Posts Tagged ‘Dawn Bickett’

posted by | on , , | Comments Off on What’s your exit strategy? How to wrap up your internship

By DC EcoWoman Dawn Bickett

Flickr User Victor1558

Are you prepared for the end? Of your internship, that is!

Many EcoWomen come to Washington, D.C. for short-term positions — from internships, to fellowships, to contract jobs. These experiences can shape career choices and help develop new skills, but they can also zoom by before you are ready for them to be over.

Here are a few strategies for continue benefitting from your experience long after your last day.

Forget the vanishing act

While quickly saying a few goodbyes and ducking out on your last day is the easiest approach to leaving, it is also the one that does you the least good. Make sure that your coworkers and supervisors know when you are leaving, where you are headed next, and if you are interested in working at the organization permanently, well in advance of your last day. If colleagues don’t know what you are looking for next, they won’t be able to offer help.

Keep connected

Whether or not you want to come back to work at an office where you interned, you never know when a contact you made there will be helpful. Make sure you have your coworkers’ and supervisors’ personal contact information and that they have yours. And don’t hesitate to check in with them from time to time (although careful not to go overboard!). Social media can also be a helpful tool to keep in touch.

Stay involved

Taking part in volunteer opportunities with your old office or organization can be a great way to show that you are still interested in the organization’s mission, especially if you would like to be hired there permanently. It will also keep your face fresh in the minds of those with whom you worked.


Don’t want to leave? Talk with your supervisor or mentor early on to express your interest in a permanent position, and keep yourself informed on openings. If you know what position you want in the organization, make sure you are learning the skills needed for that specific job so you can make your case when the job becomes available.

There’s a lot to do, so don’t let your last day sneak up on you! While an internship or fellowship position may be temporary, the opportunities that arise from them can have long-term impacts on your career. Want more tips? Check out Ending an Internship on a High Note.

posted by | on , , , , , | Comments Off on Take A Hike! The Ecowoman’s Guide to D.C. Hiking

Getting the Most of Autumn: Where to “Hike Locally”

By DC EcoBlogger Dawn Bickett

The crisp air and changing leaves of autumn – along with a new reason to celebrate: the end of the shutdown – make it the perfect season to be outdoors and hiking. But finding, and getting to, a nearby trail can feel like a serious challenge, especially when you live in a city.

Luckily, there are many trails scattered in and around the District, several less than 2 miles from the National Mall! Whether you are looking for a strenuous hike or a quick stroll out of earshot of traffic, you don’t need to drive hours to get out of town – you can explore within the District for some time in nature.

Wondering where to start? Check out these great local trails in and near Washington, D.C.

Rock Creek Park 

Certainly one of the most popular green spaces in D.C., Rock Creek Park boasts miles of secluded trails that meander along hills and waterways. Trails here vary from rocky climbs to sandy creek-side walks. For some specific routes, check out these three great short hikes suggested by Active Life DC. Rock Creek Park is easily accessible by foot, car, bus, or by taking the metro to the Adams Morgan/Zoo Station.

Theodore Roosevelt Island
It is no accident that the memorial to President Theodore Roosevelt – the creator of 5 national parks and 150 national forests– is surrounded by hiking trails. Theodore Roosevelt Island is located in the middle of the Potomac River, just east of Rosslyn. And while the island is small, it has several miles of trails uninterrupted by development. The island’s parking lot is easily accessible by car, bike, or foot, and is near the Rosslyn Metro Station. Bird watchers take note: the island known for its large population of waterfowl.

Potomac Heritage Trail (PHT) 

The Potomac Heritage Trail is composed of a network of trails along the Potomac River, and the segment close to D.C. is a definitely worth a visit. Starting at the north corner of the Theodore Roosevelt Island parking lot, this trail runs up the Virginia side of the Potomac River for about 10 miles. The quiet and challenging trail is extremely rewarding – offering a wilder picture of the Potomac River than its cousin on the opposite bank, the paved C&O Canal. Be aware, the trail does have difficult footing in places and occasionally requires scrambling – so be prepared to get a bit dirty and wear shoes with traction!

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
If rocky trails and secluded woods aren’t your style, but you still love being outdoors, then the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens are worth a visit. Stretching along the Anacostia River, the gardens offer several miles of trails through cultivated water plants and the only remaining tidal marsh in the District. The gardens are peaceful, visually stunning, and within walking distance from the Deanwood Metro Station.

Great Falls Park 

At 18 miles from the National Mall, Great Falls Park is only accessible by car (or bicycle, for the motivated cyclist), but this list would not be complete without it. This park is a favorite for rock climbers and kayakers. And with over a dozen trails to choose from, it’s perfect for hikers as well. Different trails offer scenic routes to view the falls – an impressive cascade of the Potomac River. Whichever path you take in the park, the incredible view of the falls is worth the trip.

These are just a few of the amazing trails tucked away right here in our own backyard, so challenge yourself to ‘hike local’ this season.  As soon as the shutdown concludes, pick a new trail, and head to some of DC’s great green places.

Didn’t see your favorite DC hiking trail included here? Please comment with your recommendation to share the knowledge!

Great Falls

posted by | on , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Professional Development Tips from the Workshops

At the First Annual DC EcoWomen Conference, we were addressed by speakers with words of empowerment, words that brought us all closer together. The keynote and closing speakers brought everyone into the same room to share their visions for us as key players in the path to equality.

But what made the conference so special to many people were the smaller, more intimate workshops throughout the day. Each EcoWomen had a personalized agenda to cater to her interests, which varied widely – from yoga in the workplace to green financial investing.

In creating a network of empowerment and equality for women, someone has to make the initial offer to help. So the attendees of the EcoWomen conference wanted to share what they learned in the workshops with all who couldn’t attend the conference. Read on to learn the best lessons and impressions of the day from those who want you to learn how to build your sustainable career.

Public Speaking

The public speaking workshop was both extremely engaging and comprehensive. Standing style, sitting style, tone, eye contact, dress, hand positions — Chris Janke covered it all, and we were encouraged to stand up and practice in real time. The world of our unconscious actions was made completely conscious, giving us the self-awareness and extra confidence that each of us was eager to find.

  • Take pauses and relate to your audience, move naturally.
  •  Colorful language and storytelling help people to remember what you’re saying.
  • People need to hear things 7-12 times to remember them. Repetition!
  • No matter what you are saying, when you slow down it sounds more important.
  • Flatness of delivery can result in no one remembering what you said. Spice it up!
  • Stand with one foot in front of other, and your weight in back foot. No swaying. Create a strong presence by dropping your shoulders back.
  • Seated on a panel? Choose your clothing wisely! Steer clear of wrap dresses, shirt dresses etc.

Beginning Financial Planning 

When you invest your money, you need a strategy of what you envision, what you want. Ask yourself:  What is your goal, 10 years out?  Don’t just focus on retirement! It’s time to start planning right now.

  • Make sure you have a financial equation that equals security.
  • The equation: Protection + Savings + Investing + Tax minimization = Security
  • For protection: consider disability insurance, life insurance (if you have children) and long term insurance.
  • For savings: Consider the money needed for an emergency. Know the financial situations of yourself, your spouse and even your parents in case something happens.
  • For investing: research 401k, IRA, and investment accounts. Base your investment strategy off of your risk tolerance (more stock is riskier, more bonds is safer).
  • Buy a money magazine! Or start with your own statements and break them down.
  • Find a professional to help.

Salary Negotiation

Negotiation is about more than money – it’s about taking care of yourself and family. Women ask for raises and promotions approximately 85% less than men do. You stand to lose as much as $1 million if you don’t negotiate!

  • Know how much you’re worth! Research salary ranges for the job, and check with your network.
  • Let employer mention a salary figure first. The party who puts a number on the table first is at the greater disadvantage.
  • Use a range if you have to say how much you want. Be clear if it includes benefits or not.
  • Be confident in selling your skills. Use other offers to your advantage. By the time you’re negotiating, they want you, so they’ll pay.
  • Say it! I’m worth it, I need more, I have to have… If you don’t ask and don’t make a case for yourself, no one else will.
  • Act like everyday is a performance review. Make yourself invaluable and indispensable.
  • Translate the work you did as something that made the boss and company look good. Bring it to your performance review.
  • If you can’t negotiate for hard cash, try asking for benefits (days off, bonuses, insurance, work from home, trainings, classes).

Keep an eye out for our Career Resources pages, where we will be posting more information from the conference workshops and more!

Thanks to EcoWomen Dawn Bickett and Jessica Lubetsky for providing their insights from the conference!

posted by | on , , | Comments Off on DC Vegetarians: Get your fix at Meat-Free Week!

Below is a post by Dawn Bickett. Read more of Dawn’s posts here.

For many of us working in environmental fields, food choice is either a matter of principle or an area of personal conflict, as Jen Howard discussed in her recent post on healthy eating. Whether it is local, organic, fair trade, vegetarian, or some combination, we want what we eat to align with what we do.

But strict diets can make events like Restaurant Week, with fixed menus that often overlook non-meat eaters, disappointing. Thankfully, DC Vegan, The Kindness Collective, and Compassion Over Killing collaborate each year to put on Meat-Free Week, a celebration of all foods animal product-free. Started as a response to Meat Week (which precedes Restaurant Week and is exactly what you guessed) Meat-Free Week provide non-meat eaters with a celebration of their own. Now in its fourth year, Meat-Free Week fills 7 days with cooking classes, pop-up restaurants, and discounts on vegan and vegetarian fare across the city.

As a vegan new to DC, Meat-Free Week immediately caught my attention. Even days beforehand, most of the events were already sold out—a testament to the thriving vegetarian community in the District—but I did manage to snag a spot at the BBQ Kick-Off Party hosted by Cupcake Wars-winning Sticky Fingers Bakery.

Sticky Fingers is not known for its dinner options, so I was pleasantly surprised by their delicious Southern BBQ-style meal, complete with coleslaw, cornbread, collards, and sweet tea. Among the dishes, the real standout was their BBQ pulled “pork,” which achieved a pleasant soft and chewy texture that shone through the tangy and smoky sauce that covered it. And no meal at Sticky Fingers is complete without one of their award (and show) winning cupcakes. In this case, the chosen variety was a peanut butter banana cupcake so good that I seriously contemplated purchasing a few more to bring home.

Beyond the food, the Sticky Fingers event was enjoyable simply for the sense of camaraderie that filled the room. Diners were not just taking advantage of a chance for a good meal, but were genuinely excited to support and participate in a vegetarian DC event.

Meat-Free Week runs in early February with new events added each year. You can keep track of this event and other vegan news at the DC Vegan blog.  Whether you are vegan or a carnivore, Meat-Free Week provides a delicious alternative to the usual dinner fare in DC.

Banana Peanut Butter Cupcake at Sticky Fingers Bakery

Want to know more about how to help your food choices match your work? Check out our Community Gardens resource page!

posted by | on , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Happy Veggie Holidays: Six vegetarian/vegan recipes for a meat-free celebration

Below is a post by guest blogger Dawn Bickett.  Dawn is our newest blogger and we look forward to reading more from her soon!

The holidays simply do not feel complete without the smells and tastes of traditional meals and sweets. But if you or your friends and family are vegetarian or vegan, the typical holiday spread can be slim pickings at best.

Worried about what to make your vegan friend, or what vegetarian dish you can prepare that your loved ones will enjoy? Here are six quick and easy vegan or vegetarian holiday recipes guaranteed to lower your carbon footprint and satisfy even the most skeptical carnivore.

Breakfast: Pumpkin Waffles
For a cheerful holiday breakfast, try this vegan golden pumpkin waffle recipe from Isa Chandra at the Post Punk Kitchen. Don’t forget to top them with pecan bits and maple syrup for extra flavor.

Drinks: Apple Cider
The classic holiday beverage, eggnog, is not exactly vegan-friendly. However, brewing up some hot cider is a great alternative that has the added benefit of filling the room with the scent of cinnamon and clove.

Tip: You can keep the cider simmering on low heat for hours to enjoy the smell, as long as you add more water or juice as water evaporates. Really want to warm up? Add an ounce of dark rum to each glass just before serving.

Side Dishes: Spicy Chipotle Butternut Squash
If you still have a butternut squash or two left from your fall CSA, consider this simple and spicy roasted squash dish. It can be a side dish for either brunch or dinner.

Main Course: Not Just a Nut Roast
For an exciting alternative to ham or turkey at Christmas, consider one of the many vegetarian main courses from the recipe finer of The Vegetarian Society of the UK. Their nut loaf, a common British replacement for a meat dish, is exceptional.

Dessert: Peppermint Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches
This tasty combo of chocolate and peppermint is perfect to bring to a party, or to keep all to yourself!

Tip: For mini-cookie sandwiches, make the cookies half the size suggested and cut the baking time down to 6 minutes. Also, consider throw a handful of chocolate chips into the cookie batter, if you have them.

Dessert: French Chocolate Bark
Of course, there is always room for more sweets. For another quick vegan or vegetarian treat that doubles as a gift, try this delicious chocolate bark recipe. To make this recipe vegan, substitute semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips for the chocolate the recipe calls for.

Tip: Not a fan of dried fruit and nuts? For a peppermint variation, take out the fruit and nut combination, and add 1 tsp. of peppermint extract. Then crush peppermint candy and sprinkle it across the top before it cools.

Happy holidays from DC Ecowomen!