SPOTLIGHT

- CAPAL -

Workshop Leads at IAG 2018
Written by Rebecca Walcott

The Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL) seeks to empower Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) youth by increasing access to public service opportunities and building a strong AANHPI public service pipeline. As part of the 2018 Inspiring Across Generations (IAG) conference, CAPAL will host a panel and an interactive discussion moderated by Managing Director, Donna Bebber. In this exclusive interview, Felicia Wong – Programs and Operations Associate, and Donna Bebber share details regarding the panel discussion that will take place during the IAG 2018 conference, and the organization’s mission and influence on empowering the Asian Pacific American community youth.

During the “Empowering a Cross-Generational Workforce” workshop, CAPAL will provide insight to the different communications styles between the millennial workforce and senior managers. The interactive session will combine group activities, panel discussions and break-out sessions dedicated to discussing how managers and non-managers from different generational backgrounds may interpret and respond to situations. The panel is designed to improve communication in the workplace through leveraging resources with management while shaping your career trajectory. Attendees will be sure to leave with knowledge on empowerment and career enhancement.

Written by Rebecca Walcott

The Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL) seeks to empower Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) youth by increasing access to public service opportunities and building a strong AANHPI public service pipeline. As part of the 2018 Inspiring Across Generations (IAG) conference, CAPAL will host a panel and an interactive discussion moderated by Managing Director, Donna Bebber. In this exclusive interview, Felicia Wong – Programs and Operations Associate, and Donna Bebber share details regarding the panel discussion that will take place during the IAG 2018 conference, and the organization’s mission and influence on empowering the Asian Pacific American community youth.

During the “Empowering a Cross-Generational Workforce” workshop, CAPAL will provide insight to the different communications styles between the millennial workforce and senior managers. The interactive session will combine group activities, panel discussions and break-out sessions dedicated to discussing how managers and non-managers from different generational backgrounds may interpret and respond to situations. The panel is designed to improve communication in the workplace through leveraging resources with management while shaping your career trajectory. Attendees will be sure to leave with knowledge on empowerment and career enhancement.

Q1: Can you tell me a bit more about CAPAL and its role in empowering Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) youth?

Felicia: CAPAL is dedicated to helping and empowering the AANHPI community. We have graduate and undergraduate community members and can support them through our scholarship and internship programs. We offer scholarships to AANHPI undergrads or grad students who have acquired internships over the summer and we offer paid services with a focus on public service.

Q2: CAPAL offers many strong internship and scholarship programs. Could you tell us more about how your various programs are geared towards professional development?

Felicia: Our leadership programs – including our scholarship and internship programs, offer professional development workshops and career fairs. For our annual AANHPI career fair, we offer attendees the skills necessary so that they can be successful in their careers whether that is in the public or private sector. We give them the tools necessary and support them financially throughout the process as well.

Q3: Why do you think it is important for Pan-Asian organizations such as yours to support each other?

Felicia: It’s about building community. We try to support the Pan-Asian community as a whole by focusing on a specific target demographic. CAPAL’s focus is geared towards undergrad and grad students, and Ascend is geared more towards entry-level professionals and beyond. It’s about creating this pipeline for all professionals throughout their career and education level.

donna

DONNA BEBBER

Managing Director

"The main thing we want to accomplish is to strengthen relationships. and we want them to learn something and leave the conference feeling confident that they can boost their career or get that internship they wanted."

Q4: Can you tell me a bit of background behind your workshop panel: Empowering a Cross-Generational Workforce?

Donna: I think that we wanted to appeal to everyone. If you look at the people on the panel, it’s a diverse group of people on the panel including Donna Bebber – Managing Director at CAPAL, Camille Lorenzana – Senior Analyst at Accenture, Dakota Pekerti – Associate at Optoro, and June Kao – Consultant at AARP. They’ll be able to provide insight at every stage of the professional life cycle. We’re also making it very interactive by not only having the panel discussion but also doing a breakout session. We are going to break out into different groups, so that everyone will have the opportunity to participate.

Q5: How did you go about choosing the panelist for the workshop?

Donna: Even though I am new to CAPAL, I have a business background and most of my experience is in Hawaii, working with the Hawaiian population. The panelists will bring diverse perspectives to the forefront. We chose them because we wanted to be relevant to a wide group of people, and appeal to everyone. The panel consists of a very diverse group of people. For example, Dakota Pekerti is a new board member and he brings a new energy and a youthful perspective to the panel. He’s also from the tech industry, which resonates with the theme of this year’s conference. We also have CAPAL Treasurer Camille Lorenzana, who is a Senior Analyst at Accenture and alum June Kao. June Kao works at AARP, one of our sponsors, and will shed some insight into our sponsorship program. We want to be there as a resource for attendees and we also want to empower them to ask questions and feel confident to discuss difficult problems and find solutions.

Q6: Why do you think conferences like IAG are so crucial in leveraging resources and building relationships in the work space?

Donna: I have been going to a lot of AANHPI events and noticed that it is a very close community. Also, from an employer’s stand point, encouraging employees to attend such conference brings diversity to the work place. Relationships built at these conferences then extend into the work space. For the younger people, attending conferences such as IAG, is a great way to grow, build relationships, and learn about opportunities that are out there.

"The biggest pieces of advice is to be very intentional about the interactions you have with members of the community instead of transactional."

FELICIA

FELICIA WONG

Programs and Operations Associate

Q7: Your workshop involved breakout sessions and Q&A’s – why did you choose this style of group activity and what would you like to see in the output of group discussion?

Donna: The main thing we want to accomplish is to strengthen relationships. The goal is to give everyone a voice. Some people, when they go in to do interviews or they go in for a new job, are intimidated and are afraid to say what they want to say. Using this engaging and open-forum format truly helps to give everyone a voice.

Q8: What advice do you have for AANHPI youth who are looking to build their career, and get more involved in their community?

Felicia: The biggest piece of advice is to be very intentional about the interactions you have with members of the community instead of transactional. In DC, it is very easy to meet people, especially within your own community and expect that you are only there to network and really climb your way up. The AANHPI community is different. As a community, we are doing this because we really care. If you are very intentional about the way you interact with people and are genuine, it will take you much further in your career.

Q9: Could you share a personal story showing how being intentional rather than transactional has boosted your career?

Felicia: I was originally an intern in the summer before my senior year and I became close with the managing director here. I spoke with many people throughout my summer at CAPAL. When I was offered, and accepted the position, I was interacting with partners I had spoken with the summer before, and it was very comfortable. It made it a lot easier for me to transition into my new role because people knew that they could trust me and I knew that I could trust them. It helped with relationship building and made for a much easier transition.

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