Dog Tag, Inc Fellowship Program – Weeks 3 & 4

I have really begun to think about the direction of my life during the past two weeks. Asking myself questions like… Should I try to start my own business? Can I even do that? Do I have the money or the ability to get money to start a business? Should I work for someone else? What would that work look like? Would any of these jobs provide me with enough money to stay in Northern Virginia?

With all these questions circling inside of me, I find myself even more confused than ever. When I began this program at Dog Tag, my life goals were clear… get to Georgetown every day, put in the work, and pass the course. Now that I’m here I’m finding that there is so much more than needs to be decided.

After I shared my frustrations with being a care giver to a soldier living with PTSD, a shift happened. Life in my house was happy for about 2 weeks. I thought hey, maybe things are getting better. However, I was swiftly reminded that things are not better that the joy was just a facade and I realized something very key…

I can only control myself and my personal future.

What a revelation that has been. Almost like a weight off my shoulders realizing that I do not have to have all the answers for my husband. In fact, I don’t have to have all the answers for myself either, at least not today.

When I walked into class this morning, this quote by Socrates was on the white board. “The secret of CHANGE is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new.” It’s like every day I come to the bakery, another thought or idea is offered to me that makes decision making more clear and somewhat easier to make.

I can’t fight the past and I can’t control the past, but I can do something about the future. So, from today forward, building the new… building my new future is what I am going to do.

Let’s recap some of the highlights from the program over the last two weeks!
Dog Tag, Inc was awarded the Veteran Business Mentorship Award from the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce!  Meghan Ogilive our CEO graciously accepted the award on behalf of the entire Dog Tag family.  It was a great honor to see all the hard work of Meghan, Fr. Curry and Connie Milstein paying off!

My cohort is still on it’s kitchen rotation with Executive Pastry Chef Rebecca Clerget and we were very busy in the kitchen!

We made 200 cookies that we then put into goodie bags that we hand delivered in a grass roots marketing effort to spread the word about our bakery and catering options! We went to 16 hotels in Georgetown and Rosslyn and will go to another 7 next week in Dupont Circle. It was a really eye opening hands on experience that taught me the power of community networking!

In the classroom, our Principles of Management class ended with our first final exam. Dr. McCabe taught us the essentials for being effective managers, skills for leading and motivating and negotiation skills. It was a really great class and I learned so much from it!

Dr. McCabe requested a class picture, so we all dressed up and he wore shorts! He’s a funny man, that Dr. McCabe!

McCabeCohort4Group-0629

Our Marketing class is continuing on and I’m learning a lot about branding and how to position a company in a market with competitors.  It’s really interesting stuff and I’m beginning to think about how to incorporate what I’m learning to my blog now and a potential new business in the future.

Our CEO Meghan Ogilvie and her brother Dr. Chris Ogilvie were with us for a morning of Learning Labs. Meghan shared with the us the story of how Fr. Curry and Connie Milstein founded the bakery and where their vision started.

Father Curry passed away this last December and I never had the pleasure of meeting him in person. However, I do know how important his life’s work and his vision for Dog Tag were. I feel honored and blessed to be a part of this program.

Dr. Chris Ogilvie talked to us about nutrition and how we need to stop eating sugar and wheat and to start our day with more protein. We’re tying, but uhm… we work in a bakery. Ha!

Today’s learning lab with our great partners at Deloitte. Resume working 1-on-1! #bakingadifference

A photo posted by Kyle Burns (@illuminatelearning) on

Finally, we had one-on-one sessions with professionals from Deloitte who worked with us to perfect our resume. My challenges wasn’t figuring out how to layout the resume, but how to take what have done as a volunteer with the Army and my blog and put it into words that will best represent me on my resume.

This process has been a real eye opener… I found that I can actually call myself an Independent Consultant, a Brand Manager, and Consultant. Who know that my blog would translate into such great opportunities!

I’m really looking forward to seeing what next week brings me!

Catch up on Week 1 and Week 2 of the Fellowship Program!

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