What I Have Learned Along The Way

I am sharing the lessons I've learned with you, hoping that you can reflect them on your daily life

Techwomen 2017

TechWomen Day 35

TechWomen Day 35

TechWomen Day 35

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"See those museums, those books and those monuments, in 20 years, they will tell the story about you, what you did and why you deserve to be mentioned ! ... Create a very unique history, to pull people to read your story"

That was the precious advice of a mentor to me in the last day of being in TechWomen program! It is definitely something worth keeping in mind  


Washington DC

TechWomen Day 34

TechWomen Day 35

TechWomen Day 35

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 We all have our Titanic moments, knowing and admitting that we need a break at some point is part of resilience and adaptability that prevent worse consequences from happening! 


Washington DC

TechWomen Day 33

TechWomen Day 35

TechWomen Day 33

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After applying for TechWomen for three years in a row, getting rejected at the first year and only passing the semi finalists phase at the second year, I was officially certified as a TechWomen fellow today, in MY 28th BIRTHDAY!!

A day like this reminds me of the feeling I had when I got rejected the first year I applied. It also reminds me that if I wasn't rejected back then, I wouldn't be the same person I am today! There is no such a thing called failure, nor luck, with perseverance, your goals will be achieved in what God planned to you in the best form, circumstances and time.

It is interesting that I have heard my birthday song in California, specifically in LinkedIn, few days ago, and today in Washington DC for more than 10 times.



U.S Department of State- Washington DC

TechWomen Day 32

TechWomen Day 32

TechWomen Day 33

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Sometimes you'll get to know how much a person knows you only through a gift that they bring you! Some presents will let you know how some special people got to know you in less than 15 days better than a long time typical friend.


And those are the same ones that you feel very comfortable being very spontaneous around, those who keep giving you pushes over and over toward your goals in every possible way. Those who are already champions, who are welling to put your name forward.

Those who you can literally call LinkedIn family.

This evening was a very special one to my heart, it was the Indian Diwali celebration mixed with Circassian, Arabic, & Uzbeks flavors of LinkedIn folks

I can never ask for a professional mentors other than the family of LinkedIn, especially Neha, Sigal ,& Shakhina


Washington DC

TechWomen Day 31

TechWomen Day 32

TechWomen Day 31

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 You are learning new things every day, don't think that you are not achieving much!

In each and every day, there must be a lesson or more, no matter how big or small it is. Being you unconscious about it doesn't mean that you have not been changed, your lessons will still affect your personality and behavior directly in related situations, in a surprising way and time.

We only need to focus more on what we have learned, to know exactly what today added to us! That would be a wonderful way to boost our confidence by tracking the process of our personalities.

Spice up your life, do not underestimate yourself, you are a constant learning creature ! 


Washington DC

TechWomen Day 30

TechWomen Day 32

TechWomen Day 31

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 Today states an exact month since the beginning of the program, it also states the last day in LinkedIn, and the last day in California!

It started with a team meeting, then a LinkedIn presentation about our achievements, an early SURPRISE BIRTHDAY at LinkedIn 😃👏🏼 (Thaaank you Aseel), a meeting with LinkedIn CEO -Finally- , a magnificent last dinner in the bay area at the great Rekha's house, and finally, packing!

Emotions emotions emotions! This day taught me that it takes only one month, to connect with complete strangers and build familistic connections in total new places!


LinkedIn HQ- MV/California

TechWomen Day 29

TechWomen Day 26-28

TechWomen Day 26-28

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 You can create your 'De-Javu" moments!

When you work hard on something, day and night and you give up too many things that could be happening for the first time in your life just because you want to achieve this goal, when you trust your God that it's going to happen and you feel it deep inside your heart, and when you start imagining yourself achieving what you want in the most perfect way, you are basically creating a view of your future that you wish to see.

Then the right time comes, and you know it is going to happen, you start seeing the pieces of the puzzle gathering to form your De-Javu moments, and you realize that things are happening in the exact way you imagined them to happen!

Work hard, trust God, and believe your 6th sense! Invest in yourself to have the right skills and to capture the right opportunity at the right time.

Spend a good time creating a future full of De-Javu moments. 


Twitter HQ- SF/California

TechWomen Day 26-28

TechWomen Day 26-28

TechWomen Day 26-28

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Camping for me, was expected to be just a wild experience in nature, but it turned out to be not only that, but also creating a very diverse yet same minded family.


We laughed, cried, danced, sang, ate, played, and slept. Too many lessons where I couldn't write till I got the signal back.


One great lesson was when we were having a conversation about how we were lucky to have supportive families, where then we realized that it is most important to teach BOYS about women's empowerment, in order for them to treat every women right. Because indeed, every women need a supportive man in her life, whether a dad, brother, friend or a partner.


I have also learned the importance of loving our differences. We were a group of women from Jordan, Mexico, Afghanistan, USA and

Kyrgyzstan. Which means different languages, cultures, religions and professional backgrounds. But we loved these differences to a level that we found "things in common" to be stronger than a boundary of a country can draw.


Lastly, as Hosai said, the best way to leave a place, is to leave it waiting to come back.


These were unforgettable breathtaking 2 days, thank you Erin, Claudia and Hosai 

 

Yosemite National Park- California


TechWomen Day 25

TechWomen Day 26-28

TechWomen Day 25

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 You will always feel what you force yourself to act like!

In this day, we, each country group in TechWomen, wanted to pitch the Impact Action Plan for an audience of more than 100 people, where each, will state a social problem in their country, and suggest a solution for it.

Butterflies were running through our stomachs before heading to the stage. Our amazing Erin Wilkinson gave us the tip of doing the POWER POSE! Because you will feel as a person with POWER if you act as a one.

Thank you Erin! You gave us a great gift in the right time


Microsoft HQ- MV/California

TechWomen Day 24

TechWomen Day 24

TechWomen Day 24

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 Giving gifts is an actual skill, and it leads to success.

The skill of giving gifts, based on Allen Blue, the Co-founder of LinkedIn, means the capability of helping people to create synergies by introducing people to one another. It is the art of keeping an eye to help people to be connected without any expectation, as a gift.


LinkedIn HQ- MV/California
 

TechWomen Day 23

TechWomen Day 24

TechWomen Day 24

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We will HAVE to enjoy the moment!

As much as this TechWomen program is fun and fancy, as much as it is hectic.

Last two days were the most serious and stressful that we can experience here. Proposal documents, slides and all deliverable have to be submitted by the deadlines for a whole week, discussions with the groups, moving from Mountain View to San Francisco back and forth, preparing the pitch and practicing vibes are all around California.

It is all always great to do the serious work, until this lady inside each of us wakes up, this who still wants to discover new places, & do shopping, this who still feels that she is never enough from the Silicon Valley and that she in the dilemma of having fun and doing the serious work.

In between all these sort of messy feelings, you must find an hour, only for yourself, to think about NOTHING but the piece of sweet you are diving in. This is the way that we've been truly taught to enjoy the moment, because otherwise, we have no other options, but to enjoy it!


Hard Rock Cafe- PIER 39 SF/California

TechWomen Day 22

TechWomen Day 24

TechWomen Day 22

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Women should practice accepting complements!

"You look great today"
"Really?? Oh I used this new MAC product"

"You have really brilliant ideas"
"Oh shut up! they weren't that good!"

"How did you become as successful as this?"
"I'm just lucky!"

Over Netflix table, we discussed that women tend to usually tell about the other interferes for being her beautiful, professional or even successful. Women usually see and talk about all the contributors to their current status, but they don't see and talk about themselves, that's why they underestimate themselves to accept any level of complements.

As you are the core of your success, "Thank you!" would always be the best and the most confident way to accept any sort of complement.

THANK YOU! 


Netflix- MV/California

TechWomen Day 21

TechWomen Day 21

TechWomen Day 22

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 One hand can never clap.
In this day, more specifically right in its late hour, I have learned that no matter how many ideas and how assertive some negotiations a team may dive in, the good team will always agree on what's best for them as the deadline becomes closer and closer, all hands will run for help, each in her expertise. Members become a huge source of motivation, walls break down and the team becomes very transparent. Because WE represent US as a team, and ultimately we represent JORDAN. And Jordan TechWomen team always rocks!

I am blessed ❤


Google Developers Launchpad- California

TechWomen Day 20

TechWomen Day 21

TechWomen Day 20

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Taking a break is part of the journey.
To stay alive, we need to breathe in, then breathe out. We cant live only by inhaling.

We always need to take breaks seriously, and focus ONLY on enjoying them in the best way we could


Golden Gate Cruise- SF/California

TechWomen Day 19

TechWomen Day 21

TechWomen Day 20

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 In this day, we were on a volunteering activity which TechWomen organized for us. We headed to San Francisco Botanical Garden, and we started weeding.

Weed is basically any unwanted plant. Some type of plants could be considered as weeds to some gardeners but not the others. It all depends on the gardener's vision for his garden.

It is always fun at the beginning but then it becomes hectic. That was a feeling that drove me to admire my grandparents, who worked day & nigth with plants to provide their families with a nourished future. May their souls rest in peace!


But "Why weeding manually and not by using any sort of tractors?"

Because first, tractors emit CO2. Second, a tractor will flip the layers of the ground, it will let bugs and insects escape from the area, and it will take the good and bad plants, the whole ecosystem will be changed accordingly in an unsuitable way.
See this very small delicate mushroom in my hand, this lives only for 1 day and keeping it is very useful for other plants.

Beside triggering my eco-mindset to be alive again, this experience opened my eyes on humans' ecosystem and how a person is directly influenced by everything around him in unintended ways. No matter how small or delicate any part of our connection is with any thing in this ecosystem, we should always remember the effect of the "one-living-day mushroom" and its ability to flip our whole ecosystem


Botanical Garden Golden Gate Park- SF/California

TechWomen Day 18

TechWomen Day 18

TechWomen Day 18

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LinkedIn taught us to be more open, speak out our information and ideas and figure out ways to keep them alive and ways to nourish them. No one will implement your idea the way you do, so don't be afraid of sharing them with anyone. It's YOU, the reason why your ideas will still be unique.

LinkedIn taught me that an idea takes only a small room in your brain. Then it is up to you to strength it to reach to the control room that lets you take the real actions.


LinkedIn- SF/California

TechWomen Day 17

TechWomen Day 18

TechWomen Day 18

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 "Tell us something about you that is not on your LinkedIn profile?"

This is how we introduce ourselves in LinkedIn, in a meeting with one of the biggest economists at the company.

I can't stop being astonished by the LinkedIn way where people care about you as a human first, then as a professional. This is one of the key elements to have a positive friendly internal culture I believe. 


LinkedIn HQ- MV/California

TechWomen Day 16

TechWomen Day 18

TechWomen Day 16

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 Problem always comes before solution. But problems differ from one to one. That's why when pitching your solution, keep in mind that people don't always remember the words you say, but they will keep remembering the way you let them feel.

Always relate to a personal simple and short story as a start 


Galvanize - SF/California

TechWomen Day 15

TechWomen Day 15

TechWomen Day 16

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"You might not be able to see the beauty of your wings, but other people will definitely do one day!"

That was a part of my Toastmasters speech today in one of LinkedIn Toastmasters clubs.

I can't remember when did I write this sentence, but today only, I reached to a belief that you will only feel your words when getting others involved, sharing your experiences with them and accepting their feedback.

Feedback of others are like free gifts, you have the total freedom to accept them or not!

This opportunity was way more fruitful than I expected. I am always proud to be part of Toastmasters.


LinkedIn HQ- MV/California

TechWomen Day 14

TechWomen Day 15

TechWomen Day 14

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Sometimes, you have the courage to get out of your comport zone so suddenly, to decide to stand infront of the audience and speak on your feet. A moment like this, boosts you for a year forward, don't hold yourself back when you feel you have to do something crazy, without preperation, & right now!


LinkedIn- SF/California

TechWomen Day 13

TechWomen Day 15

TechWomen Day 14

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 Sometimes we just need to digest and enjoy the mixture of education, beauty, innovation, and elegancy. Stanford was breathtaking as I've been always expecting!  



Standford University- California

TechWomen Day 12

TechWomen Day 12

TechWomen Day 12

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Why companies in Silicon Valley succeed ? Many if not most of them copy each other while still having a unique implementation plan. Think about Uber & Lyft, Apple & Microsoft.

You don't always have to come with brand new idea to implement. Do NOT reinvent the wheel!


Google Developers Launchpad- SF/California

TechWomen Day 11

TechWomen Day 12

TechWomen Day 12

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Today was full of lessons.
But one that have been running in my mind is that when Shannon Brayton, Global marketing and communications executive at LinkedIn, encouraged us to build our personal brand, especially as women. She mentioned "Whether for a promotion or for any other higher position, the most important decisions taken by others related to your career path will be taken without being you present at the table"

We always need to FOCUS on our personal brand by being bold and by embracing the real person within. Always look for your biggest 3 strengths to instill in other people's mind


 LinkedIn- SF/ California  

TechWomen Day 10

TechWomen Day 12

TechWomen Day 10

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 What if employees have innovative general ideas about their huge company! Would anyone have 2 minutes to listen?

Well yes, the concept of 'Hackday' is there for any group of employees to submit and present the minimal viable product of their company-related ideas only in 2 minutes, so that to vote and decide whether they should be given an opportunity to implement it or not. The ideas here are not related to products in the company's roadmap, they are general ideas of how to enhance work environment, user experience.....etc 


 LinkedIn HQ- MV/ California  

TechWomen Day 9

TechWomen Day 9

TechWomen Day 10

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 We were lucky enough to attend the Women in Big Data meetup during that day's afternoon, and even luckier to chat with the Chief Data Officer, Igor Perisic.

Igor assured that one of the key success factors of LinkedIn is that its employees act as if they own the company. I honestly first hand witnesses this.

But how!

"Act like an owner" is one of LinkedIn values. They worked for years to keep this value alive by always empowering their employees. An ultimate Win-Win situation 


 LinkedIn HQ- MV/ California  

TechWomen Day 8

TechWomen Day 9

TechWomen Day 8

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As it was the first day as a professional mentee in LinkedIn HQ, I have learned that in professional weekly meetings, it is brilliant to share not only your professional wins, but also your personal ones. Personal stories connect team members better, give reasons for compassion, and lead to robust team coherence.


LinkedIn HQ- MV/ California 

TechWomen Day 7

TechWomen Day 9

TechWomen Day 8

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 I was riding a bike in the park when I saw an old man, carrying lots of bags & trying to fix his fancy bike which, later I knew, happened to be his bike from the 1970.

I stopped to check if he needed anything and we started our conversation. He was surprised that I stopped to offer my help and he asked curiously "What if you were in your country, would it be OK for a girl like you to help a stranger?!!" - My answer was definitely yes, which was also surprising for him.

I do believe stronger than ever that by treating people nicely as humans, regardless of their skin color or religion, and with the implementation of the very small details related to this, we CAN fix these stereotypes about our country or religion unconsciously. 


Shoreline Park-  MV/California

TechWomen Day 6

TechWomen Day 6

TechWomen Day 6

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 There is an actual educational program called "take your daughter and son to work" ! 


California

TechWomen Day 5

TechWomen Day 6

TechWomen Day 6

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 Imagine a dentist came to a person saying: "As Patient lay while I'm fixing the issues with their teeth, they feel board. So I am thinking of bringing a LAMA to the clinic and put it in front of them while operating, what do you think ?"

A random person would answer: "What type of schmucks are you!". Sadly, many people would fall under the same category I believe

While on the other hand, a typical Californian person would answer: "Why don't you try bringing two Lamas DUDE, I can help you with them!"

Silicon Valley's superpower is having this "Lama Spirit", and believing that the mother of innovation is constant craziness.

- Rephrased, taken from Bill O'conner morning portion


Autodesck HQ-  California  

TechWomen Day 4

TechWomen Day 6

TechWomen Day 4

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 The Marshmallow challenge taught me that it is always better to do small steps with continuous evaluation and iteration, rather than spending too much time planning that increases the cost of opportunity loss.


Yahoo HQ-  California 

TechWomen Day 3

TechWomen Day 3

TechWomen Day 4

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 After achieving your goal, in many many cases, if you look back, you'll realize that you didn't reach to this goal by following a strict plan, rather by being present in the moment, being flexible to take spontaneous actions, and enjoying all of its details and corners.

-Rita Horner, Senior technical marketing manager, Synopsys 


Synopsys HQ- California

TechWomen Day 2

TechWomen Day 3

TechWomen Day 2

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 "What can we do to empower the government to work better!"
I heard this discussion today while I was waiting for the traffic light to allow me as a walker to cross a street in San Francisco, between a man a a woman in their thirties. Then I realized that small steps as those by the traffic lights, could be the steps for changing the world.

Juniper HQ- California

TechWomen Day 1

TechWomen Day 3

TechWomen Day 2

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 Throughout your life, people will notice things in you that you haven't even realized in yourself. If you are lucky enough to be told what you don't know about yourself, know that this is a knock on your door, never ignore it, and work on capturing this opportunity.
- Sheila Jordan, Symantec CIO 


Symantec HQ- California

Women Ambassador Forum 2018

Women Ambassador Forum Day 5

Women Ambassador Forum Day 5

Women Ambassador Forum Day 5

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This year (2018) , the Women Ambassadors Forum was in the theme of “Collective Disruption”. It gathered Women Ambassadors from 22 counties at SMU in Dallas.

They were only 5 days, yet, these days emphasized on how 1+1 could equal to 3. And that could only happen by what falls under synergy between these women after sharing all the laughters and tears.

Such a fantastic, eye opener, and full of fun forum Ingrid Harb , thank you for this amazing opportunity!


SMU Cox School of Business- Dallas/Texas

Women Ambassador Forum Day 4

Women Ambassador Forum Day 5

Women Ambassador Forum Day 5

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Be uniquely bold!

Among the too many lessons I’ve got to learn today, this one was my favorite.

It was one learned from the brilliant Rania Anderson during her workshop about getting a seat on the table. As women, we struggle in visualizing and exposing ourselves in a noticeable way!
What she suggested, was to start introducing ourselves in the following networking break in a different way, while phrasing our job titles in a way that lets the other person ask us “How”?

The exciting part was were she offered the best 2 introductions a copy of her book about women in emerging economies, UNDETERRED.

So during the networking break, when someone asked me what do I do? It went like
- I take ideas into the real market!
- Oh! How?
- By leading the whole product life cycle stages, as a marketing expert at one of the biggest telecom companies in Jordan, Orange.

Yup, and this copy is mine 😃 👏🏼


SMU Cox School of Business- Dallas/Texas

Women Ambassador Forum Day 3

Women Ambassador Forum Day 5

Women Ambassador Forum Day 2

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During our PINK TOUR in MARY KAY, chiefs were emphasizing on the importance of learning how to feel comfortable with the uncomfortable situations.

As much as it is not easy to feel totally comfortable, we must always distinguish between the feeling of being afraid to take a new step, and being extremely excited! Both feelings give you the same symptoms, make sure to know yourself enough 🙂


Mary Kay HQ- Texas

Women Ambassador Forum Day 2

Women Ambassador Forum Day 2

Women Ambassador Forum Day 2

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 Think about it in the GOOGLE way!

One of the main principals Google is adopting is what called “10x Thinking”. In that, they mean that they think about how to improve what they do by a factor of 10 times, rather than by 10%.
In return, they are reaching to achieve what we see to be crazy, as driverless cars and Google moon!

Be a 10x thinker!

Thank you Delfina Maria Grossi for the rich session. 


SMU Cox School of Business- Dallas/Texas

Women Ambassador Forum Day 1

Women Ambassador Forum Day 2

Women Ambassador Forum Day 1

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According to Mary Kay, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, the 6 principals of leadership are: visualization of your dreams, following your passion (or a vision I believe) , the determination which is translated into the tenacity that shows you the opportunities in each obstacle

In addition to the courage to take risks, integrity & compassion in its meaning that leads you to do what is better for the other person when in doubt


SMU Cox School of Business- Dallas/Texas