interview with Shreenithi Lakshmi Narasimhan: Energy Engineer at UIC and Energy Efficiency Intern at Energy Resource Center Chicago

By: Lucia Gandolfi 

Shreenithi is a young and vibrant graduate student from UIC; She arrived to the US with the dream of making a change and the belief that the growth in the global renewable energy sector represents the future for forward-thinking students like her.

 If you have to describe it in few words: What do you see in the future of the renewable energy sector?

 

“I see a huge potential in it, despite still being in the evolving process, particularly in the US where the market is big and the competition is higher than anywhere else. On the other hand, in the Us companies are fundraising millions of dollars every year to keep researching and innovating in this sector”.

 

Why did you choose to focus on energy efficiency and water waste?

 

I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that I could actually contribute to the planet by my actions. I wanted to be involved in making a positive change, and that is the reason why I decided to be an engineer with a focus on renewable energy and water waste.

 

Is renewable energy in the US still a niche market in your experience?

 

No, to me a niche market is, and always will be, small. I feel the potential here in the States is so high that we can’t define it as a “niche” market.

 

As a matter of fact, renewable energy will certainly not be a limited market in the future as it is constantly growing in innovation, and companies are investing to become green along with the rest of the world.

 

From your experience as a foreign student coming to the United States, did you go through a culture shock? How did your career opportunities evolve after moving here? 

I would not define it a real culture shock, but more a life-changing experience which gave me the opportunity to work in an environment where I can best express my qualities. I consider the US, without doubt, way ahead many other countries in this field.

Despite not going through a culture shock, I have been struggling academic-wise being the school system extremely different compared to India, where I was born and where I started my academic path.  

I have to admit I’ve never felt as challenged as I am right now balancing study, work and facing a completely new environment all at once; but I’ve always liked challenges and believed that my genuine passion for what I do will drive me to my goals even if far from where I belong.

 

Introducing The Gaisce Group New COO and Principal Recruiter: Dat Nguyen by Amanda Tan

The Gaisce Group welcomes the COO and Principal Recruiter! 

By: Magarita Baxter

We are happy to welcome Dat Nguyen as our the COO and Principal Recruiter. The quick Q&A below will help you to get to know him better. 

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What is your background? Education, Work ExperienceSuffolk University. BSBA in Management & Marketing. My background started in non-profit. Assisted in the management and creation of the Asian Entrepreneurship Foundation with my professor and a few successful entrepreneurs in Boston. From there I jumped into recruiting and have been recruiting nationally for a few years.

Why recruting? Why are you in this business? Why The Gaisce Group? 

I realized early that working in an environment behind a desk with limited human interaction was not the path I want to be in. Recruiting allows me to have meaningful conversations with amazing cast of characters while also combing an entrepreneurial element to create your own success. The Gaisce Group is a no-brainer next chapter in my life. Creating a successful organization with Sam while also able to dictate my own success. A salary can make you a living but business/entrepreneurship will make you a fortune.


What makes The Giasce Group unique, in your opinion?

Our young core and our different view going into recruiting. The staffing industry has had a bad reputation in being very money hungry and we aim to make a difference in that. I feel that we don't necessarily chase after the dollar but rather chase and build meaningful lasting relationships with our clients and candidates.

Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years? The next ten years?

Within the next year would be to build out our capabilities and practice. Picking up clients and expanding our scope of influence. Within the next 5 years we will have a solid team working within those capabilities, continually growing and succeeding. Within 10 years we will  be a powerhouse within the industry, changing the way people view recruiters.

What are the biggest issues in this business? How do you overcome them? 

The biggest issue so far would be how saturated the market is with recruiters. Also the negative stigma that recruiters get due to the bad apples in the market. We can overcome this by practicing business with the utmost integrity and respect. Instead of chasing after the dollar, chase the nurturing or meaningful lasting relationships/book of business that will always come back.

What motivates you?

I wouldn't say that money motivates me. However it is what money can get me that pushes me to succeed. The quality of life of my family now and my future family. The vacation I can provide them. The schooling I can give them. The smiles and memories that I can create with them. That's what motivates me to hustle everyday.

What book has inspired you the most?

The Power of Positive Thinking - Norman Vincent Peale

In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.Humility - Be strong and be humble. The more you know, the more you realized how little you know.

 

The Gaisce Group expands to Montreal by sam keif

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By: Margarita Baxter

The Gaisce Group expands to Montreal

Exciting news! We are now hiring for tech companies in Montreal. 

We asked Ashley Bilodeau — a big time marketer — who lives and works in Montreal, why opportunities in this city are worth your consideration. 

The Gaisce Group: What is your background (work, education, interests)? 

Ashley Bilodeau: I’ve worked for over 10 years in fashion, touching everything from designing, tailoring, wholesale distribution, writing, managing sales reps. I decided to use everything I had learned within the bustling fashion industry to the tech field. I've stayed within Sales & Marketing all the while maintaining a creative edge.

TGG: How are you involved in the tech scene in Montreal? How did you start? 

AB: I started at a little event photography app called PhotoEventPlus/ PhotoStockPlus.com doing sales and marketing. Then moved on to Prodmode which is an amazing ERP system dedicated to making fashion companies use tech properly and efficiently. Montreal is teaming with incredible nerds ready to make cool things and put in the work. It's easy to make friends and connection in this community.

 

TGG: What is your biggest professional accomplishment?  

AB: Working at Prodmode as V.P. Helping the President Charlie Dawes launch an easy to use, slick and modern ERP system with today's user in mind. I had lived the pains of using old legacy ERP systems in fashion. They never worked right and were always very outdated. We brought to market a new system that could be easily implemented and really drive up the bottom line.

 

TGG: What are the best tech companies in Montreal to work for, in your opinion? 

AB: Sid Lee seems to be really interesting. Everyone I have ever met from SidLee is intelligent, creative and given the room to express those two qualities.

SalesForce and Lightspeed are major players in Montreal and are growing their teams at an incredible rate.

Shopify seems to also encourage their employees to branch out and think outside the box.

 

TGG: What are the most interesting tech products/services in Montreal? 

AB: People getting involved in important missions. My friend Michael Lenczner works to popularize awareness of the risks and opportunities of increasing access to government administrative data about Canadians & Canadian residents with the goal of having a more informed policy discussion about it. It's not a well-known topic and it's challenging to make sure that the pros and cons are well understood by folks unfamiliar with the topic. 

 

TGG: What is hot in tech there? 

AB: Food ordering apps seem to be everywhere. Being in Montreal, not much goes on in the winter months. It is spring now and you see the Foodora bikers all around braving the still frosty weather. The battle to win food delivery is real.

 

What are your favorite places in Montreal (food, walks, fun, anything)? 

AB: I live in East Plateau which is a beautiful little neighborhood filled with French expats. We have an amazing array of food shops and parks. I love my neighborhood.

 

 

TGG: Why is Montreal a cool place to live? 

AB: Montreal is one of the most beautiful, fun, creative cities in North America. You literally have everything. It is somewhat affordable, has wonderful festivals, concerts, events all summer long. A word to the wise, make sure you enjoy winter because Montreal is intense in the winter.

 

TGG: How does one get involved in startup and tech scene in Montreal? What advise would you give them?

AB: Go to events and network! Here are a few interesting events I would suggest to someone trying to find work in tech:

http://www.startupfestival.com

https://www.c2montreal.com

http://mtlnewtech.com/calendar/

 

TGG: What did you want to be when you grew up?  

AB: An entrepreneur!

 

TGG: Who inspires you?

AB: My family and friends. People who stand up for others and what is right. People making it even though their chances were next to slim. 

National Women's Day: An Interview with Dr. Bergmark by sam keif

National Women's Day: An Interview with Dr. Bergmark

By: Margarita Baxter

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In honor of the Women’s History Month, we will be featuring stories of amazing women who are accomplished professionals in fields of healthcare, biotech, and tech. 

 

Please meet our first guest — Dr. Regan Bergmark. She's an Otolaryngologist and currently is the Gliklich Healthcare Innovation Scholar at Harvard Medical school.

The Gaisce Group had a pleasure of interviewing Dr. Bergmark.

The Gaisce Group (TGG) : What is your background (work, education, interests)? 

Dr. Bergmark (DRB): I am a sinus and skull base surgeon and also do research on healthcare outcomes and health equity.  Outcomes measurement is a large and growing field in health care, as technology has allowed us to gather and analyze massive amounts of health information. My work centers on determining which outcomes we should really be tracking for patients, and using that data to identify groups of patients who are at risk for worse outcomes. There are many factors that influence how and why people become sick - such as poverty, race and ethnicity, geography - which we term the "social determinants of health." In the US, for example, people who are poor or who self-identify with a racial or ethnic minority groups have worse health.  To be able to improve the health of these groups, we need to be measuring our outcomes in the healthcare system, and looking at the results to say, “which groups are doing worse, why are these patients doing worse, and what can we do to fix that?”

 

TGG: What is your biggest professional accomplishment?  

DRB: Currently, I am working on a large collaboration on health outcomes with Harvard Medical School, Harvard Business School and the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement to try to define a common set of outcomes measures for common diseases.  We are still testing those measure sets and refining them, but hope that the data can be used to understand healthcare outcomes internationally.

 

TGG: What is your biggest accomplishment outside of work?

DRB: I had three children during seven years of surgical training. 

 

TGG: How do you balance work and life responsibilities?

DRB: I think you need to be very clear about your priorities, make changes when your schedule is tilted in the wrong direction, and to manage your time well.  I really love being a mother and a wife, and I also love being a surgeon-scientist; I think people who do not love both family and work roles struggle more to manage them both. Both my husband and I are physicians, and we think it is good that our kids understand that we go to work every day to help people who are sick and in need. In terms of time management, I do not work at home when my kids are awake and try to limit the work I bring home. I also follow the advice of more senior successful women to stay very focused at work - not only in terms of making each hour count, but also in terms of turning down or deferring opportunities that seem to distract from my main goals. Time is a precious resource.  My last thought it that your commitment to family is essential.  People who do not spend time with their families often do not see failure right away, but over years.  They look back and lost their opportunity to be the parent or spouse they wanted to be. You should never regret time spent with family. 

 

TGG: What did you want to be when you grew up and why? 

DRB: I always wanted to be a scientist. My mother is also a physician and had a laboratory when I was growing up. She is amazing, and loved medicine and science, and it was infectious. Part of me imagined having a lab, and part imagined doing environmental science. Growing up in Minneapolis, I volunteered with the immigrant and refugee community when I was in high school, and that experience drew me to large issues of social justice and health equity, and I wound up where I am today.

 

TGG: What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership in your field?

DRB: Wow that is a big question and one that we are actively studying.  Some of the lack of leadership is historical - that is, women were not entering surgical fields in significant numbers a generation ago, and so the current leadership is predominantly male.  That is not the whole story.  We recently looked at all academic surgeons in the United States and found that even when we accounted for lots of factors that influence promotion, such as age, years in practice, NIH funding, publications, etc, women were still less likely than men to have full professor status.  Why? There certainly could be factors we were unable to study, such as medical society leadership or number of talks people had given. Implicit bias definitely has a role in the status of women in academic surgery - the promotion process is partly subjective, and even grants and papers may be less highly reviewed with women’s names on them.  When I had my first child I remember a male colleague saying, “oh yeah, you’re a mom now, you’re not going to do any research,” saying he thought I was dropping out of a successful academic track when I had never voiced anything to support that assertion. I realized I needed to tell people my plans to continue in academic surgery.  Women need to push to be in leadership positions by telling people they are interested, and by asking to be in leadership positions. Women are also less likely to negotiate aggressively, and need to therefore push themselves to negotiate, to ask, to keep pushing themselves forward.  Transparency and objectivity in the hiring and promotions process, and objectively distributing resources (financial and otherwise) is also needed.

TGG: Name one woman that inspires you. Why her?

DRB: I can’t choose just one.  I have already spoken about my mother, Dorothy Whitmer, MD, so I will talk about two other amazing women:

Ambassador Sally Cowal is now the head of global health at the American Cancer Society, but I spent a one year fellowship with her between college and medical school when she was a Senior Vice President at Population Services International, working primarily on safe water international public health programs.  Ambassador Cowal had decades of experience in the Foreign Service, at the United Nations as a founder of UNAIDS, and in the nonprofit arena.  She embodied many amazing leadership qualities including a gutsiness and decisiveness that allowed her to be effective and bold. 

Dr. Stacey Gray, the other women I have to talk about, is also a sinus and skull base surgeon at Harvard and has been a primary mentor to me for nearly a decade.  She is a phenomenal surgeon and physician, taking care of her patients the way I hope to always care for mine, and also is an International expert in sinus disease. On top of it, she is an amazing mother and has no qualms being dedicated to her family.  

 

TGG: What are the biggest challenges facing girls and women today?

DRB: While we have discussed women in leadership roles in academic surgery, the truth is that for most women in the world - even in 2018 - the differences in opportunity for girls versus boys and women vs men are atrocious. Violence against women ranging from harassment to human trafficking, a lack of opportunity to go to school, work, or determine one’s future and family life are some of the many massive challenges facing women around the world. When I was working on safe water globally, one of the most pressing issues was that girls would drop out of school to walk several miles to collect water in buckets in low income countries without good access to water. The good news is that our actions, not our gender, determine whether we can effectively help with these issues. When we think about massive social problems - poverty, violence, discrimination, etc - it is easy to believe making a difference is impossible.  It is not.  We should each try to do something to impact these larger forces shaping the human experience. Because if not us, then who?

 

 

Scholar Jet Award by Amanda Tan

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By: Margarita Baxter

Photos are taken by Lindsey Michelle Williamswww.LindseyMichelleWilliams.com

ScholarJet is a platform that brought to life a concept of action based scholarships. It means that students are asked to create and submit an interactive project (find a technical solution, record a video, and etc.), instead of writing a boring essay. Projects are reviewed by organizations that help finance winners’ education.
The Gaisce Group sponsored the Health First Scholarship Challenge, during which participants were required to create a 2-minute video about a health-related issue and then translate it to a different language.

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The winner of the challenge - Melody Li - made a great video about the correlation between aMediterranean Diet and dementia in English and Chinese.

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We had a pleasure of interviewing Melody.
The Gaisce Group (TGG): What is your background?
Melody Li (ML): Hi! I’m seventeen, almost eighteen! I’m in my senior year at Boston Latin
School. I was born in California (Cali girl! Well not really since I moved to Boston in third grade).
I love science, trying new things, and meeting new people. I am also a bit of a bookworm.
TGG: What colleges are you planning to apply to and what majors? Why?
ML: I’m planning to apply to Brown University, UMass Amherst, UMass Boston, Northeastern University, Boston University, Boston College, Emory University, Lafayette College, and Davidson College. I’m applying as a Biology major because I am really interested in organisms and human health and how everything works together in the body.
TGG: What was your initial inspiration behind this submission?
ML: My inspiration behind this submission was to find a topic that merges the brain with
nutrition and food. I have always been fascinated by the brain and how it works and I
happened to be learning about nutrition in my Biology II class, which I found very interesting and applicable to everyone.
TGG: You did quite an extensive research on dementia to prepare your scholarship submission. What made you interested in learning more about it?
ML: I was interested in learning more about dementia because of its correlation with the brain and mental health. Dementia and Alzheimer’s is something that affects many people, so I wanted to learn more about the symptoms and ways to change one’s lifestyle in order to prevent it.
TGG: Are there any other health issues you are passionate about and what to help with?
ML: Besides the brain and psychology, something that really interests me is cancer. Cancer affects so many people and takes so many lives that I would love to learn more about the different types of cancers and things to change to lower the risk.
TGG: What do you think made your submission a winner? Why did it stand out?
ML: I think that my video stood out due to the format of the video with how it was using
animations. I felt that it was really clean and organized and one could see the passion I had for the topic through my video.
TGG: Did you just happen to be good at video making? Is it one of your hobbies?
ML: I’m actually not that good at making videos. There are so many things that I don’t know how to do, but I find video making really fun and I am actually planning to start up a YouTube channel soon.
TGG: How do you see yourself in 10 years?
ML: In ten years I see myself in a surgical or oncology residency. Hopefully, I would have
traveled some parts of the world already, published a book, still be a YouTuber, and most importantly am happy. Have a nice day for all those reading and I’ll leave this interview with my senior yearbook quote: “Don’t let the Muggles get you down.” -Ron Weasley, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

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Sam Keif: The Gaisce Group Journey by Amanda Tan

By: Margarita Baxter

What is your background? Education, Work Experience

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I was born and raised in Sandown, New Hampshire. It's a tiny rural town in Southeastern New Hampshire. I got my Bachelors in Healthcare Administration at Springfield College, and a Masters in Management from Cambridge College. I spent a couple of years working at a healthcare billing company in New Hampshire after college, and then worked at large academic medical centers in Boston for about a decade (Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Boston Children's Hospital).

How did you get started in this business? How did the idea for your business come about?

I always wanted to start my own company, and become my own boss. I was always so surprised how hard it was for the hospitals to find talent, and I wanted to try my hand at it. I first just reached out to clinics offering my recruiting services for free. This way I would get an opportunity to see if I liked it. I immediately liked the rush of the search, working with candidates and clients, and the feeling of helping someone find their dream job is really fulfilling. 

How long have you been in business? 

1.5 years in recruiting.  

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What makes your company unique?

I feel as though the rates we offer are considerably less expensive compared to most firms. We also provide a unique personal touch. We're not just open 9-5 Monday - Friday. I offer availability around the clock. I also am always completely transparent with my clients throughout the process. There is nothing fake or disingenuous about my processes. 

Can you describe your customers? Who are your customers if you can name a few? 

Most of our clients are in the clinical healthcare sector. I also have a few customers in the tech and biotech space. We have clients all over the country. Las Vegas, New York City, North Dakota, Alabama, and Virginia to name a few. At the end of 2016 I had 3 clients, and now I'm currently up to 30. 

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Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years? The next ten years?

I'd slowly like to diversify my client base more. More tech and biotech companies are my goal. I'd also like to eventually work my way into recruiting leadership and executive type roles in the healthcare sector. Getting some international clients is a goal as well. 

What are the biggest issues in this business? How do you overcome them? 

I'm constantly trying to figure out ways to keep me better organized. Right now I have 20+ jobs open, and have open dialogues with a multitude of clients and candidates. Keeping it structured is huge challenge. 

I write everything down, always. I have a giant white board in my office, a date book, and there is always a note pad on my desk. I also have an Amazon Alexa whose proven to be a big help. 

What motivates you?

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My family, building this business into something special.

In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.

Hungry.