"Jobs and what you think about them"

The CareerPod will bring you conversations with interesting, articulate people talking about the work they do and the careers they are pursuing. They will be from all walks of life, in all kinds of jobs and at all levels of their profession or trade.

Some will be just starting out, others well along their journey and some finishing their careers and thinking about transitioning into an active retirement.

We will be talking with them about what it really means to work in those jobs.

What is needed just to enter the field, what is usually required to advance (ie the work schedules, additional training/ certification/ licenses, business travel or relocation, etc.)

They will share their thoughts on what made them successful, what they learned from those times when things did not go so well, how they decided upon if and when to change jobs and or companies and the role luck might have played in the overall arc of their career.

Finally, we’ll explore what was most satisfying about their life work how the field has changed overtime and what a career in that line of work can offer someone in terms of reaching their personal, professional and financial goals.

Listen to a short introduction from Fred Studley

Featured Podcast

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Career Services (Higher Education) – CP058

Gary talks with Ms. Karen Spizer, Director of Career Services Quincy Community College in Quincy MA. Karen shares how she leveraged her early career experience in Insurance and Event Planning into the role she has now. She explains what’s entailed in running a Career Services department at the collegiate level. Karen also talks about the significant resources (for researching and networking) that students can take advantage of; and the value that more experienced professionals, many now working in these Career Services departments, can offer students as they consider their first/next step after graduation.

Aviation Maintenance Technician – CP057

Gary talks with Robert Kelly about his career as an Aviation Systems Maintenance Technician (aka Airplane Mechanic). Bob recounts his Trade School education that culminated with a Certificate from East Coast Aero –Tech, a highly regarded technical academy for Aviation maintenance specialists. Bob shares his insights on the field and its evolution from Turbo-Props to jets. He discusses the proliferation and challenges of computer based flight and maintenance modules and interactions with the FAA. Finally he recalls the personal responsibility he always felt for the quality of his work given that passenger safety and flight-time availability were always hanging in the balance.

Technical Writing – CP056

Gary talks with Ms. Terry Abbate about her career as a Technical Writer. She shares how her undergraduate degree in English initially lead to an early career in Insurance/Banking; but she soon found herself doing network Services/IT. It became apparent to her and her manager that the best part of her work was her documentation and she was encouraged to get trained/certified as a Tech Writer. That led, professionally and financially, to a very rewarding career. Terry shares her insights into the day-to-day activities and responsibilities of a Tech Writer, the skills needed and how the role and work change as one moves from entry to mid to senior levels in the field.

Newspaper Journalist/Editor – CP055

Gary Wallrapp, a new member of the CareerPod team talks with Al Young about his career as a Sports Writer and editor for the Boston Globe. They discuss the skills and personal qualities essential for a successful career in journalism. Al talks about going from Sports to other topics or ‘sections of the paper’ and the learning curve that entailed, but also how he relied on his journalism fundamentals to be successful. Finally he shares thoughts on the role of editors in the newsroom environment. This is a candid look inside the world of journalism, from the ‘beat writer’ to the ‘desk editor’.

Finance (Dan Patrick) – CP054

Jim talks with Dan Patrick, a Finance executive. Dan talks about his willingness to explore several ‘majors’ in college and even transfer schools to find the ‘right-fit’ for him. Dan explains the difference between ‘Finance” and ‘Accounting’ , often not well understood by people outside the field. They discuss the skills/credentials needed to be successful the field(s) and what a typical day might look like. Dan also shares his thoughts on leadership and mentoring; what has been satisfying (and frustrating); and the role luck has played in his career. Finally, he talks about being aware of, and choosing, a career that you can be motivated by and hopefully passionate about; but also one that meets your financial responsibilities and lifestyle goals.

Medicine, (Concierge) Physician (Dr. William Goldberg) – CP053

Fred talks with Dr. Goldberg about how/why he chose medicine as his life’s work. They discuss the demands, challenges and rewards of being a doctor, the differences in healthcare resources and patient needs in various parts of the country, and the emergence of the “Concierge” model of physician practice. Dr. Goldberg comments on the inner-workings of the profession such as patient load (panel), the economics, staying current, technology’s impact and the toll constantly dealing with illness, injury and mortality can take on a practitioner.

Marketing, Consumer Packaged Goods (Frank Bergin) – CP052

Jim Scott talks with Frank Bergin, a consumer packaged goods marketing executive, who has a broad range of experiences from US Naval Officer, to marketing roles in a very large multi-national company and a much smaller entrepreneurial branded products organization. Frank discusses the cultural and management style differences among these organizations including the transfer of “military style command and control”, or not, into the corporate environment. Of note are Frank’s experiences in a highly resourced, matrixed environment where it takes time to get things done versus the smaller “all hands on deck” environment where decisions are made and implemented immediately.

Culinary Arts, Food Service (Dan Chase) – CP051

Fred talks with Dan Chase about his career as a Cook and Food Service manager. Dan has worked in several different restaurant and food service environments. He shares his thoughts on the skills needed to succeed in different settings, ranging from Fast-Food Chains to fine dining to Corporate Food Service establishments. He talks about the importance of confidence in your cooking skills, the differing levels of 'creativity' allowed in various restaurants and the challenges in managing employees, inventory and customers. A great look inside a field that is growing and full of creative and business opportunity.

Planful Career Management: Pro Football / IT / Pastor (Troy Barnett) – CP050

Fred talks with Troy Barnett about his interesting and non-traditional career path. Starting as a 'walk-on' football player for a Div1 college team, then as a 'walk-on' for a pro football team (New England Patriots) his early career was built on determination, persistence and hard work. He also had the foresight to prepare for 'life-after-football', and readied himself for a career in IT after his NFL career ended. Finally, Troy also serves as a Pastor in his community. He enthusiastically shares his insights on a career that is true to one's self, takes the long view; and has enabled him to provide for his family not only financially but as an example of integrity, commitment and hard work.

Computer Science (Karl Haviland) – CP049

Jim Scott, a new member of the CareerPod team, talks with Karl Haviland a computer scientist who has done, and managed, application development for a variety of industries. Karl talks about the range of industries he’s worked in and his current role as the leader on an “Applied Technologies” group for an energy sector company. He talks about the importance of being adaptable, staying current and working well in teams as keys to success. Karl also discusses several technical trends that have fundamentally changed the Computer Science field; and the importance of having a ‘holistic’ view of an organization to bring the best technical solution to a situation. Finally he shares his thoughts on organizational politics, idealism, being pragmatic and communicating well to non-technical stakeholders; things often challenging for the technical professional.

National Geographic Master Photographer (Michael Melford) – CP048

Fred Talks with Michael Melford, a highly accomplished photographer who spent a good portion of his career at National Geographic as a ‘Master Photographer’. His specialty is Landscape photography but his assignments for National Geographic, Time, Life Magazine and Travel & Leisure magazine among other publications; took him to all seven continents shooting all sorts of subjects in what is known as ‘Travel and Adventure’ photography. Mr. Melford shares his thoughts on patience, preparation, self-sufficiency and an artist’s eye for light and composition; among other things essential for a successful career in the competitive field of Travel Photography. A sample of Michael’s work can been found at:MichaelMelford.com As a complement to this fascinating episode.

Culinary Arts/Chef (Jim Neal) – CP047

Fred talks with Jim Neal about his career as a chef. They discuss how he started in the field, the importance of creativity as opposed to technique, the various areas of responsibility a chef has - from actually cooking to hiring help, ordering, managing inventories, budgeting, among other things. Jim also shares the most rewarding and frustrating aspects of the job; and finally, what his favorite meal is !

Sales/Marketing (Terry Tracey) – CP046

Fred talks with Mr. Tracey about a career in Sales and Marketing. They discuss what skills and personal qualities are important for success, what the learning curve is like and what types of challenges and rewards are possible. Terry also shares his thoughts on the differences in working for large, medium and small companies. Lastly, he talks about his transition from large companies to being part owner of his family's business.

Procurement/Purchasing (Bill Boodry) – CP045

Fred talks with Mr. Boodry about his career as a procurement/purchasing professional. They discuss Bill's broad experience across a number of very different industries; highlighting the 'transferrable' nature of procurement skills specifically and business/communication/networking skills more generally. Bill stresses the importance of continuous learning and fostering long term relationships, including college alumni ties, that can be essential to one's professional network.

Materials Planning/MRP, (Ed Scott) – CP044

Fred talks with Ed Scott about his career in Materials Planning, how/why he chose that professional, the various rewards/challenges in that line of work and the increasing impact of technology on the work. They also discuss the value of building relationships and 'influencing without power' in a function that has broad responsibilities yet often limited official authority.

Loss Prevention/Asset Protection, (Steve Ippolito) – CP043

Russell talks with Steve Ippolito about how/why he entered the Loss Prevention field. They discuss what it was, and now is, like to work 'security' in the retail environment. Steve shares his thoughts on the evolving nature of 'threats' and 'targets' in Loss Prevention; and how technology and social trends have impacted the 'in-store' and HQ based loss prevention professional. A great discussion for anyone wanting broader options for a career in Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice or Private Security.

Consulting/Executive Coaching, Board Membership (Anne DeFrancesco) – CP042

Fred talks with Ms.Defrancesco about her career, initially as an educator/administrator in the Public-School system, which she soon leveraged into a role as a Human Resources Development internal consultant/specialist within a large technology company. She shares how and why she later decided to start a private practice as an Executive Coach; and what it takes to make such a business/practice successful. Finally, they discuss Anne's role as a Board Member for a large insurance company, an especially important function in a regulated company/industry.

Real Estate Brokerage (Holly Chaney) – CP041

Fred talks with Ms Chaney about her career as a Real Estate Broker in Florida. They cover her early career, training, licensing and the persistent required to get established in a market. She explains the importance and benefit of getting a Broker's license; the pros and cons of working in a larger firm vs setting up your own business and the role technology has played in the evolution of the profession. Finally, she shares her thoughts on the 'coaching and counseling' often inherent in the realtor's role and relationship with their clients as they embark upon perhaps the biggest financial commitment a person/couple may make. An interesting 'deep dive' into the Real Estate profession.

Human Resources/Total Rewards (Tom Wilson) – CP040

Fred talks with Tom Wilson, a highly successful Compensation/Total Rewards consultant. They discuss how he navigated from a Training/Development early phase, to Total Rewards where he spent the majority of his career. Tom shares insights regarding why he moved from 'in-house' roles to consulting; and how to handle the varying revenue stream that comes from being in consulting, not to mention your own business. Finally, Tom shares his insights about marketing your business in a way that positions interactions with a prospective client as a problem-solving discussion as opposed to a sales presentation.

Hospitality/Fine Dining Server-Captain pt2 (Michael Pollack) – CP039

This is PART 2 of Kevin's conversation with Michael from CP038. They finished their discussion by covering other restaurant topics such as ambiance, specifically noise levels and lighting in restaurants and how they are both challenges and ways to craft ambiance. Michael shares his experience in places that 'Pooled' tips and places that didn't. Finally they talk about wine and BYOB practices, especially in the context of West coast vs East Coast (ie San Francisco vs Boston) fine dining establishments. A shorter but no less fascinating look into the role of Server/Captain in fine dining establishments.


The Art of Conversation
– in his 45 years on VFMT radio, Studs Terkel talked to the 20th century’s most interesting people. Studs Terkel also represents the inspiration behind the development of CareerPod. See details here of the reconstructed archives