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Start SmartSM Tour
The Value of Social Media Webinars
Put Your Best Face Forward
Ways to Help Your Career
Alumni Spotlight


Volume 3  |  Issue 4

September 2013



Western International University® (West) is hitting the road, and we're hoping to see you along the way. Our Start Smart Tour aims to empower you to look smarter, work smarter, and be smarter. We've got stops planned in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan and Utah, and guess who we're bringing along? Christopher Hopkins — The Makeover Guy®! He'll be speaking at all our stops and signing copies of his book, Staging Your Comeback. We'll also have a Smart Station set up where you can learn about our new online course format and how West is making higher education more practical, accessible, and affordable. Stop by and learn how you can Go Smarter.SM Go West. This is going to be one fun road trip!


Christopher Hopkins is an author, artist and entertainer who has educated and inspired audiences around the world as The Makeover Guy. He has appeared on The Today Show®, The Oprah Winfrey Show® and many other national talk shows, giving his straightforward advice on how to look your best. Christopher will be at every stop on our road trip. Stop by to meet him and get a signed copy of his latest book.

Start SmartSM Tour Itinerary:



San Diego


Fashion Valley
Sun Valley


9/7, 9/8
9/28, 9/29


Arizona Mills

9/21, 9/22

Orland Park

Orland Square

10/5, 10/6

Salt Lake City

City Creek

10/11, 10/12



10/19, 10/20


Town Center

11/2, 11/3

Please note that Christopher Hopkins will be presenting at each location both Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. Book signings are scheduled from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Come and meet Christopher, plus find out what's new at West and how we can help you meet your career and educational goals. We look forward to seeing you on the road!

Christopher Hopkins

Webinar Series for Business, IT, Accounting & Behavioral Science

Social media can seem complex and overwhelming! Would you like to know how to use social media effectively for your profession? Join Western International University® (West) students and alumni for one or more of our live webinars led by our own highly experienced and respected faculty. These thought leaders will host a cutting edge discussion about capitalizing on social media platforms in four functional areas: IT, Accounting, Business, and Behavioral Science. Mark your calendar and click here to register today!



Dr. Lisa Klein Pearo

The Value of Listening: Using Social Media to Understand Your Customers and Competitors


10:00-10:45 a.m. (MST) online webinar

Dr. Jimmie Flores

Aligning IT with Business Makes Bottom Line Sense


6:00-6:45 p.m. (MST) online webinar

Dr. Wendy Achilles

Utilizing Social Media as a Tool for Career Development and Networking Within the Accounting Profession


7:30-8:30 p.m. (MST) West Tempe Campus & online webinar

Dr. Jennifer LeePsychological Effects of Social Media: Relationship Tie Strength & Personality Differences


5:30-6:15 p.m. (MST) online webinar

Meet our Thought Leaders

Dr. Lisa Klein Pearo Dr. Lisa Klein Pearo, DBA earned her Doctorate in Business Administration in Marketing and her Master in Business Administration in General Management from Harvard Business School and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Yale University. She has done research and consulting in the areas of hospitality marketing, online marketing, and market research on consumer behavior in interactive environments.
Dr. Jennifer Lee Dr. Jennifer E. Lee, PHD earned her PhD in Psychology from the University of Toledo and completed her undergraduate work in Psychobiology and Learning at the University of Redlands in California. She has written curricula and courses in Psychology and Organizational Behavior and has expertise with a variety of online learning technologies.

Dr. Jimmy Flores Dr. Jimmie Flores, PHD, DM, CAPM, PMP holds two doctorates and seven master degrees, including a Doctor of Management in Information Systems and Technology from the University of Phoenix and a Doctor of Human and Organizational Development from Fielding Graduate University. He has held leadership positions in several multinational Fortune 500 companies in the areas of Information Technology, Organizational Development, Project Management, and Continuous Improvement and is also a published author and experienced instructor.

Dr. Wendy W. Achilles Dr. Wendy W. Achilles, PHD, CPA earned her PhD in Business with a specialization in Accounting at Virginia Commonwealth University and is a licensed CPA. She spent several years in corporate taxation, working as a tax manager for a multinational corporation performing duties such as tax compliance, international tax research, and Securities & Exchange Commission reporting.

The Value of Social Media


There's nothing like a video resume to bring you and your job qualifications to life. It gives you the opportunity to show prospective employers that you are personable and presentable. It also gives you an advantage over applicants who rely solely on written words to get across who they are and why they should be considered for a job. A video resume is easy to make and easy to post on sites like Monster® and LinkedIn®, but it's only going to help you if you do it right.


Here are some helpful tips for creating an effective video resume:

  • Keep your video short — a maximum of 3 minutes.

  • Dress up for the video. Wear what you would wear to an interview.

  • Use a neutral-colored wall to serve as your backdrop. Cluttered backgrounds can be distracting.

  • Before recording, rehearse what you're going to say – don't just restate what's on your resume.

  • Start by introducing yourself, with your first and last name.

  • Stay focused on your professional endeavors, not your personal ones.

  • Talk about your strengths and why you would be a good employee.

  • At the end, thank the viewer for their time and interest.

Remember, a video resume is not meant to replace the traditional format. Post both online, and let the interviews begin!

For help with your video resume, use the Fast Track Career Tools available to all West alumni.

video resume


West is hosting two events during National Career Development week, and you're invited! First, join us for a career webinar on November 12 entitled "Putting Your Career in Motion through Goals & Actions." Kathryn Scahill, career coach and National Certified Counselor, will be the speaker.

Then on November 13, West will host a Career Coaching Day where you can sign up for a complimentary mini career coaching session.

All week long, we will also be posting hot career topics on Facebook®, Twitter® and LinkedIn®.


Career Webinar
What: "Putting Your Career in Motion through Goals & Actions"
When: Tuesday, November 12, 5:00 – 6:00p.m. MST
Where: Online Webinar
Speaker: Kathryn Scahill, Career Coach, National Certified Counselor, Distance Credentialed Counselor, Trainer and Associate Director of Career Counseling
Overview: The focus of this seminar will be on setting goals and creating a job search action plan. You will explore best strategies for short- and long-term success, and you will learn how to develop and maintain your own personal career plan. The seminar will be particularly helpful if you are looking for a new job, hoping to advance in your career or planning a career change.
R.S.V.P.: laura.lee@west.edu

Career Coaching Day
What: Complimentary, one-on-one coaching sessions
When: Wednesday, November 13. 10-minute sessions between
8 – 10 a.m. MST (with Julie Chahboune), 12 – 2 p.m. MST
(with Eleanor Augur), and 3 – 5 p.m. (with Norm Meshriy)
Where: Phone or Online
Julie Chahboune graduated with an MS, EdS in Career Counseling from Florida State University in 2005. She is a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC), as well as an active member of the National Career Development Association and President Elect of the Georgia Career Development Association. Julie had a private career counseling practice for six years before joining Apollo Group.

Eleanor Augur has a background as Career Counselor, Career Center Administrator, Career Technology Instructor and eleven years of Distance Career Coaching. She empowers people in job search and career management to instill motivation and develop next steps for success in securing employment in today’s market. Eleanor's clients compliment her ability to support and supply credible resources as they enter the job market or break barriers.

Norm Meshriy is a Master Career Counselor who made a major career change from a 24-year career in Information Technology management. He serves as a consultant with an outplacement firm in San Francisco and is a Distance Credentialed Counselor. Norm teaches masters-level counseling courses at San Francisco State University and University of San Francisco, and is the author of the book Thinking Outside the Cubicle: How to Change the Job You Have Into the Job You Want.

R.S.V.P.: Space is limited. Sign up for your coaching session today, and choose to have your session online via webcam or by phone.

Career Tips
Visit West's Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages throughout National Career Development Week, and read up on hot career topics like how to make a smooth career transition and how to negotiate a better salary.

Career Development week

Compliance Analyst
American Express
Phoenix, AZ

Roberta Venter used to think that it was "ridiculous" when employers required a degree. "I had a ton of experience. Why did I need a degree?" However, dissatisfaction with her job at a call center and a desire to pursue a new career in Human Resources led Roberta to West. With an infant son at home, she was attracted to the flexibility of West's online classes but still wondered if it was worth it to get her BA degree. She decided it was, and she couldn't be happier with the result.


When you decided to go back to school, why did you choose West?

My son had just turned one, and I was unhappy in my current job. My past experience was in HR, but I was having a difficult time getting back into that field, as all of the positions required a degree. My goal was to have a virtual job, so I would have more flexibility with my family and I wanted to be a strong example for my son of why he needed to go to college.

What did you enjoy most about your West experience?

I loved the online program. Being a new mom, I wanted it all but felt guilty leaving my son. Had I attended school the traditional route, I would have gone an entire day without seeing him and that was not acceptable. There were many nights when I would have class and hold my baby. It was the best of both worlds.

What were the benefits to you of getting your degree?

The West program allowed me to see things differently. It challenged my thought process and improved my written and oral communication skills. It helped me with my time management skills, and I learned how to meet commitments every week. I was so proud to finish my degree.

What is your current job and responsibilities?

I am currently a Compliance Analyst for American Express. My role is to oversee all the mandatory compliance training. I communicate with SVPs and others. Strong communication skills and logical thought processes are needed. A large part of my position is linking and labeling several discussions from multiple sources and making short- and long-term decisions based off those discussions. The best part: I'm virtual.

What would you tell a friend about West?

I would say that West has a great online program, and the professors are amazing. If they have thought about going back to school, they should just do it. The time goes so quickly, especially with West’s accelerated schedule. Before you know it, a year will have passed. I would also mention that with the recent tuition cost decrease and including eBooks, why wouldn’t you start now?

Roberta Venter


Members of this year's graduating class met up with alumni at our networking event in June. After a few fun ice-breaking activities and West gear giveaways, the networking went into high gear. At the end of the event, one attendee said, "I enjoyed excellent conversations and making new friends. This event could not have been better!"

school store
Have you shopped at the online West Store lately? Go to shopweststore.com, and check out the latest West-branded items, like the cool Stylus Ballpoint Combo, the versatile Challenger Team Sport Bag and the convenient Pandora Hot & Cold Tumbler. While you're on the site, sign up to have special offers delivered to your inbox, and order e-Certificates for your favorite West students and alumni.

Help us make a difference in the lives of young people in the community. Donate your time, money or both to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. This summer, West collected school supplies for their back-to-school drive. To learn more about this wonderful organization or explore volunteer opportunities, click here
. If you would like to contribute to the organization online, you can enter "West" in the Company field to indicate you are affiliated with West.

Laura Lee
Alumni/Career Resources Manager
602-429-1110 or laura.lee@west.edu

Alumni Reenrollment
866-948-4636 or inquiries@west.edu




Western International University is a registered service mark of Apollo Group, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

Western International University, 1601 W. Fountainhead Parkway, Tempe, AZ 85282

Copyright © 2013 Western International University, Inc.; all rights reserved.

Monster is a registered trademark of Monster Worldwide, Inc.
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The Makeover Guy is a registered trademark of Christopher J. Hopkins in the U.S..
The Oprah Winfrey Show is a registered trademark of Harpo Inc. in the U.S.