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What I Wish I Knew

What I Wish I Knew

By Education for Tomorrow Alliance
Welcome to the Education for Tomorrow Alliance, "What I Wish I Knew" podcast. This podcast is about the emerging leaders and the steps they are taking to reach the careers they have envisioned for themselves.

We are excited to invite you on this journey as we speak with young leaders from Montgomery County, Texas and beyond about their careers, the steps and advice that have helped them along the way and their dreams for their future.

Visit www.efta-us.org to learn more about Education for Tomorrow Alliance.
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Se. Ep. 13 "It's okay not to have the answers right now"
On our final episode of Season 2, I sit down with Kat Carson, freelance tour, event, and stage manager. Kat Carson is currently residing in Austin, Texas, and working for various theatre companies around town, as well as 9 to 5-ing as an executive assistant. She graduated from Texas State University: San Marcos with a BFA in Production and Performance with an emphasis in Stage Management. Her most recent credits include being the Stage Manager for Atlas Shrugged at Austin Shakespeare, Stage Manager for Champions of Magic: International Tour, and Tour Manager for Dinosaur World Live: U.S Tour. Kat shares about where her passion for the "live in-person events" came from and how she loves to be able to share the joy in the experiences with complete strangers. She also shares about how COVID and the last year have really changed her industry and how she hopes to be back on the road soon. Her "just say yes" motto has been the main thing that has prepared her for most for her career of traveling around the world, late nights, and working with different teams throughout different shows. Kat's passion for her work is very evident in this episode and I hope to one day be able to attend one of the shows that she is working with when it comes to town!  We hope that you guys enjoyed our Season 2 of the What I Wish I Knew Podcast and will join us next Fall as we kick off Season 3 with new guests, new questions, and new opportunities to learn from our local young professionals! 
33:57
May 26, 2021
S2. Ep. 12 "Don't let fear hold you back"
Today we sit down with Christi Shafer, External Relations and Communication Coordinator with REPSOL here in The Woodlands, TX. Christi graduated from Sam Houston State University with a Bachelors's Degree in Mass Communications and a Master's in History. Christi has been with REPSOL for 7 years. REPSOL is a global multi-energy provider that strives to drive the evolution towards a low-emissions energy model. Christi's interest in writing began at a young age. She grew up loving to read, write and tell stories. In college, she was part of Houstonian News and really found a love for uncovering stories and investigative journalism. Christi shares about the mentors and leaders that have helped push her along the way, how the experience has been the best thing that has prepared her for her career and how she struggled to find her identity when she switched from communications to public relations. I love what she said about "not letting fear hold you back."  Thank you to REPSOL for continuing to support Education for Tomorrow Alliance and our community! 
18:13
May 24, 2021
S2. Ep. 11 "Everything you do today is an investment for tomorrow"
On today's episode we chat with Meagan Ellsworth, reporter for The Courier of Montgomery County, Houston Community Newspapers, and the Houston Chronicle Media Group. Meagan covers a range of breaking news, governmental entities, and community events from tragedies to elections and celebrations. Read the stories at yourconroenews.com and chron.com. Prior to advertising, Meagan served as the administrative assistant at the Global Center for Journalism and Democracy at Sam Houston State University, which served as a journalism training center. She helped coordinate guest speaker events including ATF whistleblowers, a modern-day slavery survivor, and a wrongful conviction panel resulting in not only gain in knowledge and experience for her career in journalism, but a gain in perspective about other industries and issues. She also assisted with trainings led by GCJD and the Samir Kassir Foundation in Beirut, Lebanon; and, in the Philippines for the PH+SocialGood Summit and Forum, co-hosted with Rappler News Agency in Manila and Tacloban. Prior to GCJD Meagan, freelanced for Nonstop Tuning during Formula Drift and the Xtreme Drift Circuit Championship for automotive photography experience and also gained experiences as a sales consultant at CarMax in North Austin.  Meagan shares about her process of becoming a reporter, the stories she has covered, and the lessons she has learned along the way. Her big focus throughout this episode and her life is that "everything you do today is an investment for tomorrow." Grab a piece of paper and write that down! This statement is one that can applied to any field of work and should be written down and kept with you along your journey! Enjoy this episode. 
39:52
May 17, 2021
S2. Ep 10 "You are good enough, smart, strong and you are not alone"
On today's episode I talk with James H. Stilwell, Managing Partner and one of the Founders of Stilwell, Earl and Apostolakis, LLP, and a leader in our community. He has been practicing in Montgomery County, Texas for 26 years. He handles a wide-range of litigation matters, regularly prepares estate planning documents, and also helps clients with business transactions. He has been awarded the top rating for ability and ethics given by Martindale-Hubbel, a lawyer rating organization, and has received numerous other legal honors and recognitions. James also has an extensive background of service to our community, including having served as the Chairman of Leadership Montgomery County, the Chairman of the Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Vice President (and soon to be President) of The Woodlands Arts Council, as well as having served numerous other non-profits in and around Montgomery County, Texas. James regularly volunteers with Education for Tomorrow Alliance and always has interesting stories to tell from his life and career. James and I talk about why he decided to go to law school and pursue a career of helping people in both big and small firms. He shares that his greatest accomplishment has been representing a wide range of clients but specifically how he was able to represent a client in the Texas Supreme Court. If you are listening and have an interest in going to law school and becoming an attorney I highly recommend that you listen to this entire episode. James share some amazing stories about his cases and clients that I truly believe shares his passion for his work and some great examples of cases that local attorney's face each day. Enjoy today's episode!
39:21
April 19, 2021
S2. Ep. 9 "Look for those around you that are successful and learn from them"
Today I am joined by Matt Corley, Customer Service and Compliance Manager for the San Jacinto River Authority’s (SJRA) Utility Enterprise. Matt and I met last fall when we both were accepted and became part of the Leadership Montgomery Class of 2021.  Since 2010, his leadership, innovation, and environmental stewardship has supported SJRA’s public works services, essential to the welfare and quality of life of its customers. Matt’s career with SJRA has afforded him the ability to serve his hometown of Conroe, Texas, and surrounding areas. Matt holds a BBA and an MBA from Sam Houston State University. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing golf, watching documentaries, and serving at his church. Matt is a husband and father to two active girls and a member of First United Methodist Church (FUMC) in Conroe, where he and his wife serve as Sunday School Teachers. Matt also serves on the Board of Stewards at FUMC. Today Matt shares about how he made the decision to step away from college and the fire fighters academy to pursue the work that he love doing at the SJRA. Matt also shares about how he went back to school after working for a couple of years and completed his BBA and MBA while being a full-time employee, husband and new dad. Throughout this episode you can hear the passion behind the work that Matt does and I am excited to share it with you. Enjoy! Anyone wanting to take a tour or learn more about the San Jacinto River Authority can visit, https://www.sjra.net. 
27:01
April 12, 2021
S2. Ep 8 "Have confidence in your ability"
On today's episode I sit down with Josie Lewis, Director of Sales for Visit The Woodlands. After finally arriving in Texas to attend university, Josie is happy to call The Woodlands area her home of nearly 5 years. As Director of Sales, Josie focuses on working closely with meeting and event planners to ensure they have a seamless experience booking business in The Woodlands. Josie attends national and state tradeshows to represent Visit The Woodlands, develops sales FAM Events, coordinates engaging site tours, and organizes local partner educational events. Some of her favorite things about The Woodland is the amazing shopping, dining, and outdoor activities all within walking distance from our major hotels. Her favorite outdoor activity so far is setting up a picnic blanket in Town Green Park during a Pavilion concert to catch some date night worthy tunes. Get your pen and pad out for this one! Josie and I talk about how growing up abroad helped her decide to enter into the hospitality industry. She shares about how her education and certifications have helped her not only get her current and past jobs but also how they continue to be drivers for her to work hard. I love her advice to her high school self, "have confidence in your ability, you can do some much more than you think you can." This was good for me to hear as an adult so I hope that it resonates with you.  Enjoy this episode. 
38:47
April 5, 2021
S2. Ep. 7 "Be willing to learn along the way"
Angela Storseth-Cooper is the Senior Manager of Government Relations & Public Policy for The US Oncology Network/Mckesson where she represents community oncology practices throughout the United States by direct advocacy, political engagement, and policy analysis. Angela’s background consists of working for the business community at two Houston Area Chambers of Commerce as their Director of Government Relations, and the Texas House of Representatives as a Policy Advisor.  Angela is extremely passionate about her community, with a strong focus on women leadership and serves on several Boards: Leadership Montgomery County, Outstanding Women Networking Inspiring and Taking Charge- OWNIT, and the Montgomery Independent School District Education Foundation Board of Trustees. In 2019, Angela was recognized as a Trailblazer for the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce. Angela graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2011. She and her husband, Grant, live in Montgomery, Texas where he is a teacher and football coach. Angela and I discuss the importance of getting involved in things outside of the classroom, not being intimidated, and not being so hard on yourself. Enjoy this episode! 
34:10
March 22, 2021
S2: Episode 6: "Life is just getting started"
Russell Carter is a paramedic who has been with Montgomery County Hospital District for almost 4 years. In that time he has been involved in EMS recruiting, teaching and precepting, clinical competitions, tactical EMS, designing ambulances, and various other work projects. He is almost done with a bachelor's of science in emergency health sciences through the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and holds several specialty board certifications. He is passionate about out-of-hospital clinical practice, professional development, and general advancement of the EMS profession. On top of being a self-proclaimed (and peer supported) EMS nerd, he is a lucky husband and proud father of 2. Russell shares about how he had always wanted to go into the military but due to an issue on his medical records he was unable to join right out of high school. It was his father's health problems that helped him make the decision to go to EMT school and eventually become a paramedic. Russell shares stories about his experience as a paramedic, the things he has learned while on the job and how you have to be resilient in the journey. Thank you to the Montgomery County Hospital District for all that they do to serve our community!
46:03
March 3, 2021
S2: Ep. 5: "You only live once"
Before we jump into episode 5 of the What I Wish I Knew Podcast we wanted to acknowledge that over the last week our community has been through another trying time and that if we at EfTA can help with anything please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are so grateful to be part of a community that supports and helps others no matter what the circumstances are.  Now, into the episode! This week I sit down with Emefa Arnaout, Director of Patient Care at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center overseeing three departments (Pre-Anesthesia Clinic, Post-Surgery Department, and Joint Center).. Emefa was born in New York and raised in New Jersey. She completed her Bachelors of Science in Nursing in 2007 at Bloomfield College in NJ and relocated to Houston, Texas to work at Memorial Hermann, The Woodlands in 2008. Emefa went on to completed Masters in Nursing and Healthcare Administration in 2011 with University of Phoenix. She has two energetic sons, loves to travel and food. In her free time is used to spend time with family, adventures with the boys, or relaxing at home with a good movie, book, and sleep. Emefa shares about her experience being a nurse and how she has worked her way up to different leadership positions. As many of us know many nurses and other medical professionals have a heart for service and you tell that that is present in Emefa. We also discuss the importance of having mentors along the way, developing professional skills to help you in difficult situations and to experience every moment given to you. "You only live once," is her advice to our listeners and I hope that you enjoy this episode. 
22:59
February 25, 2021
S2: Ep: 4 “Always look out for adventure"
If you are a note taker, get your pen and paper ready for this episode! On today’s episode I chat with Lucy Gomez, Vice President of Programs and Operations at Interfaith of The Woodlands. Lucy has worked at Interfaith since 2005 in Family Services and most recently held the position of Director of Programs and Services. Lucy has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Anthropology from The University of Texas at San Antonio and a Master’s degree in International Relations from The University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.  Lucy shares about her education decisions, her experience and advice for living and studying abroad and what it means to her to be continuing the legacy of service while at Interfaith. If you are listening and have a desire to study abroad or work in an area of service towards other this is another episode I encourage you to listen to all of the way through.  I love Lucy's three hashtags that she shares towards the end of the episode. #servantleader #inspire #excellence  Interfaith of The Woodlands is a non-profit social service agency providing numerous programs and services to meet the needs of The Woodlands and the surrounding area. 
29:31
February 8, 2021
S2: E3: "No one will love you less if you are not perfect"
EfTA President, Monica Bomkamp Enia here! Today's episode is a fun one! I have the chance to sit down with the What I Wish I Knew podcast host, Corinne Coulter, Program Director at Education for Tomorrow Alliance! Corinne is typically the facilitator of this podcast and our career panels so having her on this side of the mic is a special treat! Corinne graduated from Conroe High School in 2008 and went on to earn her Bachelors degree from Abilene Christian University. Corinne has spent the last three years with EfTA creating meaningful opportunities for students just like you. In today's session you will hear about how she has figured out where she is supposed to be and where she feels like she is contributing and can shine. She talks about the importance of finding the people who will encourage you and support you along the way. As a recovering people pleaser she shares the important message on how no one will love you less if you are not perfect.  We hope that you enjoy this episode and hearing from the person behind the podcast! 
51:10
February 1, 2021
S2: Episode 2: "Push yourself out of your comfort zone."
On today's episode we talk with Lauren Lothringer, Community Relations Director at Planet Ford | Lincoln in Spring, Texas. Lauren was so much fun and easy to talk to! Lauren Lothringer, 1-part Community Relations Director, 1-part Event Consultant, 1-part Dog Mom, and the most extroverted introvert you will ever meet (self-proclaimed). Lauren received a degree from Texas A&M University and has spent the last 5 years of her career learning the ins and outs of the events and hospitality industry when she earned a certification in Luxury Sales & Service Foundations from The Ritz Carlton Bacara – Santa Barbara. Recently she accepted her current position as Community Relations Director with Planet Ford | Lincoln in her hometown of Spring, Texas where her time is spent connecting with those within the community, attending local events, and giving back as often as she can. We are honored to called Planet Ford | Lincoln an EfTA sponsor.  Lauren shares all about her experience selecting Texas A&M University, the importance of having a "plan B" and having hands on experiences to help prepare for future careers. She had some great takeaways about caring for yourself and pushing yourself of out your comfort zone that I hope you "keep in your back pocket" for times when you feel uncertain about where you are, where you are going and who you want to be.    
46:44
January 25, 2021
Season 2: Episode 1: "Be the best that you can be"
Happy New Year and welcome to Season 2 on the What I Wish I Knew Podcast! On today's episode I sit down with Lt. Col. Chris McMartin or Col. Mac as his cadets call him. Lt. Col. McMArtin is a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and currently a Junior ROTC Instructor at The Woodlands High School. While on active duty, Chris completed tours of duty as a navigator on C-141 and C-130 aircraft, an instructor at the navigator training school, an Operations Director for mobility operations at a US base in the Middle East, and an assistant professor at the US Army Command and General Staff College. Chris grew up in Oklahoma but has called Texas his home since 1997. This is a great episode for anyone out there that thinks that they want to enter into military service. While Lt. Col. McMartin spent 20 years in the Air Force he speaks about the different branches of military, the different steps and ways to enter into service, what it is like while on active duty and much more. We hope that you enjoy this episode.  We would love your feedback on who you would like to hear from this season. If you have a specific career or young professional that we can share with you please submit an email to office@efta-us.org with you interests.  
58:11
January 11, 2021
Episode 11: "Don't let people tell you you can't do something”
On today’s episode I chat with Sydney Walker. Sydney is a recent Doctorate of Chiropractic graduate from the Texas Chiropractic College and newest member of Spinal Care Chiropractic Center in The Woodlands, TX. Sydney gradated from Texas A & M University in 2016 where she went on to the Texas Chiropractic College in Pasadena, Texas. Sydney talks about the importance of not letting people tell you that you can't do something and why she chose to switch her major during her Junior year of college. She also shares about how she was consumed by getting good grades and lost site of what she truly wanted which was to be able to take care of people. Sydney is a great example of someone choosing to follow their passion and I hope that you are able to hear that in our conversation!  We will be taking a short break for the holiday season and will resume with Season 2 on January 11! We wish you a happy and safe holiday season! 
24:21
December 14, 2020
Episode 10: "Don't hold on so tightly"
Today I sit down with Ellie Pfahl. Ellie is the Marketing Manager at Strike, a leading provider of energy infrastructure solutions across the United States. Ellie is responsible for the day-to-day marketing activities for Strike and its family of six companies including creating collateral, building and maintaining websites, capturing photography and shooting video. Her favorite projects include storytelling complex projects and showcasing employees. Ellie and I talk not only about her journey to where she is now but we also discuss the importance of adding to your skill set, learning how to negotiate and her advice to not hold on so tightly was something that everyone needs to hear! At the end of the podcast Ellie and I talk about social media and how it ever changing with a lot of aspects that we don't fully understand. So if you are listening and are an expert on all things social media send us an email to office@efta-us.org with your tips and tricks and maybe you will be featured on an upcoming episode to help out us "old folks!"
28:51
December 7, 2020
Episode 9: "Stay humble and ask for help"
We hope our United States listeners had a wonderful Thanksgiving break! On today's episode of the What I Wish I Knew Podcast I sit down with Jeff Livarchik, Cyclohexane Product Manager at Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP. Jeff graduated from Purdue University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering, and began his career at Chevron Phillips Chemical Company as a Process Engineer at the Pasadena Plastics Complex. After 5 years in Pasadena, Jeff moved to The Woodlands to work as an Engineering Polymers Business Analyst at their headquarters. In 2015, Jeff received his Masters of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business. In his current role as Cyclohexane Product Manager, he is responsible for maintaining relationships with customers, negotiating contracts, coordinating production rates at the plant and managing the logistics that deliver the product to the customer. Jeff and I talk about the importance of internships, having perseverance and taking every opportunity that is presented to you. 
23:32
November 30, 2020
Episode 8: "Take advantage of every opportunity"
If you are a listener and have a dream of becoming a coach this episode is for you! On today's episode I sit down with one of my childhood friends, Britni Coselli, high school basketball coach, teacher and new mom! Britni graduated from Conroe High School where she went on to play basketball and soccer at Sam Houston State University. Britni played four years of basketball at SHSU, was a three time Academic All-Southland Conference team member and became a member of 1,000 point club by her Junior year. Britni also spent 7 years coaching girls basketball in Montgomery County before she and her husband welcome their first son this summer.  Britni and I not only reminisce about "the good old days" but we talk about the importance of embracing moments, trusting in God's plan, and getting out of your comfort zone. 
39:07
November 23, 2020
Episode 7: "Don't forget to dream"
On today's episode I sent down with Jillian Diffee. Jillian is an interior designer with DLR Group, a global integrated design firm. She focuses primarily on K-12 education design. As someone who is passionate about the connection between humans and their environment, she designs to the fact that the physical environment has a massive effect on mental and emotional well-being. Jillian’s goal on each project is to tailor unique solutions in the built environment that support the total well-being of all inhabitants and translate her client’s passions and visions into reality.  This episode was so inspiring to record! Jillian has a huge heart to serve others and the way she is doing that through her career was so encouraging to hear. She talks about the importance of find mentors to pour into your life and to not stop dreaming. Jillian shares a great story about her greatest challenge was to have confidence and to believe that she has "something to bring to table despite her age." 
32:22
November 16, 2020
Episode 6: "Don't let others decide your path for you"
Today in the EfTA What I Wish I Knew podcast, I sit down with Cameron Cruise from 5Point Credit Union in Montgomery County. Cameron is the Community Development Coordinator for 5Point Credit Union and focuses on providing financial literacy programs for local Junior and Senior High School Students.  Cameron shares about she has found a love for working with students on financial literacy,  how she managed playing ports and do other extracurriculars in college and that you should never let other decide your path for you. 
19:46
November 9, 2020
Episode 5: "It all works out"
On today's episode Corinne spoke with Amanda Poole, Manager of Canopy at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center. Canopy is the first-of-its-kind cancer survivorship center in Montgomery County, offering a wide variety of programs and services to address the emotional, physical and social needs of those touched by cancer. Amanda shares about opening and selling her own business, working to build a community in Zambia and how she used her network to land the job of helping to build Canopy from the ground up. 
33:40
November 2, 2020
Episode 4: "Create the life that you want"
On today's episode we are talking with Zach Richmond and Christina Harughty from the Richmond Realty Group RE/MAX The Woodlands and Spring.  Zach and Christina were so much fun to talk to. Zach is the co-founder of the Richmond Realty Group and Christina is a new realtor that joined his team this summer. This episode is filled with stories about how Zach and Christina made the decision to switch to real estate. They talk about the importance of building relationships, being able to adapt to change, and creating the life that you want and deserve.  Thank you to The John Cooper School for sponsoring this episode! Learn more about Education for Tomorrow Alliance at www. efta-us.org. Submit questions to office@efta-us.org. 
43:11
October 26, 2020
Episode 3: "Do not limit yourself"
Today Corinne sits down with Dr. Emily Sanders, MD. Dr. Sanders was born and raised in Conroe, Texas and graduated from Conroe High School in 2010. She then attended Rice University where she graduated with majors in Biochemistry, Evolutionary Biology and Sociology. She then went on to complete medical school at Texas A&M College of Medicine and is now finishing her final year of residency in Internal Medicine at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She will be going on to complete further medical training in the field of Pulmonology and Critical Care Medicine. In this episode Dr. Sanders talks about the importance of not limiting yourself to one career or education box. She also talks about what it is like to go through medical school and the long road that comes with that as well as the day that she had a patient introduce her as "their doctor." This was such a fun and inspiring interview and will be very beneficial for listeners out there that have a dream of perusing medicine as a career.  
33:43
October 19, 2020
Episode 2: "Put yourself in situations to succeed"
Today Corinne had a chance to sit down with Conroe High School Grad, Nick Arbuckle. Nick is a touring musician currently living in Nashville, TN and as played all over the world and 48 of the 50 U.S. States. Nick is also a member of Kid Politics, a pop rock trio who in March of 2020 signed a record deal with Verge Records. They have released two singles, "Free" and "Cool About It" with a full length record releasing in 2021!  Nick has had the opportunity to play along side award winning artist including: Shenandoah, Kelsea Ballerini, Devin Dawson, William Michael Morgan and many more. In this episode Nick talked about the importance of putting yourself in situations to succeed, having perseverance and patience and learning how turn a "no" answer into a learning opportunity. 
34:18
October 12, 2020
Episode 1: "Be the hero of your own journey"
Today on our first episode of the What I Wish I Knew Podcast Corinne sits down with David Deveau, Financial Advisor with Edward Jones. David talks about the different levels of education and careers that he has had in his life, the importance of finding someone that will help challenge but also celebrate you and to be the hero of your own journey.   Today's episode is sponsored by The John Cooper School. 
38:18
October 2, 2020