The mission of Craft Your Portrait is to empower young adults to discover and develop the best of themselves, to build their self-awareness. With this self-awareness comes the confidence and personal satisfaction that is the heart of success in work and in life. My workshops focus on practical tools that enable young adults to identify and explore their own unique talents and strategically apply them to find their authentic niche.
Drawing from subject matter research and my own career experiences, professional development, and personal journey, I challenge young adults to assume control of their own development path and provide them with the tools and resources to get them on their way. With these tools, insights, and practical exercises students leave my workshops energized, excited, and empowered.
Meeting a challenge
“…many new entrants in the workforce are unemployed or forced to accept part-time jobs that pay less and do not make full use of their talents and potential. Educators can make a difference in these students' lives by inculcating self-awareness about who they are, the innate talents they possess and what they like to do.” --Sangeeta Bharadwaj Badal, 2016 Gallup Business Journal
I am a scientist by education and training. For me, science was an obvious career choice. It was the area in which I was most interested and accomplished. In high school, I used to drive my biology teacher crazy, peppering him with an endless stream of questions far beyond the scope of class. Science fed my curiosity and fired my imagination. So, I pursued a path that carried me through two degree programs and into a career in biotechnology.
I’ve worked in a variety of environments and cultures including academia, start-up biotech companies, and global corporations. I’ve worked on a range of fascinating projects with significant potential to benefit human health. Yet something was always missing. I found myself constantly waiting for the end of the work day and didn't understand why. "Look at this project I working on", I'd tell myself, "Look at what I'm creating, think of it's value!" It took me a really long time to come to terms with the realization that I simply didn't enjoy the work. It didn’t allow me to flex the full range of what I do naturally well. It didn't allow me an outlet to do what I had to do. Without that opportunity I felt constrained and frustrated.
So, I decided to change careers and became a certified project manager. My new role has allowed me to more fully deliver the best of myself and was better aligned with my own natural talents. Still, to be truly engaged, I needed more. I didn’t just need to manage projects. I needed to manage projects that mattered to me.
Throughout my life, my greatest joys have been in empowering others to achieve. In college, I tutored deaf students in math. As an industry professional, I created training programs to ensure successful implementation of new technologies. I have delivered presentations to elementary and middle school students in science and created a middle school Young Writers Conference as a venue for students to develop their creative writing skills.
The most powerful influencers in my life have been the people who helped me see the world from a totally new perspective while also helping me see and appreciate my own inherent strengths. That is what I strive to do in my workshops. I bring valuable tools and perspectives from the professional world and make them relevant to young adults in ways that empower them to find their own strengths within and direct their own path forward.