CollegeCPR coaches girls about STEM careers at Tech Savvy event

March 18, 2017

CollegeCPR spent the day at University at Buffalo for Tech Savvy, speaking with girls (Grade 6-12) and parents about STEM careers and college preparation activities.

What did we enjoy most?  Our conversations with students and parents about career exploration, college preparation and ways to overcome the common challenges faced by today’s college student.  We discussed job opportunities in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Math, Engineering) and what activities are needed to best position students for college and career success.

What is Tech Savvy?

Promoting Science and Technology Careers for Girls

Tech Savvy is a daylong science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) career conference designed to attract girls to these fields and to inform families about STEM education and careers.

Tech Savvy was founded in 2006 by the AAUW Buffalo (NY) Branch, under the leadership of then-branch president and Praxair employee Tamara Brown (ME Chemical Engineering, 2003). With the support of Praxair and community groups, this annual event has become a huge success, serving upwards of 700 girls and 200 parents each spring at the University at Buffalo.

This year we will focus on the college application process, the importance of service, and getting into college. Hence, students will have an AAUW University college application. The student brought this applications and we asked questions about their strength’s, favorite subjects, career interests, and plan to achieve career goals.

About AAUW

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.

Our society tells girls and women that they don’t belong in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. As early as first grade, children have already developed a sense of gender identity, and most have developed unconscious bias associating boys with math. Toys still reinforce rigid, highly gendered stereotypes that encourage only boys to build or engineer. And even kids’ clothing still proclaims that girls are bad at math.

At almost every step of the STEM education ladder, we see girls walk away. By seventh grade, many girls are ambivalent about these fields, and by the end of high school, fewer girls than boys plan to pursue STEM in college. Especially in engineering, physics, and computing, female college students are likely to be outnumbered by men in their programs. With some important exceptions, schools dedicate few resources to recruiting and retaining students in fields that are non-traditional for their gender. Women who do graduate with a STEM degree enter a workforce that is historically unfriendly to them. And once they get there, stereotypes, gender bias, and the climate of academic departments and workplaces continue to block women’s participation and progress.

But the low number of women and girls pursuing STEM fields is not a status quo we can live with. It has significant implications for women’s financial security, economic growth, and global innovation.

AAUW is committed to encouraging women and girls to pursue STEM, and we have a multipronged approach to make it happen.

About CollegeCPR

CollegeCPR is a social impact company committed to college, career and life success. We work with parents and students to accelerate success, by guiding learners through occupational exploration, soft-skill development, and career coaching. We work with institutions to create a campus-wide culture of coaching through high impact training and print/digital content.

On a personal level, we appreciate the support of parents, students and educators and programs like Tech Savvy. We sincerely want to hear the challenges and share in your successes!

Employee engagement initiatives and professional coaching has shown to boost goal attainment and increase productivity. We offer corporate workshops, coaching, and College/Career planning web-based courses.

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Or email us at

AAEU, STEM, Michael Spence, CollegeCPR

4 Reasons to Optimize your LinkedIn Profile


  • “Linked In is not a platform to forget about it. Microsoft purchased for 26 billion dollars so they won’t let it slide away”
  • “It’s the go-to platform for professionals, particularly in B2B space.”
  • “Pay attention to your personal brand on social networks. Current or future customers might checking you out on LinkedIn and probably all networks.”
  • “It’s a great way for you to create personal leverage for yourself from a professional standpoint.”

In January 2017, LinkedIn the platform for professionals just had its biggest desktop makeover. The new design now features seven core areas, home, which is your feed, messaging, jobs, notifications, me, my network and search. Below is the new page layout.

It’s important that you leverage the content “above the fold.” The most valuable real estate on your page is your headline and opening summary statement.


  • Get your Elevator Pitch – what makes you interesting and different (iTunes has a new show called Return of the Apps where it’s like Shark Tank but for Apps – they call it an Escalator Pitch).
  • Elaborate in detail – Who you are, what you do, who you do it for, and what they’re going to get out of it. But keep it to 3-7 sentences.
  • Brainstorm on key words for yourself – what search terms would people use trying to find you (i.e. names, skills, products, services, or even industry jargon)?


  • NAME: Use your real name, save the cool trendy fun for other platforms
  • URL: Reserve your vanity URL on LinkedIn – should be same as your real, full name if possible
  • PHOTO: Ditch the photo from college and get a professional headshot
  • HEADER IMAGE – Use an image that illustrates what you do, with something that pulls through your brand or illustrates your skills


  • Your professional headline is the line that comes up next to your name when someone searches so you can go deeper than just your job title.
  • Try to incorporate the keywords you came up with in the earlier brainstorming – take advantage of your space.
  • This is where you have to stand out with a condensed version of your elevator pitch


  • This is the place where you can take a deeper dive into who you are, what you do and who you help.
  • Start with the paragraph you created earlier in the exercises – incorporate your key words here
  • Speak to who you’re trying to connect with
  • Be sure to break this up! No one wants to read multiple long paragraphs. Use bullet points and white space so they can easily pull out the key takeaways.


  • Elaborate on your experience
  • Put former employers
  • Highlight achievement
  • List services
  • Personal differentiators
  • Add media like presentations or created content – visuals are great for social media (you can also put under your summary section)
  • The media can be documents, presentations, videos, photos – be sure to use pdfs rather than Word documents
  • Schooling – go deeper here into achievements, awards, etc.
  • Even if you got a degree into what you do today, that’s okay because that is part of your story and it can also be a connecting point into who you are


  • This is your opportunity to show your credibility and thought leadership in your space
  • You get 50 skills – use this wisely – you want to be relevant skills to what you do
  • Don’t just write “Microsoft Word” as a top skill since that won’t separate you from others
  • This is like SEO for your personal brand
  • Pay attention to the Top 10


  • This area is more for freelance and contract work
  • List your publications, i.e. guest blogging gigs, or featured articles, but you don’t need to feature every single post), especially if they have gone viral or are more evergreen and relevant
  • List and Organizations & Volunteer work –

Suggestions To Make Your Profile Better:

LinkedIn isn’t forgetting its core service with its new update. The site will now offer suggestions to make your profile stand out based on what recruiters are searching for. LinkedIn will suggest what skills you should add, as well a summary created by LinkedIn based on your experience.

Contact Mike Spence for help optimizing your LinkedIn page, crafting a brand story, and growing your business using social media:

Schoold is the “fastest growing app in higher education!”

Schoold is the “fastest growing app in higher education!”

CollegeCPR recommends Schoold as the preferred College Search App.

Discover new schools, get advice, and apply for scholarships.

Education app, SchoolD, college search

This app can turn months of college research into a 20 minute search.

Even better is that they help you find available scholarships. Tuition hikes and changes in financial aid make it harder to find funding. Parents and students are looking for creative and alternative ways to fund college. SchoolD helps connect students with scholarships and make informed college choices.

Here is an alarming stat.

  • In America the average ratio of school counselors to students is 1:472.
  • 73% of schools lack a dedicated college counselor.

At CollegeCPR, we help guide parents and students through occupational exploration and career coaching.  We educate and encourage ongoing dialogue between students, their parents and student support services. We partner with education organizations and institutions with complementary services that improve student success.

We bridge the gap between H.S. graduation, college success and job attainment. Through guided activities and one-on-one video coaching we personalize the outcomes for each students goal. Leveraging distance learning technology and tools to provide global reach with a personal touch!

We would love to help you.


Find out why @HuffPo says Schoold is the “fastest growing app in higher education!!”

Paying for college can be hard, finding a scholarship shouldn’t be! @schooldapp will help:

National News: For-profit college chain ITT Tech ceases all student enrollment


The government is locking down wasteful use and abuse of student loan spending. Price gouging is rampant. Student loan debt is atrocious. The federal government wrote too many checks that they cannot cash in on.

Loan interest is only cash flow positive when…graduates have jobs and can pay back loans.  I know many adults in their 40’s who still need forbearance and deferments on loan payments.

College expenses are increasing at 300% of inflation rates in the US.

“The market for students that enroll without Title IV is essentially non-existent,”

“The expense of processing applications only to have them cancel once they learn (they are) Title IV ineligible is not worthwhile.”

“ITT’s future has been in question since the Education Department announced its sanctions amid an Obama administration crackdown on for-profit colleges. The SEC, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and more than a dozen states are investigating ITT over its financial performance, marketing, recruiting and job placement numbers.”

For-profit colleges face increased scrutiny

For-profit college chain ITT Tech ceases all student enrollment

CollegeCPR set out to solve the common problem of graduates with high loans, and not enough experience or skills to obtain work in their field.

Students who complete CollegeCPR graduate with less debt, and have the skills & experience to be positioned for success in a competitive job market.

If you are a student, or parent concerned with your child’s professional success, CollegeCPR is a must consider program for all students ages 17-21.

Over the next 6 months, Coaching Performance Results (CPR) will introduce professional development and technical career training’s to develop the soft & hard skills in highest demand.

Watch this 3 minute intro video from our Founder, Michael Spence

Subscribe to Join Us and Transform Your Life

How Moving To The Cloud Can Save You Millions

Ask yourself a question:  How has technology changed your role?  Your industry? 

Technology is changing the way people work.  The ball and chain that once restricted employees to an office and a desk is gone.

Whether you are a founding partner or an employee with a vested interest, then LISTEN UP!

I’m witnessing a new trend in the market and it’s growing fast. Companies are figuring out how to modernize their data infrastructure. By doing so they are delivering a HUGE savings over time.

I see this picking up steam in organizations with:

  • A large… even global… footprint
  • Decades of legacy infrastructure
  • Users in the 10’s and 100’s of thousands (*Cost savings scale)

I wake everyday with a desire to help my clients improve their business.

Can you benefit from a trusted technology adviser for your business?

Together, I will help you execute a business continuity plan that makes your business more nimble, more productive, and more efficient.  Using the steps below I have helped business save millions of dollars per year.

Let’s walk through how it’s done.

Step 1: Perform a file system assessment of your NAS infrastructure

Nearly every assessment I’ve seen looks almost identical to this… so as a rule of thumb consider yours to be 33/33/33 as well.


Step 2: Calculate your cost per GB

Step 3: Find a low cost storage repository

Home directories and networks shares are typically scored as LOW security so you can find many repositories to host them: AWS, Azure, etc.

If there are security, compliance, or data residency concerns… that’s easy to navigate… but it’s also a long conversation.

If you’re at the Petabyte level… consider building a private repository which delivers cloud economics. I find this to be a growing market space in the Enterprise space. One large client decided to build a private cloud storage repository which brought their cost per GB down from $1/GB  to .10/GB.

Step 4: Prioritize your NAS footprint

By doing this you will identify the low hanging fruit – the easiest and quickest type of data you can move. We call this your “quick hit ROI”.

We find that home directory and desktop data is by far the easiest to move. Once that’s moved… go after your team/network shares.

Based on this model… that means 66% of your data is off your expensive NAS infrastructure. The cost savings start to add up.

Step 5: Migrate your data

There are a few ways to do this. Some clients prefer to use the DIY approach. This requires quite a bit of time, development, and actual “work” but they CAN successfully move this data using provisioning and migration API’s.

There is another method that works great and requires the use of special software. We found this requires little to no coding. It even keeps your permissions intact. This is especially effective and fast for moving home directories, team shares, SharePoint, and even non-sanctioned cloud accounts… i.e. Dropbox accounts!


SMB, mid-market and enterprise customers can all learn from this cost structure around home directories and network shares and can see monthly savings.

I’m watching clients follow this methodology leading to HUGE cost takeouts across Mid-Market and Enterprise clients.  I want to help you leverage technology to better service your customers and grow your bottom line!


When you have technology questions, who do you call?

If you need a second opinion or have questions, I’d love to connect.


Michael Spence has worked on the carrier side of the broadband cable industry as an account executive, sales manager, corporate trainer, performance coach, and technical trainer.  Michael credits his industry knowledge to the hundreds of brilliant engineers and network innovators he has been privileged to learn from.

  • Ethernet network design and management
  • RFP and Vendor management
  • Network hardware life-cycle management
  • Data Center and colocation consulting
  • IP Phone Service – SIP, VOIP
  • Telecom audits

What can a diverse team do for your business?

With good leadership, diverse teams set the stage for unforeseen growth and profitability.

I internalized a deep appreciation for diversity when I got involved with the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) at Buffalo State College during grad school. NCBI is rooted in an understanding of individual, community, and systemic change. NCBI leaders work with public and private organizations to further:

  • Cultural competence
  • Collaboration and partnerships
  • Effective relationships within and across group identities

Diversity appreciation helped me build bridges to learn from and connect with people in every aspect of my life.

Before having this appreciation, I was just like you. I heard dozens of brilliant people say “hire the brightest people to fill skill and knowledge gaps in your organization”.

Yet, everyone looked and acted the looked the same. Over the years I rarely saw this diverse team.  More often I find layered management with bureaucracy and biased hiring practices. ‘Good ol boy’ networks and offices run like frat houses. Head count metrics trumping the best hiring decisions. And worst of all, narcissistic managers who are threatened and insecure by others performance.

diversity - mind blown video

Click to view Mind Blowing diversity video

What can a diverse team do for your business?

Imagine this: It’s 8 am Monday morning. Several small teams are in virtual break out rooms collaborating and trouble shooting progress from the past week. At 9 am all global team members are online for a quick kick off . Cross functional leadership drives challenging questions, propose action items and refocus’ the groups attention on desired outcomes. Delegation of tasks seem effortless as people volunteer and offer suggestions. Engaged employees drive project execution throughout the day. User feedback is analyzed weekly to make informed improvements. Team members high five, showing customers appreciation and being proud of “kick ass” work! The office often caters lunch on Fridays to recognize goal achievement.

*When you get employee buy-in, you can quickly establish a routine and a culture that boosts team productivity exponentially.

I didn’t take full ownership until I experienced the benefits of a diverse team first hand. A diverse team of hard working, cross functional professionals can knock down walls, open doors, and help every member of their tribe grow with a multiplier effect.

Challenge to Consider: Group Think takes effect almost immediately in group settings. Group Think occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome.

Solution: Collect feedback and coach team members during 1 on 1’s. Share agenda before group meetings. Set clear expectations for each persons contribution. Frame and reinforce clear outcomes.

In my humble opinion, I owe much of my success to the diverse group of friends and colleagues that have helped me stretch my mind and my heart to appreciate people and spot opportunity with no boundaries.

How to start building a diverse team:

  • Get outside your comfort zone. Explore new cultures, markets, and skills. Stretch your mind and seek new adventures
  • Commit to lifelong learning. Learn from everyone, be curious, open minded and genuine
  • Be helpful and likable, and you will soon be a connector with a large network
  • Seek out experts, mentors, and advisers that you respect
  • Seek out meaningful experience that let people see your work

Leave your comment below: What is your experience with diverse teams?

I love my readers to share and engage in the conversation. Others connect with your comments. Share one of your lessons — good, bad, ugly, or an a-ha moment.


Michael Spence has been a student of self-help and professional development since first reading “The One Minute Manager,” back in 1995.” Serving as a father, teacher, professor, coach, sales leader, and entrepreneur, Michael shares his knowledge and experiences to help others succeed and collaborate with like minded people.

DOCSIS 3.1 vs. PON

This post has generated some great buzz on other platforms and is worth sharing again.

There is a perception that the only way broadband cable can compete with the likes of CenturyLink, Google Fiber, and others, is to adopt a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network architecture. Before accepting this perception as reality, one should first consider the networks of these competitors.

Legacy telephone networks were built with twisted-pair copper cable, which is approaching the hundred-year mark in some cases. Digital subscriber line (DSL) technology has enabled competitors with telephone company roots to provide high-speed Internet access over these copper legacy networks. Yet, DSL technology appears to be nearing its limits, and practical delivery of data rates that approach 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) is unachievable. Realizing this dilemma, Verizon began replacing their copper networks with FTTH over a decade ago; CenturyLink and other comparable companies have followed suit.  Google Fiber is building their networks from scratch, so choosing FTTH network architecture makes sense.

The common denominator among these competitors is their networks are obsolete or non-existent. There is no debate that an entire network built with fiber-optic cable is the way to go if you are building a network from scratch or replacing a legacy copper wire network. However, in addition to fiber-optic cable, FTTH architecture requires in-network installation of optical line terminators (OLT), optical distribution network (ODN) devices, and optical network units (ONU).

The hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) network architecture, used by broadband cable in conjunction with Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS), has many years of useful service left. Operators currently using DOCSIS 3.0 to provide high-speed Internet access have elements in place to provide downstream data rates of 1 Gbps. With the certification of DOCSIS 3.1 modems and cable modem termination systems (CMTS), downstream data rates over 10 Gbps are feasible. Each version of DOCSIS is compatible with previous versions. This compatibility means customers experience minimal disruption when a migration to the next version is necessary.

Conversion from HFC/DOCSIS network architecture to PON/FTTH architecture requires a “forklift” approach- the old network and its elements will have to be lifted out and replaced with the new network elements. This requires operating two parallel networks until all customers are successfully transferred to the new network. In addition to replacing the coaxial cable with fiber-optic cable, the CMTS will need to be replaced by an OLT and DOCSIS modems/gateways replaced by ONUs.

Any concern of DOCSIS becoming obsolete should be minimal.  DOCSIS was developed to leverage the flexibility of HFC networks.  Each version adds features and value that have enabled the broadband cable industry to be the leading provider of high-speed Internet access. Compared to switching to PON/FTTH, DOCSIS is less disruptive for customers and the expense to migrate to it is relatively incremental.


Michael Spence has been working on the carrier side of the broadband cable industry as an account executive, sales manager, corporate trainer, performance coach, and technical trainer.  Michael credits his industry knowledge to the hundreds of brilliant engineers and network innovators he has been privileged to learn from.