jsaxena@law.gwu.edu

Expressing your Authentic Self in Law School Personal Statements

Personal statements. These two words evoke numerous unwanted feelings for law school applicants every year: uncertainty, confusion, fear, frustration, anxiety, and stress are just a few. I liken them to the dreaded “Tell me about yourself” question that is commonly asked in job interviews; they’re both vague causing the individual to wonder what the law school or employer is looking for yet, on the flip side, they both allow for freedom to tell one’s story without much limitation. There are books and articles that provide tips on how to craft winning personal statements – everything from optimal page length, the…

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jsaxena@law.gwu.edu

Who Am I and Why Am I Here? - Uncovering our Covered Selves

We all cover. It’s taken me a long time to share my thoughts on this topic on this very public forum. Yes, between family commitments, travel, and a recent transition in my role at work, I’ve been very busy. But, when I look myself in the mirror, it’s also (and, perhaps, even more so) because this topic is very personal. It’s about our core selves, our identities. And, it made me think about how I cover in my own life and in my workplace. Covering might come in the form of a woman who avoids references to her children at…

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jsaxena@law.gwu.edu

Who Am I and Why Am I Here? – Authentic Confidence

“It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you are not.” ~ Denis Waitley With her book, Lean-In, Sheryl Sandberg got folks talking about women and leadership. And, in more recent months, the conversations have moved beyond the initial debate her book prompted.  The conversation continued at last week’s National Association for Law Placement’s[1] (NALP) 2015 Annual Education Conference in Chicago where I attended a fascinating session on women’s leadership and how to develop and champion female professionals.[2] The panelists began the conversation by distinguishing leadership qualities (e.g. inspiring, confident, knowledgeable, positive, motivated etc.) vs.…

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jsaxena@law.gwu.edu

Who Am I and Why Am I Here? – Let’s Fix that Flat Tire!

Do you remember the last time you had a flat tire? The road felt bumpy and you started to have difficulty steering. You felt like you were about to get into an accident until you suddenly came to a halting stop. Your plans for the day unexpectedly changed and you weren’t able to reach your destination. Maybe you were frustrated, annoyed, and aggravated all at the same time. Isn’t it a much more pleasurable experience when we don’t have a flat tire – we are balanced, at ease, and can more easily focus on getting to our destination!  Now imagine…

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jsaxena@law.gwu.edu

Who Am I and Why Am I Here? – Finding Love….in What You Do

It seems like store aisles turn pink as greeting cards and heart-shaped chocolates fill the shelves just as the holiday season is winding down. Given that we are inundated with merchandise and messages about love in the days and weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, it’s hard not to write this month’s blog post about that very topic – love. In this case, though, I write about discovering what you love to do through experimentation and networking. “Experiments allow us to flirt with our possible selves.”[1] Experimentation is a key concept in Herminia Ibarra’s book, Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for…

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jsaxena@law.gwu.edu

Who Am I and Why Am I Here?  – First and Foremost, What Does It Even Mean to be Authentic?

Welcome to a new year, readers! I am thrilled to invite each of you on my journey to explore what it means to be an authentic professional self. Before I begin that process, though, it seems only logical to first think through what it means to be authentic. In an effort to do just that, I spent some time reflecting on what authenticity means to me. If any of this sounds too new agey or Dr. Phil-ish (and, he does pop up quite a bit on the Internet if you search for any related themes), rest assured that one of…

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