How to become a Mentor or Mentee

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Looking for Mentorship in your career or in life? Want to become a mentor or a mentee? Interested in joining a mentorship program? Keep reading to get tips from an experienced Mentor and learn about how to find a mentorship program near you.

January is NATIONAL MENTORING MONTH aka #NationalMentoringMonth

In the article to follow we are sharing our experience with different mentorship programs. You may not realize it, but you could be a mentor or mentee for someone. Curious?

Quote for a Mentor or Mentee from Ben Franklin : "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn." Ben Franklin
We love Ben Franklin quotes.

Yep, I said it. Anyone can become a mentor or a mentee.

Both Mentors & Mentees are people to admire and respect. Mentees and Mentors both have experiences in life and careers that can be shared and benefit others. I have participated in quite a few different mentoring programs, and know that when done right, the mentor/mentee relationship can be a mutually beneficial learning experience.

That’s right. I said it. I’ll say it again for the people in the back.

The Mentor AND the Mentee can BOTH learn from the other’s experiences, in career and life.

I have been involved with two different types of mentoring programs, one focuses on Career mentorship and the second is personal/community mentorship. As a participant in both types of programs, the personal mentorship was community based and structured like a “Big Brother or Big Sister” program. In this program I loved to plan visits museums, and parks and try new activities or explore new neighborhoods with my mentee/s. Many things I took for granted as an adult, were new to my youth/community mentees. Along with our discussions, I learned that they found our outings an adventure in ways I could never have predicted.

Mentors were enlisted to share experiences and interests with pre-teen/teenager youth. The idea is to have them experience new things in the “world” outside their bubble of teenage existence. It can be incredible to just talk about the new experience and realize how excited, nervous, or (insert other emotion) you both are, because you are experiencing or learning something new.

Lessons from a mentEE

Although mentoring programs usually will have a focus on one aspect Professional or Personal, many times, in each program there will be crossover between professional and personal conversations.

We think that is how Michelle Obama probably leans into her mentoring, so we do too. We believe mentors and mentees should be fine with sharing both professional and personal stories with each other.

For this article, we are focusing on helping you explore where to find a professional mentoring program. We have been participating with the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce, as a volunteer mentor. The program is called the Young Professionals Network, Executive Mentorship Program. The new program kicks off every January. You can learn more about the Capital Region Chamber programs and apply on the chamber website.

Why am I a mentor?

1) I wish I had an executive mentor when I was starting my career and learning the advertising & communications business.

2) Volunteering as a #mentor is a great way to share, learn and grow.

Executive Mentor with The Capital Region Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Network, YPN since 2020 logo Mentor, Mentee, Mentorship, Mentoring
Executive Mentor with The Capital Region Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Network, YPN since 2020

I feel a great affinity to the topic of mentoring. I can tell you that some of my deepest and most trusted relationships were formed in these types of connections. Some came in formal programs, while many were informal links & relationships that developed organically.

Where do you start with a Mentorship?

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. Arthur Ashe. great tip on Mentoring, becoming a mentor, mentee or joining a mentorship program.
Arthur Ashe was a mentor and role model for many people. Including this author.

Tips for finding a mentoring program near you…

  • Look up programs with your local Chamber of Commerce
  • Ask a librarian at your local library
  • Check with your Alumni office to see if your College or University offers a program
  • Talk to your manager or HR manager at work

Not interested in participating in an actual Mentoring program… or do you want something less formal?

  • Find someone you know and admire and ask them if they would be willing to have coffee with you and chat about their career path
  • if this works for you, you can plan to do this once a quarter with different people

Those who know me, know I love to #Learn I especially enjoy hearing from different people about how the ended up with the career/role they have. I find it fascinating to ask questions and learn about people, here are some good starter questions for a mentor/mentee relationship.

  • How does your family life and growing up with parents/siblings/others influence your career path?
  • Tell me about different career experiences, what was your first job? what did you Love (and hate) about it?
  • How has your education, sports, family, role models, and/or other interactions led you to work roles and careers?
  • How did you get started with this career and how did you end up here?

Want to learn more? We have more Mentor/Mentee resources you can Read, Listen to, and watch…

Below are some of the podcasts I have really enjoyed that might inspire you.

We agree with Adam Grant and believe that every office needs a “no a$$hole rule”

Take a listen to WorkLife with Adam Grant, where ever you listen to podcasts.

Still interested in learning more?

You don’t always need to read or listen…perhaps you will enjoy watching and learning from the Rohit Bhargava of Non-Obvious Nation, and the Beyond Diversity Summit, use the QR codes to get to each seminar, or if you want to browse all of the offerings from the summit, you can check it out with the link below:


We’ve got a few more posts you may enjoy! During the beginning of 2020 we hired our (at the time) 14 year old nephew as an #intern.

#TheIntern wrote two blog posts when he was interning for us. One was about skimping on sleep to “making bank” and the other was how it was to be a teenager during “tough times, like a global pandemic”

Because of the success of #TheIntern we ended up hiring #NewIntern a 10 year old cousin of #theIntern who shared his thoughts on “SharkWeek” and #DishWashing in his blog post.

#LEARN #Laugh #Teach #Dream #Albany #NYCapitalRegion

#happyentreprenuer #advertisinglife #personalbranding #authenticity

About Me

Kirsten has been a landscaper, a lifeguard and a liquor store clerk. An entrepreneur at heart, her early paychecks came from various roles, including babysitter, pachysandra broker, pet-sitter, cashier, receptionist and office clerk. After almost 30 years living/working in NYC, in 2019 Voege moved to the 518. The 518 is the Capital Region of NY state, and includes Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Saratoga counties. The Nielsen DMA is Albany-Schenectady-Troy (#57) with a population of more than 1.2MM people. (IYKYK)


The consultancy Kirated Communications provides strategic marketing and business consulting. Since its founding, Kirated has been working with companies in the real estate, financial services, technology, entertainment, SaaS, healthcare and auto industries. Founded by Kirsten Voege who has led marketing & media for many well known consumer brands, including, Amazon, American Express, Anthem, Bacardi, Eli Lilly, Intuit, J&J, L’Oreal, Merck, Match, Nordic Track, Quicken Loans, Verizon and Zillow.

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A Fractional Chief Marketing Officer and CMO for Hire are two ways of saying the same thing. Why your organization may need a CMO for hire….

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We’ve had a few questions recently from people asking about the role of a CMO, CMO for Hire, and Fractional CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) so….. we are sharing more info here.

Okay, here are some FAQs about working with a CMO for Hire.

CMO is an acronym for Chief Marketing Officer The CMO is the highest level employee in the marketing department at a company. A CMO oversees all aspects of marketing and works closely with the rest of the c-suite executives to promote the company services or products.

What is a Fractional Chief Marketing Officer, or Fractional CMO?

What does a Fractional CMO or CMO for Hire do?

Why do organizations need a CMO for Hire?

How much does a CMO for Hire cost when compared to a full time CMO?

CMO is an acronym for Chief Marketing Officer. The CMO is the highest level employee in the marketing department at a company. A CMO oversees all aspects of marketing and works closely with the rest of the c-suite executives to promote the company services or products.
CMO is an acronym for Chief Marketing Officer. The CMO is the highest level employee in the marketing department at a company. A CMO oversees all aspects of marketing and works closely with the rest of the c-suite executives to promote the company services or products.

What is a fractional CMO?

fractional CMO is a marketing executive hired by an organization that helps with customer acquisition, sales development and company growth. The hiring company gets marketing executive experience and leadership without the full-time cost of hiring a CMO. 

Is a fractional CMO the same thing as a CMO for hire?

According to Forbes, a fractional CMO is “a marketer who works with businesses for a fixed amount of time in a given month, often just a handful of hours.”

IS a CMO for Hire the same as Fractional CMO? YES
IS a CMO for Hire the same as Fractional CMO?

At KIRated Communications, our CMO for Hire services equate to a fractional CMO. For a monthly retainer, we offer a set amount of hours per month in return for marketing campaign development and oversight.  


What are three key things a CMO for hire does for an organization?

    • Develops strategies to support a brand and achieve company goals

Continue reading “A Fractional Chief Marketing Officer and CMO for Hire are two ways of saying the same thing. Why your organization may need a CMO for hire….”


The Top Podcasts; Top Twenty Pods In My Queue

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In honor of #InternationalPodcastDay I wanted to let you all know….I’m an avid podcast listener. So, today I am sharing the top Twenty Podcasts in my queue.

Today I am sharing my Top 20 #PODS.

TOP Podcasts Top twenty Podcasts artwork
TOP Podcasts Top twenty Podcasts

These are my TOP Podcasts. My go-to Pods. The ones I cannot wait to listen to. They auto-download whenever there is a new episode. And as a result I am always ready to plug in with a new pod. In fact, I look forward to listening to a fave pod whenever I’m on the road. These TOP 20 Pods have been sorted and recapped for your convenience. I am certain you will find one you like. Most importantly you will find one for every type of road trip or commute.

First things first, why listen to a podcast?

When I started listening to Pods, it was back in the day…I was listening on an iphone3 with wired headphones. Most days I was listening during my commute to/from the office. In those days my commute consisted of the NYC subway, Metro North railroad or a city bus (depending on the office).

Other days I listened to my top twenty podcasts on my walks in Central Park.

If I wasn’t on public transit or walking, I really didn’t listen to any pods.

Fast forward to 2019.

I bought a CAR. (beep beep) So, I was taking lots of road trips and planning my move out of NYC.  In other words, I was driving a lot, scouting out locations in the 518, and taking road trips to visit friends near and far. It was on one of those early road trips I re-discovered my love for pods.   

Anyway, who has time to figure out which are the best podcasts?

We know, everybody’s busy… for instance, we know you don’t have time to weed through all the possible podcasts that are out there. Who has time for that? First, you have to find something. Then you have to dedicate more time to listen to a few episodes and to see if you like the podcast. Certainly, don’t waste your time. Because, by the way, there are over two million podcasts with over 48 million episodes.

We know. It can be so disappointing to try out a new pod, and end up not enjoying it. Sometimes it’s the host, the topic, or something else, like an annoying sidekick. And everyone knows an annoying sidekick is the worst. After that you realize, jeez, what a waste of time! Guess what you don’t have to do any of that! We have done all the screening and selecting for you! Now you will have your own top podcast list.

V is for Variety….Variety is an important factor considered in the top podcasts list

If you are like me, the type of pod you listen to will depend on your mood and the type of day/week you are having. Because every day is different. One day you may want to hear some takes on news of the day. Another day you may decide it is a great day to learn from entrepreneurs, executives and inventors. For instance, on another day, maybe you want to tune in to hear athletes & entertainers. And finally, on another day you may just want to hear funny stories and laugh along with Conan or Dana. 

READY to find out my top podcasts?

TOP Podcasts Top twenty Podcasts the graphic

Hey! We are not done yet, but are just getting started sharing about our top podcasts…keep scrolling for tips on which episodes to start with and links to some fave episodes…

Please note: Beware of spicy language. When I have a guest in my car I make them aware of that, so wanted to let you know too! Clicking on the underlined show titles will bring you to the exact podcast episode I am highlighting. The QR codes will bring you to the podcast show page.
Important to note:

Here we go… the detailed show information for the top podcasts. Sharing suggested episodes and listening tips. Therefore, let it be known, you can take a 5 minute, a 55 minute or a 5 hour pod break.

Short on time? Check out our Good for the Subway Top Podcasts Pod Picks

Everybody’s busy…think you don’t have time? Guess what! You may have a little bit of time to listen running errands, on your afternoon coffee run, or on a short walk or drive. Or most certainly, maybe you just need a quick unplug from the day? So, yep. We’ve got some top podcast suggestions for you!

These are our Good for the Subway Picks.

TOP Podcast Ear Hustle

Interesting, honest, sometimes funny, always real, this podcast is hosted by Earlonne Woods and San Quentin volunteer Nigel Poor. 

Hear about the realities of life inside prison. This pod focuses on the characters in and around San Quentin in San Fran’s Bay Area.

It is a series, so start listening from episode 1 here.

TOP Podcast Archewell Audio

Archewell is the podcast of Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex. Listen and swoon.


We know Harry and Meghan are busy, but we await more eps!

Note: at the time of publication there are only two eps. One is an intro, so check the second longer episode by clicking here.

TOP Podcast MINTEL Little Conversation
PODCAST: Mintel- Little Conversation with QR Code TOP PODCASTS

Mintel is a market intelligence agency, experts discuss fresh ideas and new perspectives on how consumers consume.

I really enjoyed Patents: A Crystal Ball for Brands and Marketers, but also recommend starting with ep 70 The Future of Cities.

TOP Podcast Renegades: Born in the USA

Renegades is a podcast with conversations between President Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen. They talk music, influence, life and dreams.

PODCAST: Renegades: Born in The USA with QR CODE TOP PODCASTS

Oh, Bruce also talks about songs he’s written and in some episodes they even sing together. So, start listening with the Money & The American Dream episode and you will be hooked.

TOP Podcast The Michelle Obama Podcast
PODCAST: The Michelle Obama Podcast with QR CODE TOP PODCASTS

Really this needs no introduction. Michelle is amazing. Above all, I could listen to her all day.

So, I recommend you start with the Working Women & Importance of Mentorship episodes. After that you are on your own. Because the episodes are all top podcasts.

TOP Podcast The Corp with Alex Rodriguez and Barstool Big Cat

Best known as World Series champion and NY Yankee #13, most importantly for this conversation, A-Rod is also an entrepreneur and investor. A-Rod is joined by Dan “Big Cat” Katz from Barstool sports Pardon My Take (PMT). During this series they talk to industry leaders, sports legends, and entrepreneurs and dive deep into the keys to their success.

QR Code for The Corp with Alex Rodriguez & Barstool Big Cat TOP PODCASTS

Certainly, anyone who knows a caramel macchiato is different than a caramel latte also knows if they want a Grande or a Venti. In other words, this person is a SBUX fan. If you knew what that meant before I added SBUX ticker, for you, I recommend the Howard Schultz episode.

Next, check out the Stephanie McMahon episode. Maybe I loved it because I met her and her hubby Triple H back in the day at a WWE event? Either way, you can hear Stephanie talk with A-Rod and Big Cat and the WWE here.

Certainly if you were a fan of Lauren perfume in the 80’s you are going to want to hear what Dylan Lauren, daughter of Ralph Lauren is up to these days. You can do that here.

Ready to settle in for a longer time? Check out Good for the Car or Walk Pod Picks and Pods Loved by Teenagers to Octogenarians & everyone in between….. Top Podcasts

Below are our Good for the Car or Walk Pod Picks.

You may have longer car ride or commute coming up…. Don’t worry we have suggestions for times when you will be listening to pods for a long time too! When I’m on a long road trip I like to change it up. Sometimes I listen to a series of episodes from the same pod. However, other times, I may listen to a few different pods.

TOP Podcast Token CEO

Erika Nardini the CEO of Barstool Sports talks about current news to business strategy and chats with guests from the boardroom to the locker room.

Boardrooms and locker rooms have a few things in common. One of them, might be spicy language. So, only listen if you are ready for some F bombs.

Interested in Fashion? Check out the ep where Erika chats with fashion designer and entrepreneur Rebecca Minkoff.

Interested in BadA$$ #entrepreneurs? Curious to hear more from someone who is friends with Snoop Dog and business partners with Michael Strahan? In We Only F*ck with Hall of Famers Erika chats with a NYC pal of mine from back in the day, Con Schwartz of SMAC Entertainment.

TOP Podcast Stay Tuned with Preet

Stay Tuned with Preet. Preet Bharara is formers US Attorney of the Southern District of NY. In addition, he is a sought after guest by media outlets. Above all he breaks down legal topics in the news. In this podcast Preet talks to thought leaders about power, policy and justice.

PODCAST: Stay Tuned with Preet with QR Code TOP PODCASTS

Side note: when Preet was USA of SDNY he sent me a letter thanking me for serving on a Federal Grand Jury. I have it framed. It was 6 months of my life I won’t get back.

Want to know the episode that got me hooked? Well here you go. It is when Preet reads a letter he wrote about the excitement he had about Kamala Harris being on the Dem ticket as a candidate.

TOP Podcast Just B with Bethenny Frankel
Podcast: Just B with Bethenny FRANKEL QR CODE TOP PODCASTS

Just B with Bethenny is a podcast hosted by #entrepreneur #philanthropist #housewife #Bravolebrity and native NY’er Bethenny Frankel.

Two great eps to start with follow….

First, start with ep 15 where Bethenny chats with John Paul DeJoria He is the founder of Paul Mitchell & Patron tequila.

And secondly try the episode where B chats with Suzanne Somers about being an entrepreneur and navigating Hollywood.

TOP Podcast WorkLife with Adam Grant

WorkLife with Adam Grant. Grant is an organizational psychologist, Wharton professor, and Ted Talk podcast host. Also, Grant is the author of Originals and Think Again.

PODCAST: WorkLife with Adam Grant with QR CODE TOP PODCASTS

Firstly, get started with WorkLife by listening to this ep about how to deal with jerks at work called The Office without A$$holes.

After that take a listen to this ep titled How to Build an Inclusive Workplace, and you will have a solid idea of why I am such a fan. Happy Listening!

TOP Podcast The Prof G Show with Scott Galloway
PODCAST: The Prof G Pod with Scott Galloway with QR CODE TOP PODCASTS

The Prof G Pod with Scott Galloway. Galloway is an entrepreneur, NYU Professor and author who wrote the bestselling book, The Algebra of Happiness.

Start listening with The Algebra of Wealth episode and after that, follow up with the May office hours episode where Scott shares his views on income inequality, executive MBAs and the future of smart homes.

Want more? You can check out a brief (to clarify, 10 minute) clip of Galloway talking abut happiness here on YouTube

TOP Podcast The HBR Ideacast

The HBR Ideacast is a weekly podcast from The Harvard Business Review that features leading thinkers in business and management.

Podcast: The HBR Ideacast with QR Code TOP PODCASTS

First, start with Understanding the Venture Capital Gender Gap

Then, listen to How to Talk Yourself Up Without Turning People Off

Finally, check out Hybrid Work is Here to Stay

TOP Podcast WSJ Secrets of Wealthy Women
Podcast: WSJ Secrets of Wealthy Women with QR Code TOP PODCASTS

This podcast is a Wall St Journal production that features successful female entrepreneurs, executives, and money savvy experts. They talk how to get ahead, reach your goals and achieve professional success.

Looking for advice from another entrepreneur? Hit play for Toni Ko: On the Personal Sacrifices of Entrepreneurship.

After that, check out Finding Confidence: The Secret to Speaking Up Love that? Check!

And, if you are interested in growing your stash of cash….check out Managing Your Money During Coronavirus

TOP Podcast Sway with Kara Swisher

Sway is a NY Times Opinion podcast hosted by Kara Swisher. Most importantly, Swisher is a silicon valley journalist and author. Swisher is known for wearing dark aviator sunglasses even while indoors, explaining “I have light sensitivity a little; I just don’t like bright lights.”

Podcast: Sway with Kara Swisher with QR Code TOP PODCASTS

Check out Women’s Basketball is on the Rise. Is Anyone Paying Attention? Listen as Cathy Engelbert the WNBA Commissioner and Swisher talk about player compensation, pay inequity & sports betting.

Below are our Pods Loved by Teenagers to Octogenarians & Everyone in Between….. Picks.

TOP Podcast Suiting Up with Paul Rabil

Paul Rabil is a professional athlete who co-founded the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL). Suiting Up is an interview style show where Rabil dives deep with guests about sports and business, discussing ideas and inspiration with well-known and not so well known guests.

Podcast: Suiting Up with Paul Rabil with QR CODE TOP PODCASTS

It is so hard for me to chose just a few eps to recommend from Suiting Up. I love them all!

So, start at the first episode of Suiting Up. This first episode is a rare 1:1 with the NFL Patriots Coach Bill Belichick a man of few words. Rabil loves that Belichick is CEO of his team, and they dive deep into the overlapping worlds of professional athletes and business and the attitude and focus needed to perform at a high level.

The second recommendation is an episode with USA Soccer Champion and author Julie Foudy.

Lastly on the Rabil recommendation, another great episode is a chat with organizational psychologist, author and professor Adam Grant (yep I love AG as a guest too!)

TOP Podcast Guy Kawasaki’s Remarkable People
PODCAST: Remarkable People with Guy Kawasaki with QR Code TOP PODCASTS

Kawasaki is an author, speaker entrepreneur, executive fellow and professor. He is currently chief evangelist at Canva. Canva is the tool used to design all the artwork in this post. The Remarkable People POD covers many topics including Guy’s personal experiences as an executive, entrepreneur, author founder, surfer and car enthusiast.

For example, I will share two of the most impactful Remarkable People episodes because of their practical tips.

The first features a conversation with Angela Duckworth author of Grit on “when to quit”.

The second and next recommendation has Guy sharing his knowledge and talking about How to Be a Remarkable Speaker

On the other hand, if you like cars (or like me, enjoy hearing enthusiasts talk about cars) check out the episode with Randy Nonnenberg founder of Bring A Trailer aka BAT. Or the one where Guy giggles and fanboys. Talking Tesla, Porsche, Mercedes and all things auto with his guest the “Dr. Frankenstein of Tesla” aka Rich Benoit of Rich Rebuilds

TOP Podcast The James Altucher Show

James Altucher is an entrepreneur, author, chess master and angel investor. In his pod Altucher interviews peak performers, billionaires, rappers, astronauts, athletes, and comedians who forged their own paths, and found financial freedom.

PODCAST: The James Altucher Show with QR CODE TOP PODCASTS

To get started, check out ep 681 What are the Attributes You Need to Have to be Successful? Altucher talks to retired Navy Seal Commander and author Rich Divney.

Next recommendation is an area of expertise, given Altucher’s background in hedge funds. With his experience having companies go bankrupt and having huge exits he certainly has to be able to nose his way around a balance sheet. So check out the episode Retail Investing: “Masterclass”

Finally….how about trying this episode…..What I Learned From Seinfeld, The Show and Larry David’s Leadership.

TOP Podcast Against The Rules Michael Lewis
PODCAST: Against the Rules- Michael Lewis with QR Code TOP PODCASTS

Lewis is a bestselling author of many books including Moneyball, The Blind Side, The Big Short and Liar’s Poker. He is a financial journalist and contributing journalist to Vanity Fair writing mostly about business, finance and economics. Lewis’ podcast takes on different aspects of well known areas, much like his successful books.

In short, just kidding, the book is the Big Short. The Big Short was also a movie. Lewis’ is one of my most recent top podcasts additions. Seriously, it is the newest addition. But, very worthy of being included in The Top 20 Podcasts In My Queue.

Firstly, I recommend Don’t Be Good Be Great, Lewis talks about and to a high school baseball coach who “changed his life”. This will start you off on the “Coach” series.

Second up, The Coach in Your Head and The Coach Effect both had me riveted during a long recent car trek.

If after these three you are hooked. keep going…

Still curious? Want to learn how rituals and repetitions help elite athletes and astronauts stay focused and in peak performance during training. Listen to the Yale professor who teaches the University’s most popular course. Dr. Laurie Santos, shares research on rituals and inspiring stories on happiness in this podcast The Spaceman’s Ritual with The Happiness Lab. In addition, if you are interested in taking the The Science of Well-Being which Santos teaches at Yale. Class is available for free through Coursera here.

All right, have you had enough about astronauts, finance and personal development?

If you are just here for the laughs, check out our Top Podcasts, LOL Pods

TOP Podcast Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend

You may know O’Brien as a host from late night tv, SNL, etc… so it seems he is also in need of friends. This podcast is his attempt to make friends and spend time with people he admires.

PODCAST: Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend QR Code TOP PODCASTS

I want to be friends with Conan, but I’d rather be friends with Howard Stern. Check out the Howard Stern episode here.

If Conan can’t be friends with Howard for instance, he definitely wants to try to get more friends. Perhaps you’d like to hear about him trying to be friends with Wanda Sykes? In this next episode Conan talks about becoming friends with Wanda and for instance, maybe they will even go on vacation together? Check out the episode with Wanda Sykes here.

TOP Podcast Fantastic with Dana Carvey
PODCAST: Fantastic with Dana Carvey with QR Code TOP PODCASTS

Perhaps you loved Dana Carvey on SNL? Then you probably remember his roles as Garth, The Church Lady, & Hans (of Hans & Frans) choppin’ brocoli. If you do, I bet you will love this Pod. In an incredibly unexpected twist, Carvey’s co-host is his hairdresser, Chris Rios.

This POD is one of my top podcasts. I have so many reasons, but I will give you two.

Number one, it is hilarious. Like LOL funny. Like tears roll down your face because you are laughing so hard. Like, repeat the jokes because you think they are so funny, but it doesn’t work because you can’t do impressions of Barack O’Bama or Dr. Fauci or Johnny Carson, or Brad Pitt.

Number two, it is a family affair. With Carvey’s sister and brother calling in, mostly on landlines. And, Carvey’s son, Dex helps with the tech. They genuinely seem to be having a good time.

You must listen to Fantastic in order. Because the chaos and storytelling build each episode.

Start here with ep #1

Party on Wayne. Party on Garth.

That’s it. The end. Finally, you now know all of my top podcasts.

Do you know a podcast we should listen to? We’d love to hear about it!

We’d be grateful if you submit your info below….

Interested in learning about the books I’m reading? check out my blog post on Professional Development and all the books I bought on AMZN.

About Me

Kirsten has been a landscaper, a lifeguard and a liquor store clerk. An entrepreneur at heart, her early paychecks came from various roles, including babysitter, pachysandra broker, pet-sitter, cashier, receptionist and office clerk. After almost 30 years living/working in NYC, in 2019 Voege moved to the 518. The 518 is the Capital Region of NY state. The 518 includes Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties. The Nielsen DMA is Albany-Schenectady-Troy (#57) (IYKYK) with a population of more than 1.2MM people.


Kirated Communications provides strategic marketing and business consulting. Since its founding, Kirated has been working with companies in the real estate, financial services, technology, entertainment, SaaS, healthcare and auto industries. Leading marketing & media campaigns is a dream come true. Especially when you work with well known consumer brands, including, Amazon, American Express, Anthem, Bacardi, Eli Lilly, Intuit, J&J, L’Oreal, Merck, Match, Nordic Track, Quicken Loans, Verizon and Zillow.

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Professional Development Tips; Read, Listen & Watch.

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We know, like us, you probably want to stay at the top of your game. To stay at the top of your game, it is important to participate in ongoing professional development. As an employee at a large corporation, there are usually many training programs available, from ethics training, to corporate policy, anti-harassment and bias training. If you are an entrepreneur, these types of sessions may come second (or lower) on the priority list. As a result, sometimes entrepreneurs may skimp on professional development. That is unfortunate. We believe professional development is a critical component for every organization, no matter the number of employees. We understand not everyone has time to weed through all the how to books, virtual seminars, get rich quick scheme podcasts, videos, and training sessions that have popped up during the past few years.

At KIR Co, we are avid learners. Our Founder is “unapologetically curious” and believes in training. So, we make it our mission to #KeepLearning. We are delighted to share some of our favorite and inspiring professional development tools.

These days we have a lot of choices. There are so many ways we can learn. To make it easier, we’ve broken it down into three categories; Read, Listen Watch. Take a minute to read on to see what might inspire you to keep up your professional development. We hope you learn something useful and are inspired to continue your professional development.

Professional Development Tip #1 READ:

I’m a sporadic book reader, but coming into 2021 I’ve actually been reading. I even purchased a few books. Yes, actual books. I still use the kindle app, and audible for audiobooks. But, in 2020 I bought a bunch of books. Some were business related and some where biographies from authors I was curious about. I am sharing my book pile revelations here. Take a look and see which one’s seem interesting to you.

For those of you not into reading. Skip it. Because, if you don’t feel like buying the books, you can always take a walk and listen to an audible book. Or listen to a podcast or watch a seminar. That is to say, if reading is not for you, skip to LISTEN: or WATCH: below.

2020 pile of books

Key for the book recap listings below. For example, the name of the book is in italics; followed by the name of the author in bold, followed by my thoughts after reading and finally, an overall [letter grade]which summarizes my opinion on the book. I will update the blurbs as I complete the rest of the books, check back to see my updates. Happy reading!

Professional Development: READ. This is a graphic with the words "What I read in 2020" and a photo of a stack of books.
  • God-Level Knowledge Darts by Desus & Mero. Funny, written like a SHO episode. Lots of drug and bodega talk. [A]

Brag Better by Meredith Fineman. A must read. Tips to teach us all how to confidently talk about our accomplishments and “BRAG Better” LOVE this! I am a huge fan. Also bought a copy for my sister. [A++]

SEO 2020: Learn SEO with Smart Internet Strategies by Adam Clarke. Great tips, still working through some of this one. [B]

Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik. I had this book on my shelf since I moved from NYC. I read it, and then sent it to my sister to read. [A++]

Disloyal by Michael Cohen. Interesting look at the rise and fall of the consigliere and puppet of #45. I read this and watched The Vow on HBO, the parallels are spooky. [A+]

The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. I first read this in the 2000’s after taking an NYU management course. Bought it again so I could navigate some 2020 challenges. This book will stay on my desk as a reference manual. [A+]

2021 pile 1:

Professional Development: READ. What's on your reading list? 2021 book stack #1.
  • The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Sick in The Head by Judd Apatow

The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer

Crushing It! by Gary Vaynerchuk

Is This Anything by Jerry Seinfeld. A complete record of all the jokes Jerry ever penned, organized by decade. I’m a Seinfeld fan. Beware, this is not a book to read from cover to cover, it is nice to read a few jokes every day. [OK to skip unless you are a Jerry fanatic]

2021 pile 2:

Professional Development: READ. What's on your reading list? 2021 book stack #2.
  • Zero to One by Peter Thiel
  • Non-Obvious Megatrends by Rohit Bhargava
  • Eat a Peach by David Chang. An inside look at the daily grind of chef and owner at Momofuku, the acclaimed NYC restaurant. This book uncovers Changs’ personal and professional life from his manic depression to raging on the staff and some of the sickest staff emails I have ever seen. [A]
  • What It Takes by Stephen A. Schwarzman

Professional Development Tip #2 LISTEN:

We are huge podcast fans. We love to lose ourselves in a juicy podcast while driving on a monotonous road trip. Since road trips have mostly been on hold for us, we knew we had to carve out time. When we are working, we usually listen to a lot of music. We love music and also love making Spotify playlists. Here is a link to Don’t Believe The Hype, our founder’s playlist.

After some consideration, we came to a happy compromise, when we decided to alternate our music fests with some choice podcasts during our WFH. As you may recall, we shared our fave podcast list in 4q20 as part of international podcast day. To build upon our favorite pods, we wanted to share a few specific episodes to get you started on your professional development journey.

The Michelle Obama Podcast

Working Women: Valerie Jarret and the Importance of Mentorship

To learn more about the impact of the Mentor/Mentee relationship, the stories we tell ourselves and much more….listen to Michelle Obama and an early Mentor, Valerie Jarret. During this episode they talk about getting to know each other and their experiences balancing working and raising children.

Tip: Having a Mentor can help your career and life.

LISTEN. QR code for LISTEN: The Michelle Obama Podcast: Working Women: Valerie Jarrett and the Importance of Mentorship.  Quote by Michelle Obama, " Being able to say to my team....let's block out all the things that are my life first. Let me, put me on my calendar first.

If you don’t usually listen to podcasts, you can find them on Sticher, Apple, Spotify, Google and more… On the other hand, you can click on the graphic above and you will be taken to the podcast. Alternately, you can use the QR code and the camera app on your mobile phone to find the original podcast on Spotify.

#mentoring #learn #teach #grow #ProfessionalDevelopment #EverUpward #Equity #Read #Listen #Watch

Across Generations: Michelle Obama and her Mentees

Tip: Becoming a Mentor can help your career and life.

This episode covers more about the impact of the Mentor/Mentee relationship. During this episode, Michelle Obama chats with three of her White House Mentees. They talk about their life experiences, about confidence and self doubt, perceptions and expectations. Above all, this episode is an earnest discussion which we find touching and powerful.

LISTEN. QR Code to Listen to the Michelle Obama Podcast, Across Generations: Michelle Obama and her Mentees. Quote by Michelle Obama, " Let's talk about that, self doubt, ...we all experience that doubt.

Professional Development Tip #3 WATCH:

Since we cannot attend anything IRL, these days we’ve been attending virtual networking groups, panel discussions and seminars. We discovered lots of solid national seminar hosts including; INC, Forbes, FastCompany, AdWeek, & The Female Quotient. We even found some on LinkedIN, like David Meltzer and Gary Vee.

The one seminar we’d like to recommend here today is The Non-Obvious Diversity Summit.

The Non-Obvious Company was founded by Rohit Bhargava. Rohit Bhargava is on a mission to help the world be more open-minded by teaching anyone how to be a non-obvious thinker. Bhargava is an author & speaker with a background as a marketing strategist.


Tip: Create the content you want to see.

Hosted by Monika Samtani with Deniese Davis; producer of Insecure on HBO and Meera Menon; director of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon & Ms. Marvel coming in 2021 to Disney Plus. During this seminar Samtani, Menon and Davis talk about their roles and experiences producing video content and working in the media and film industry.

WATCH. QR code to link to Watch: Non Obvious Diversity Summit: Women of Color: Top Producers Flipping the Script.  Quote by Meera Menon, "I learned how to make a movie, by making a movie."

NONOBVIOUS DIVERSITY SUMMIT VIDEO Casting Calls: How to Create Accurate Representation for Underrepresented Communinities

Tuesday Tip: It is a business imperative to speak authentically to different communities.

Hosted by Zora DeHorter, Casting Director, with panelists, Charlene P. Corely, VP at Nielsen, Y. Shireen Razack Exec. Producer of New Amsterdam, & Lydia Dean Pilcher, President, Producer, Director at Cine Mosaic and author. In this seminar DeHorter leads a discussion about content trends and representation of stories. That is to say, the participants talk about their experiences and share research and stories about the film and media industry.

#LEARN #Laugh #Teach #Dream #MIH #MakeItHappen #BecomeYourDream #ProfessionalDevelopment #Hustle #WomenWhoLead #MarketingTips #Equity #Diversity #Inclusion #Training #Tips #Read #Listen #Watch

WATCH. QR code to link to Watch: Non Obvious Diversity Summit: Casting Calls: How to Create Accurate Representation for Underrepresented Communities.  Quote by Charlene P. Corely, "It takes alot of courage to be first".

Finally, if you aren’t familiar with how to connect to a virtual seminar (these are on YouTube); click on the image above. Then you will be taken to the You Tube video. On the other hand, if you want to use the QR code, please open the camera on your mobile phone and point it at the QR code. After that, click on the link and it will take you to the video on YouTube.

ICYMI: below is the 9.30.20 LinkedIn post listing all of our fave 2020 podcasts.

Professional development: Listen Graphic for : International Podcast Day 2020, our top list of Podcasts....

#mentoring #learn #teach #grow #ProfessionalDevelopment #EverUpward #Equity #Read #Listen #Watch

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It’s time to make some money; #theintern is skipping naps to make bank.

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Despite being a teenager and wanting to nap, #TheINTERN says...."ITS TIME to make some Money"
Despite being a teenager and wanting to nap, #TheINTERN says….”ITS TIME to make some Money”

A note from Kirsten on it’s time to make some money.

Maybe it is cliche….but I thought an assignment for #theINTERN of “What I did over Summer Vacation” could be interesting with a twist of quarantine.  So #theintern is here to show you, even in a global pandemic it’s time to make some money. Turns out; teenagers pretty much operate the same as when you and I were teens. Sleep, make money, play, repeat. Admittedly, even though there are differences….maybe like me, you didn’t have a phone when you were a teen. The only video games we had were “educational” hand held electronics for math. I remember Dataman and before that Little Professor ….guess the parents were prepping us for the years ahead. Anyway, there is a lot that #theINTERN wrote that made me smile. I agree. It’s not easy being a teenager. Maybe it never was? Cheers and good luck to the teens in all of our lives! I wish them great new adventures, continued good health, sleep, bank and good grades as schools all over start back up again. Read on and remember what it was like to be a teenager….. xoxo Kirsten

Sleep. Some teenagers wake up at 12 because they went to bed at 2.  People’s sleep cycles are very messed up right now. It might be the global pandemic, but it might be a teenager thing.

Some people probably wake up from their sleep looking like goblins and some people wake up from their sleep looking like Gods, it just depends on how much you get. Personally, I have been getting a lot of sleep and I think that is definitely good for me. Once I get up I usually go downstairs and use my phone for a while. When I get hungry I go to the kitchen, grab some food and then use my phone again. What do you expect?  Once I’m tired of using my phone maybe I’ll do something else, just maybe.

You cannot sleep in when you have to get up for work, so some days I just have to get up because it’s time to make some money.

I have gotten lots of little odd jobs this summer to try to make bank.

 My jobs range from moving rock walls, painting machinery, cleaning out weeds and muck from the pond, to taking care of chickens and little kids.

I have been taking care of a friend’s chickens and let me tell you it’s not as easy as you think.

Maybe you think, it is easy? Before I started I did too.

You think that a chicken sitter just needs to feed them? Or maybe, feed them, watch them and go home?


These are some high maintenance chickens. 

I need to go to take care of them 3 times a day! 

  1. First of all, waking up at 7:00 am to let them out is not too fun. Especially because I’m not an early riser. The chickens are pretty interesting. When I go in the morning to let them out they know exactly what I’m there to do.  They crowd around the door like kids at a toy store window. The second I open the coop door, I hear some high pitched bocks, chirps and whines because only two can fit through at a time and every one of these chickens wants to be the first one out. 
  2. By the time I get back home and lay down on the couch it’s time for me to go back over and feed them and clean the coop. The second time I go I make sure they are all alive, clean the coop and then I go back home. 
  3. Later, (after human dinner) I have to go inside the chicken run and push them inside the coop again for night time. 
You may think I am getting some eggs in return for taking care of these chickens. Nope.

They are not old enough to hatch eggs yet. 

If I watch them again in 10 weeks, I should be able to have some scrambled eggs for lunch! 

Because I am only 15, I have to rely on my bike and my Mom to get to the chickens.  Biking has been another good way to pass time. If you can’t drive, just bike! 

Why do I work so hard, chicken sitting? It’s time to make some money and I want money in the bank.

The reason for me getting all these jobs and working so hard to make money, is to have that feeling of independence. Plus, I’ve got expensive taste, so I need to make some moolah.

I want to be able to buy the things I want with the quadruple digits of money I have made. So, yeah, I am excited to buy some new sports equipment, like protective pads, a new Patagonia jacket and fleece and a Dakine backpack. 

Saving is more important though.

So, I am opening a bank account to watch my fortune grow.  I also am getting a bank card. Plus, I downloaded the bank mobile app so I can do all of my depositing online. I am excited to be able to bank from my phone! It is cool to just take a picture of a check and then….

Ka-ching, money in the bank.      

The life of a teenager in summer… it may vary from day to day but I think it’s mostly the same for a lot of teenagers.  You either play video games all day or you try to make money. This summer for me?  Well, now you know it’s all about making money and getting enough sleep.

Sleep plus Cheep equals money in the bank. graphic
Summer mantra of #theintern

You can check out another post written by #theINTERN If you LOVE someone, let them nap and read the blog post by the #newintern on swimming with sharks. Follow this link to read about the 4 things are bringing #TIAboss joy

New Intern, a 5th grader talks about swimming with sharks and how to get out of doing the dishes at home.

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A note from Kirsten. It’s Shark Week at KIRated… In this blog #newintern, a 5th grader talks about swimming with sharks and how to get out of doing the dishes. The #newintern has been with KIRated since right before his 10th birthday in May. His role is offering feedback on all social media content prior to publishing. He also shares funny stories on our video conference calls and helps me #tiaboss and #theintern brainstorm new ideas.

Shark week at KIRated……Brought to you by a 5th grader who swims with sharks and doesn’t like doing dishes. Enjoy! xoxo Kirsten

Hi, I am now a 5th grader. I am also the #newintern. I live only three blocks away from the beach and the Atlantic Ocean.  Let me tell you about my week or as I call it, shark week.

The #NEWINTERN, a 5th grader wearing his Covid Mask #NYSTRONG overlooking the beach where he swims with sharks

Not too much has changed here at the beach in the summer of Covid 19. For me the only two new things about the global pandemic that I am involved in now are, my brother and I refuse to get haircuts and since we are already in phase 4 #NYStrong that everyone has to wear masks to go into public places. 

Now I will tell you about my typical summer day.  During a pandemic or not….

The first thing I like to do is swim in the ocean. 

I am a 5th grader and I swim with sharks. I don’t think about it much, that I am swimming in shark infested waters.  But it is true. Sharks are just off the coast, right here, at the beach where I swim.  I am there early in the morning from 7:45-9am. This is before the lifeguards go up. Sometimes we surf, other times we swim and a